Course Selection Guidelines

Students are required to complete 128 credits in order to graduate in four years. Generally, students take four 4-credit courses (total of 16 credits) per semester. This semester there will be divided into two 7.5-week modules with a limit of 10 credits per module. Some students, for a variety of reasons including a documented disability, may choose to take only three 4-credit courses (total of 12 credits) per semester. A reduced course load (total of less than 12 credits) may be authorized by AccessAbility Services when that is determined to be an appropriate accommodation for a student with a documented disability.

  • For Fall 2021 entrants: Your class dean will offer advising virtual advising chats in July. You can also email questions during the registration period to Your questions will be answered by an academic dean or faculty member, and all inquiries will be responded to as promptly as possible.
  • Take a first-year seminar, during your first semester at MHC. You will first select your FYS course, and then you will build the rest of your schedule around it. (Students who enter with sophomore or junior standing as transfer students or as Frances Perkins scholars are exempt from this requirement if they have 28 or more credits transferring to MHC).
  • Consider a course each semester in a subject you like and have studied successfully in the past. (See list of departments and programs below.)
  • Consider a course each semester in a completely new subject.
  • Take a physical education course (PE) in each semester your first year.
  • If you want to study abroad in a non-English speaking country, register for the appropriate language course in your first semester (this will also help you satisfy the language requirement).
  • Choose at least two courses that will meet a distribution or other College requirements.  The Graduation Requirement Reference Chart is a helpful visual guide.
  • Spread out your courses reasonably throughout the day and the week. 
  • Especially in the first semester, credit overloads (20 or more credits) are strongly discouraged. Students who wish to request a credit overload must receive permission after arriving on-campus in the fall or spring.  
  • Select courses offered at Mount Holyoke in your first semester. Ordinarily, first-year students are not permitted to take any Five College courses in their first semester.

Department and Program Course Offerings

Click on the links below to browse department and program course offerings. For full course descriptions, including whether a course meets a distribution requirement, view the online Search for Classes.