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Division III

In their final two semesters, students undertake a major independent project with the guidance of a committee. Typically, Division III projects explore in depth a specific aspect of the student’s Division II work. Division III students devote the majority of their time to the independent project.

We expect scholars and artists to move beyond the boundaries of their particular fields of expertise and to participate in the collective activities that help to define and invigorate intellectual life. In a similar way, students are expected to engage in two advanced educational activities concurrent with their Division III independent project that have the dual goal of broadening the scope of their intellectual endeavor and making their more mature skills and viewpoints available to the College at large.

Division III Requirements

The Advanced Independent Project

Each student designs, implements, and completes a two-semester advanced independent project that encompasses a sophisticated and complex set of questions, concepts, skills, and abilities. The completed project should clearly demonstrate the student’s ability to perform advanced work. The culmination of the Division III advanced independent project—whether a thesis, portfolio, film, exhibit, computer program, performance, or committee-approved combination of these—must be in a form that can be evaluated by the student’s faculty committee.  Judgment of the quality and scope of the advanced independent project is the responsibility of a student’s committee.

Division III Advanced Educational Activities

Students must undertake two advanced educational activities (AEAs) while they are engaged in Division III work. All AEAs must demonstrate a serious academic/intellectual approach and engagement at an advanced level. They must indicate semester-long involvement, be evaluated by faculty, and take place in a setting that permits interactions with other students who are working at an advanced level.

One of the AEAs must be an advanced level course or supervised teaching/teaching assistantship (TA).  The other AEA may be an advanced level course; teaching assistantship; a Special Project; a course of independent study for which the student is properly registered; or facilitation of an EPEC course that is planned with and evaluated by a Hampshire faculty member. In all cases, at least one of the AEAs must be an advanced level course or TA. Students who take an advanced level course at another college or university must receive a grade of C or better in a credit-bearing course of at least three semester credits or the equivalent in order for it to count as an AEA. Students may not audit or receive a pass/fail grade in an AEA.

The work for all AEAs must be completed by the end of the Hampshire advising and progress review period in the student’s final semester. Formal awarding of the degree will be delayed if documentation of completion of one or both AEAs is not received prior to Hampshire’s commencement. Students may not negotiate an incomplete in the final semester for any AEA. Failure to complete an AEA will result in the student having to complete an advanced level course at another institution, pre-approved by the Division III chairperson in a revised contract. The student’s graduation date will be delayed until after receipt of a transcript documenting successful completion of the substituted course.

Advanced level course definition:

An advanced level course must be approved by the student’s Division III committee and related to the student’s Division III area of study.  For the purposes of satisfying Division III advanced educational activities, independent studies are not considered advanced level courses.  A course may be considered advanced-level if it is:

  • A 300-level Hampshire course;
  • A 200-level Hampshire course with approval of the Division III committee;
  • Any Five College course or course taken at another college or university that is directed at seniors or graduate students. 

Supervised teaching /teaching assistantship (TA) definition:

A student is considered a TA if they are assisting in the planning of and engaging in teaching activities in a course approved by the Division III committee. This course must be a full academic course, or a course equivalent in level of activity and time commitment to a full academic course.  Please note that TA responsibilities differ significantly from the duties of a work-study or office/course assistant position, which are more limited in scope.  Examples of the responsibilities of a teaching assistant might include: leading discussions, holding office hours for student appointments, and providing feedback on papers or other assignments.

Special Project Definition:

“Special Projects” are robust supervised or mentored learning experiences that students have at or away from Hampshire with organizations (such as schools, labs companies, or nonprofit organizations) or with community groups. They can be internships, practica, or other independent projects that are evaluated by a qualified supervisor at the organization or community group (approved by the student’s advisor. They must engage a student in learning for 180 hours or more.  Students must fill out a Special Projects form (obtained from the Central Records office). Declaration of a Special Project must occur by the add/drop deadline in the student’s final semester.

Field Study:

Students using a component of field study such as an internship for a Div III advanced educational activity must have this listed on the filed copy of their Div III contract in the advanced educational activities section. The component used for the advanced educational activity will be registered separately and evaluated or certified as complete by the Div III chair. Submit documentation of completion directly to the Div III chair. Although not required, a site supervisor evaluation may be submitted to Central Records for inclusion in the Hampshire transcript. If you receive a transcript from another institution with grades for a component of your field study, submit a copy both to your Chairperson and Central Records.