Five College Consortium

Five College Program in Culture, Health and Science


Interested in pursuing the Culture, Health, and Science Certificate?

First, fill out the Declaration of Interest form, and return to Janna White at Five Colleges, Inc., via campus mail or email. For additional paperwork, please visit the Forms page.

Thentake a look at the Student Timeline to stay on track with the certificate program requirements.

The Five College Certificate in Culture, Health, and Science complements any major, allowing students to deepen their knowledge of human health, disease, and healing through interdisciplinary inquiry. Under the guidance of faculty program advisors on each campus, students choose a sequence of seven courses available across the five campuses and identify (in consultation with their advisor) an appropriate project or internship that will count toward the certificate. (Four semesters of a second language is also recommended, but not required.) Together with the visiting lectures and seminars sponsored by the Program, CHS provides a structure that is adaptable for students interested in pursuing health-related careers, as well as those curious to learn how different disciplines analyze common human experience.


The seven required courses are to be distributed across the following five categories of inquiry:

Category 1: Biocultural Approaches

  • Interdisciplinary and/or comparative approaches that explore the interdependent influences on human health and disease

Category 2: Mechanisms of Disease Transmission

  • Mechanisms of disease growth and transmission within individuals and populations

Category 3: Population Health and Disease

  • Exploring the relationships among social, behavioral, economic and other aggregate population forces on human health and disease

Category 4: Ethics, Policy and Practice

  • Covering structures of knowledge about health and healthcare decision making, including ethical and philosophical issues and their corresponding policy platforms, as well as the implementation of healthcare in practice

Category 5: Research Design and Analysis

  • Concepts of evidence, data collection, research ethics, measurement and modes of analysis

Learn about ever-approved CHS courses that fullfil each requirement category.

Further Details:

  • No course can be used to satisfy more than one category.  
  • No more than three courses can “double count” toward a student’s major.
  • If possible, it is best to begin with courses in Categories I and II.

Independent Research Project:

The Certificate requires the completion of an independent project such as an internship, thesis, Division III project, course project, independent study or other activity. You work with your campus CHS advisor to develop a project that satisfies both the Certificate requirements and your own interests. Not sure if you have an independent project that qualifies? Meet with your CHS Campus Advisor to find out. 

Foreign Language:

Although not required, training in a foreign language may be necessary for students seeking internships or summer research positions.

If you have any questions about the requirements or if you would like to pursue the certificate, contact your CHS Campus Advisor.

Certificate Checklest:

Download the CHS Certificate Checklist to help you and your advisor keep track of what courses you need and what requirements you have fulfilled. When you complete the requirements for the CHS Certificate, return the completed Certificate Checklist to your CHS campus advisor along with a copy of your transcript.

Above image: Fritz Kahn, "Das Leben des Menschen (The Life of Man)," Vol 5. Stuttgart, 1931; National Library of Medicine.