Admission & Financial Aid

Admission & Financial Aid


Five College Programs & Certificates

Five College Programs & Certificates




This certificate provides undergraduate students at the Five Colleges with an opportunity to develop a strong understanding of the social, economic, legal, and political conditions that influence reproduction in the U.S. and transnationally.

Scholarship on RHRJ issues examines the impact of reproductive policies not only on individuals, but also on communities, with particular attention to communities that have been historically marginalized. The field also includes study of the history of social movements for reproductive empowerment, including the movements for women's liberation, disability rights, racial justice, economic justice, LGBTQ rights, and the women's health, reproductive freedom, and reproductive justice movements

By completing a special project and interdisciplinary coursework, students are prepared for graduate school, as well as careers in law, science, medicine, health, politics, social work, and community organizing:

Understand how race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality influence reproduction

Examine the hyper-medicalization of childbirth for some and the lack of reproductive health care for others

Understand reproductive technologies and their impact on kinship structures and welfare and childcare policies

Investigate how the health care industry, the prison industrial complex, and the foster care system influence reproductive decisions and policiesLearn to think critically about the legal barriers to reproductive health care

Be able to use human rights and reproductive justice analyses to frame social policy

Similar to an academic minor, the Five College RHRJ certificate enables students to investigate these issues beyond what might be available on their individual campus. Contact Professor Amrita Basu for more information at Amherst College.

Certificate Requirements

There are two components to the RHRJ certificate: courses and a special project.

  1. Complete at least 6 approved courses, including:

One foundational course

One transnational/global course

One upper-level (300 or above) course

A foundational course has 90–100% reproductive health, rights, and justice content, as reflected in the course title and description. Foundational courses introduce students to reproductive politics, including the reproductive health, rights and justice frameworks; introduce students to thinking intersectionally about reproductive issues, for example, how gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, disability and nationality intersect to shape women’s experiences of reproductive oppression, and their resistance strategies; and teach students to think systemically about reproductive issues, rather than just individually, that is, about the impact of reproductive politics not only on individuals, but also on communities, and how social, economic, legal and political conditions impact reproduction. The material may be covered through any disciplinary or interdisciplinary lens, including history, sociology, legal studies, public policy, women, gender and sexuality studies, political science, journalism, religious studies, American studies, transnational studies, etc.

A transnational/global course has 25% reproductive health, rights, and justice content, as defined above, with a transnational/global (i.e. non-U.S.) focus.

An additional course has 25% reproductive health, rights, and justice content, as defined above.

All courses used to fulfill the certificate requirements must be selected from the courses currently approved to count toward this certificate by the RHRJ steering committee.

  1. Complete a special project

Students must also complete a special project that will help them gain an experiential understanding of reproductive health, rights and/or justice among community-based groups.  This requirement may be completed through an independent study project, thesis or other course work that engages the student with issues of reproductive health, rights or justice and meaningfully incorporates the perspectives of community-based groups. However, this special project will only receive academic credit at Amherst College if it is part of a regularly offered course or a special topics course of which the experiential component is only one part.  Students must consult with their RHRJ advisor about how to fulfill this requirement.

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