Joining the FCAS Major

For those students currently enrolled in the Five Colleges, please submit an application below if you are interested in joining the FCAS program. You may not have all of this information yet, but do your best to describe what you might plan to use to fulfill these areas. Faculty will review applications promptly.

FCAS Major Application

Summary of Concentration

Foundation Level

At the foundational level, we expect that each student will take core courses, sequentially, in architectural design, environmental design, and/or architectural history. It is recommended that studio courses be preceded by basic drawing, and that architectural history courses be based on foundational art history courses at the 100 level. Students need to complete at least one architectural studio and one architectural history course as part of the foundation, and two studios and two architectural history courses are highly recommended. List your planned FCAS foundation courses below: 

Intermediate Level

At the intermediate level, students will develop particular concentrations, including (but not limited to) architectural design; environmental/sustainable design; community design; architectural history, theory, and criticism; urban studies, politics, and critical social thought. For some, this will mean that your studio architecture courses are supplemented by a progression of courses in the science of climate change and sustainable practices. For others, it will mean that your concentration in design is matched by courses in applied design and computer modeling, or drawing, sculpture, and installation art. A concentration in architectural history and criticism might be complemented by study in literary theory, philosophy or journalism. You might study city planning, landscape studies, or economics. Identify the courses that develop your interdisciplinary concentration in architectural studies:

Global Studies

The intention of the FCAS program is to expose our students to as many interpretations and conceptual theories about architecture as possible. In what courses, study abroad programs, or other educational activities did you learn about global or multicultural approaches to the built environment?

Community Engagement

Five Colleges, Inc., along with its individual institutions, is committed to establishing strong relationships and promoting public engagement with its regional communities. Have you had the opportunity to work on the campuses or in the community in any way? (internships, community design courses, employment opportunities, etc.):


Students are required to complete a semester-long capstone project during their fourth year. This can be in any area of architectural studies, and might be a design project, research paper, exhibition, urban plan, or any number of creative forms and formats. When the required courses are met, each student will submit a proposal that will describe their topic, working project outline, and research strategies, including a bibliography. This proposal will be read and evaluated by the FCAS faculty committee.

Be sure to discuss what form your project might take (design project, urban plan, scholarly paper, series of critical essays, or hybrid project combining written and designed elements).

Other Comments

Please share any other insights or comments you might have to help us plan your FCAS program.

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How To Apply

The FCAS major is offered at Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College and Amherst College. Students interested in this unique program must apply to one or more of these schools.

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About the Program

The FCAS program engages in myriad of questions about architecture and design. It encourages students to define and engage with the aspects of history, theory and design that they find most compelling. The program provides the essential concrete foundations, but an open-ended curriculum.

Explore the Program

The Major

The FCAS major is a liberal arts degree designed to provide students the essential foundations in architectural history, theory and studio design, but allows students to develop their own area of study with the broader discipline of architectural studies.

Learn More About the Major


The Five College program provides a wide array of creative resources for students. There are studios on all five campuses, digital fabrication maker spaces and advanced computer labs open to all students. As well, student have access to five full library collections and research materials, delivered to their home campus library.

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The Five College Architectural Studies program is an interdisciplinary course of study that bridges five campuses and is available to students currently enrolled in Hampshire College, Amherst College or Mount Holyoke College.