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New and Transfer Student Orientation Program

The focus of orientation, like academics at Hampshire, is on the small group experience and student-led activities. You won't have to sit in auditoriums and listen to long lectures. Instead, most of your time during orientation will be filled with interactive sessions, small group activities hosted by student orientation leaders, and occasional special guest presenters or performers.

Fall 2021 Orientation

New and transfer students arrive at Hampshire on Thursday, August 26, between 10 a.m.–1 p.m., and participate in orientation activities through Monday, August 30. Tuesday, August 31 is Community Orientation (all campus faculty, staff, and students are invited to participate). Classes begin Wednesday, September 1. The orientation schedule will be available by mid-August, and students will receive additional information regarding protocols during the summer.

New international students, check here for information regarding international student arrival dates.

Family Orientation

Thursday, August 26–Friday, August 27, 2021

With questions about Family Orientation, please contact the Alumni and Family Relations office at or 413.559.6638.

View the schedule and register here.

Find local hotels with special rates for Family Orientation.

New and Transfer Students: What to Expect

The first days of your Hampshire experience will be guided by orientation leaders. They are continuing students who are committed to helping new and transfer students make a smooth transition into Hampshire life. After you've settled in on Opening Day, you'll meet the other new and transfer students and your orientation leaders who will be available to answer your questions, hear any concerns, and share your excitement about Hampshire. You will participate in engaging and interactive sessions led by Hampshire staff and faculty, and small group activities hosted by student orientation leaders.

These formative days are not only meant to be educational; they're also meant to be fun. Our creative orientation leaders design innovative and entertaining activities for new and transfer students to learn more about each other while familiarizing themselves with Hampshire.

Move-In Guidelines

This information is from spring 2021 and will be updated over the summer to reflect fall 2021.

The Massachusetts travel order will apply to all visitors and residents entering the state. The travel order limits who can travel to our campus and help you move in, which will vary depending on where you are traveling from. Be sure to read the Covid-19 Infomation for important updates related to the pandemic. This page is regularly updated, and important announcements will be sent via email to all students.

student with bean bag chair moving in

Mission Statement

The College's orientation program is designed to support new and transfer students as they begin their journey at Hampshire. We aim to create opportunities and offer experiences that are directly informed by the educational philosophy and practices of the College, and through which students will be able to engage their passions, challenge their beliefs, and continue to grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

Goals and Methods

The primary goal for new and transfer students is that they feel supported by and connected to the people and resources in the Hampshire community. Specifically, we aim for the program to:

  • Promote engagement with the values of our community
  • Establish and care for students' basic needs
  • Provide accurate and relevant information about life at Hampshire College
  • Explore what it means to "live together well" in a community
  • Begin difficult and important conversations that arise from living and working together in diverse communities
  • Offer opportunities for new and transfer students to connect with each other and build friendships
  • Provide students with time to process and reflect, and to share their fears and anxieties in a supportive environment
  • Lay the groundwork for continued learning, exploration, and social networking through the first-year program
Stay In Touch
With The Dean of Students Office
Snail Mail
Dean of Students Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002