Admission & Financial Aid

Admission & Financial Aid


Five College Programs & Certificates

Five College Programs & Certificates



Students interested in the Five College African Studies Certificate should contact one of the African Studies faculty on their campus and submit a Student Interest Form as soon as possible to begin planning course work. In their senior year, students complete the Certificate Requirements Checklist Form in consultation with a program advisor on their campus, attaching an unofficial transcript acquired from the registrar. On the recommendation of the campus advisor, certificate requirements are reviewed and approved by a committee composed of program advisors from each of the five campuses. 

Requirements: Six courses, chosen from at least four different departments, programs, or disciplines. The six courses should carry a total of at least 18 credits. Of the six courses, not more than two may carry less than two credits. The content of each course should be at least 50% devoted to Africa per se.

1. Historical Overview. Minimum of one course providing historical perspective on Africa. Not limited to courses offered in History. (Normally the course should offer at least a regional perspective.)

2. Social Science. Minimum of one course on Africa in the social sciences (i.e., Anthropology, Archeology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology).

3. Arts and Humanities. Minimum of one course on Africa in the fine arts and humanities (i.e., Art, Folklore, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religion).

Language Requirement: Proficiency through the level of the second year in college, in an indigenous or colonial language of Africa other than English. This requirement may be met by examination or course work; such language courses may not count towards the six courses required in Section A.

Further Stipulations:

1. No more than three courses in any one department or program may count toward the six required in Section A.

2. A certificate candidate may present courses taken in Africa, but normally at least three of the required courses must be taken in the Five Colleges.

3. A candidate must earn a grade of B or better in every course for the certificate; none may be taken on a pass/fail basis.

4. Unusual circumstances may warrant substituting certificate requirements; therefore a candidate through her/his African Studies Faculty Advisor may petition the Faculty Liaison Committee (the Five College committee of certificate program advisors) at least one full semester before graduation for adjustments in these requirements. A successful petition will satisfy the interdisciplinary character of the certificate program.

Recommended Actions:

1. Students are encouraged to spend a semester or more in Africa. Information about study abroad and other opportunities is available through the international program office at each campus.

2. Students are encouraged to complete their certificate program with an independent study project that integrates and focuses their course work in African studies.

During 2018-19 the Amherst certificate program advisor is Professor Sean Redding of the History Department.

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