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How to Apply

To apply for study abroad, you will submit Mount Holyoke's Request to Study Abroad, and you will also apply to your host program or university for admission.

While you are abroad, you will be on academic leave of absence from Mount Holyoke.  You will continue to receive important information from the College, including instructions for pre-registration and housing for when you return.

Note that housing and meals for Intersession are only available to students enrolled at Mount Holyoke for both fall and spring semesters.  Students going abroad for spring semester only are required to leave campus at the end of the fall semester; students going abroad for fall semester only are eligible to return to campus at the beginning of spring semester.

Remember to confirm that there is no overlap of dates between your program and the preceding and following semesters at Mount Holyoke.  We do not knowingly approve any such plan of study, but academic calendars vary and it is your responsibility to check.  Note in particular that the fall semester at some European universities extends into January or February.  MHC will not grant permission for you to take early exams and leave your program early (even if the host institution offers that option to visiting students), or to return late to campus.

Requirements for Study Abroad

To qualify for study abroad, you must:

  • Be in good academic, disciplinary, and financial standing (including a minimum grade point average of 2.7) and not be significantly behind in credits.
  • Declare a major.
  • Present a plan of study that will advance the educational goals stated in your application, enhance your academic program at Mount Holyoke, and qualify for credit transfer. 
  • Obtain approval of the plan from your major advisor and, if the program requires previous knowledge of a language other than English, the appropriate language department.
  • Demonstrate that you will be able to meet all requirements on schedule for graduation.   (Note in particular the residence requirement, which states that a student must be in residence at Mount Holyoke for at least four semesters during her sophomore, junior, and senior years, and complete a minimum of 64 Mount Holyoke credits--including Five College credits--during that time.  The requirement is slightly different for transfer students and students admitted in the spring; check with the Registrar's Office for details.  No programs abroad count toward the residence requirement, including Mount Holyoke's own programs and exchanges.)

If you meet these requirements, you can expect Mount Holyoke to approve your application.  To maintain approval for study abroad after it has been granted, you must remain in good academic, disciplinary, and financial standing.  Approval may be withdrawn for a student who is placed on academic probation, is subject to other disciplinary action, or has an unpaid balance at Mount Holyoke.  A medical leave granted prior to study abroad generally will cancel the study abroad approval unless the student obtains clearance from Health Services or Counseling Services.

Applying to Mount Holyoke for Leave of Absence

Submit Mount Holyoke’s Request to Study Abroad Form by the appropriate deadline(The separate Academic Leave of Absence application, which is only for study away within the U.S., is not required.)  Except for applications for Laurel Fellowships and/or Mount Holyoke programs and exchanges, we review applications on a rolling basis.

Completing the Request to Study Abroad does not commit you to taking the leave. You should apply by the deadline whether or not your plans are definite.  You will have until May 15 (for fall/year) or November 15 (for spring) to submit the Study Abroad Decision Form (available in the Study Abroad Moodle) to notify the College whether or not you will be studying abroad.  

Applying to a Program/University

  • Special application procedures and deadlines apply to Mount Holyoke’s own and affiliated programs. 
  • For other programs, see the program's website for application forms and instructions.
  • Most programs and universities abroad have rolling admission. Early application will allow you more time to plan ahead for visas, travel plans, etc.  We strongly recommend that you apply early (February/March for fall/year programs, August/September for spring) rather than waiting for the deadline, if it is later.  
  • Most students who meet the requirements for their program and apply in a timely way are accepted.  In most cases, application to two or three programs will be sufficient.
  • Many program applications require a form or letter confirming your good academic standing and Mount Holyoke's approval of your plan of study.  The McCulloch Center will sign such forms, but you must first have completed the Request to Study Abroad and been approved.