Five College Consortium

Five College Architectural Studies

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About the Major

Amherst College, Hampshire College and Mount Holyoke College participate in the Five College Architectural Studies (FCAS) major. The major includes nine courses, plus a capstone semester in the senior year. Students are required to take four foundation courses focused on architectural history and design, and five intermediate courses (in their sophomore and junior years) to be determined with their advisor, in which they develop their particular field of concentration. In the senior year, students are required to complete a capstone project; this can be pursued in the context of an already existing course, or in an independent study course. 

Declaring the Major

In order to be admitted to the Five College major program, each student (in close consultation with one or more of the program advisors) will put together a proposed plan of study including a statement of purpose and a list of projected courses, to be evaluated by a review committee made up of representative members of the FCAS faculty. Applications will be reviewed twice per year. The progress of the major, and any possible rerouting or changes in direction, can be made in consultation with the campus advisor, who will consult with the FCAS committee as necessary. Students can propose to join the major at any time during their first, second or third years—but their proposed concentration and eight of the required courses must be completed by the end of their junior year.

The required semester-long capstone project can be in any area of architectural studies, and might be a design project, research paper, exhibition/installation or urban plan; it may take any number of creative forms and formats. When the required courses are met, each student will submit a proposal describing the specific capstone topic, working project outline and research strategies, and include a significant working bibliography. This proposal will be read and evaluated by the FCAS faculty committee. 

Please contact your advisor for more information about how the major works at your school or email us at