You are here

Self-designed Field Study


A self-designed field study is a semester of full-time Hampshire enrollment, studying away from campus with a field supervisor or under the supervision of the Division II or III chairperson.

Students are expected to spend approximately 25-40 hours per week over a 15-week semester engaged in activities pre-approved by the Division II or III committee. These hours could include an internship, apprenticeship, field-based project, course work, research or teaching assistantships or participation in a non-accredited training program. In some cases, students may enroll in courses or pursue other learning activities in addition to the self-designed component.

Academic Expectations

Students are expected to fulfill the academic requirements as outlined by their field study program and their Division II or III committee. Failure to successfully complete a semester of field study may impact a student’s academic progress, divisional status, or financial aid eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements for Field Study (both domestic and international)

To be eligible to participate in a semester on Field Study, you must

  • Have filed for Division II or be in your first semester of Division III. Division I students and Division III students in their last semester are not eligible.
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing to qualify.
  • Receive approval from your academic committee.
  • Be in good financial standing at Hampshire. Students who may have outstanding financial obligations may not be eligible.
  • Receive necessary approvals from all relevant offices by the Field Study, Leave & Exchange Deadline the semester prior to being away (November for spring/April for fall).

Policy on Good Academic and Disciplinary Standing for Field Study

Students wanting to participate in a semester on Field Study must be in good academic, financial and disciplinary standing at Hampshire College.  The Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA), the Global Education Office (GEO) and the Dean of Students Office/Office of Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities collaborate to review all academic and conduct records of students who are applying to be on Field Study.  Students who are on academic contract are not eligible to be on Field Study until the terms of the contract have been fulfilled. In addition, students must be clear of any outstanding or ongoing Formal Student Conduct processes  and probationary terms cannot coincide with the intended semester away (all must be completed the semester before leaving campus). Students who may be on probation (disciplinary status sanction) or contract at the time of application but whose probationary terms end prior to the planned semester off-campus are not automatically disqualified from participating. Hampshire reserves the right to review each case on the nature, severity, and number of incidents prior to approving the semester away.  Students may be required to submit additional information to CASA or GEO as well as participate in an interview prior to their approval for a semester on Field Study. Once a student’s application is approved, approval may be revoked at any time for failure to maintain good academic and disciplinary status at through the time of departure.  It is in the student’s best interest to notify the appropriate CASA or GEO advisor/program manager if they have a violation of the norms for community living and policies prior to application.  If a student’s application for Field Study has been denied or their eligibility status to participate has been revoked, students have an opportunity to seek a review by filing a written request to the Dean of Faculty within 3 days once they have been notified.

Enrollment Status

Students on field study will be considered full-time students for the purpose of educational loan obligations. If certification of student status is necessary, the Central Records Office will prepare a letter bearing the College seal. A semester of field study is considered a semester of enrollment for the purpose of academic standing (see the section on Guidelines for Academic Progress).

Students who discontinue a field study for any reason should contact the Center for Academic Support & Advising and their advisor immediately. If the field study is canceled before classes begin, students may either elect a one-semester leave of absence or return to Hampshire full time. If the field study is canceled after classes begin but by the last day to drop Hampshire and Five College courses on TheHub at the beginning of the semester, enrollment status will change to leave of absence. Any change in enrollment after the drop deadline will result in withdrawal from Hampshire. Students are required to reapply for admission if there is a change of enrollment status after the drop deadline.

Evaluation Requirements for self-designed field study:  Student

Students are required to submit the following to show evidence of continued enrollment and completion of Field Study.

1)      Mid-semester self-evaluation on TheHub by the published deadline.

2)       Final self-evaluation on TheHub by the end of the semester.

3)       Other documentation required to demonstrate completion of the semester must be submitted to the ChairpersonExamples: Narrative evaluation(s) from field supervisor; official transcript(s); other certificate(s) and forms of media.

4)      Students using a component of field study such as an internship for a div III advanced educational activity (AEA) must have this listed on the filed copy of their div III contract in the AEAs section. The component used for the AEA will be registered separately and evaluated or certified as complete by the div III chair. Students must submit documentation of completion directly to the div III chair. Although not required, students may submit a site supervisor evaluation to Central Records for inclusion in the Hampshire transcript.  If a student takes a course or courses at another institution an official transcript must be sent to both the div III chair and Central Records.


Evaluation Requirements for self-designed field study:  Chairperson

1)      Submit a mid-term evaluation and course summary according to published deadlines.

2)      Certify successful completion; or write an evaluation referencing documentation from field supervisors; or write a full evaluation if directly supervising the student.

Note: There is no option for partial completion of the semester. Your certification/evaluation, brief or detailed, will be included in the student’s transcript.


Students on Hampshire Field Study are required to have health insurance coverage. Students who will be studying outside of the United States will need to confirm that their provider will cover them internationally. Some field study programs may have additional, country-specific insurance requirements.

All students, including those on field study, are automatically enrolled in the Hampshire College health insurance plan. Students have the option to waive Hampshire's insurance if they are covered under another acceptable insurance plan. If covered through Hampshire College health insurance, students will automatically be covered internationally. Plan and coverage information for Hampshire's health insurance can be found through the student health insurance webpage.


The fee for field study is approximately one third of the Hampshire College tuition for that semester. Refer to the Student Financial Services website.

Financial Aid

Refer to the Financial Aid website.

Procedures for Filing for Field Study

The process for filing for field study should begin about six weeks into the term preceding the field study. 

  • A meeting with the advisor (Division II or Division III chair) who will be supervising work during the field study should occur at an early stage. If this is a Division III field study, this planning meeting must be followed by a meeting with one of the deans in the Center for Academic Support and Advising.
  • Field-study forms are available from the Center for Academic Support and Advising. A student will not be registered for field study until they have completed and submitted the form with all approvals. Students who do not complete the field study form with all approvals will be registered  as a full-time student for the upcoming semester.
  • All students traveling on a Hampshire College-sponsored study are required to submit an Assumption of Risk and General Release form. College-sponsored travel is any travel that a student receives any funding, academic credit for work done during or upon return from the travel; or any travel which has been arranged by the College. This includes participation in field study, whether domestic or international.

NOTE: Permission is rarely granted to extend field study if the field study was originally approved for one semester. If such permission is granted, students must file a new field-study form and obtain updated signatures. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the field study and students will be placed on leave of absence.

International Students

International students (with an F-1 student visa) are required to consult with the international student advisor regarding visa implications of field study BEFORE applying for field study.

Returning from Field Study

In order to preregister for courses or participate in the on-campus room-choosing lottery process, the student must notify CASA of their intention to return by the November and April field study, leave, exchange deadline.  If CASA is not notified of the student’s plans for the term following the field study by this notification deadline, the student will be withdrawn from the College.