Amherst, MA
Hampshire College


44 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

casey
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The Divisional system gives Hampshire its edge. We've got 3 divisions, and to graduate, you've got to pass Div 3 - a final pr...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The Divisional system gives Hampshire its edge. We've got 3 divisions, and to graduate, you've got to pass Div 3 - a final project that can take any shape or form - that you do under the supervision of your advisors. We don't have grades or majors and each student gets a narrative evaluation instead of a grade. I think Hampshire is a great place, but the students NEED to be more diverse. We've got all kinds of diversity EXCEPT racial diversity, and it's honestly, not fun. I made it all four years at Hampshire and I loved every second of it.

Briar
What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a pretty good school and students are definitely liberal and politically active. I really wish that microaggressions wer...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a pretty good school and students are definitely liberal and politically active. I really wish that microaggressions were addressed more on campus. The food is also pretty rough if you have allergies, so try to get off of the meal plan if you do. In general, at Hampshire, self advocacy is incredibly important.

Phoenix
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hampshire College has been a safe and supportive environment for me to explore my interests and find a way to combine them in...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hampshire College has been a safe and supportive environment for me to explore my interests and find a way to combine them in order to constructing contribute to the community. With supportive professors who are willing to go above and beyond to support their students and a structure that allows students to be in control of their education while still being provided the support they need, Hampshire students are smart and highly motivated individuals. Hampshire College is not for everyone the lack of grade being supplemented with page long written evaluations for each class (with about 15 students) make you have to work harder, do all your work, show up to every class, participate and really form a working relationship with the professors. Hampshire is really what you make of it, working hard and advocate for yourself and you will get where you wanna go.

Marlon
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The college is a great place to be. The staff is great. Many friendly people around. They even have their own social media pa...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The college is a great place to be. The staff is great. Many friendly people around. They even have their own social media page to have first year students talk with each other, which I find very useful. It helps you familiarize with the staff and students that will potentially be in the same class as you.

AME
What is your overall opinion of this school?

As a member of the Five College Consortium, Hampshire College is a place where students with their own ideas about education ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

As a member of the Five College Consortium, Hampshire College is a place where students with their own ideas about education can really direct their undergraduate work. While some students do take all of their classes on campus, this could lead to missed opportunities. Hampshire was really intended to be a college in conjunction with the other four colleges, i.e. you should anticipate taking courses off-campus most semesters. (This is especially true if you're pre-med/pre-vet.) I took at least half of my classes off-campus each semester. I did this not because I don't like Hampshire, but because there are many great course options off-campus, and I appreciate broadening my social circle. Working with professors off-campus also leads to greater, immediate access to off-campus resources. This can be important for students in the sciences, since Hampshire has limited science equipment. Even though Hampshire's resources in the sciences (both equipment and funding) are limited, there is ample access to off-campus equipment and the college provides generous grants for students to attend academic conferences and conduct independent research. Plus, Hampshire has an on-campus summer science program for first-year students, and they're paid a stipend! Getting your foot in the door research-wise can be challenging, so this summer program is great for giving students research experience to put on their resumes while getting paid. Hampshire's classes are usually small. Most courses that I've taken in the sciences have had roughly a dozen students. Sometimes there are closer to 20 students and sometimes there are only four students in a class. Regardless, professors are very, very accessible and are often interested in learning about students' specific interests and how the class assignments can be tailored to those interests. Plus, a lot of Hampshire's classes are research or project-based, which also helps with getting summer internships or getting into grad school. Some of Hampshire's courses are really tough (e.g. organic chem), whereas other courses easier. The difficulty of a course is really determined by both the professor and the students. Sometimes, I wish Hampshire students were more competitive. Hampshire students are typically engaged and interested in class, but Hampshire doesn't have the same competitiveness as, say, Amherst or Smith colleges. In terms of academic support, we don't have as robust of a program as other campuses. We have limited, but existent, out-of-class support for students in the sciences; usually, TAs will be the best resource, and they're often both really interested in the course's topics and are supportive. I will say that our writing help center is easy to access and the people their are supportive. We also regularly have workshops for applying to grad schools, writing resumes, and working on job interview skills. Academic-wise, Hampshire's best attributes are that students get to design their own educations and are heavily encouraged to conduct independent research; independent research is virtually required in your final year. Additionally, professors pretty much always teach topics that they're knowledgeable in or areas that are their area of expertise. (There's nothing worse than taking a class with a professor who's been put in a position to teach outside of their area.) Also, the research that students conduct either independently before their final year or as a part of the final year's thesis is a great selling point for graduate schools. In terms of sports, we have basketball, soccer and frisbee. We also have a lot of outdoor activity trips, e.g. rock climbing, kayaking, skiing. Hampshire offers courses in tennis, karate, and yoga among other activities. We have an indoor pool with limited hours and a weight lifting room. Also, campus is right across from the Mt. Holyoke range hiking area, so you can walk across the street and go for a hike or a dip in the pond. The dining hall's food isn't great, but the food at Kern is; both are expensive though. The Bridge has OK, unhealthy food for a more reasonable price, and healthy food for a less reasonable price. I can't comment on on-campus housing, but can say that there are plenty of off-campus housing options in the area. And, you can get to a bunch of box stores by bus. Hampshire also offers once-a-week van trips to the grocery store, and there's an (expensive) grocery store within walking distance in case you really need something and the college's store is closed. The political climate at Hampshire might be the college's worst attribute. The Hampshire community seems to be hypersensitive to considering/respecting certain groups of people. Hampshire certainly isn't shy of what some would call social justice warriors, both students and faculty/staff. It's not uncommon for professors to make off-the-cuff, liberal remarks, but I've never heard any conservative remarks. This is true throughout the Five College Consortium, not just Hampshire. The Hampshire community could work on being receptive of ideas and beliefs that may be inconsistent with beliefs commonly held among liberal individuals. It should be noted though that not all students are very leftist, and you're more likely than not find people who will respect your beliefs if you look hard enough. Transfer students at Hampshire have it best: While first-year students only get to partake in college-funded "first year student events/trips" during their first year alone, transfer students get to participate in transfer life events for their entire stay. Events usually include good snacks, or trips to go ice skating or bowling.

Meaghan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I think Hampshire has the potential to be a great school, but I would be lying if I said I felt like it was my home. I feel n...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I think Hampshire has the potential to be a great school, but I would be lying if I said I felt like it was my home. I feel no sense of community, at least a community that I would like to be a part of. But with that being said, Hampshire College is a college that gives students the freedom to create change and it is susceptible to change. It's gives me insight to topics I didn't really think about before and I feel myself growing as a person and as a future media maker.

Ayana
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I like the school because of the small class sizes and how accepting it is of its students and faculty. I feel welcome and in...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I like the school because of the small class sizes and how accepting it is of its students and faculty. I feel welcome and included in my classes and I like the professors and my peers. I would more dining options but the one that we have has many options for those with different preferences (i.e. vegan or gluten-free). The reason I came to the school was that it was a nice small campus with a very welcoming feeling. There aren't gendered bathrooms and if someone is different then they are appreciated rather than being forced to fit a certain description. I felt as though they choose people who are smart, friendly, and who want to better the world around them. I like Hampshire College.

Ben
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hampshire is VERY different now than it was when I was a student there. I can just tell that from reading the responses fro...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hampshire is VERY different now than it was when I was a student there. I can just tell that from reading the responses from either current students or recent alums. Some things haven't changed though, and that's definitely that Hampsters are mainly white, from upper middle class to wealthy backgrounds, and will complain and protest anything and everything. I loved how liberal and open-minded Hampshire was, and some (by no means all) students could be so annoying in classes when policing others language to make sure everyone was being PC enough. I was pretty outspoken, being a Jewish kid from Brooklyn, NY, and I arrived at Hampshire with my BS detector built in already. Ergo, there were times I was attacked in class for statements I made, points I was trying to discuss, and as the kid of two Professors, I had NO problems articulating my disdain for "language policing" -- and a lot of students in my on-campus classes didn't like me. And I could have cared less; I wasn't there for them, I was there for myself. I had a lot of friends and acquaintances too (both at Hampshire and the other four schools, as well as in the community (mainly in Northampton), and they liked me for being me, and that's who I tended to gravitate towards (I preferred my social life to extend outwards and be less Hampshire exclusively focused). I had a serious boyfriend in my first year, so although we socialized with others, we tended to spend a lot of time together on our own, which sort of determined my social life trajectory my first year. In the following three years after we split up, my social life at Hampshire was very different. I became more focused on my Div II, left campus a lot for various reasons, including taking a year on Leave, and then the third semester on Field Study, and then came back and finished Div II and filed my Div III. Both of the mods I lived in were pretty awesome, my Div II mod in Enfield, and my Div III mod in Prescott. I still stay in touch with some of my modmates to this day. And I'm part of the Bay Area Hampsters alumni group. Being from NYC, I could see that Hampshire suffered from an acute lack of diversity as soon as I stepped foot on campus. However, this seems to have changed a bit, but most small liberal arts colleges don't have enough students of color or international students, and Hampshire is no different in that regard. As for me personally, I didn't care who the person was as long as they were a real and an interesting person, were friendly and were passionate and intellectually engaged in what they were doing and why. The "hippies" and I really didn't have that much in common I guess -- but I knew a lot of different people at Hampshire, and as a Theater & Film student, I met so many creative people on-campus and got to know people at the other four campuses as well, and also in the communities of Amherst and Northampton; which will absolutely enhance your experience if you leave the "Camp Hamp bubble". I don't believe in cliques, but on a small campus such as Hampshire's, cliques are bound to be a part of the social fabric of the community. This is especially true as you move into the Mods from the dorms (which I did in my second year), and it's cliquish more for reasons of housing than any other. I still had plenty of friends who weren't part of the Mods I lived in, and I worked off-campus in Northampton during my third and fourth years which also greatly increased the number of people I interacted with socially. What I loved most about Hampshire was the freedom and flexibility to design my own education, to work on interesting projects, both my own and others from Hampshire, as well as with students on the other campuses. I was a VERY active member of the QCA, I was a Theater Board member, I worked in SAGA, and for the Hampshire Fund contacting alums by phone and e-mail during my first two years. I did a lot of OPRA activities like Ski/Snowboarding trips, kayaking, and hiking, which was one of the best things about the Valley itself, the areas around campus are truly beautiful with a wealth of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy. Plus, the natural beauty of Hampshire's campus is glorious, and I would constantly get outdoors and go hiking with my modmates and then stop and have Apple Cider donuts at Atkins Farm Country Market (just outside of the back entrance of campus off Rt. 116), you will LOVE this place, I spent a LOT of time here!). They have great organic foods as well, and it's all locally sourced. I also really felt safe as an LGBTQ student at Hampshire which is important, because most LGBTQ students do not feel safe at their schools (there was still a lot of homophobia on campuses back when I was in college in the early to mid-90's), and so if Hampshire is still leading in that regard, there are worse things to be known for institution-wise. I also took two semesters on leave out West, and then did a semester of field study to study at a Theater School in London, which shows how much freedom and flexibility Hampshire gives its students. I almost transferred from Hampshire after my first two years to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, BUT, Hampshire offered me a MUCH better financial aid package to come back and finish my degree. Versus Reed which while accepting me as a transfer student, gave me a paltry financial aid package, but is considered "academically superior" to Hampshire. Hampshire is truly what you make of it. If you are a serious and interested student, you can maximize your potential and get something out of the experience. And the college, in turn, will value you as a student and an individual. I really experienced that on a personal level with getting a better financial aid award to return when I seriously almost transferred. Hampshire can be very generous with merit-based financial aid, and Reed's package was awful in comparison, and they were supposed to be offering "need-blind"aid, yeah, ok. If you utilize the resources and the academic opportunities of the Five College consortium you will get an amazing education. If you lose your motivation and focus, drink and drug too much, and procrastinate -- then Hampshire WILL be a nightmare. I truly do think of it as "graduate school for undergraduates" and if you balance out your academic and social lives effectively, meet deadlines and can engage with your Advisor and the Professors on your Divisional Committees competently, then you'll be just fine. Overall, I have always been proud of being a Hampshire graduate, and would most likely pick Hampshire again (or a school that mirrored the same academic style and programs) as my first choice if I were applying to colleges right now today. I think for the majority of students that apply to Hampshire and end up attending do so because it's one of their top choices. For me, it was my #1 choice out of the ten schools I applied to (I even held out for Hampshire after my second choice school had already accepted me) and I was fortunate that while I was stalling accepting Emerson College's offer of admission, Hampshire then sent their acceptance letter. I think that's probably true for most Hampsters. We're there because we're serious about taking control of our education and learning on our own terms. Hampshire is a good school, but it's definitely NOT for everyone. Finally, what I realized after graduating was that Hampshire has an EXCELLENT reputation among grad schools; I got into EVERY single Master's program I applied to. Including a couple of schools, I didn't get into as an undergrad. Hampshire will prep you really well for grad school, which is kind of the point of even going to college overall right? I had my pick of all six Master's programs I applied to, and The New School in NYC ended up giving me the best Fellowship and Grants package, and I was done in 3 years with my MFA. The New School was a GREAT graduate school to attend after Hampshire because the educational approaches were VERY similar. Not only that, but because of Hampshire's academic freedom and educational structure and reliance on deadlines, divisional committees, and interdisciplinary collaboration, grad school seemed easier than Hampshire, because I already had gone through it structurally as an undergrad. I think the genius of the five college consortium also is that one of the MFA programs I was accepted into immediately was at UMass Amherst (so you can have the distinct advantage of being accepted to graduate school somewhere you've spent at least a semester or a year taking classes as an undergrad). Also, Smith, Amherst & Mt. Holyoke all have graduate programs, which while small, are renowned. So, theoretically, you can go all the way to a Doctorate degree in the Five Colleges if you wanted to. This is an academic richness historically attainable only at Ivy League institutions. The fact that when you're a Hampshire student you can have all that at your fingertips is a pretty amazing dynamic that not a lot of other undergraduate institutions offer. I wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere else. Except maybe to Yale, which I got waitlisted for as an undergrad, and it was one of my reach schools anyway or to Reed College (which I applied to as a transfer student) and didn't transfer to in the end, and returned to Hampshire instead. The Ivy Leagues were NEVER my destiny, and although Yale would have been the best of them for me to go to, I was under no illusions about getting in. It was the only Ivy League school I applied to. And getting waitlisted was honestly impressive enough for me. Sometimes, applying to a school JUST to please the parents is cool.

Rowan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love it here. I am very new but I don't have any complaints and everyone I have talked to who went there loved it just as ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love it here. I am very new but I don't have any complaints and everyone I have talked to who went there loved it just as much as I do. I honestly wouldn't change anything about the school. And I wouldn't want to go to any other school. I am very happy where I am.

Charles
What is your overall opinion of this school?

It was terrible. I went to this school for two years, and I was extremely glad to leave and transfer to another school. Aft...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

It was terrible. I went to this school for two years, and I was extremely glad to leave and transfer to another school. After a while, I couldn't stand Hampshire College. This school was simply way too liberal. People turned absolutely everything into a Gender/Race/Class issue. For example, people would scream "That's racist!" in response to just about anything. It was pretty sad. Here are some facts: 1)I don't put Hampshire College on my resume or my LinkedIn. 2)I emailed someone at Hampedia and asked them to take my name out of their database. Learning Experience at Hampshire College Hampshire College did provide an innovative learning environment. There were a lot of interesting people there, and some of the students had some rather fresh perspectives. However, I think I learned more in one semester at a state school than I did in two years at Hampshire College. I mean tests aren't necessarily a bad thing. I am aware of the argument that learning for an exam does not provide effective long-term learning, because people forget the knowledge they learned soon after taking an exam. I honestly remembered a lot of things I learned while studying for college exams. I certainly won’t claim I remembered everything, but I did remember a great many facts, figures and concepts. While I was at Hampshire college, my advisor tried convincing me that if I went somewhere else, I would suddenly take all my classes in an auditorium. I have NEVER taken a class in an auditorium. Hampshire’s Culture A lot of the people at Hampshire were a little too out there for my tastes. One time, two people I knew, one male and one female, started wrestling. The girl asked "why are you stronger than me"? I'd imagine that: ...She was in denial or... ...She had never read a physiology textbook in her entire life. Second-Chance Middle School I am not the one who came up with this term, but it was sometimes used to describe the culture of Hampshire College. There were instances where I would tell students there that it was a second-chance high school, and they would say it's more like a middle school. The Disgruntled Youth of America This might be another good way to describe the culture of Hampshire College, at least when I was there. I remember a lot of cynical, disgruntled people who resented the world. They were the type who would say "Down with the man .... because he's the man!" That kind of misguided rebellion is great for adolescents listening to Punk Rock, but college students would hopefully .... hopefully .... be a bit more mature. Hampshire College Republicans- I am not a Republican. I have never been a Republican. However, I participated in the Hampshire College Republicans because there were no Hampshire College Democrats. I got quite the hard time for this, and I don't find it necessary. Gratitude It's important for us to count our blessings, right? One thing I can tell you is that I am glad I am no longer around Hampshire students. Many of the people I went to school with were basically just rich kids who wanted to use their parents’ money to live in a reality bubble for four years … or more. Some just seemed like disgruntled adolescents. At any rate, I am extremely glad I am no longer there. In Conclusion I doubt very highly I will ever recommend Hampshire College to anyone. When I was there, the attrition rate was supposedly 40%, and from what I heard, most people who transferred ended up at state schools. I was originally told about Hampshire College by an assistant principal at my high school. In retrospect, I probably would have been better off going to a school like B.C., as it has strong name recognition and more than 1,200 students or however many students Hampshire had when I went there. The last time I checked, B.C. had a 29% acceptance rate for undergrad. The transfer acceptance rate, however, is not listed. What I am getting at is that if I had simply applied to B.C. in High School, instead of applying as a transfer, I probably would have had a far easier time getting in. That being said, my mother was a Umass employee. In the grand scheme of things, Umass was very easy and very cheap, so I may have saved myself some money by going there after Hampshire College.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 1,321
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $50,238
  • Acceptance rate
  • 64%

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