Five College Program in Culture, Health, and Science

Certificate

Interested in declaring your interest for the Culture, Health, and Science Certificate Program?

First, fill out the Declaration of Interest form, and return to Sarah Lince 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 is a rigorous complement to any traditional 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 at once challenging and supportive to students interested in pursuing health related careers, as well as those curious to learn how different disciplines analyze common human experience.

Coursework:

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

Category I: 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

Use this link to view a list of ever-approved courses.

Further Details:

  • Students must receive a grade of “B” or better in each of their seven chosen courses.  
  • No course can be used to satisfy more than one category.  
  • At least four of the courses must be above introductory level.  
  • 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.
  • It is also recommended, but not required, that at least one of your courses expose you to knowledge of health and disease processes at the level of the population (those marked with *P).

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, make sure to meet with 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, discuss 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.