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 advisers, students can learn to appreciate Asian/Pacific/American (A/P/A) 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 A/P/A 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. 

Normally, application for the certificate occurs in the spring semester of the final year, when students, in consultation with their campus program advisor, complete a Certificate Application Form. The campus program advisor, after signing the form, will submit the application for review and approval by the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program Committee. 

Students approved for the certificate by the committee will be awarded certificates and acknowledgment of successful completion of the program will be added to official transcripts by campus registrars.

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. During your first or second year, you will take one foundation course that 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 A/P/A 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. Usually in your third or fourth year, you complete a special project based on intensive study of an A/P/A community through research, service learning or creative work such as an internship, action-research or a fine arts project. This is often done by students enrolled in an upper-level or independent study course. 

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. 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 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

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