Academic Regulations

Mount Holyoke students are expected to be fully acquainted with the policies affecting their academic and nonacademic lives on campus. Policies are published in this Bulletin, the Student Handbook, and in Faculty Legislation. New policies are published on the College’s website. 

Academic Responsibility

The decision to join this academic community requires acceptance of special rights and responsibilities that are essential for its effective functioning and the realization of its mission

All members of the community share the responsibility to uphold the highest standards of academic and personal integrity, community engagement, and commitment to principles of equity and inclusion that are central to the mission of the College. Failure to accept and act on this responsibility threatens the rights of the rest of the community by undermining the trust upon which the community is built.

Students, faculty, staff, and administrators assume a commitment to the academic community that supports teaching and learning in an open environment based on mutual trust, respect, and concern. All members of the community have the right to careful and constructive analysis of their work, and they have the responsibility to provide a serious response to the work of others.

Each member of the academic community has the right to benefit from its collective knowledge and resources as well as the responsibility to contribute to them.

Honor Code

Mount Holyoke students take great pride in and responsibility for upholding the College’s honor code, which has been articulated by the Mount Holyoke College Student Government Association.

I will honor myself, my fellow students, and Mount Holyoke College by acting responsibly, honestly, and respectfully in both my words and my deeds.

The honor code plays a role in both academic and social life at the College. While allowing for a significant degree of individual  freedom, it relies on students to conduct themselves with maturity and concern for the welfare of other members of the College community.

The commitment students and faculty have made to teaching and learning in an open environment based on mutual trust, respect, and concern is the foundation for Mount Holyoke’s unusual system of self-scheduled examinations.

Plagiarism or other forms of scholarly misconduct can have no purpose or place in the academic life of the College. Each student is responsible for observing established procedures in the preparation of assignments and the writing of papers and examinations, and for submitting as one’s own, only that work that she or he has originated. Each instructor is responsible for making clear what procedures are acceptable in the work of a course and for guiding students toward appropriate methods and standards of research for production of student work.

Additional information on the honor code, examples of violations, the process for reporting suspected violations, the procedures through which the Academic Honor Board adjudicates suspected violations, and potential penalties for its violation are available at this site. All members of the Mount Holyoke community are encouraged to utilize The Proper Use of Sources Tutorial, which provides information on the different forms of plagiarism, proper scholarly procedure, and links to helpful websites for further information.

Audio/Visual Recordings in the Classroom

To encourage active engagement and academic inquiry in the classroom, as well as to safeguard the privacy of students and faculty, no form of audio or visual recording in the classroom is permitted without explicit permission from the professor/instructor or without a letter from AccessAbility Services, signed by the faculty member, authorizing the recording as an accommodation. Authorized recordings may only be used by a student who has obtained permission and may not be shared or distributed for any reason. Violation of this policy is an infraction of the Mount Holyoke Honor Code and academic regulations and will result in disciplinary action.

Registration and Class Attendance

Students register for the next semester following academic advising periods. Courses may be added only during the first ten days of classes.

Students may withdraw from courses through the first ten weeks of classes. Through the fifteenth day of classes, courses from which the student has withdrawn will not appear on the student’s academic record. After the fifteenth day of classes, withdrawals from courses require the approval of the instructor and will appear on the student’s record, with the notation “W.” After the fiftieth day of classes, students may withdraw from courses only with the approval of the instructor and authorization from the director of health services, the director of the counseling service, or AccessAbility Services when granted as an accommodation. Courses recorded with the notation “W” will not affect a student’s grade average.

Deadlines for adding and withdrawing from courses that begin midsemester, such as half-semester physical education courses, fall midway through the term and are listed on the academic calendar available in the catalog or on the registrar’s website.

Regular class attendance is expected of all students unless an individual instructor suspends this expectation.

Religious Observance

In support of our religiously diverse student population and in compliance with Title XXI Chapter 151C Section 2B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, students seeking a religious accommodation because their religious observance will determine they will miss a class or work and who need an extension, rescheduled exam, or make-up materials to complete work due on these dates are advised to contact their professors (or staff employer in relation to campus jobs) well in advance of the holiday or fasting period -- preferably at the start of each semester. 

Section 2B of Chapter 151C of the General Laws of Massachusetts reads: "Any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section."

Course Load and Credits

The normal program for undergraduates is 16 academic credits per semester. Undergraduate students carrying fewer than 12 credits are considered part-time. (Undergraduate students carrying 9 credits will be certified as having three-quarter time enrollment status for the term. Those with 8 credits will be certified as having half-time enrollment status for the term. Those with fewer than 8 credits will be certified as less than half-time.) Students are expected to earn 128 credits in eight semesters of work. Physical education units are not counted towards this total, nor towards enrollment status. Credit is not awarded for a course in which students are not formally registered or in which they are an auditor, even if they have completed the full work of the course.

Undergraduate students wishing to carry more than 20 credits in a semester must obtain approval from an academic dean. A reduced course load may be authorized by the director of AccessAbility Services when that is determined to be an appropriate accommodation for a student with a disability. Non-resident Frances Perkins Scholars may elect a part-time course load of no fewer than 8 credits in a semester. Other undergraduate students who wish to carry fewer than 12 credits must obtain advance approval from the dean of studies; eligibility in these cases is restricted to those who have exceeded the College’s eight-semester funding limitation, who will take no fewer than 8 credits (or 1–2 physical education units, if required) and who receive the dean’s approval.

Graduate students should refer to specific Professional and Graduate Education programs for details about the expected plan of study in their program. Graduate students carrying 8 or more credits will be certified as having full-time enrollment status for the term. Graduate students carrying 5 to 7 credits for the term are certified as three-quarter time. Those carrying 4 are half-time and those with fewer than 4 are less than half-time. Enrollments in summer sessions will be added to determine the total summer term enrollment for certification purposes.

Mount Holyoke College complies with federal regulations defining a credit hour. For Mount Holyoke, a four-credit course involves 12 hours per week of academic engaged time over the course of the semester. Academic engaged time is generally three class or contact hours per week plus 9 additional hours of academic work for the course. For courses carrying more or fewer than four credits, the federal requirement and Mount Holyoke expectation is one contact hour and two hours of outside work for each credit.

Five College Interchange Enrollment

Only students in good academic standing may enroll in a course at Amherst College, Hampshire College, Smith College, or the University of Massachusetts at Amherst through the Five College Interchange. The Interchange operates during the fall and spring semesters. Students in the first semester of their first year need permission from the first-year class dean to enroll. Normally, students may not register for more than two courses at any one institution. They are limited to requesting a total of two courses in advance of the semester.

Students taking a course through the Five College Interchange are, in that course, subject to the academic regulations, including the calendar, deadlines, and academic honor system, of the host institution. It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with the pertinent regulations of the host institution, including those for attendance, academic honesty, grading options, and deadlines for completing course work and taking examinations. The exception is that students follow their home institution’s deadlines for adding and dropping courses.

Courses offered through the UMass University Without Walls (continuing education) division are not available through the Five College Interchange. Students may not register for these courses through the interchange system. Students may receive credit for appropriate University Without Walls courses offered during January and summer by submitting a University of Massachusetts transcript directly to the Mount Holyoke College Registrar’s office. Coursework will be treated as transfer work and subject to the Mount Holyoke College transfer policy. Students should carefully read the Course Credits information below in addition to the transfer policy. 

Course Credits

During the fall and spring semesters for courses taken through the Five College Interchange, course credit is generally awarded by the Registrar according to the value awarded by the institution offering the course. Credits may vary for courses of unusual format or duration and, for some Five College courses, no academic credit is granted at Mount Holyoke so these may be taken only on an audit basis. (Prior to Fall 2017, 3-credit academic courses at Hampshire and the University of Massachusetts and science courses with labs were usually awarded the equivalent value of similar courses at Mount Holyoke, almost always four credits. Starting Fall 2017, credits have been typically awarded to match the value offered at the course's home institution -- e.g. a 3-credit course taken through the interchange is awarded 3 credits at Mount Holyoke.)

Individual departments at Mount Holyoke determine if and how Five College courses may be applied to satisfy a requirement of their major, minor, and/or Nexus. Students should contact the chair of their major/minor department to seek advice and/or official permission before registering for Five College courses, to determine whether it may apply to the major/minor. The department then signs a Permission form which the student then submits to the Registrar's Office, to record the permission officially.

For Intersession January courses, the maximum credit awarded for a class is 2 credits, with the exception of some approved intensive language courses. 

Courses taken at University of Massachusetts through University Without Walls during the Summer or at other points are generally transferred at face value -- e.g. a 3-credit Summer or January University of Massachusetts course is generally awarded 3 transfer credits at Mount Holyoke. Courses of unusual format or offered on compressed schedules may be awarded fewer credits. 

Transfer Credit and Other Advance Placement Credit

Students are advised to consult the registrar’s website for further information and specifics on earning credit through transfer work or other advance placement study.

Credit is awarded only when official documentation (official transcript, official test score report) is submitted to the Registrar from the external institution.

During their post-matriculation fall and spring semesters, students:

  • may not earn transfer credit unless they are on an approved Leave of Absence.
  • may not simultaneously enroll for credit at another institution while registered at Mount Holyoke.

Once posted, transfer course work will not be removed from the student's academic record.

Credit Limits

  • No more than 64 credits will be awarded to students for external work, whether taken pre- or post-matriculation, from eligible college-level courses, from Advance Placement work, from study abroad, summer or January study, study while on leaves, and/or work transferred from Mount Holyoke's Professional and Graduate Education courses.
  • Within the 64 limit, no more than 32 credits will be granted for all advance placement work such as A-levels, the International Baccalaureate, the AP program of the College Board, etc. No more than 16 credits may be transferred from each semester of study abroad, academic leave, or non-academic leave including medical leave.
  • No more than 12 credits may be transferred from all of the summers and January intersessions between the student's matriculation at the College and graduation. 
    • Within this 12-credit allowance, the limit is a maximum of 8 credits per summer and 3 credits per January.
    • Students admitted as first-year Spring entrants may transfer as many as 8 additional summer school credits during their years at Mount Holyoke, provided the total of these additional credits and any transferred credits earned elsewhere in the Fall semester before their matriculation does not exceed 16.

Advance Placement Work

Within the maximum allowance of 32 credits for all advance placement work and as long as the student does not earn credit in the corresponding courses at Mount Holyoke, credit will be granted as follows:

  • Advanced Placement program of the College Board: 4 credits per exam graded 4 or 5.
  • Caribbean Advanced Examinations: 8 credits per CAPE exam for liberal arts subject units with a score 1, 2, or 3. One non-liberal arts subject may be awarded 4 credits.
  • French Baccalaureate: 4 credits per eligible exam (score of 10 or above and coefficient of 4 or higher), up to a maximum of 16 credits total.
  • General Certificate of Education (A-Levels): A maximum of 32 credits will be granted if a student completes four or more exams with grades of C or better in liberal arts subjects. Credit is not awarded for O-Levels, AS-Levels, nor for the General Paper, nor for “Project Work”, nor for “Knowledge and Inquiry”.
  • German Abitur: A maximum of 16 credits for receipt of this degree.
  • International Baccalaureate: Credit may be granted only for higher level exams awarded a grade of 6 or 7. If the points total is below 36 or any grades are below a 6, the College may grant 8 credits per higher-level exam graded 6 or 7. If three higher levels and grades in all exams taken (including subsidiary) are 6 or 7, and 36 or more total points were earned, 32 credits may be granted.

Advance placement credit cannot be applied to fulfill College requirements, such as distribution requirements, the foreign language requirement, the first-year seminar requirement nor the multicultural perspectives requirement.

Transfer Work

Transfer credit, unless the student was granted an academic leave of absence from the College to study elsewhere, is generally granted on a semester credit-for-credit basis. That is, a 3-credit course taken on a typical semester schedule will usually be awarded 3 credits at Mount Holyoke College. Credits earned at schools not on the semester calendar will be converted to semester credits (e.g., a quarter credit will be awarded .66 semester credits at Mount Holyoke). Credits earned in courses taught in condensed, intensive, or alternative formats often transfer to Mount Holyoke at less than full credit-for-credit value.

Academic credit is generally granted for liberal arts courses completed with letter grades of C- or better. Students who entered the College in fall 2008 or later may be granted up to 12 credits total of non-liberal arts and Mount Holyoke curricular support course work. Students who entered earlier are limited to one non-liberal arts course.

Academic credit is never granted for: physical education courses; internships; courses with a pass/fail grade; courses taken at U.S. schools without regional accreditation or international institutions without comparable Ministry of Education recognition; CLEP or placement exams given by other institutions; courses that are not of college level (such as algebra courses); and courses not granted academic credit by the institution or which do not appear on their official transcript.

Academic credit is not usually granted for: independent study coursework, computer science courses (without written permission of the Mount Holyoke computer science department chair), nor for music performance courses without written permission of the Mount Holyoke music department chair.  No credits are awarded for music performance studies, including individual instrument study, choir, orchestra or other ensemble study.

In general, transferability of credit is determined by the registrar, while the applicability of transfer work to degree requirements of all kinds falls in the purview of the applicable Mount Holyoke department.

Online courses are eligible to transfer, as long as they meet all other conditions for transfer and the following eligibility restrictions:

  • Students whose first term at the College was Fall 2013 or later are eligible to transfer online courses taken before or after their matriculation at the College.
  • Students who entered the College before Fall 2013 are eligible to transfer online courses taken post-matriculation, but not any pre-matriculation coursework.

Students who are granted an academic leave of absence to study at another accredited college or university in the U.S., or with an approved program abroad, may earn a full year (32 credit hours) or semester (16 credit hours) if they satisfactorily complete (grades of C- or better) a standard  full-time degree course load of liberal arts courses. Students should note that the minimum required to meet that standard varies from institution to institution. Normally, a full year’s credits equal one-quarter of the total needed to graduate from an institution with a four-year undergraduate degree program. For institutions on the quarter system (quarter credits transfer as two-thirds of a semester credit), a student may have to complete three quarters to earn a full year of Mount Holyoke College credit. The semester limit for Mount Holyoke’s program in Shanghai through the Alliance for Global Education is 18 credits.

If planning summer study at another institution, a student should, in advance, review the particulars of the plan with the registrar’s office and seek preapproval for specific nonelective courses from the departments concerned.

Grades for transferred courses will not appear on the Mount Holyoke College transcript, nor will they affect the Mount Holyoke GPA. Work exceeding transfer limits will not be evaluated nor posted to a student’s record. Per-course credit values are assigned to the internal record but do not appear on the official transcript. The official transcript displays only the name of the originating institution, the total credits transferred to Mount Holyoke for a given period and, in the case of study abroad only, the titles of courses transferred.

Applying a Single Course to Multiple Requirements

A frequently asked question is whether a student may use a particular course to satisfy more than one degree requirement -- that is, to “double-count” a course towards two or more requirements. The answers below address the many variations of the question: "Can a single course be used to fulfill the requirements of both..."

  • The First-Year Seminar requirement and any other requirement: No
  • Any major and any second major: No
  • Any major and any minor: No
  • Any major or minor and any Nexus or Five College certificate: Yes
  • The Multicultural Perspectives requirement and any other requirement: Yes
  • Any distribution requirement (Humanities, Science & Mathematics, Social Sciences) and any requirement other than the language or first-year seminar requirement: Yes
  • The language requirement and a distribution requirement (e.g. the Humanities requirement):  No
  • The language requirement and any major, minor, certificate, or Nexus requirement: Yes

Prescheduled and Self-Scheduled Examinations

There are two kinds of final exams at Mount Holyoke—prescheduled and self-scheduled. For a few courses, particularly when audiovisual materials are needed, there is one prescheduled session that all students in the course must attend. Prescheduled examinations are held during the first nine examination sessions. The majority of exams are “self-scheduled,” giving students the flexibility to decide during which session they want to take each exam. Students report at the beginning of a session, complete an examination, and turn it in by the end of that session.

All final exams must be taken during the official examination period, which is published in the College’s academic calendar. In general, there are no exceptions to the exam schedule and students should make their travel arrangements accordingly. Those with truly exceptional situations may consult the dean of studies, well in advance of the official exam period, if seeking approval to take a final exam before the exam period. All students expecting a degree or certificate at commencement must complete all course work, including examinations, no later than the ninth session of the spring examination period in the year of their graduation.

Course Evaluation

As the semester draws to a close, students are required to submit an online course evaluation for each of their courses. This requirement is a reflection of the importance the College places on students and faculty supplying each other with timely, thoughtful feedback. Students who do not submit their evaluations on time will be blocked from access to their degree audit, unofficial transcript, and grades until they have submitted the overdue evaluations or, at minimum, until they record a “decline to evaluate” response.

Grading System

A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is required for graduation. The grading system and conversion equivalents used at Mount Holyoke are as follows:

Grade = Points
A = 4.00
A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33
B = 3.00
B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33
C = 2.00
C- = 1.67
D+ = 1.33
D = 1.00
D- = 0.67
F = 0

Other notations appearing on student records are:

  • IP (in progress) for a course sequence continuing for more than one semester
  • I (incomplete) for courses in which an incomplete extension has been granted
  • W (withdrawal from a course)
  • CR (credit)
  • NC (no credit)

To receive credit for a course, the course grade must be either a CR or a grade of D- or higher. Prior to fall 2007, DR (dropped) was noted for courses dropped after 15 days of classes; and W (withdrawn) was noted for withdrawals approved by the College.

Recognizing that any system of grading is a cryptic form of evaluation, the faculty (for the work within courses) interprets a grade on individual pieces of work with detailed commentary aimed at assisting the student in evaluating that work.

Physical education courses do not earn academic credit; satisfactory completion is noted on the official record by S followed by the number of physical education units earned, such as:  S1, S2.

Ungraded Option

Each undergraduate student may elect to take a total of four courses (or 16 credits) on an ungraded basis under the following conditions:

  • The election for MHC courses must be recorded in the Registrar's Office no later than the fiftieth academic day of classes. No changes in the option may be made after that date.
  • Students taking Five College courses must follow the procedures and deadline of the school offering the course to elect the equivalent of the Ungraded Option at those schools. These deadlines are usually much earlier than Mount Holyoke's, and the option may not be available in some courses. Also the standards for qualifying for a passing grade may be different.
  • The Ungraded Option cannot be elected in any course applying to the student's declared major or within the student's major department (even if the course is not actually needed to fulfill a requirement of the major).
  • Any course for which the Ungraded Option is elected (or equivalent pass/fail etc. at one of the other Five College Institutions) may not be used for distribution credit, to fulfill the language requirement, to fulfill the Multicultural Perspectives requirement, or to fulfill the requirements of a student's minor.
  • If passed, a first-year seminar in which the Ungraded Option was elected may be used to satisfy the First-Year Seminar requirement.
  • No more than one course may be elected on an ungraded basis per semester.
  • The instructor's class list will not indicate who has elected the ungraded option.
  • An ungraded course shall not be counted in the cumulative average, whether or not the student receives credit. CR (Credit) shall be recorded for a course taken under the ungraded option in which a student receives a grade of A through D-. If a student does not receive credit for an ungraded course, NC (No Credit) will appear on her transcript.
  • Exception: Courses graded on a pass/fail basis only (i.e. MHC or Five College courses graded on a mandatory pass/fail or Credit/No Credit basis only with no option of letter grading) shall not be counted in the quota.

Grading System for Five College Courses

Through the Interchange, Mount Holyoke students may register for courses at any of the institutions in the Five College Consortium. Students are graded according to the system in effect at the host institution.

Courses given by Five College faculty appointees will be graded A through F including pluses and minuses. This policy permits Five College faculty to use a single grading system at all institutions.

Incomplete Work

“Incomplete” indicates that a student did not complete all the work of a course by the end of the semester for reasons of a health or other emergency that occurs at the end of the semester and could not have been anticipated. No later than the last day of the exam period, students must request the incomplete from, as appropriate, the director of Health Services or of the Counseling Service, or from an academic dean, or from the Director of AccessAbility Services.

If the incomplete is authorized and is then approved by the instructor, the student will be given a date by which to complete the course work. This date should be as early as possible and should only rarely extend beyond the first day of classes of the following semester. The instructor may provide the student with a “guaranteed” grade that is a letter grade based only on the work the student has already completed in the course.

If a student does not complete the course work by the assigned date (unless the student has applied to and been granted an additional extension by the dean of studies), the registrar will record the guaranteed grade if one was provided, a failure for the course, or, if the extension has been authorized by the director of Health Services or the Counseling Service, a “W.”

Course Repeats

A student who has received credit for a course may not elect the course for a second time, unless the course is fundamentally different in subject matter or method.

Class Standing and Academic Deficiencies

To enter the sophomore class, students must pass at least 24 credits within two semesters; to enter the junior class, at least 56 credits within four semesters; and to enter the senior class, at least 92 credits within six semesters. Students with fewer than the required credits will ordinarily receive a warning on credits and be reclassified.

At the end of each semester, the Academic Administrative Board reviews the records of all undergraduate students who do not meet these credit standards, those who complete substantially fewer than normal credits in one or more semesters, those whose cumulative or semester grade averages fall below 2.00, and those who are already on academic probation. The records of postbaccalaureate and certificate students are included in the review. Students found to have academic deficiencies may be issued a warning, be placed on academic probation, be suspended for a semester or year, or be required to withdraw. Students will not be placed on probation or warned for insufficient semester credits when credit standards are not met solely on the basis of a reduced courseload approved by AccessAbility Services.

Probation. Students placed on academic probation must meet with their academic dean for an evaluation conference in order to plan a program of support to bring the quality of their work up to graduation level. Probation is not recorded on the transcript.

Suspension. Students who have been suspended for academic deficiencies for a semester or a year shall be on academic probation for one semester after their return. During the suspension, their transcripts shall bear the notation “Suspended for (period) for academic deficiencies.” This notation will be removed when the student returns or after one year, whichever is sooner. However, the notation will be retained on the internal record.

Required Withdrawal. Students who have been required to withdraw may apply for readmission to the Academic Administrative Board, but they may not return before one academic year has passed. Their transcripts shall bear the notation “Required to withdraw for academic deficiencies on (date). Eligible to apply for readmission after one academic year.” This notation will be removed when the student returns or after one year, whichever is sooner. However, the notation will be retained on the internal record.

Questions about the reapplication process should be directed to the dean of studies.

Academic Progress

To enter the sophomore class, a student must pass at least 24 credits within two semesters; to enter the junior class, at least 56 credits within four semesters; and to enter the senior class, at least 92 credits within six semesters. Students with fewer than the required credits will ordinarily receive a warning on credits and may be reclassified.

At the end of each semester, the Academic Administrative Board reviews the records of all undergraduate degree-seeking, postbaccalaureate, or certificate students who do not meet these standards: those who complete substantially fewer than normal credits in one or more semesters, those whose cumulative or semester grade averages fall below 2.00, or those who are already on academic probation.  The board may warn students about their academic standing, place them on academic probation, suspend them for a semester or year, or require them to withdraw.

Leave of Absence

Students may apply for a leave of absence for a variety of reasons, such as to work, travel, deal with a family situation, or study at another institution of higher education.

Students wishing to take an academic leave must receive approval from the dean of international studies who coordinates study abroad or the Office of Academic Deans for study in the U.S. Academic leaves are ordinarily granted to students in good academic standing, with a cumulative average of at least 2.70, who present a plan of full-time study suitable for credit transfer, and who will meet the residence requirements of the College before graduation. Students who plan to be on leave during their junior or senior year must have the approval of their major department concerning completion of major requirements. See “Special Programs and Resources” for information about Mount Holyoke programs and exchanges abroad and in the U.S.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic standing may apply for leaves of absence to work away from campus on independent projects related to the degree provided that the projects are fundamentally academic in character; that is, they require disciplined work in recognized fields of study such as those listed in the catalog. For more information, consult the dean of studies.

A student may earn a limited number of credits toward a Mount Holyoke degree by studying at another institution of higher education in the United States or abroad, or by studying independently. A maximum of 32 credits for an academic year's study at another institution may be counted toward the total required for the degree. Sixteen credits is the usual limit for a single-semester leave, but upon pre-approval of the Academic Priorities Committee, a Mount Holyoke Program may have an alternate credit limit.

Students wishing to take a nonacademic leave for personal reasons or to work or travel should apply to the Office of the Academic Deans. Students wishing to take a nonacademic leave for reasons of health should apply to the director of health services or the director of the counseling service. Students on nonacademic leave who wish to earn credits while abroad must receive advance approval from the Academic Administrative Board; approval will be limited to part-time study only. During a non-academic leave, a student may earn a limited number of credits to transfer toward a Mount Holyoke degree by studying at another institution of higher education in the United States. Sixteen credits per semester is the maximum number of credits which may be transferred for approved course work.

For full information on credit limitations, consult the transfer/external credit regulations.

When a leave is effective the first day of classes or later, withdrawn courses will remain on the transcript with a “W” notation, effectively withdrawing from the program for the term.

Withdrawal and Readmission

A student wishing to withdraw from the College must, if on campus, meet with one of the academic deans. The academic dean will assist the student in completing the required online withdrawal form available in my.mtholyoke. If off campus, the student should contact the Office of Academic Deans before submitting the withdrawal form. Any refund for the semester’s tuition and board charges will be based on the date when the withdrawal request is approved by the Office of Academic Deans. (For information on refunds, see the Tuition and Fees chapter.) When a withdrawal is effective the first day of classes or later, withdrawn courses will remain on the transcript with a “W” notation.

The College reserves the right to require a student to withdraw for academic deficiency, nonpayment, nonattendance, failure to register, illness, or disciplinary infraction.

A student who has withdrawn from the College and wishes to return should consult the readmission information and then complete the readmission application available on the academic deans' website. Deadlines are March 15 for fall admission and October 15 for spring admission. A nonrefundable $75 application fee is required.

Privacy of Student Records

Mount Holyoke College policy with respect to confidentiality of student records complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (PL 93-380, Section 438, the General Education Provisions Act), which gives students certain rights, consistent with the privacy of others, to review their own official records, files, and data, and to challenge the accuracy of the contents of such records. The act also generally prohibits the release of personally identifiable information (other than “directory information” defined below) about students without their written consent other than to teachers and other College officials who have legitimate educational interests; to officials of other institutions in which the student intends to enroll; to certain authorized state and federal officials; to appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to the student; to organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the College; to accrediting organizations; to comply with a judicial order or lawfully ordered subpoena; and to appropriate officials in the case of health and safety emergency.

A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom  the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, IT specialist, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student or appointed volunteer serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College.

The regulations of the act make clear that, in the case of students who are dependents of their parents for Internal Revenue Service purposes, information from the education records of the student may be disclosed to parents without the student’s prior consent. The College may notify the student’s parents in writing of academic probation, required withdrawal, and suspension. In communications with parents concerning other matters, it is normally College policy to respect the privacy of the student and not to disclose information from educational records without the student’s prior consent.

Requests for review of specific records must be made in writing. A student who seeks to review only health or career records should file a written request to do so with the director of health services, the director of the counseling service, or the Career Development Center. All other requests should be made at the Office of the Dean of the College.

The Privacy Act gives Mount Holyoke College the right to make public at its discretion, without prior authorization from the individual  student, the following personally identifiable directory information: name; class year; home/permanent, off-campus/local, and College addresses; home, local, and residence hall telephone numbers; College electronic mail address; identification photograph; dates of attendance at Mount Holyoke College; enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; full- or part-time; on leave); date and place of birth; major(s); degrees, honors, and awards received; participation in officially recognized sports and activities; status as student employee; and previous educational institution most recently attended. An individual student may limit release of the above information for any given year by filing such a request with the registrar by July 1 of that year; requests received after this date will be put into effect as quickly as possible,  but directory information already released cannot be recalled.

Access and Inclusion

The College does not discriminate in its educational policies on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, handicap or disability, or veteran/uniformed services status. The College does not discriminate in its employment policies on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, handicap or disability, or veteran/uniformed services status.

The College complies with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and amendments.

Compliance with the law is the responsibility of all members of the Mount Holyoke community. The College has named the following individuals as coordinators to oversee the College’s compliance:

  • Equal Opportunity in Employment: Director of Human Resources Heidi Freidman and Dean of Faculty Jon Western
  • Section 504 and Title IX Coordinator Shannon DaSilva

For more information, please consult and