Five College International Relations Program


Welcome to the Five College International Relations (IR) Program. Formed in 1981, the Five College IR Program is a unique collaboration of disciplines and institutions that forms one of the richest interdisciplinary undergraduate international relations learning and teaching environments in the nation. The Five College IR Program brings together a highly talented group of political scientists, historians and economists from all Five Colleges—Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts–Amherst—to collaborate on research and to offer a diverse range of courses from multiple disciplines and intellectual perspectives.

One of the core features of the Five College IR Program is the Five College International Relations Certificate. With challenges such as globalization, regional and ethnic conflict, environmental degradation, resource scarcity, demographic stress, global climate change and wide disparities in global economic development and global public health among others, the world is increasingly more complex. Now more than ever, students need to be prepared to confront the complexities of these international challenges with interdisciplinary understandings. The Five College IR certificate program is designed for students who want to make connections between their field of study and the global challenges.

Each year, more than 50 students from the Five Colleges earn their certificate. Many have gone into international relations careers in government, non-governmental organizations, business, academia and journalism.

For more information about the certificate and requirements go to the IR Certificate page.

The Five College IR program also hosts the Five College International Relations Faculty Seminar. The seminar is a forum for scholars to collaborate and to share work in progress. Each year the seminar is host to some of the nation’s leading international relations scholars and graduate students who present and discuss their current research.

The Five College IR program also sponsors and co-sponsors several public events in the Five College community featuring policymakers, journalists, scholars and advocates from around the world.