Hampshire College students qualify for the Bachelor of Arts degree by completing a full-time program composed of three tiers or “divisions” of study with the aim of increasing students’ agency and the ability to tackle complex problems through increasing degrees of independence coupled with the ability to organize, collaborate and engage with their peers and the greater community.The divisional system challenges students to take charge of their own intellectual development and to integrate an active, critical, reflective perspective into their lives.
In Division I, students pursue foundational studies in the liberal arts by designing a first-year curriculum in which they satisfy distribution requirements in various areas of study and improve their competence in core cumulative academic skills.
In Division II, students explore their chosen field(s) of study, "the concentration" through an individually designed program of courses, independent work, special projects,such as internships, or community-based work and in some cases field study. In addition to these requirements, students in Division II must include a community engagement and learning component as a part of their Hampshire education and demonstrate an understanding or an engagement with multiple cultural perspectives as they relate to their course of study.
In Division III—advanced studies—students complete a major independent project centered on a specific topic, question, or idea, as well as two advanced educational activities. In the advanced activities, students broaden the scope of their intellectual endeavor by engaging in advanced courses, special projects, or teaching assistant positions.