Admission & Financial Aid

Admission & Financial Aid


Five College Programs & Certificates

Five College Programs & Certificates



The Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Certificate Program enables students to pursue concentrated study of the experiences of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the Americas. Through courses chosen in consultation with their campus program advisor, students can learn to appreciate APA cultural and artistic expressions, understand and critique the racial formation of Asian/ Pacific/Americans, and investigate how international conflicts, global eco­nomic systems, and ongoing migration affect APA communities and individu­als and their intersections with others. Drawing upon diverse faculty, archival, and community-based resources, the Five College program in Asian/Pacific/ American Studies encourages students not only to develop knowledge of the past experiences of Asian/Pacific/Americans, but also to act with responsible awareness of their present material conditions.

An Amherst student qualifies for the certificate by satisfactorily completing the following requirements:

A. A minimum of seven courses, distributed among the following categories. As always, to be counted toward graduation, courses taken at another campus must be approved by campus advisors.

1. A foundation course, normally taken during the first or second year. This course offers an interdisciplinary perspective on histor­ical and contemporary experiences of Asian/Pacific/Americans. Attention will be paid to interrogating the term Asian/Pacific/American and to comparing different APA populations distin­guished, for example, by virtue of their different geographical or cultural derivations, their distribution within the Americas, and their historical experience of migration.

2. At least five elective courses. Students must take at least one course from each of the following categories:

a) Expressions. These courses are largely devoted to the study of A/P/A cultural expression in its many forms.

b) U.S. Intersections. These courses are dedicated substantially to the study of Asian/Pacific/Americans but are further devoted to examining intersections between A/P/A experiences and non-­A/P/A experiences within the United States.

c) Global Intersections. These courses offer perspectives on the experiences of Asian/Pacific/Americans from outside the United States.

3. A special project, which is normally fulfilled in the third or fourth year. This requirement involves the completion of a special project based on intensive study of an Asian/Pacific/American commu­nity, historical or contemporary, either through research, service-learning, or creative work (e.g., community-based learning project, action-research, internship, performing or fine arts project, etc.). Normally the requirement will be fulfilled while enrolled in an upper-level, special topics, or independent study course, although other courses may be used subject to approval of the campus pro­gram advisor. Projects should include both self-reflective and ana­lytic components. Students fulfilling this requirement will meet as a group at least once during the semester to discuss their ongoing projects, and at the end of the semester to present their completed projects at a student symposium or other public presentation. Students’ plans for completing the requirement should be ap­proved by a campus program advisor in the previous semester.

B. Further Stipulations:

  1. Grades: Students must receive the equivalent of a “B” grade or better in all courses counted toward the Certificate. (In the case of Hampshire students taking courses at Hampshire, “B” equiv­alence will be determined by the Hampshire program advisor, based on the written evaluations supplied by course instructors.)
  2. Courses counted toward satisfaction of campus-based ma­jor requirements may also be counted toward the Five College Certificate.
  3. No course can be counted as satisfying more than one Certificate distribution requirement.
  4. Courses taken abroad may be used to fulfill the distribution re­quirement with the approval of the campus program advisor.

C. Recommendation:

Students are encouraged to attain some proficiency in at least one language other than English, especially if such proficiency facilitates the completion of the Special Project component of the Certificate Program. While English is sufficient and appropriate for the comple­tion of many projects involving Asian/Pacific/American communi­ties, many sources and communities can be consulted only through other languages.

A comprehensive list of courses and certificate requirements is available at The Amherst faculty advisor for 2018-19 will be Professor Franklin Odo of the American Studies Department.

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