In most cases, students must apply both to Mount Holyoke for academic leave of absence for study abroad, and directly to their host program or university for admission. Students remain matriculated at Mount Holyoke while they are away, and will automatically receive instructions for pre-registration and housing for the semester they return.  More information about leaves of absence (including requirements and credit transfer) is available on the Academic Deans’ Leaves of Absence webpage.

Requirements for Study Abroad

Students who meet the following requirements, choose programs that Mount Holyoke approves for credit transfer, and can demonstrate that they will be able to graduate on schedule, can expect that the College will approve their application for study abroad.

To qualify for academic leave of absence for study abroad, a student 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 is appropriate to her academic program and transferable to Mount Holyoke.
  • Obtain the approval of the plan from her major advisor and, if the program requires previous knowledge of a language other than English, the appropriate language department.
  • Demonstrate that she 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.)

To maintain approval for study abroad after it has been granted, a student 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  Approval may be withdrawn for a student who is placed on academic probation, is subject to other disciplinary action, or has an unpaid balance at Mount Holyoke.

Applying to Mount Holyoke for Leave of Absence

  • All students applying for study abroad must submit Mount Holyoke’s Request to Study Abroad, available in ISIS.  (The separate Academic Leave of Absence application, which is only for study away within the U.S., is not required.) 
  • All students applying for financial aid must complete the Request to Study Abroad by the Laurel Fellowship deadline (December 5, 2014, for Fall 2015 or Academic Year 2015-2016, and March 31, 2015, for Spring 2016).  These deadlines take precedence over any later deadlines for the programs or exchanges themselves.  
  • Except in the case of students applying for Laurel Fellowships and/or Mount Holyoke programs and exchanges, we review applications on a rolling basis.
  • Students will receive a written response to their application; if they are approved for study abroad, the letter will list the specific programs for which the approval pertains.
  • Note that filing the Request to Study Abroad is simply requesting a leave of absence and does not commit a student to taking the leave. Students should file by the deadline whether or not their plans are definite; they will have until May 15 (for fall/year) or November 15 (for spring) to confirm their plans.
  • Note that housing and meals for Intersession are only available to students enrolled at Mount Holyoke for fall semester who will be returning to campus in the spring.  Students going abroad for spring semester only are required to depart the 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.

Applying to a Program/University

Mount Holyoke offers a number of its own programs and exchanges, and is affiliated with several other programs and universities.  Beyond these affiliations, we maintain an extensive list of other programs abroad that we have approved for credit transfer.  Application procedures and deadlines vary.  Students are responsible for obtaining the appropriate forms (most are available online) and for submitting applications according to the stated deadlines.

  • Special application procedures and deadlines apply to Mount Holyoke’s own and affiliated programs; see Deadlines for details.
  • Most programs and universities abroad have rolling admission. Early application will allow students more time to plan ahead for visas, travel plans, etc.  We strongly recommend that students not wait until the final deadline to apply.
  • In most cases, application to two or three programs will be sufficient. The majority of Mount Holyoke students each year are accepted to their first-choice program. Students who choose programs for which they meet the admission requirements and submit complete applications in a timely way will maximize their chances of being accepted to their preferred program.
  • Many program applications require a form or letter indicating Mount Holyoke's approval of the student's plan of study abroad.  Students must have completed Mount Holyoke's Request to Study Abroad and been approved before the McCulloch Center can sign off on such forms.