Registration for classes through the Five College Interchange

Responsible office: Office of the Registrar


Students interested in enrolling in a course through the Five College Interchange may submit a request online during registration or add/drop periods through my.mtholyoke. Once logged into my.mtholyoke, select Students from the Self-Service Menu, then Course Registration & Bill Payment, then Registration.  Click on Request Registration in a Five College Course.

Students should follow the published instructions for completing Interchange requests to ensure that their requests are submitted and processed. Requests should be submitted through my.mtholyoke during the registration or add drop periods for the fall or spring semesters.

The fall and spring schedule of courses offered by the other four institutions is available online through the Five College Course Schedule or the other four institutions’ Registrars' Web sites. 

Free bus transportation to and from the institutions is available for Five College students. Information concerning bus transportation is available at the Five Colleges, Inc. Interchange Fare-Free Bus website.

Registration Policies

Students should read carefully the policies outlined below. Students are responsible for knowing all rules and regulations related to the Interchange.


Only students in good academic standing may enroll in a Five College course. A first-semester first-year student must obtain the permission of the first year class dean before enrolling in a Five College course.

Course Program

Normally, students may not register for more than two courses, per term, at any one institution.  This limit is strictly enforced at Amherst College and UMass.

Course Approvals

Students may apply a maximum of 16 credits of independent study and honors work toward the 128 minimum credit requirement.  Also, students may apply towards the 128 a maximum of 12 credits combined that are earned from Mount Holyoke curricular support courses and from any Mount Holyoke, Five College, or transferred non-liberal arts courses, whether taken before or after the student's matriculation at the College.

Courses offered through UMass University Without Walls (continuing education) are not part of the Five College Interchange. Students may not register for these courses through the interchange system. Students may receive credit for appropriate Continuing Ed courses offered during January and summer by submitting a University of Massachusetts transcript directly to the Mount Holyoke College Registrar’s office. Coursework will be treated as transfer work and subject to all provisions of the Mount Holyoke College transfer policy. Students should carefully read the Course Credits information below in addition to the transfer policy. 

Students are encouraged to ask the Registrar's Office if they are planning to take any UMass January or Summer course or any course of unusual format or with potentially non-liberal-arts content during the fall or spring terms.  If you provide the specific link to the course we will do a preliminary evaluation of the course ot ensure it will be applicable to the Mount Holyoke degree (and for how many credits).

Course Credits

During the fall and spring semesters for courses taken through the Five College Interchange, course credit is generally awarded by the Registrar according to the value awarded by the institution offering the course. Credits may vary for courses of unusual format or duration and, for some 5College courses, no academic credit is granted at Mount Holyoke so these may be taken only on an audit basis. (Prior to Fall 2017, 3-credit academic courses at Hampshire and UMass and science courses with labs were usually awarded the equivalent value of similar courses at Mount Holyoke, almost always four credits. But the policy changed effective Fall 2017, so now credits are typically awarded to match the value offered at the course's home institution -- e.g. a 3-credit course at UMass will be awarded 3 credits at Mount Holyoke.)

Individual departments at Mount Holyoke determine if and how 5College courses may be applied to satisfy a requirement of their major, minor, and/or Nexus.  Students should contact the Chair of their major/minor department to seek advice and/or official permission before registering for 5College courses, to determine whether it may apply to the major/minor. The department then signs a Permission form which the student then submits to the Registrar's Office, to record the permission officially.

For Intersession January courses, the maximum credit awarded for a class is two credits, with the exception of some approved intensive language courses. 

Courses taken at UMass through the University Without Walls (continuing education) division during the Summer or at other points generally transfer at face value -- e.g. a 3 credit Summer or January UMass course is generally awarded 3 transfer credits at Mount Holyoke. Courses of unusual format or offered on compressed schedules may be awarded fewer credits. 

Academic Responsibilities

Students taking a course at one of the other institutions are, in that course, subject to the academic regulations, including the calendar, deadlines and academic honor system, of the host institution offering the course. It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with the pertinent regulations of the host institution, including those for attendance, academic honesty, grading options and deadlines for completing coursework and taking examinations.

Exception: Students follow the registration add/drop deadlines of their home institutions.

Registration Request Denials

If your request is denied because the course is closed (aka full, oversubscribed), you may attend the first class of that course and talk to the instructor. If the instructor is willing to allow you to register for the course, you must submit a new request and provide proof of instructor permission to our office. We will forward that information to the host institution.

Permission of Instructor

If a course requires permission of the instructor, you must provide an email from the instructor or a completed Instructor Permission form to the Mount Holyoke registrar’s office. Your request will not be processed until you have provided this information. The Office of the Registrar will transmit your documentation to the host institution. Note: all courses require permission of instructor when the student is attempting to register during Add/Drop.


Mount Holyoke students are subject to the incomplete policies of the host institution. It is your responsibility to determine what they are and to follow them.

Travel Plans

Bus service between campuses runs on a regular schedule. When making travel plans, please keep in mind that all students must complete examinations according to the schedule of the host campus. Students enrolled in courses outside of Mount Holyoke College must complete their examinations during the examination period of the course's school and are not permitted to complete examinations early. The examination schedule for each campus can be found on the host registrar’s webpage. It is your responsibility to be aware of and follow their examination policies.

Five College Meal Exchange

Students enrolled in a meal plan may arrange through their home campus food service office to have some meals at another campus. Information is available through the Five Colleges, Inc. Interchange Meal Exchange website.

Graduating Seniors

Graduating seniors taking Five College courses in the spring semester should make special note of the examination schedule at the other campuses, as they follow that schedule in completing their exams in Five College courses. Faculty are usually able to provide grades, per the grading schedule of the host campus, that will meet Mount Holyoke's needs in clearing seniors for graduation and diploma receipt. However, seniors should check their email daily in the week before Commencement as, if final grades are not available on time, the Mount Holyoke Registrar may charge them with seeking written confirmation from their Five College professors that they will pass their Five College courses. Until all grades have been recorded, graduating students are generally permitted to participate as normal in all Commencement ceremonies, but will not receive their diplomas. Students should be advised that there is no obligation on the part of faculty at other colleges to make alternative arrangements or give exams early. If a senior is eligible for Latin Honors, the student's GPA will be calculated once the record is complete. If awarded, the notation will be added to the diploma, but may not be included in commencement program because of publication deadlines.