Considering Deferring Your Enrollment?

Each year, a handful of students admitted to Mount Holyoke choose to take a gap year or gap semester prior to matriculation. Some spend that time working or independently exploring their interests while others enroll in a gap program designed to help them gain professional or skills-based experience. Read more about gap experience options and the deferral process below.

How do I defer?

We recognize that there may be extenuating circumstances that would lead to a request to defer entry. 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. Requests to defer should be submitted by June 1.

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. For questions or to request a deferral, please email us at

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

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