Unbounded Thinking

We live in a complex global world. Hampshire has always known this and most courses and projects were interdisciplinary in some sense. What we have come to know more and more is that imposing disciplinary boundaries can impede our thinking and the approaches we take to addressing real challenges.

Arrow with the words "Unbounded Thinking"

As you study at Hampshire, you’ll see that questions drive your educational plan—and few questions pay attention to human-constructed disciplines. You won’t be limited by courses offered in a major; instead, you’ll select courses, projects, and internships that deepen your thinking in a transdisciplinary manner—mixing disciplines to create something entirely new.

Engagement in unbounded thinking will help you:

  • Gain breadth of knowledge across fields of study
  • Draw connections among ideas and across academic disciplines to address and solve multifaceted issues
  • Learn the strengths and limitations of different methodologies, and select or create new methods to solve problems or answer your questions
  • See new ways to work—at Hampshire and beyond

In your first year, your Division I seminar (and perhaps some of your other courses) will take a transdisciplinary approach. And of course, as with urgent challenges, working with our Learning Collaborative (LC) questions will give you other opportunities for transdisciplinary work. And you will reflect on what you learned by exploring in a transdisciplinary way when you write your Division II reflection.

In Division II, you will design your own course of study that helps you answer your own questions and meet your own goals in addition to addressing our five throughlines. Most academic paths cross disciplinary boundaries in interesting ways. As we’ve said, you can’t answer many questions without doing so. Writing your Division II retrospective essay will help you make meaning of the ways you have come to work at Hampshire.

Likewise, your Division III full-year project will be defined by what you want to know and how you want to apply all you have learned in your first three years. Again—unlikely to be in a single discipline!