Credit Transfer

A student who is approved for study abroad will automatically receive elective credit toward her Mount Holyoke degree for liberal arts courses completed with grades of C- or better, according to policies and limitations noted below.  More information about credit transfer is available on the Academic Deans’ Leaves of Absence Web site and the Registrar's Web site.

General Credit Transfer Policies
Fulfilling Requirements Abroad

General Credit Transfer Policies

  • Mount Holyoke awards credit primarily for liberal arts courses, meaning courses of the sort that we teach (humanities, sciences, and social sciences).  Credit for non-liberal arts courses is limited.  Students should check with the Registrar’s Office for details and contact that office directly, in advance, with any questions about whether a particular course will transfer.
  • Liberal arts courses transfer automatically as elective credit and do not require specific approval.  Computer Science and Music are exceptions: each course must be approved by the respective department even if the student is not seeking credit toward the major, minor, or another requirement.  Note that the Music Department generally does not approve credit at all for music performance studied elsewhere.
  • Mount Holyoke will award 16 credits for completion of a normal full-time courseload (as defined by the Registrar's Office) for a semester (or 32 credits for a year). The normal full-time courseload varies significantly from one institution to another; it may be five three-credit courses, three five-credit courses, or some other combination. Students should check with the Registrar’s Office or the McCulloch Center if they are uncertain about what constitutes a full load for their program.
  • A student may not earn more than a full semester (16) or year (32) of credit while studying abroad, but will earn less if she completes less than the standard courseload.
  • Mount Holyoke generally does not give credit for orientation or preliminary sessions, even if the program requires or awards credit for them.
  • Credits on the quarter system generally transfer as two-thirds of semester credits.
  • Mount Holyoke does not grant academic credit for internships, including those that are offered in conjunction with a regular academic program of classes.  Students may use an internship as a springboard to independent work upon their return.
  • Mount Holyoke does grant academic credit for pre-approved courses that have an embedded internship or other experiential learning component; consult the list of approved courses in advance. 
  • The program or host university must send an official transcript directly to the Registrar’s Office.  A transcript sent to the student will be accepted if she submits it to the Registrar's Office in its original sealed envelope; a transcript that has been opened is no longer official and cannot be accepted.


  • Academic work taken elsewhere is not "pass/fail."  Students will receive grades for their work, and must earn grades of C- or better in order for credit to transfer toward their Mount Holyoke degree.  For this reason, students may not elect to take a course ungraded while studying abroad.
  • The grades earned abroad do not transfer; students will need to submit official copies of both their Mount Holyoke and study abroad transcripts when they apply to graduate school or for employment.  (Exception: grades for the MHC programs in Monteverde, Shanghai, and Beijing will be listed on the MHC transcript, but will not factor in to the GPA.) 

Fulfilling Requirements Abroad

  • Courses taken elsewhere may be used to fulfill specific requirements (major, minor, distribution, etc.) if they are approved for this purpose by the appropriate department here. Complete the Permission form.
  • The Dean of Studies approves courses to fulfill the multicultural perspectives requirement and courses to fulfill other requirements (such as Distribution and language) in disciplines not represented at Mount Holyoke.
  • It is critical to request such approvals in advance. If a department is unable to provide advance approval for a course, the chair should be able to offer some guidance about the criteria that must be met. Students should bring back all course syllabi, papers, exams, and other materials in case there are any questions about the work done away.
  • Students must complete an off-campus PE form (available at Kendall Hall) to request PE credit for courses taken off campus.