Hampshire College

Hampshire College students in a greenhouse

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

Hampshire College is open to the public and welcoming visitors, as we are in-person for the Fall 2021 semester. We continue to offer virtual engagement options, in addition to in-person tours, sessions and interviews. All visitors must follow current state, local, and college regulations when on campus, including wearing face coverings. Contact admissions for more information or visit our website. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002
413.559.5471 / 877.937.4267
⋅ 696 students in Spring 2020
⋅ Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1; average class size: 20
⋅ Students of Color: 32% (.2% Native/Alaskan/Indian; 3.7% Asian; 10.1% Black/African-American; 13.3% Latinx/Hispanic; 5.8% two or more races)
⋅ First-generation college students: 22.1%
⋅ International students: 4.7%
⋅ Tuition: $50,030 / Tuition, Room, and Board: $64,050
⋅ Annual financial aid budget: $31 million
⋅ Students receiving financial aid: 95%
⋅ Average financial aid package: $44,452; Range of packages: $5,500-$64,552
⋅ 72% of students receive Hampshire grants
⋅ Average need-based grant: $38,685

Hampshire College campus on a summer day

Hampshire College student in a sound booth

Hampshire College student meets with a professor

Hampshire College students in a science lab

Hampshire College students enjoy a meal together

  • The idea for Hampshire originated in 1958 when the presidents of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, appointed a committee to reexamine the assumptions and practices of a liberal arts education. Hampshire aims to graduate lifelong learners with the courage to challenge boundaries, ask questions, and ignite knowledge with creativity.
  • Our motto, “Non Satis Scire,” means “to know is not enough.”
  • Every 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 great questions—questions that stimulate the mind, branch off into the unknown, and often connect deeply to communities of people. 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. The final division (Division III) culminates in a yearlong independent project mirroring a master’s thesis. These projects take many forms, including research papers, portfolios, exhibits, experiments, performances, products, prototypes, installations, novels, films, animations, software, and beyond.
  • To build self-aware, lifelong learners, 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. Students also complete self-evaluations of their work, instilling a sense of purpose in every course they choose. The resulting classroom environment is simultaneously rigorous and collaborative.
  • Hampshire is part of the Five College Consortium, which also 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.
  • Hampshire was the first residential college committed to operating 100% solar for electricity from 19 acres of on-campus solar arrays.
  • We have two living buildings on our campus: the R.W. Kern Center, and the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Not only do these buildings generate their own energy and water, they’re built entirely with regional and non-toxic materials.
  • Hampshire has one of the first college farm programs in the country. With 80+ acres, students are able to work with our CSA program, livestock, sugar shack, and even beehives.
  • Hampshire grads have gone on to win numerous prestigious academic fellowships including 13 Princess Grace awards in the past 11 years, Mellon and Javits fellowships, and a Guggenheim fellowship, among others.

Faculty & Academics
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Nearly 6,000 courses among the Five College Consortium, including graduate-level courses
  • Over 9 million volumes available through the Five College Interlibrary Loan system

Areas of Study

For the most current listings, please check the college website.

Customize Your Major
This list represents the breadth of courses and faculty scholarship at Hampshire that you may draw from to build your concentration. In addition, students have access to courses and programming among our Five College Consortium.

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 / Creative Writing

Five College Programs
Beyond offering Hampshire students thousands of courses and sponsoring field research trips, student symposia, and shared lecture funding, the Five College Consortium offers 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 Indian 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
  • Being part of Hampshire is a whole new way of life, centered on community. Students are integral to every part of the College, serving on the Board of Trustees, hiring committees, FundCom (Hampshire’s student activities fund committee), and more.
  • 85% of students live on campus.
  • 100% of students in singles on campus
  • Over 100 clubs, sports, and organizations, including ASL Collective, Blacksmith’s Guild, Circus Folk Unite!, GlowLime Games, and Wool People (a fiber crafts group)

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 Ultimate Frisbee and the Equestrian team.

Recreational Athletics
Recreational athletics offers a range of activities for beginners as well as more , including classes, weekend seminars, and semester long co-curricular courses. Current activities include a wide range of choices:

• Adult swimming courses
• Kayaking instruction and rolling sessions

Certification courses:
• American Red Cross courses in CPR/AED and Standard First Aid are held on  advising days.
• Wilderness First Aid
• Defensive Driving
• Lifeguarding

Martial Arts:
• Aikido
• Hatha Yoga
• Kyudo (Japanese archery)
• Shotokan Karate
• Iaido (Japanese swordsmanship)
• Yang style T’ai Chi
• Women’s self defense (R.A.D.)

Life After College
  • 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.
  • 23 of our alums have received Fulbright Awards since 2011, among the most in the country.
  • 1 in 4 Hampshire alums start a business, organization, or non-profit.
  • Top 3% of colleges and universities sending their alums to earn research Ph.D.s
  • 65% earn an advanced degree within 10 years of graduation.
  • 90% report receiving a job offer within six months 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 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.

Academic Profile of Entering Class
  • Applications received for Fall 2020: 1,358
  • First-year matriculants for Fall 2020: 119