Five College Sustainability Studies Program

The Five College Sustainability Certificate: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I find out about this certificate?

Information about the FCSS Certificate is available on the Five Colleges website at www.fivecolleges.edu/sustain/fcss_certifcate. In addition, there are specific faculty at each of the three campuses presently participating who will help students with the certificate. See a list of participating faculty here.
It is essential for students to begin working with their campus representatives early on in their studies.

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Can students at each of the Five Colleges obtain the FCSS Certificate?

No. At this time the certificate is available only to Amherst College, Hampshire College and Mount Holyoke College students.

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Are there specific areas that the FCSS Certificate focuses on?

Yes. Elective concentration areas are: 1) Agriculture and Food Systems, 2) Energy, Climate, and Water, 3) Culture, History, and Representation, 4) Politics and Policy, and 5) Green Infrastructure, Design, and Technology.

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Is the certificate only course-based?

No. Students must also complete an internship or independent research project that addresses a real world problem related to sustainability.

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Do I need to formally say that I intend to work towards the FCSS Certificate?

Yes. Students will give their campus program advisor a Declaration of Intent, outlining a potential course of study, by the second semester of their sophomore year. The actual application for the certificate will be submitted later; students should work with their campus advisors to decide when that would be.

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Some of the courses I wish to use for the FCSS Certificate are not listed on the Five College Sustainability website. Can I substitute courses?

Possibly.  Students must work with their campus advisors on this. It will be important to explain how a particular unlisted course meets the requirement.

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Who decides whether my application for the FCSS Certificate is successful?

As with the other Five College Certificates, a committee composed of Five College faculty makes this decision.

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How can the FCSS Certificate help me?

Having the certificate may well help you obtain a job or internship after you graduate, for example. In addition, the certificate is designed to guide students who are trying to develop a course of studies in sustainability.

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