Spring Entrance FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was I admitted for the spring and not the fall?

Each year, more Mount Holyoke students choose to study abroad in the spring than in the fall, resulting in midyear residential availability. This allows the College to admit a cohort of new students for spring term entry. In identifying the spring class, the admission staff looks for accomplished  students who might really enjoy the option to do something different before entering college. Many of our spring-admitted students have done independent research, internships, or international exchanges.

How many students were admitted for the spring semester?

While enrollment varies from year to year, we expect that approximately 30 students will enter midyear. Additionally, there are always a number of transfer students and first-year students who defer their admission from the fall semester to the spring semester, increasing the number of students entering midyear.

Will I be able to graduate after only three-and-a-half years at Mount Holyoke?

Students do not have to plan to graduate in fewer than the usual four years (or eight semesters) and many students admitted for the spring semester elect not to aim for this. However, those who do want to graduate in three-and-a-half years after entering Mount Holyoke are often able to develop a workable plan. These students typically choose one or some combination of the following strategies:

  1. Applying elective credits earned through Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams in high school
  2. Transferring college credits earned during high school
  3. Transferring college credits earned (as a non-degree seeking student) during the fall by attending a local community college before January enrollment at Mount Holyoke (see section on "Academic Work in the United States" below). These fall credits cannot exceed 16, but may complement any accepted for transfer which you earned during high school
  4. Transferring college credits earned this fall through a program abroad (see section on "Study Abroad" below)
  5. Transferring college credits earned after entering Mount Holyoke during one or more summers or January intersession periods (The total of all credits to be transferred from post-matriculation summers and January intersessions is limited. The usual limit is 12 credits total, with subordinate limits of 8 per summer and 3 per intersession. However, Spring admits who do not transfer a full 16 credits from the fall before they enter Mount Holyoke are allowed a higher total cap than 12; their post-matriculation summer and intersession work plus any credits awarded for the fall before they enter Mount Holyoke can total 20)
  6. Taking additional classes at Mount Holyoke

Students are advised to consult degree requirement and transfer credit policy information to understand applicable Mount Holyoke policies.

Will there be an orientation for spring entrants?

Yes, there is an orientation for all new students who enter the College at midyear. The Dean of Students Office coordinates spring orientation and attempts to mirror the fall orientation as much as possible. Fewer students enroll at the midyear, which means new students benefit from a more intimate program in which there is more time to forge relationships with current and other new students.

Who will be my roommate?

Many students admitted for the spring semester will share rooms with other spring admitted students, while others are housed with first-year students who entered in the fall. Students who enter at midyear complete the same roommate registration as those who enter in the fall.

Is there a chance my entrance could be moved to the fall?

Since enrollment varies from year to year, the Office of Admission's ability to move students from the spring semester to the fall semester is variable. If there is space in the fall class, enrolled spring entrants may have the option to be moved to fall entrance. Students interested in being considered for fall entrance, should email Kristen Thayer after submitting their enrollment reply and non-refundable enrollment deposit. Space in the fall class is determined after the May 1 enrollment deposit deadline.

How can I spend my time during the fall before my start at Mount Holyoke?

Students who enter Mount Holyoke for the spring semester pursue a variety of activities, including academic work in the U.S. as a non-degree seeking student, as well as study abroad, volunteer work, internships, or employment. Any of these options can be wonderful choices. Some may result in credits to transfer to Mount Holyoke, and others may be amazing experiences that enrich students' lives and inform their college education in other ways. We are happy to serve as a resource in helping students craft a plan that serves their own goals. We offer the following information as a starting point, and encourage students to consult with us as their planning progresses.

1. Academic Work in the United States

Mount Holyoke College will grant transfer credit for appropriate courses completed at regionally accredited institutions in the United States. As mentioned above, enrolling in a few appropriate fall courses elsewhere can be a great strategy for students hoping to graduate within three-and-a-half years. The Registrar's Web site describes the general policies applicable to transfer credit. The Registrar's staff is happy to review specific institution and course choices.

In order to receive credit, students will need to send an official transcript at the end of the fall semester to:

Registrar’s Office
Mary Lyon Hall
Mount Holyoke College
50 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075-1498

2. Study Abroad

The universities and organizations listed below will consider applications for fall semester from students who have not yet begun their college studies. We recommend that students contact programs directly to inquire about requirements and admission as gap year/semester study information is not always apparent on their sites.

Mount Holyoke College will grant credit for appropriate academic courses (excluding internships and service learning) completed with these universities or programs, subject to the College's usual policies on credit transfer. Students may be able to transfer credit for work completed in other programs or at universities abroad, but transfer of credit is not guaranteed. All students should carefully evaluate program options and seek advice from the Office of the Registrar in advance about credit transfer

3. Outdoor Education Programs

Please note that although some of these programs may issue transcripts and award credit through university partnerships, such credits will not be transferred to Mount Holyoke because these courses fall outside the liberal arts.

4. Volunteer Work/Community Service/Internships

In most instances, plans to do community service or other volunteer work are made through social service agencies in the student's community. Many students who choose Mount Holyoke are deeply committed to community service and are eager to continue their efforts during the fall semester. Some elect to explore their professional interests through internships at local organizations or businesses. No credit is granted for volunteer, community service, or internship activities.

  • Global Citizen Year
    Programs in Brazil, Ecuador, India, and Senegal. Language study and fellowships. These programs are not for academic credit.
    Email: info@globalcitizenyear.org
  • CIEE Gap Semester Programs
    Programs in Australia, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, France, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Spain, and Italy.Language study, community service, and/or internships, depending on location. These programs are not for academic credit.
    E-mail: hsabroad@ciee.org