Five College Coastal and Marine Sciences Program


Document Quick Links:
Certificate Requirements (updated Feb. 2014)
Field/Lab Work Log
Research Project Proposal Form
Independent Research Project Guidance   

Certificate Application

***Beginning Fall 2013, students will be required to submit a poster for their research project. Papers and presentations will no longer be accepted. Students will present their posters at a FCCMS poster session (dates to be determined).  Research project guidelines and poster examples are provided in the document above.***

The Five College Coastal and Marine Sciences Certificate Program

The Five College Coastal and Marine Sciences Certificate enables students from the five colleges to select from a wide variety of marine-science-related courses, including coastal and marine ecology/geology, resource management and public policy, oceanography, and coastal engineering to create a cohesive concentration. Smith College, Mount Holyoke College (where the certificate fulfills the minor requirement), Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, currently award this certificate (see note below regarding Amherst College).

Under the guidance of faculty advisors on each campus, students choose a progressive series of courses available within the five campuses and in approved academic off-campus programs (Sea Education Association, School for Field Studies, Williams-Mystic, Duke University Marine Lab, and others). Students are required to gain proficiency in field/lab work through intensive field courses or internships. Finally, students participate in a “capstone” independent, marine-related research project that will count toward the certificate. (None of the colleges offers a major in Marine Science, but Smith College does offer a minor.)

Students interested in earning the certificate should begin by setting up an introductory meeting with the Program Coordinator (see People). Once students have begun the introductory course of study, they will be appointed a faculty advisor affiliated with Five College Coastal & Marine Sciences who will assist with course selection, research projects, and field/lab requirements to ensure a strong concentration in marine sciences. 

NOTE: While Amherst College does not currently recognize this certificate, students interested in coastal and marine science should contact the Program Coordinator at