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Hampshire College

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Just so you know, I'm transferring out ofSuper BrilliantArt & Design Department
Just so you know, I'm transferring out of Hampshire so my opinion probably isn't the majority. But I've noticed that a lot of people transfer out of Hampshire. Basically, people say that it is "not for everyone" and that's definitely true.

Atmosphere: almost everyone complains about the campus which has ugly seventies-style architecture. But if you can get over that, the area is pretty nice. Rural, though. You have to take a (free) bus to Amherst or Northampton to actually do anything. It's in a five-college consortium, though, so there's a fair amount to do.

I've found people to be pretty friendly. And extremely liberal. A lot of people here are hippie-ish. A lot of them seem to have gone to alternative high schools. There is pretty widespread drug use, especially marijuana, so if that bothers you, be warned. One thing that really bothers me about Hampshire is that there are a lot of people who don't take the work very seriously. Which brings us to academics.

Academics at Hampshire are...unusual. Basically, most of the courses are things like "consciousness considered" and "forest ecology," really specific topics. Even when there's a normal intro class they insist on doing it differently from other people. If you want to take a class that's broad and you know what you're getting, you have to go to one of the other colleges (you can take classes at them, which is a plus). Hampshire has very little in the way of science and math. They do have pretty good film and creative writing departments, as far as I can tell. (those aren't my major, just what i've heard) For music students, be forewarned that there's no orchestra or private lessons on campus, and no one was very helpful to me in finding things.

Hampshire expects you to be pretty independent, and I haven't found the advising to be that great. A lot of the faculty are really flaky. Also, there's a lot of bureaucracy, which is dumb, because most hampshire students want to do things their own way. There's a newish distribution requirement which got a lot of students really angry, since we're supposed to be "designing our own education" and instead we end up spending a year on the requirement. On the plus side, I guess, the science and math part of it can be met by classes that involve practically no science or math (if that's a plus for you).

2nd Year Female -- Class 2009
Innovation: A+, Education Quality: B
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Hampshire is a great place.Super BrilliantArt & Design Department
Hampshire is a great place. We get screwed in all of this rating business because we have no grades (which is a good thing), no endowment our oldest alumnis are just over 50), and a limited reputation (the school is just over 30 years old now.) It sounds like excuses, but certain magazines that think money and GPA's are a measure of educational quality and tend to overlook Hampshire. Anyway, this is the bitterness that comes with being a well kept secret... oh yeah if you go to Hampshire you can take any you want course at that other school that happens to be #1 on some magazine's list... and you can take a course at a few others in the top fifty if you want to... (Check out the five college area) Anyway, if you have an open mind and want a really fun and intellectual environment, check Hampshire out.
3rd Year Male -- Class 2002
Education Quality: A+, Campus Aesthetics: C+
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Not my cup of tea.Quite BrightPolitical Science
Not my cup of tea. I'm not a hippie and expected there to be diversity, when there wasn't any. Hampshire is full of hippie wannabe close-minded rich white kids who do drugs and are standoffish. The academics comes down to readings and projects, no tests or quizes...you can pretty much graduate no sweat. I had a prof. that made kids cry and was an asshole to students, and didn't give them the time of day. Maybe a good fit if you're a hippie or hipster looking to study film or art, otherwise don't waste your time.
1st Year Female -- Class 2016
Collaboration/Competitive: A, Education Quality: F
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