Non-Affiliated Accredited Institutions

Students may apply to study at an accredited institution in the US that is not affiliated with Mount Holyoke.  Mount Holyoke is not responsible for coordinating or administering any programs of study away from campus.  Students are responsible for obtaining admission to the program or institution of their choice; they must apply as "non-degree seeking students", not as transfer students.  Students who are admitted elsewhere as transfer students must withdraw from Mount Holyoke, even if they intend to return here upon completion of the year or semester away. Readmission to Mount Holyoke in such cases is readily granted if the student left the College in good standing.

What should I consider before applying for a leave?

Before applying for a leave, a student should carefully review her degree requirements with her major advisor, the chair of her major department, the registrar, and her class dean/advisor. Most, if not all, of her College requirements--distribution, foreign language, multicultural perspectives, and physical education--should be completed. A student's major and minor requirements should be well underway before senior year.

What is the application process?

Students interested in studying away in the US must submit a completed Application for an Academic Leave (deadlines are March 1 for fall semester or academic year and November 15 for spring semester) to the Office of Academic Deans.  Applications will be reviewed to ensure students have met the basic requirements for a leave and that they have presented a plan of full-time study suitable for credit transfer.  

Mount Holyoke's decision to approve or deny a request for an academic leave is emailed to the student.  If a student is approved for a leave, she will have a period of time to decide whether or not she wishes to take the leave she has been granted.  Once a decision has been made, but no later than May 15 (for fall or year leave) or December 1 (spring leave), she must submit an Academic Leave Confirmation Form

How many semesters can I study away?

Students may be granted an academic leave for a maximum of one year or two non-consecutive semesters, and may earn no more than 16 credits per semester (or 32 credits per year) for work completed elsewhere. Students on academic leave are automatically reinstated at Mount Holyoke at the end of the arranged leave. If you wish to extend your leave from one semester to two, you must submit a written request to the Office of Academic Deans by November 15 (for spring) or March 1 (for fall).

Students should keep in mind they must be in residence at Mount Holyoke for at least four semesters out of their sophomore, junior, and senior years, and must earn at least 64 Mount Holyoke (including Five-College) credits during that time.

Where have Mount Holyoke students studied while on academic leave?

In addition to the affiliated programs, students have participated in visiting student programs at the institutions named below (not an exhaustive list).    

  • Columbia University
  • Duke University Marine Lab
  • Harvard University
  • Marlboro College ("Movies from Marlboro")
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Maine