Considering a Gap Experience?

In a typical year, Mount Holyoke approves a limited number of deferral requests in support of an enrichment opportunity, such as a clearly outlined service or experiential learning program, or for medical reasons. The Office of Admission reviews and approves these types of deferral requests for a semester or year on a case-by-case basis.

This year, we understand that the pandemic has created an unusual set of considerations for our incoming students. In light of this, the College has modified our gap request process for the current cycle. While we strongly encourage first-year students to enroll in remote courses and begin with their cohort in the fall, deferral requests can be submitted at until Wednesday August 19. Should you have questions prior to submitting the form, please contact the Admission Office at 413-538-3334.

How do I defer?

Admitted students may request to defer their entrance for one semester or one academic year.

Deferral requests must be approved by the Office of Admission and are only granted to students who have submitted their enrollment agreement and deposit. Please note that domestic students who have received need-based financial aid are required to re-apply for aid annually; those who defer entrance for a full academic year must re-apply for financial aid in the academic year they plan to return. Institutional merit aid awarded at the point of admission will remain intact through the approved deferral period.

To request a deferral, please submit the deferral request form.

Admitted students who wish to delay entrance beyond one academic year will need to re-apply for admission to Mount Holyoke.

For questions regarding deferral requests, please email

What are some gap experience options?

The list below offers a sampling of opportunities that Mount Holyoke students have pursued.

Note: These are not Mount Holyoke programs and the College bears no responsibility for the experience of participants. Students must apply directly to the gap-experience program of their choice.

Volunteer Work, Community Service, Leadership and Internships

Study Abroad Experiences for College Credit

Outdoor Education Programs