The schools

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This section of the Guerilla Guide is dedicated to consolidating and explicating the matters of Hampshire Five Schools already explained on Hampshire’s website. Each school is described below with three categories of organization which are: School Approach, Areas of Study, Organization and Programs. It can be seen from thorough investigation of these groups that many of the aimsâ methodsâ and subject matters may appear in more than one school.


Cognitive Science

School Approach

Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of the mind and the brain, knowledge and language, and computing technology.

Areas of Study

Among other disciplines CS covers: philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, animal behavior, computer science, anthropology, education, learning, child development, psychology, biology, digital multimedia, and the social effects of new information technology.

The school identifies three interlocking areas of curriculum:

  • Mind and Brain
  • Knowledge and Language
  • Computing Technology

Departmental Organization and Programs

Culture, Brain and Development

Funded by The Foundation for Psychocultural Research, with a sister program at UCLA,the goal of CBD is to foster innovative learning and research into questions about the relationships among culture, environment, biology, and brain/mind that reach across traditional disciplinary boundaries. This program encourages students to develop intellectually-adventurous concentrations that engage the intersections of the social, cognitive, and natural sciences. CBD overarches and extends its reach into many if not all of the following programs and organizations within CS:

Distinguished Lecture Series, Event-Related Protentials Lab, Breve: a 3D Simulation Environment, Beowulf Cluster Laboratory, Push, PushGP, and Pushpop: project documentation and code, Multi-type, Self-adaptive Genetic Programming for Complex Applications, Acquisition of Instrumentation for Research in Genetic Programming, Quantum Computation, and Distributed Systems, QGAME: Quantum Gate And Measurement Emulator, REAL: Research in Education and Learning, Educational Software: Research and Development, Cognitive Science Education

Other Information

CS laboratories and offices: Adele Simmons Hall

Dean of Cognitive Science: Neil Stillings, professor of psychology


  • Phone: 413-559-5502
  • Fax: 413-559-5438
  • Email:

Humanities Arts and Cultural Studies

School Approach

HACU is committed to a critical examination of the various aspects of human experience and the sources of value in that experience. They look at ideas and aesthetic forms and analyze their historical origins, their cultural contexts, and their human significance and value.

Areas of Study

HACU draws connections between: literature, philosophy, art history, film, cultural theory and history, photography, dance, critical theory, religious studies, studio arts, ancient studies, music, American studies, video, media studies, environmental design,  journalism and architecture.

Departmental Organization and Programs

The Calico Lecture Series brings filmmakers, photographers, multimedia artists, critics and historians to Hampshire College. This creative forum is organized by Calico Films, an independent film and television production company in New York City whose president is Lawrence Blume, a Hampshire alum.

The Center for the Book, founded in 1998, was established to identify and explore the implications of new and evolving forms of communication for writing and print culture. It is located in Warner house, between the main entrance and the admissions building.

Other Information

Dean's Office: Room 12 of Emily Dickinson Hall

Other HACU classes and offices are in the Film Building and Franklin Patterson Hall

Contact info: phone 413-559-5361, fax 413-559-5481

Interdisciplinary Arts

School Approach

Interdisciplinary Arts is devoted to providing students and faculty with opportunities to work across, as well as within, the boundaries of various art forms. Exploration of the relationship between artistic production and social action is also central to the curriculum.

Areas of Study

Interdisciplinary Arts identifies three main areas between which they draw connections: the fine and liberal arts, arts and technology, and arts and social action. Given examples include: theatre, sculpture, writing, drawing, design, and computer animation. Languages are also listed under IA.

Departmental Organization and Programs

The Theatre, Sculpture and Creative Writing programs, as well as the Applied Design and Assistive Technology Program, The Lemelson Program and the Arts and Social Action program all fit within the category of Interdisciplinary Arts

Other Information

Dean's Office: Writing Centre

Other classes are in: Studio Arts Building, Adele Simmons Hall, The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for Design, and Emily Dickinson Hall 

Dean of IA: William Brayton
Contact: phone 413-559-5824, fax 413-559-5247  

Natural Science

School Approach

NS views the natural sciences as a set of theories, methods, and data for understanding the world in which we live. They therefore consider science not just as information to learn; it is a process and way of thinking.

Among the key skills incorporated into a Hampshire Natural Science experience are the ability to engage in scientific inquiry (including personal inquiry), develop a clear sense of the scientific process, perceive investigations in broad contexts, develop abilities to use quantitative information, and develop oral and written communication skills.

NS outlines separate programs for each Division, the most spcific and unique being Division I. Division I is focused on developing scientific literacy, and students are expected to:

  • Engage in scientific inquiry and own their questions
  • Gain a clear sense of the scientific process
  • See investigations in broader contexts
  • Develop abilities to use quantitative information
  • Develop oral and written communication skills

Division II focuses on providing depth and focus, while Division III is an opportunity to undertake independent research (often resulting in publication in scholarly literature of some sort).

Areas of Study

NS's area of focus is defined broadly as 'the sciences', which includes a very wide variety of possible fields. The challenges that today's scientists face, environmental and other, also necessitate new approaches at the interfaces of the sciences, for instance between physics and biology or human health and the environment. NS identifies two areas in which they feel they provide unusually rich learning and research opportunities for interdisciplinary study: environmental sciences/agriculture studies and health sciences. However, students can concentrate in almost any branch of science (astronomy, bioengineering, etc.).

Departmental Organization and Programs

Agricultural Studies/Farm Center, Center for Science Exploration, Hampshire College Observatory, Culture Brain and Development, Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program, Health Careers Advising Center Web Page, Institute for Science and Interdisciplinary Studies, Lemelson Program, Women in Science Program.

Other Information

Dean's Office: Cole Science Center room 311 (other offices and classes also in Cole)

Dean of NS:

Contact: phone 413-559-5373, fax 413-559-5448  

Social Science

School Approach

Social Science focuses on understanding the processes of continually changing social and cultural formations and their implications for people's lives. As a consequence, they emphasize comparative, historical, and interdisciplinary approaches and encourage critical reflection from multiple perspectives. Faculty focus on a wide range of topics in their teaching and research, examining these from the perspective of individual and collective identity, social and cultural institutions, political economy, and our relationship to the natural world. Class, race, and gender are key categories of social analysis.

Areas of Study

The School of Social Science includes historians, psychologists, anthropologists, economists, sociologists, political scientists, and lawyers as well as faculty trained in geography and urban studies, philosophy, cultural studies, and education. Many faculty orient their teaching and research toward specific geographic areas in the developing world, while others focus on Europe or the United States, including many with strong interests in African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos/as, or Native Americans.

Departmental Organization and Programs

Community Partnerships for Social Change, Civil Liberties and Public Policy, Culture Brain and Development, Environmental Studies, Population and Development, Education Studies, Peace and World Security Studies, Childhood Studies, Law Program and a Global Migrations Program as well as other programs and initiatives.

Other Information

Dean's Office: Franklin Patterson Hall Room 218. Other offices and classes are also in FPH.

Dean of SS: Barbara Yngvesson

Contact: phone 413-559-5409, fax 413-559-5620

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