Hampshire College

an arial photo showing buildings surrounded by trees, lawns, and a parking lot

“Today no college has students whose intellectual thyroids are more active or whose minds are more compassionately engaged.
Colleges That Change Lives

Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., is among the most innovative colleges in the country, asking students to pursue their passions by designing their own programs of study. Students recruit a committee of  faculty advisors to guide them on a rigorous path of intellectual discovery, and receive narrative evaluations instead of grades. 

Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002
413.559.5471 / 877.937.4267
⋅ 712 students in Fall 2023
⋅ Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
⋅ Average class size: 18
⋅ Students of Color: 32%
⋅ First-generation college students: 30%
⋅ International students: 7.3%
⋅ Total Cost of Attendance: $70,046
⋅ Annual financial aid budget: $16.5 million
⋅ Students receiving financial aid: 99%
⋅ Average financial aid package: $47,990
⋅ Average Hampshire Grant: $44,177

Students standing together under a balloon sign that says Hampshire

Six students stand around a moving bin

In a graduation ceremony a student receives her diploma from a professor

A student wearing a cap and gown stands in front of a painted wall

a student stands at a podium adjacent to a large power point screen display

  • Every Hampshire student customizes their program of study in concert with a faculty advising committee. Instead of picking a major from a list, students base their studies on questions. For example, a student may build a major in applied design, computer sciences, and biology surrounding the question, “Can a robot teach itself how to climb?”
  • The Divisional System, our three-part academic framework, guides students through the process of finding great questions, harnessing the skills of introspection and reflection, and navigating uncertainty amidst exploration.
  • Professors evaluate students through detailed narrative feedback at the end of each course and on every assignment. This shows students where they’ve done well, how they need to improve, and what steps to take next.
  • Hampshire is part of the Five College Consortium, which includes UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Smith College, and Mount Holyoke College. Students can cross-register for classes and join clubs across campuses.

Worth Noting
  • Hampshire is on the Forbes Top 20 Most Entrepreneurial Colleges list, in part because of our million-dollar student Seed Fund for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 1 in 4 alumni found their own business or organization.
  •  Hampshire is in the top 2% of the nation’s colleges whose students go on to earn a Ph.D.
  • Hampshire College is #16 in the New York Times list ranking socioeconomic diversity on college campuses.
  • Hampshire is named 7th Most Innovative School by the US News & World Report.
  • Hampshire achieved carbon neutrality in 2022—the 12th college or university in the US to do so.
  • Hampshire graduates have been awarded numerous prestigious academic fellowships and honors including Fulbright, Princess Grace, Gilman, Gates Millennium, MacArthur (“Genius Grant”) and others.

Faculty & Academics
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Class sizes range from 12 to 25 students
  • Students choose classes from 68 areas of study
  • In-depth narrative evaluations sponsor close collaboration between faculty and students
  • More than 7,000 courses among the Five College Consortium are available to students
  • Over 9 million volumes are available through the Five College Interlibrary Loan system
  • Hampshire’s curriculum is organized around four Learning Collaboratives, Environments and Change, In/Justice, Media and Technology, and Time and Narrative. Each Learning Collaborative consists of a cluster of courses, events, projects, and public forums for sharing work in progress.
  • Hampshire offers Semesters Unbound, in which students and faculty collaborate on large-scale projects for an entire semester.

Areas of Study

This list represents the breadth of courses and faculty scholarship at Hampshire that you may draw from to build your customized program of study. In addition, students have access to courses and programming among our Five College ConsortiumFor the most current listings, please check the college website.

Africana Studies
Agricultural Studies and Rural Life
American Studies
Animal Behavior and Cognition
Animation and Digital Art
Anthropology / Archaeology
Applied Design
Architecture / Environmental Design
Art History
Asian Studies
Biological / Life Sciences
Business / Entrepreneurship
Childhood and Youth Studies / Education
Cognitive Science
Communications / Media Studies
Computer Science
Culture, Brain, Development
Digital Media
Environmental Studies / Sustainability
Film / Video / Photography
Game Design and Development
Gender, Feminist, and Queer Studies
Global Studies and International Relations
Health and Pre-Medical Studies
Jewish Studies
Language, Linguistics, and Translation Studies
Latin American Studies
Legal Studies / Pre-law
Marine Science
Middle Eastern Studies
Native American Studies
Philosophy and Applied Ethics
Psychoanalytic Studies
Social Movements
Studio / Visual Arts
Writing and Creative Writing

Five College Programs
Through the Five College Consortium, Hampshire students access thousands of courses, field research trips, student symposia, and shared lecture funding, as well as a range of cooperative academic departments and programs combining the strengths of the five institutions.

Five College Interdisciplinary and Area Studies Programs
African Studies, Coastal and Marine Sciences, East Asian Languages, Film and Video, Native American Studies, and more

Five College Certificate Programs (similar to a minor)
African Studies; Culture, Health, and Science; International Relations; Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies; Middle Eastern Studies; and more

Campus Life
  • Most dorm rooms are singles
  • Over 100 clubs, sports, and organizations, including ASL Collective, Blacksmith’s Guild, Circus Folk Unite, and Wool People
  • Hampshire’s Outdoor Programs offer rock climbing, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and more outdoor and sporting activities
  • Hampshire students are active in the governance and administration of the College, serving on the Board of Trustees, the financial committee, hiring committees, FundCom (Hampshire’s student activities fund committee), and more.
  • Students enjoy frequent theatrical, dance, and musical performances, community outings, story circles, and community events.

Varsity Sports

Hampshire College is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) and the Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) and has a competitive intercollegiate athletic program that offers student athletes an opportunity to compete on both the regional and national levels.

The YSCC is made up of 15 schools from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and now Massachusetts. Current intercollegiate sports offerings are basketball, soccer, cross country, and track and trail.

Club Sports
Hampshire also offers club sports, which compete with other colleges but are not associated with the YSCC/USCAA. Club sports include Rock Climbing, Ultimate Frisbee, Tennis, and Pickleball.

Outdoor Programs provide students the opportunities to explore the outdoors through day-long and multi-day trips as well as semester-long classes, through hiking, camping, skiing, boating, and much more.

Recreational Athletics provide instructional offerings such as yoga classes, spin classes, and strength and conditioning. Students can also focus independently on their health and well-being through the fitness center and weight room, indoor track, indoor tennis courts, bouldering cave, pool, and sauna, or by exploring the miles of trails on Hampshire’s 800-acre campus and the nearby Mount Holyoke Range State Park.

Life After College
  • 90% of Hampshire alumni receive a job offer within six months of graduation
  • 65% earn an advanced degree within 10 years of graduation.
  • Graduate institutions most frequently attended: Columbia, University of Massachusetts Amherst, New York University, Harvard University, Boston University, Yale University, University of California Berkeley, Cornell University, Simmons College, and Smith College.
  • Hampshire is in the top 2% of the nation’s colleges and universities whose alums go on to earn Ph.D.s
  • 1 in 4 Hampshire alums start a business, organization, or non-profit.
  • 23 of our alums have received Fulbright Awards since 2011, among the most in the country. Others have been recognized with Emmy, Academy, Peabody, and Grammy Awards; Pulitzer and Hillman Prizes; and many other honors.
  • Hampshire alumni changing lives include award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Duolingo co-founder Jose Fuentes, comedian Eugene Mirman, and author Jon Krakauer.
  • Hampshire’s pedagogy develops each student’s ability to question, research, analyze, write, negotiate, and undertake substantial independent projects—competencies that graduate schools and employers seek in their ideal candidates.
  • Employers love Hampshire graduates because they know how to work well with others, take initiative, self-direct, solve problems, communicate effectively, and take risks.

Academic Profile of Entering Class
  • Fall 2023 incoming students: 335
  • Number of high schools represented: 250+
  • Average HS GPA of first-year students: 3.30
  • Acceptance rate: 70%
  • BIPOC students: 30 percent
  • International students: 5.6 percent
  • First-generation students: 25 percent
  • Countries Represented: 25
  • States Represented: 36
  • Languages spoken: 20
  • Hampshire does not accept SAT or ACT scores