Find all of our updates on COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus.

Hampshire College Students Walking

New Student Orientation Program

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

Fall 2020 Orientation: When to Arrive

New students will arrive on campus on Thursday, September 3, and participate in orientation activities through Monday, September 7. Schedule COMING SOON.

Before You Arrive

As your prepare for your arrival, check out our list of things to do before you arrive. And don't forget to check your Hampshire email periodically to make sure you're up to date; this is how we'll be in touch with you.

New Students: What to Expect

student with bean bag chair moving inYour orientation leaders will be available to answer your questions, hear your concerns, and share your excitement about Hampshire. They'll give you tips and take you on tours and adventures.

The first days of your Hampshire experience will be guided by orientation leaders. They are returning 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 your orientation groups in the afternoon.

Every group of new students is led by orientation leaders. For first-year students, this group will include your fellow first-year classmates. This group will be your home base for small group activities, where you'll get to know each other and express your hopes and fears about college.

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.

Family Orientation

New students and families should save the date Thursday, September 3 for Family Orientation.

Focus of Orientation

The focus of orientation, like academics at Hampshire, is on the small group experience and student-led activities.

orientation groupYou won't have to sit in auditoriums and listen to long lectures. Instead, most of your time during orientation will be filled with orientation leader-led activities in your small groups and occasional special performances with all new students.


Taking RootTaking Root: An Illustrated Guide to Hampshire
Taking Root is a student/alum-written publication that describes the history of the College, the academic system, and the available resources on campus, all in a fun, cartoon-style format.


Disorientation PacketStudent-created Disorientation Packet
This disorientation packet was created in the summer of 2007 by graduating students interested in documenting their perceptions regarding issues of race and diversity on campus. It was updated in the summer of 2011 by Ria Sen 07F and JD Stokely 07F.


Stay In Touch
With New Student Experience Office
Snail Mail
New Student Experience Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002