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 in the fall or spring. 
  • 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.