Collateral Field

The collateral field is a major requirement for students in both the Social Science and Science track. The collateral field component is designed to ensure a background knowledge that supports critical thinking and creative problem-solving for current Public Health issues. The breadth of this classification provides students the opportunity to explore areas of particular interest and relevance to public health, drawing connections between disciplines in ways that foster awareness of complex issues. For more information on the collateral field, please see the "Description of the Collateral Field" form in the Downloads section of this page. 

Options to Fulfill the Collateral Field Requirement

For all options, the courses must be relevant to Public Health and form a coherent set of courses. 18 credits are required with at least 12 credits at the 300 level or higher. Selected courses must be approved by the Undergraduate Advisor. The Collateral Field requirement for both the Social Science and Science Track may be met in one of the following ways:

  1. Completion of a major. Note: See the "Description of the Collateral Field" form in the Downloads section of this page for a complete list of suggested majors.
  2. Completion of a minor. Note: See the "Description of the Collateral Field" form in the Downloads section of this page for a complete list of suggested minors.
  3. Completion of an UMass Amherst or 5 College Certificate Program. Note: See the "Description of the Collateral Field" form in the Downloads section of this page for a complete list of suggested UMass Amherst or 5 College Certificate Programs. The Citizen’s Scholar Program can count towards a student's collateral field requirement.
  4. Create your own.

Getting Approval for the Collateral Field Requirement

You must submit a “Collateral Field Proposal Form”, which demonstrates how you plan to fulfill the collateral field requirement. The form must be accepted by the Undergraduate Program Advisor before courses are able to count toward the requirement. If you want to make any changes after approval, you will have to fill out a “Course Exception Form”. Return form to Peer Advising Office, 330 Arnold. For your records, you should also keep a copy of the form.

Does SPIRE truly reflect whether you fulfilled your collateral field requirement?

  • NO!
  • SPIRE does not always sort the collateral field correctly. Even if you got approval for your collateral field, the courses will not always go directly into the appropriate section. Thus, it is important that you keep track of what you listed on your Collateral Field Proposal Form.
  • Once you completed ALL 18 credits of your approved collateral courses, contact the Program Advisor to have her enter the correct courses on your ARR.

Making a Change Once My Collateral Field is Approved

  • The Form is a type of contract. If you want to take another course than what is listed on your Collateral Proposal Form then you will have to fill out a Course Exception Form.

What Will Happen if I Don't Fill Out a Collateral Field Proposal Form?

  • There is a chance that a class that you took will not be counted towards the collateral field requirement. If this happens, it may prevent you from graduating on time.