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. 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 the director of AccessAbility Services when that is determined to be an appropriate accommodation for a student with a documented disability.

  • Take a first-year seminar your first semester at MHC. We recommend that you select your FYS course first and then 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 but may elect a first-year seminar if they wish.)
  • Take a course each semester in a subject you like and have studied successfully in the past. (See list of departments and programs below.)
  • Take a course each semester in a completely new subject.
  • Take at least two courses that will meet distribution or College requirements.  The Distribution Requirement Reference Chart is a helpful visual guide.
  • Take a physical education course (PE) in 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).
  • 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 only at Mount Holyoke in your first semester. Ordinarily, first-year students are not permitted to take a Five College course 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 course listing on ISIS.