Understanding the Curriculum

Degree Requirements

The Mount Holyoke curriculum is designed to provide you with a broad range of choices across the curriculum — in the humanities, science and mathematics, and in the social sciences. It’s our belief that distribution requirements ensure a well-rounded course of study enhanced by stimulating exploration into new areas of interest.

Among these requirements are a single semester of foreign language study, one course that focuses on multicultural perspectives, and a First-Year Seminar that must be taken during your first or second semester at Mount Holyoke. Because we also believe that every student should graduate with superior writing skills, many of our offerings have an intensive-writing component.

Another key part of the liberal arts enterprise is clear and coherent speaking and arguing; learning these skills contributes to the growth of our students as critical thinkers. For a full list of distribution requirements, go to: https://www.mtholyoke.edu/registrar/ab. (Special experience or advanced preparation in a particular discipline may qualify a student for exemption from a specific distribution requirement.)

To graduate, you must complete a minimum of 128 credits, 64 of which must be taken at Mount Holyoke during your sophomore, junior, and senior years. Two of the last three years must be spent on the Mount Holyoke campus. One of the last three years may be spent in an academic program at another institution. To receive a Mount Holyoke College degree, you must have a minimum average of 2.00, meet the College and distribution requirements, and complete the requirements of a major.

Physical Education

Students are required to earn 4 physical education units by the end of their fourth semester at the College, and should begin working on this requirement in their first year. Physical education units are not academic credits and do not count toward the 128 academic credits required to graduate.