Division I is the foundation of Hampshire’s academic program, covering the first two semesters of enrollment. It is designed to introduce students to a variety of academic disciplines, to give them a solid understanding of the academic resources available to them, and to spark the love of questioning and learning. It prepares students for advanced work in Division II and III.
By the end of their second semester, students must successfully complete a total of seven full academic courses, including a first-year tutorial for fall entrants. This total includes courses in four of the five distribution areas of study and three electives. Distribution requirements must be satisfied with Hampshire courses with the exception of CHL, which may be satisfied with a Five-College language course. The distribution areas are, Arts, Design and Media (ADM); Culture, Humanities and Language (CHL); Mind, Brain and Information (MBI); Physical and Biological Sciences (PBS); and Power, Community and Social Justice (PCSJ). Division I electives may be satisfied with either Hampshire or Five College courses. Any Five College course used for Division I must carry 3 or more credits and be graded C or better. OPRA, EPEC and other co-curricular courses may not count for either distribution or elective course requirements, but may in some cases be used for CEL-1, the Campus Engaged Learning Requirement, which must also be completed during Division I. During Division I, students also develop their abilities in four core cumulative skills: Writing and Research; Independent Work; Multiple Cultural Perspectives; and Quantitative Skills.
When preparing to pass Division I, students submit their portfolios to their advisors no later than the beginning of the third semester of enrollment. The Division I portfolio includes a retrospective essay; all Hampshire evaluations and any Five College grades; documentation of and reflection on the CEL-1; and evidence of progress and/or proficiency in the four cumulative skills. Students schedule a final meeting with their advisors, who will review the materials presented. If the advisors determine that the Division I requirements have been met, they record a pass on TheHub and write an evaluation according to published deadlines.
Note for first-year entrants with advanced standing: carefully read the advanced standing description and contact CASA with questions.
Note for transfer entrants: the rules for completing Division I are significantly different than those for first year entrants. Students should refer to the Transfer Policy for information and contact CASA with questions.