In keeping with its original purpose, Hampden-Sydney seeks "to form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning." The College is committed to the development of humane and lettered men and to the belief that a liberal education provides the best foundation not only for a professional career, but for the great intellectual and moral challenges of life. In an age of specialization, Hampden-Sydney responds to the call for well-rounded men who are educated in world cultures and can bring to bear on modern life the wisdom of the past. The College seeks to awaken intellectual potential in a search for truth that extends beyond the undergraduate experience. The College encourages each student to develop clarity and objectivity in thought, a sensitive moral conscience, and a dedication to responsible citizenship.
The liberal education offered at Hampden-Sydney prepares the student for the fulfillment of freedom. It introduces the student to general principles and areas of knowledge which develop minds and characters capable of making enlightened choices between truth and error, between right and wrong. The mere facts about a subject do not speak for themselves. They must be interpreted against a background of ideas derived from an understanding of the nature of logic, language, and ethics. The individual who is educated in these areas and in the basic disciplines is able to confront any event with true freedom to act, outside the constraints of prejudice and impulse. Thus Hampden-Sydney's curriculum is directed toward the cultivation of a literate, articulate, and critical mind through the study of the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences. It provides both breadth and depth in learning and encourages independent programs of study. Believing that education should be a liberating experience emancipating men from ignorance, Hampden-Sydney strives to make men truly free.