Guide to Processing Five College Certificate Awards

Steps for Five College certificate processing:

  1. Student interested in obtaining a Five College certificate meets with a certificate program advisor to discuss plans for completing the certificate requirements. (For some programs this may include submitting a "student interest form." See the program's website for more details.)

  2. Students meet regularly with their certificate advisor to choose courses and discuss other requirements as they pursue the certificate.

  3. In the student's final semester the student's certificate advisor reviews and signs the certificate completion form, verifying that requirements are met, noting any pending grades. The advisor sends this form with an unofficial transcript to the certificate program committee for final review. (Contact your program Chair or Steering Committee for more information.)

  4. Each certificate committee reviews certificate completion documents, and if they approve, that paperwork (hardcopy) is sent to the Academic Programs Office at Five Colleges, 97 Spring St. Amherst MA 01002, no later than DECEMBER 15 for Fall semester graduates and no later than APRIL 30 for Spring semester graduates. (See instructions at the end of the certificate completion form for your program.)

  5. Five College Academic Programs staff coordinate with registrars to verify any pending grades and to instruct registrars to make the certificate award notation on the student's transcript. (Note that the transcript notation is the official documentation of the student's certificate award, as the student's campus is the awarding institution.)

  6. Normally by mid-July each year Five College Communications staff produce and mail a hard copy of a certificate document to each student recipient, using the address provided on the certificate completion form. (For more information contact Brian Acevedo.)


Each Five College certificate program has a seperate set of requirements that is approved by the Five College Deans and the academic committee at the participating campuses. Each certificate program is overseen by a committee of faculty members from the participating campuses. Normally this committee will review each student’s certificate completion materials during the student's senior year. This allows faculty members from multiple campuses to examine how students are fulfilling program requirements.

Certificate completion materials normally include the student's permanent address, a list of courses taken by the student toward completing the certificate requirements, grades received for completed courses, a clear list of courses for which any grades are pending prior to graduation, description of any other work completed to meet the certificate requirements, as well as an unofficial transcript. Certificate completion materials must be provided with the signature of a certificate advisor, as well as approval of the committee or council overseeing the certificate program.

The certificate is awarded by the student's home campus upon graduation. Please note that a student cannot be awarded a Five College certificate by the registrar of the student’s home campus until the student has been cleared for graduation, even if the certificate requirements have been met prior to graduation. Certificate awards will be noted on the student’s transcript by the home campus registrar shortly after graduation (either Fall or Spring).