Developing Your Concentration

Your Division II Concentration is a negotiated set of courses and other learning activities that help you answer your questions, explore your ideas, and meet your goals achieve advanced mastery in one or more disciplines or in an interdisciplinary field. In addition to coursework it may include internships, study abroad, and independent work.

Your concentration generally lays the foundation for your Division III independent project in your fourth year. The ability to combine traditional fields allows you to tailor your work to your interests. Such combinations are sometimes in widely recognized, emerging areas of research, such as cultural studies or cognitive neuroscience. Other concentrations are similar to traditional college majors, such as physics, psychology, or philosophy. Still other concentrations have a character that is similar to a traditional double major or major-minor combination, with varying degrees of integration between fields.

All concentrations at Hampshire are individualized in the sense that they express the student’s personal curiosity and intellectual passions. Students concentrating in biology, for example, plan their studies not only to develop a broad base of knowledge but also to pursue particular interests within the biological sciences, such as genomics, exercise physiology, or microbiology. Students have the freedom at Hampshire to work with faculty members to tailor their studies to their interests in ways that are often not possible in traditional departmental majors. In addition, all concentrations allow you to bring out-of-classroom experiences into your studies.

You begin to articulate your concentration when you draft your Division II contract or plan. Although, if may very well be that you don’t know exactly what your concentration will be right at the start. There is still some exploration and shifting, as each course or learning experience will help you further articulate your ideas. Discussions with your committee, with other students, faculty, and staff will help you further hone your ideas. So, don’t let uncertainty stop you from drafting your contract and talking to faculty!

Division II includes your Concentration and may also include additional studies.