The primary benefit of a liberal arts education is the flexibility to explore all of your interests and discover connections among fields you never imagined. Now, you can further investigate how different fields align with one another through F&M’s certificate programs.
What Is a Certificate?
Certificates are supplemental educational pathways you can pursue at F&M. This is neither your major nor your minor, but can be added to your resume to demonstrate your training and education in a particular area.
There are seven certificates available at F&M. Each explores new and innovative fields of study through the lens of two or more departments. To complete a certificate, you must fulfill specific, for-credit activities (such as courses or internships), similar to your major and minor course requirements.
Interested and Want to Learn More?
Check out commonly asked questions below and reach out to your adviser or the registrar’s office for more information on how to pursue a particular certificate.
Contact person: Lee Franklin, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Disciplines: Philosophy, Sociology, and internship for credit in Lancaster schools
Pairing philosophy and sociology, this certificate builds a multifaceted foundation in the study of education. Students will philosophically investigate important civic issues while using a sociological lens to analyze the structure and dynamics of educational systems. Hands-on experiences are an important aspect of this certificate. Through a for-credit internship, students will work with students in Lancaster County schools, experiencing firsthand the lived effects of socially patterned inequalities while exploring educational principles regarding learning and equality. Students will then share their valuable insights through a capstone project presented at an annual symposium.
Contact person: Nancy Kurland, Associate Professor of Organization Studies
Disciplines: Biology, Earth & Environment, and Business, Organizations and Society
Sustainability planning is an increasing need in the marketplace. This certificate provides the glue that bonds biology; earth and environment; and business, organizations and society to prepare students interested in careers in sustainable practices. The four courses in this certificate provide opportunities for students to acquire skills in on-the-ground communication; policy analysis; research methods; risk assessment; sustainability metrics, tracking, and reporting; sustainability philosophies and techniques; and more. Applying what they’ve learned in the field, students also are encouraged to pursue hands-on experiences through internships or independent research projects.
Contact person: Jeff Nesteruk, Professor of Legal Studies, Deputy Provost for New Academic Initiatives
Disciplines: Government; Business, Organizations and Society; American Studies; Economics; English; and Philosophy
This certificate enables students to engage and evaluate legal discourse and argument as informed citizens. Students will build a foundational understanding of the legal field through a blend of government; business, organizations and society; American studies; economics; English; and philosophy. Drawing upon exploration of legal doctrines, reasoning, and policies in both public and private law, students will critically examine legal controversies from literary, economic, philosophic, and cultural perspectives. In addition to their course work, students will participate in F&M’s Mock Trial Program, through which students gain hands-on experience, bolster their understanding of the justice system and hone their persuasion skills through team competition.
Contact person: Peter Jaros, Associate Professor of English
Disciplines: Science, Technology and Society; History; English; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Philosophy
This certificate incorporates rich multidisciplinary perspectives on questions of health, illness, medicine, and disability. Health Humanities, a growing field at the intersection of humanistic scholarship and health professions, is a natural fit for F&M’s strength across the liberal arts and our students’ interest in health professions–and in broader questions of health, including mental health and public health. The certificate includes three key perspectives: historical, ethical, and literary/cultural.
Contact person: Joaquin Villarreal, Director of Entrepreneurship
Disciplines: Interdisciplinary (Entrepreneurship), Earth & Environment, Sociology
Social entrepreneurship leverages best practices in innovation, social change, and startups to address social issues. Students interested in having a positive impact on the world around them will learn how to leverage entrepreneurship to address social issues that matter most to them. Students will learn how to become aware, recognize, and think critically about societal problems and needs in the world around them; develop their entrepreneurial mindsets and techniques to create solutions that are sustainable over time; and apply what they learn in a hands-on project. Blending entrepreneurship with earth and environment and sociology, the certificate builds a bridge between idea generation within academic settings and idea transfer to achieve sustainable, real-world impact regardless of students’ chosen career paths.
Contact person: Danel Draguljić, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Disciplines: Math, Computer Science, Philosophy
This certificate mixes math, computer science, and philosophy to provide students with the knowledge necessary to work effectively with data. Students will gain skills in data cleaning and wrangling, visualization, statisticals, and concepts in computer science and computational problem solving. Due to the omnipresence of data and data-driven decisionmaking, the certificate includes exposure to ethics designed to foster good decision making with respect to issues of data ownership, security and sensitivity of data, privacy concerns of data analysis, and transparency.
Contact person: Nick Kroll, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Disciplines: Linguistics, Philosophy
Combining linguistics and philosophy, students will explore foundational questions about linguistic structure, meaning, and communication. They will investigate the cognitive dimensions of language, the social-political dimensions of language, and how the study of language connects to philosophical questions concerning the nature of truth, logic and knowledge.
Should I consider doing a certificate?
That is up to you. Certificates are completely optional. At F&M, we strive to present as many opportunities to our students as we can. Beyond our majors and minors, we have internships, independent studies, directed readings, summer research and scholarship programs, community engagements opportunities, and so much more. Certificates add to this constellation of choices. Your academic adviser can help chart the best course for you.
Who can register for certificates?
Certificates are open to currently enrolled F&M students.
When can I declare a certificate?You may declare a certificate beginning in your sophomore year. If you are interested in a particular program, please discuss it with your adviser or the registrar.
What’s the maximum number of certificates I can take?There are currently no limits on certificates. At the same time, please be mindful of your time; while you may fulfill more than one certificate, we recommend you avoid overextending yourself. Be sure to balance your other coursework and extracurricular obligations.
Can I create my own certificates?
No; certificates will be designed by faculty as areas of interest emerge among faculty and students.
How much can a certificate overlap with a major/minor/other requirement?Certificates are meant to help you explore different areas of the curriculum and communicate those interests on your transcript. For this reason, a maximum of one credit can be shared between a certificate and a graduation requirement. For example, your certificate could share one course with your major and one course with your general education requirement, but not two courses with your major.
Can internships for credit count toward a certificate?
Yes, in some certificates. It will be listed if an internship for credit is included.