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 ten 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.

F&M Certificates

Diversity and Equality
in Education

Contact person: Lee Franklin, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Disciplines: Philosophy, Sociology, and internship for credit in Lancaster schools

This certificate offers F&M students a multifaceted foothold in the study of education. At the theoretical level, this certificate pairs philosophical reflection on fundamental questions with a sociological analysis of the structure and dynamics of educational systems. This foundation is married with hands-on experience working with students in Lancaster County schools, allowing students to experience the lived effects of socially patterned inequalities, alongside the relevance of educational principles regarding learning and equality. Finally, through capstone projects presented at an annual symposium, the certificate will harness and celebrate F&M’s historical success in sending students on to post graduate work in education, and create a formal community of future educators at F&M.

Required elements: 

  • PHI272: Philosophy of Learning and Education

  • SOC384: Urban Education

  • Internship for credit, Classroom Experience in Lancaster City Schools: INT 279 (PHI @ McCaskey); INT 261

  • Capstone presentation at annual Education conference

Sustainability Planning 

Contact person: Nancy Kurland, Associate Professor of Organization Studies
Disciplines: Biology, Earth & Environment, and Business, Organizations and Society

This certificate provides opportunities for students to acquire eight different types of skills related to sustainability planning: on-the-ground communication skills; policy analysis; research methods; risk assessment (e.g., hurricane preparedness; climate change; understanding processes of human decision-making); stakeholder management; sustainability metrics, tracking, and reporting; sustainability philosophies and techniques (e.g., circular economy, biodesign); and SWOT analysis. It also provides students the opportunity to present related hands-on experiences (garnered through internships and/or independent research projects) in an annual event.

Required elements:

  • ENE 216: Offered every semester. Prerequisite: ENE/STS 117 or GOV 100.

  • ENE 277: Likely to be offered every spring semester. There are no prerequisites. Includes a community-based research experience.

  • BOS/ENE/PUB 335: Typically offered every spring. There are no prerequisites.

  • BIO 374: Offered every other year; prerequisite: BIO 110 or BIO 101 or instructor permission.

Legal Studies 

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

Students will engage in a multidisciplinary exploration of legal phenomena. Drawing upon exposure to legal doctrines, reasoning, and policies in both public and private law, students will critically examine legal controversies from literary, economic, philosophic, and cultural perspectives. Accompanying their academic course work, students will participate in a co-curricular, experiential practicum with F&M’s Mock Trial Program. By combining exposure to a range of substantive legal doctrines with an understanding of an array of critical perspectives and practices, this certificate is designed to enable students to engage and evaluate legal discourse and argument as informed citizens.

Required elements:

  • BOS 332: Law, Ethics, and Society
  • GOV 314: The American Constitution or GOV 315: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • PHI 1xx: Good Reasons

Plus one of the following courses:

  • PHI 37x: Philosophy of Law
  • ENG 2xx: Law, Literature, and the Person
  • AMS 378: Border Law and Policy
  • ECO 360: Law and Economics
  • AMS/WGS 370: Reproduction, Law and Policy

Plus one of the following experiential offerings:

  • Mock Trial Team
  • Legal Internships

Health Humanities 

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.

Required elements:    

  • Histories of Medicine: STS/HIS 311 or equivalent

  • Historical Perspectives on Health: one course from the following: HIS/PBH/STS 278, Reproductive Health and Justice in Latin American History; HIS/STS 377, Medicine and Healing in the Mediterranean; HIS/IST 372, Pandemics in History

  • Literary and Cultural Perspectives: one course from the following: ENG 273, Chronic Illness and Self-Care; PBH/STS/WGS 272, Narratives of Disability; LIT 27x, Medicine, Health, and Literature

  • Ethical Perspectives on Health, Life, and Death: one course from the following: PHI 223, Biomedical Ethics; PHI 373, End of Life Ethics

Social Entrepreneurship 

Contact person: Joaquin Villarreal, Director of Entrepreneurship
Disciplines: Interdisciplinary (Entrepreneurship), Earth & Environment, Sociology

Entrepreneurial studies builds a bridge between idea generation within academic settings and idea transfer to achieve sustainable, real-world impact regardless of students’ chosen career paths. Social Entrepreneurship leverages best practices in innovation, social change, and startups to “do well while doing good.” The certificate has a foundational set of courses, followed by two translational ones, and an applied capstone. This structure is designed to have students (a) become aware, recognize, and think critically about societal problems and needs in the world around them, to then (b) expose them to entrepreneurial mindsets and techniques that empower them to create solutions that are sustainable over time, and (c) apply their learnings in a project-based, experiential manner.

Required elements:

  • ENE 117: Environment and Human Values

  • SOC 100: Intro to Sociology

  • INT 274: Entrepreneurial Thinking

  • INT 375: Entrepreneurial Discovery

  • Co-curricular: Incubator Program*

* INT 375: Entrpreneurial Discovery is required to participate in the Incubator Program

Data Science 

Contact person: Danel Draguljić, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Disciplines: Math, Computer Science, Philosophy

This interdisciplinary certificate provides students with the knowledge necessary to work effectively with data. The acquired skills include data cleaning and wrangling, visualization, statistical skills (e.g. multivariable linear regression modeling, explanation and quantification of variation in the data, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, etc.), and concepts in computer science and computational problem solving (e.g. design of algorithms, modularization, abstraction, etc.). Due to the omnipresence of data and data-driven decision making, 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.

Required elements:

  • MAT175: Intro to Data Science

  • MAT215: Intro to Statistical Modeling

  • PHI130: Good Reason

  • One course from the following: 

    • CPS173: Intro to Computer Programming 

    • CPS111: Computer Science 1

    • CPS112: Computer Science 2

Language and Communication 

Contact person: Nick Kroll, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Disciplines: Linguistics, Philosophy

The Language and Communication certificate provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding language and communication. Students will explore foundational questions about linguistic structure, meaning, and communication. Students 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. 

Required elements:

  • LIN 101 Introduction to Linguistics

  • PHI 238 Bad Language

  • One course from the following [Linguistics focus]

    • LIN 120 Sociolinguistics

    • LIN 205 Multilingualism 

    • LIN 207  Psycholinguistics (same as PSY 207)

  • One course from the following [Philosophy focus]

    • PHI 236 Language, Knowledge, and Reality

    • PHI 244 Symbolic Logic

    • PHI 339 Philosophy of Language

Social Justice 

Contact person: Jorge Mena-Ali, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
Disciplines: Sociology, Womens and Gender Studies, Africana Studies, American Studies

The interdisciplinary certificate in Social Justice synthesizes critical perspectives on the social systems and structures through which dynamics of power and inequality are created, maintained, contested, and transformed. At the intersections of race, gender, socioeconomic class, and sexuality, students will have the opportunity to meaningfully engage with historical and contemporary issues germane to struggles for equity and justice between and across social identity groups. The certificate includes a capstone that asks students to apply theory in praxis.

Required elements:

  • SOC100 Introduction to Sociology

  • WGSS210 Gender, Sexuality, and Power

  • AFS150 Introduction to African American Studies

  • AMS115 Introduction to Asian American Studies *OR* AMS120, Introduction to Latinx Studies

  • Capstone: an internship for credit that is engaged with some form of social justice work *OR* participation in INT 178 Power & Inequality as a peer facilitator

Arts for Social Change 

Contact persons: Rachel Anderson-Rabern, Associate Professor of Theatre, and Karen Leistra-Jones, Associate Professor of Music
Disciplines: Sociology, Anthropology, Film, Music, Theatre, Dance

This certificate helps students deepen their understanding of the arts as mediums for impacting culture and community. Arts for Social Change is an interdisciplinary field with applications in education, politics, community organizing, and more. This field, which spans F&M's dynamic arts disciplines, unites the ethos of community-building with artistic practice that foregrounds innovation and action. 

Required elements:

  • SOC100 Introduction to Sociology

  • ANT100 Social Anthropology

  • One course from the following list: 

    • ANT355 Power

    • FLM270 Revolutionary Cinema

    • FLM332 Documentary Film and Video

    • MUS272 Music, Culture, and Society

    • MUS276 Anthropology of Music

    • SOC355 Sociology of Culture

    • TND110 Global Theatre Perspectives

    • TND331 History of Western Theatre Dance

  • One course from the following (community-based learning):

    • MUS 291 Music, Education, and Social Change

    • TND 495 Community Impact/Outreach

  • Capstone, .5-credit independent study: a project and presentation as part of the Student New Works Festival

Animal Husbandry & Primate Training 

Contact person: Meredith Bashaw, Professor of Psychology
Disciplines: Biology, Psychology, Anthropology, Classics, Earth & Environment, French, German

This certificate develops students’ abilities to care for animals professionally as well as to reflect on their experiences as an element of humans’ relationships with the natural world. Students will learn fundamentals of behavior and conditioning in the classroom, engage in hands-on animal care and primate training, and have the opportunity to view their work in a broader ethical, cultural, and social context. Students will demonstrate their expertise by creating specific enrichment and training plans.

Required elements:

  • One behavior-relevant introductory science course with lab, either:

    • BIO101 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology OR

    • PSY100 Introduction to Psychology

  • PSY310 Conditioning and Learning

  • Two 0.5-credit courses in experiential learning, both:

    • BFB2XX Animal Husbandry and Enrichment

    • BFB3XX Primate Training

  • One course in human relationships with animals, choose one:

    • ANT337 Anthropology of Environment

    • CLS2XX Animals and Nature in the Ancient World

    • ENE/STS312 Environmental History

    • ENE/BIO360 Wildlife Conservation

    • FRN353 Environment in/and Literature

    • GERXXX Animals in German Literature and Culture

Commonly Asked Questions