Credit Transfer

If you are approved for study away, you will receive credit toward your Mount Holyoke degree for liberal arts courses completed with grades of C- or better (courses of the sort offered by Mount Holyoke, not pre-professional courses such as business, nursing, or marketing and not English composition). You must have your host institution send an official transcript to the Office of the Registrar at Mount Holyoke. While these courses will count toward the 128 credits required to graduate from Mount Holyoke, you must obtain permission to use courses taken away to fulfill specific requirements.

In most cases, courses to fulfill specific requirements (including language, distribution, major, and minor requirements) must be approved individually by the appropriate department chair at Mount Holyoke. The permission form is available online with other forms from the Registrar's Office. The Dean of Studies approves courses to fulfill requirements in disciplines not represented at Mount Holyoke, and approves all courses to fulfill the multicultural perspectives requirement.

If you would like PE credit for courses taken off campus you must complete an off-campus PE form (available at Kendall Hall). These courses are approved by the director of athletics.

It is critical to request such approvals in advance. If a department is unable to give you advance approval for a course, the chair can provide some guidance about the criteria that must be met for courses to count toward major, minor, or distribution requirements. This will help you choose courses that should be most likely to transfer back in the way you wish. All students should bring back all of their work (papers, syllabi, reading lists, etc.). If there are further questions about the content or level of a course, these materials will be critical to decisions about credit transfer. In cases where approval of credit transfer has not been obtained in advance, this material will be especially important. Students away junior year and seniors with permission to complete degree requirements off-campus should take particular care to secure the necessary approvals in advance.

How much credit will you receive?

Mount Holyoke will award 16 credits for completion of a normal full-time liberal arts course-load for a semester as defined by the host institution.  “Normal full-time degree course load" means the standard load required by the host institution for normal progress toward the degree (for example, the normal full-time load would be 16 credits per semester, 32 credits per year at Mount Holyoke in order to graduate in four years: 128 required credits divided by 8 expected semesters). This normal full-time load is different from what an institution may list as its minimum full-time load. The normal full-time course load may vary significantly from one institution to another, but is most commonly expressed as 15 or 16 credits (5 3-credit courses or 4 4-credit courses a semester). Coursework from institutions that follow systems other than the semester system will be evaluated proportionally. Courses taken on the quarter system will generally transfer two-thirds of the normal semester credit, assuming the host institution considers three quarters to be an academic year.

A student who completes at least 75% of the normal full-time load for a semester or year will receive credits on a pro-rated basis. A student who completes less than 75% of the normal full-time load for a semester or year will have their work transferred on a credit-for-credit basis, i.e., a 3-credit semester course will be awarded 3 Mount Holyoke credits. Coursework from institutions that follow systems other than the semester system will be evaluated proportionally.

If you are planning for an academic leave and have any questions about how much credit you will receive, you are strongly encouraged to contact the registrar during your planning phase.

It is not possible to receive academic credit for music performance studied elsewhere.


Mount Holyoke does not grant academic credit for any internship program, including those that are offered in conjunction with a traditional academic program of classes (the only standard exception is for the American University Washington Semester Program). There are many good reasons to participate in programs that have an internship, provided you understand that you will not receive credit for the internship component of the program. You may petition for credit upon your return if the internship included a significant academic component, or use an internship as a springboard to independent work in the semester you return. Permission to register for such independent work requires the approval of the instructor who will direct the project, the chair of the department, and the academic advisor, and should be granted only through the procedures for approving such credit in use by the individual department.


Letter grades earned at other institutions are not recorded on your Mount Holyoke transcript, but you must earn a C- or better for the credit to transfer toward your Mount Holyoke degree. The transcript from your host institution (which will show your letter grades) remains an important part of your academic record, and you can expect graduate schools and prospective employers to request official copies of both your Mount Holyoke and study away transcripts.

You may use the ungraded option at other institutions (when it is available) on the same basis as at Mount Holyoke: for elective courses outside your major only, taking no more than one ungraded course a semester, with a college-career limit of four courses total. Keep in mind that you will be responsible for providing documentation upon your return that you completed the course at the C- level or better, or the course will not transfer.