See our planning for 2020–21.

Hampshire College Students Walking

New 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.

With the new option for students to study remotely (and not live on campus or commute), we're moving much of orientation online to make it available to everyone. There will still be interactive in-person activities for students who are on campus. 

New Student Orientation Program

Fall 2021 Orientation

New students arrive at Hampshire on Thursday, August 26, between 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and participate in orientation activities through Sunday, August 29. The orientation schedule will be available by mid-August, and students will receive additional information regarding protocols during the summer.

New 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 students make a smooth transition into Hampshire life. After you've settled in on Opening Day, you'll meet the other new 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 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 latest Hamp Forward news and FAQs for important details on what this new travel order means for you and any friends or family accompanying you to campus. If the state revises the travel order or other guidelines, Hamp Forward will be updated accordingly and an email will be sent to all students.

student with bean bag chair moving in

Mission Statement

The College's orientation program is designed to support new 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 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 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 New Student Experience Office
Snail Mail
New Student Experience Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002