Five College Consortium

Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Program


RHRJ student activists
The Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice (RHRJ) certificate program is dedicated to furthering scholarship, education and research in its field.

Students, faculty and practitioners are invited to join the RHRJ program as we delve into the social, economic, legal and political conditions that influence reproduction and help educate the next generation of reproductive health scholars, practitioners and advocates.

The certificate is available to undergraduate students at Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Focus of Study

Students pursuing the RHRJ certificate take courses across a wide variety of academic disciplines that address diverse issues such as:

  • the biology of reproduction
  • legal barriers to abortion and birth control
  • the hyper-medicalization of childbirth
  • reproductive health care access
  • reproductive technologies and kinship structures
  • welfare policy
  • childcare and childcare policies
  • reproduction and labor
  • gender justice
  • adoption

Students also learn to think critically about social institutions such as science, medicine, technology, schools, housing, law enforcement, labor and prisons that produce racial and class differentiation in childhood and beyond.

Through the required special project component, students are encouraged to take what they learn out of the classroom and into an appropriate community-engaged experience where they can connect their academic pursuits with policy and advocacy work. Students work with their certificate advisor to connect with campus-based centers, as well as local and national policy and advocacy organizations, to pursue internships and other opportunities and learn through hands-on experience.

Panel discussion on state violence
RHRJ Graduates

Students who complete the interdisciplinary RHRJ program gain knowledge and experience that prepares them for graduate school and for careers in law, science, medicine, health, politics, social work and community organizing. They will be able to:

  • Understand the ways that race, class, sexuality and nation influence the reproduction of individuals and communities
  • Address questions about how people engage with having and raising children in different circumstances
  • Learn about the impact of reproductive policies on individuals and communities, with particular attention to diverse and marginalized ethnic groups, cultures and nations
  • Use human rights and reproductive justice analyses to frame social policy
  • Become effective practitioners, researchers, policy makers and advocates

Read more about how other students are using the certificate in our Student Profiles.

Learn More

To find out more about the RHRJ certificate program, you can: