Hampshire College uses a system of student-designed academic concentrations, rather than traditional majors, and belongs to the Five College Consortium, a group of five colleges in western Massachusetts – Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst – that run some joint academic programs and allow students to cross-register at other member schools. The Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), based at Hampshire, is “designed to stimulate student and faculty interest in the study of critical international issues, especially those connecting issues of conflict and the environment.”
The peace and world security studies program based at Hampshire College places less overt focus on social justice and nonviolence than many other peace studies programs but does highlight the links between peace and environmental sustainability. Many of the classes offered to students in the program, both at Hampshire and through the Five College Consortium, emphasize analysis of contemporary issues, such as geopolitical conflict, terrorism, resource competition, and human rights. The flexibility of the academic programs at Hampshire College, however, gives students significant latitude to pursue individual interests.
Dr. Michael Klare