Sustainability will be essential to the formulation of sound environmental, economic, and social progress in the 21st century. The Five College Sustainability Studies Certificate program (FCSS) is designed to engage students in a structured course of study that will draw on courses from across the campuses in a range of disciplines. Students will also complete an internship, independent research project, or advanced course work in sustainability studies.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: A minimum of seven courses are required, at least five of the courses must be above the introductory level and two of those courses must be at the advanced level.
CORE COURSES: The core courses are intended to expose students to the interconnectedness and significance of economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability. Certificate students complete one course each from three core areas:
- Environmental Sustainability
- Sustainable Economy and Politics
- Sustainable Society and Culture
CONCENTRATION AREAS: Students pursuing a Five College Certificate in Sustainability Studies must choose an area of concentration from the following five areas of study. Students complete at least three courses within their declared concentration area (at least one at the advanced level) and one other course chosen from a different concentration area.
- Agriculture and Food Systems
- Energy Systems, Climate and Water
- Culture, History and Representation
- Politics and Policy
- Green Infrastructure, Design and Technology
EXPERIENTIAL COMPONENT: Students work with their campus program advisor to identify and complete an internship or independent research project that addresses a contemporary, “real world” problem.
Alternatively, students may work with their program advisor to identify a suitable advanced course within their concentration area. An approved internship, independent research project or upper-level course within the area of concentration may be counted toward fulfillment of the advanced course requirement.
CAPSTONE PRESENTATION: Advanced certificate students present work at a Five College symposium or other venue to consider the ways in which the student's work addresses the core areas of sustainability and their linkages.
For more information, visit the program website at https://www.fivecolleges.edu/sustain. For 2020-21 the Amherst faculty advisor will be Professor Ted Melillo of the Departments of Environmental Studies and History.