Sustainability Studies

Timothy Farnham, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Overview and Contact Information

Sustainability will be essential to the formulation of sound environmental, economic, and social progress in the twenty-first century. The Five College Sustainability Studies Certificate program is designed to engage students in a structured course of study that will draw on courses from across the campuses in a range of disciplines. Students will also complete an internship, independent research project, or advanced course work in sustainability studies. On each participating campus, program advisors will work with students to design a course of study that fulfills program requirements and is tailored to students’ interests and faculty strengths at the Five Colleges.

See Also

Requirements for the Certificate

A minimum of seven courses:

Three core courses, one from each of the following areas:3
Environmental Sustainability
Sustainable Economy and Politics
Sustainable Society and Culture
A minimum of three courses in one of the following five concentration areas: 13
Agriculture and Food Systems
Energy Systems, Climate, and Water
Green Infrastructure, Design, and Technology
Politics and Policy
Culture, History, and Representation
Another one course from a different concentration area1
Total Courses7

At least one of the concentration area courses must be at the advanced level. (One of the required courses for the concentration may also be counted toward the core courses requirement.)

Other Requirements

  • Program plan. Interested students must submit to their campus program advisor a declaration of intent, outlining a potential course of study, by the second semester of their sophomore year. They will complete and submit applications during fall of sophomore year.
  • Experiential Component. Students must work with their campus program advisor to identify and complete an internship or independent research project that addresses a contemporary, “real world” problem. This component may be an internship, thesis, independent study, or other suitable activity approved by the student’s program advisor. Alternatively, students may work with their program advisor to identify a suitable advanced course within their concentration area.
  • Capstone Symposium. Advanced students must present work fulfilling this requirement at an annual symposium. For these presentations, students will be encouraged to consider the ways in which their projects address the core areas of sustainability and their linkages.

Additional Specifications

  • At least five of the required courses must be above the introductory level, and two of those courses must be at the advanced level.
  • A list of current courses typically applicable to the certificate is available on the certificate program's website.