Academic Resources

UMass Amherst and the Five College community boast a plethora of academic departments, majors, and centers that explore various aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Visit each program's website to learn more about their teaching philosophies and course offerings.

The Five College Certificate in African Studies offers students an opportunity to pursue an interest in African studies as a complement to any academic major.

The Department is an intellectual, professional, and social community that stands at the forefront of global education and research on people of African descent in the United States and the world.

The Five College Arabic Language Initiative allows students at each of the five campuses to develop a concentration of study devoted to the Arabic and culture. Students are able to work with faculty at all campuses to pursue their studies.

As U.S. society becomes more diverse, multicultural, and globalized, and in the context of the cultural and economic emergence of Asian countries such as China and India, the Asian & Asian American Studies Certificate gives students the opportunity to learn about the interconnections between two similar but unique sets of histories, cultures, and issues -- Asia and Asian America.

Asian Languages and Literatures became part of the established curriculum at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1969 with the founding of degree programs in Chinese and Japanese by the late Professor William E. Naff. After more than four decades of growth we still take very seriously our founding mission--to share knowledge and understanding of the rich cultures of Asia with the students of this land-grant university as an essential part of their preparation to participate in a global society.

As a Five College Certificate, APA Studies combines coursework with internships and field experience, offering students a lens through which to appreciate A/P/A cultural expressions, understand the racial formation of Asian/Pacific/Americans, and investigate how international conflicts, global economic systems and ongoing migration affect A/P/A communities and their intersections with others.

The Boltwood Project is a community service program and service learning course that partners UMass students with individuals who are mentally or physically challenged in the local area

With one of the largest concentrations of scholars of Buddhist Studies in the United States, the Five Colleges provide an excellent environment in which to study Buddhism: collectively, we enable students to study most of the major Buddhist traditions. In addition to our many Junior Year Abroad and other extended study programs in Asia, our academic exchange program with the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in India offers a unique opportunity for our students to study with eminent Tibetan scholars.

The Five College Center for East Asian Studies is committed to promoting East Asian Studies at the Five Colleges and supports, encourages, and improves the teaching of East Asian cultures in elementary, middle, and secondary schools, and two- and four-year colleges in the Northeast.

The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) of the University of Massachusetts Amherst promotes research, training, and public engagement on the histories, cultures, and politics of Latin American and Caribbean peoples across the Americas and throughout the world.

The Five College Center for the Study of World Languages offers academic-year courses in less-commonly studied languages for students at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Course sessions meet on all five campuses. Courses are taken for academic credit and are part of a student's regular course load. Five College students are not required to pay any special fees or tuition in order to enroll.

The Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to the study of both normal and disordered communication. It has a rich history of preparing researchers to advance the knowledge base in the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders and clinicians to work with individuals with communications disorders from linguistically and culturally diverse populations across the age span.

Crossroads in the Study of the Americas (CISA) is a center dedicated to new teaching and scholarship on the Americas. Founded in 1997, CISA brings together faculty from Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst who work together to explore relational aspects of identity in the Americas.

The Five College East Asian Language Program allows students on each of the five campuses to develop a concentration of study devoted to East Asian languages that complements any major.

Faculty from the five institutions work together to support undergraduate study of East Asia through the Executive Committee of the Five College Center for East Asian Studies. The Committee includes faculty from each of the colleges and the University, representing a range of disciplines and departments, as well as the chair of the Five College East Asian Languages Program. Recent activity by the Committee on behalf of undergraduate study at the five institutions includes co-sponsorship of cultural programming, professional development for faculty, and coordination of various forms of faculty...

The ESL Program offers courses in academic writing, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary. The goal of the Program is to help nonnative speakers of English master the formal conventions of academic English for both general education courses and courses in the academic disciplines. Students will then be able to meet the expectations of both their professors at the University and their employers in the professional workplace. 

The Five College community is home to a diverse, vibrant group of students, scholars, and performers working in ethnomusicology, the anthropology of music, and related disciplines. Students with a special interest in ethnomusicology may pursue the Five College Certificate in Ethnomusicology, a program that allows students to develop a unique, multi-disciplinary curriculum focused on their individual research interests.

The Status of Diversity Council shall make recommendations on all matters affecting the status of diverse populations and underrepresented communities on the campus, including such matters as
faculty, librarian and staff recruitment, retention, promotion and salaries, the recruitment, admission and retention of undergraduate and graduate minority students, granting of financial aid, and the
development of programs to reflect the needs of our diverse community. 

The Status of Women Council shall make recommendations affecting the status of women on the campus, including such matters as recruitment, promotion and salaries, the granting of tenure, the establishment of day care centers, the admission of undergraduate and graduate women students, the granting of financial aid, the development of programs for women whose careers have been interrupted by marriage or childbirth, and the availability and conditions of part-time work.

UMass currently has a Social and Cultural Diversity general education requirement. The purpose of the General Education requirement is to stretch students’ minds, broaden their experiences, and prepare them for their college experiences and subsequent professional training, their careers and productive lives, community engagement and informed citizenship, a diverse and rapidly changing world, and a lifetime of learning.

The Graduate School’s Office of Inclusion and Engagement is overseen by Assistant Dean Olufunmilayo Adebayo. Adebayo directs multiple fellowship and mentoring programs for graduate students, and is the primary liaison to the Graduate Students of Color Association.

The UMass Amherst Graduate Women In STEM organization is committed to the professional and personal advancement of women pursuing careers in STEM and related fields. By encouraging successful scientific research strategies and practices, developing professional networking skills and supporting the integration of career with personal goals, we seek to empower women to achieve academic and professional excellence. We embrace an inclusive and diverse membership in order to enhance the participation and recognition of women in STEM, catalyze change in the...

The Heroes into Healthcare: Veterans Entering the Nursing Workforce is a Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA) funded grant initiative which aims to increase the number and percentage of minority and disadvantaged veterans who successfully complete a university-based nursing education and become employed as nurses.

The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Program (ICE) provides high school students with significant (typically intellectual and/or developmental) disabilities the opportunity to have a college experience alongside their non-disabled peers.

The Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty (TEFD) encourages pre-tenure faculty to develop robust professional networks that include a variety of mentoring partners within and outside the UMass Amherst campus, and at a wide variety of career stages. This “Mutual Mentoring” approach is supported through grants, compiled resources, and best practices.

The International Programs Office (IPO) is the main resources for study abroad, international exchanges, and international student/faculty/researcher immigration questions.

The International Scholars Program combines academic learning with a period of study abroad in order to provide students with the global competencies they will need to become informed and effective citizens of our ever-expanding world. The program invites all honors students, regardless of major, to develop a concentration in international studies and cross-cultural communication as a supplement to their regular disciplinary work.

The Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to providing students with a solid foundation in the languages, cultures, and histories of the peoples of the Middle East and of the broader region, particularly those of the Jewish and Islamic traditions; in histories that have their roots in the ancient world and extend to the present; and through an array of courses that shed light on contemporary society, culture, politics, literature, and film.Two robust programs, one in Judaic Studies and the other in Middle Eastern Studies,...

The UMass Amherst Labor Relations and Research Center, as it was originally named, was founded in 1964. AFL-CIO President George Meany visited the Amherst campus to give a commencement address and encouraged the university to start a Labor Studies program similar to those that existed at many other land-grant institutions. From the beginning, Labor Studies was designed as a multi-disciplinary program drawing on the strengths of faculty in many departments across campus. This new program was unique given its focus on on labor and workers’ rights,...

With over eighty faculty members, 370 undergraduate majors, and nearly 200 graduate students, we are the largest department at UMass Amherst. Our undergraduate and graduate programs in Chinese, Comparative Literature, French, German and Scandinavian Studies, Hispanic Linguistics, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Translation Studies, provide a rich array of courses, including many taught in English, and a stimulating environment for scholarship, collaboration, and learning.

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures include programs in Chinese, Comparative Literature, French, German and Scandinavian Studies, Hispanic Linguistics, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Translation Studies.

The Five College Certificate in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies enhances rather than replaces the more traditional major, minor, or certificate available at the individual schools and can complement the student's major field of study.

The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Scholars Program is part of an alliance of New England institutions that receive funding through the National Science Foundation (NSF) to strengthen the preparation, representation, and success of under-represented minority students majoring in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. In addition to UMass Amherst, the alliance includes Northeastern University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Rhode Island, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The Five College Certificate Program in Middle Eastern Studies is an opportunity for students to complement a disciplinary major with multidisciplinary studies and linguistic attainments. Because of the wide range of courses available through the Five College consortium, students may design a program that will meet their intellectual, academic, and prospective professional needs in conjunction with an advisor from their home institution.

The Department of Military Leadership offers a minor in Military Leadership available to all students wishing to complete at least 15 credit hours of military leadership instruction. Students do not incur any type of military obligation. The minor is designed to give students the leadership tools necessary to succeed in the military or any number of civilian professions that require leadership skills. The department is also home to UMass's ROTC program.

The Five College Certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies provides students with the opportunity to acquire a knowledge and understanding of the development, growth, and interactions of the indigenous peoples and nations of the Western Hemisphere. The program emphasizes the many long histories of Native American Indians as well as their contemporary lives and situations. A holistic and comparative interdisciplinary approach underlies the Certificate Program's requirements, enabling students to become familiar with the diversity of indigenous lifeways, including cultural...

The Certificate Program in Native American Indian Studies (CPNAIS) offers students a structured understanding of historical and contemporary issues affecting the Western Hemisphere's First Nations. Students will learn how these issues are embedded in the long histories of Native peoples and their most recent interactions with Europeans and Africans. Those completing the requirements for the Certificate will gain a more sensitive understanding of the unique cultures rooted in this hemisphere.

The Five College Queer and Sexuality Studies certificate provides undergraduate students an opportunity to pursue a course of study that critically examines the relationship between sexual and gender identities, experiences, cultures and communities in a wide range of historical and political contexts. Working across disciplines, students take courses in a variety of fields. The certificate also leads students to investigate how non-normative and normative genders and sexualities intersect with other social categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, class and nationality.

The Religious Studies Certificate Program offers undergraduates a framework within which to pursue the comparative and interdisciplinary study of religious phenomena in human societies across different cultures, places, and times. The Program draws on courses offered by many academic departments in the University and other colleges within the Five-College system.

The Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (REEES) Certificate Program works to offer students an opportunity to draw on rich resources of the faculty members at the Five Colleges and to coordinate curricula across the five campuses. The program also sponsors special events of interest to students and faculty members working in the field. 


Social Justice Education is an interdisciplinary program of study with a focus on social diversity and social justice education particularly as they apply to formal educational systems, kindergarten through higher education. The master’s program of study prepares reflexive practitioners in Social Justice Education who are capable of applying social justice education practices in a variety of educational settings. The doctoral program of study prepares educators, counselors and school leaders to study, interrogate, and further theorize conceptual, empirical and applied knowledge in Social Justice Education.

The Social Thought and Political Economy Program (STPEC) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst. The STPEC Program encourages students to engage in a critical examination of society and to develop their own capacities for critical reading, writing, and thinking.

We are a generalist sociology department with a wide variety of research interests. Recent books and articles by faculty members have addressed the creation of global capitalist markets, democratization, the revival of the labor movement, workplace discrimination, grammars of death, white collar criminal conspiracies, comparative family policy, comparative racial inequality, the socialization of Chinese adopted children, Latin American social movements, women's workforce and men's household labor participation, and many other topics.

The University Without Walls (UWW) is an academic major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst designed to help adults complete their first bachelor's degree at a world-class public university.

The Upward Bound Program is a year-round, federally sponsored, educational program serving high school students from the High School of Commerce. Students are eligible to participate in this program if they are from families in which neither parent has a bachelor's degree and/or if they qualify as low-income. The goal of the Upward Bound Program is to increase the rate at which participants successfully complete high school and enroll in and graduate from college.

The Du Bois Center’s mission is to make the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois and his contemporaries available and accessible to everyone throughout the world for application to the problems and issues of the 21st Century, and to create new knowledge and support scholarship emanating from the life and teachings of W.E.B. Du Bois. The Center connects students, educators, scholars, and the public through lectures, symposia, scholarships and collaborations, to share the vast intellectual resources associated with W.E.B. Du Bois.

Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is both a discipline and an interdisciplinary program. The program offers a Bachelor of Arts, an undergraduate minor and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies.