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Hampshire College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn more about Hampshire College. Read about its admission information, financial aid and degree programs to make an informed decision about your education.

About Hampshire College

Hampshire College is a private, liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts. It is part of the Five College consortium, along with Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The Princeton Review has ranked Hampshire among the Best Northeastern Colleges and the Best 377 Colleges.

Students at Hampshire don't follow pre-structured majors, but instead they construct individualized, often interdisciplinary, programs of study through collaboration with faculty. In lieu of traditional grades, students receive written evaluations from faculty, facilitating constructive feedback and collaboration. With a student-faculty ratio of 12 to 1 and average class sizes of 18 students, Hampshire emphasizes discussion and communication between students and faculty.


Hampshire's multidisciplinary curriculum includes schools of study in humanities, arts, and cultural studies; critical social inquiry; cognitive science; natural science; and interdisciplinary arts. Often working in multiple schools, students create personalized academic paths using the 28 programs available at Hampshire, along with the programs and courses available through the Five College consortium. Students have access to library materials through Hampshire's Harold F. Johnson Library, as well as the Five College libraries and worldwide collections.

The core focus of the curriculum at Hampshire is developing artistic and intellectual knowledge informed by a variety of cultural views, honing research skills and analytical writing, building a strong foundation in reasoning, and executing self-directed projects. These skills are utilized during three educational stages or divisions.

During Division I, students fulfill core requirements in the liberal arts. In the sophomore and junior year, or Division II, students focus on a subject area of choice. Division III is devoted to the culmination of studies through independent work. During this final year, students can supplement coursework with supervised internships or teaching opportunities. In the course of their studies, students may also choose to study abroad through programs offered by the Hampshire Global Education Office. The academic calendar runs on a 4-1-4 basis, meaning that students take 4 courses for 4 months and 1course for 1 month.


High school performance and extracurricular activities are major factors in Hampshire's admissions process. Hampshire seeks students who can demonstrate critical thinking, writing, and analysis; exhibit a love for learning; and demonstrate traits that will allow them to thrive in the college's unique academic culture, including an aptitude for self-directed and self-driven pursuits. In fall 2011, 71% of applicants were accepted, 20% of whom enrolled, according to the NCES.

Hampshire requires the common application, a supplement, and recommendations. While SAT scores are not required, most applicants choose to submit them, and applicants are urged to submit test scores if they did not receive grades during the second half of high school. AP courses can be transferred to fulfill elective requirements, but not core requirements.

For 2013-2014, the application for regular decision is due on January 1st, and students are notified of decisions by April 1st. Early application options are available. Early Decision I applications are due November 15th, with notification by December 15th. Early Decision II applications are due January 1st, with notification by February 1st. A non-binding Early Action option is also available; the application for this is due December 1st, with notification by February 15th. High school juniors who are academically prepared and meet certain criteria may apply for early entrance using the same deadlines as regular decision applicants.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition at Hampshire for the 2012-2013 year is $43,580, with room and board costing $11,620. Hampshire offers need-based and merit-based financial aid, and 83% of students received financial aid of some sort in 2011. Need-based grants were received by 62% of students, with an average need-based grant of $30,300 in 2011. The admissions committee offers renewable merit scholarships of up to $16,000 to a select number of students. The average student debt for students who graduated in 2011 was $21,673, with a 0.3% default rate.

School Type 4-year, private**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar 4-1-4***
School Setting Town***
Student Body 1,500 undergraduates in 2011**
Student Housing Freshmen live in residence halls, upperclassmen can live in apartment-style houses or can apply to live off-campus*
Schools and Programs 5 schools, over 50 possible concentrations*
Student-Faculty Ratio 12 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011: Bachelor's: Creative Writing (29) **
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 63% in 6 years*
Admission Rate 71% in 2011**
Entering Class Size 355 first-year students in 2012*
First-Year Retention Rate 78%*
Average SAT and ACT Score of Admitted Students Middle 50% SAT scores: 1710-2020, Middle 50% ACT scores: 25-29 in 2011**
Application Due Date January 1, 2013*
Decision Notification Date April 1, 2013*
Tuition (2012-2013) $43,580 per year*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Federal grants (22%), state and local grants (7%), institutional grants or scholarships (85%), federal student loans (61%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 88% in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Hampshire College, **National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), ***The Princeton Review.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Admissions Office, Mail Code AD, Hampshire College, 893 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002
  • Phone: (877) 937-4267
  • Website: www.hampshire.edu

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