Degree Requirements

To graduate, you must complete a minimum of 128 credits, 64 of which must be taken at Mount Holyoke during your sophomore, junior, and senior years. Two of the last three years must be spent on the Mount Holyoke campus. One of the last three years may be spent in an academic program at another institution. To receive a Mount Holyoke College degree, you must have a minimum average of 2.0, meet the College and distribution requirements, and complete the requirements of a major and minor/or equivalent.

The distribution requirements, described below, are designed to acquaint you with a wide range of knowledge and to expose you to new areas of interest. You must also take a course that meets the multicultural perspectives requirement, meet a foreign language requirement, and complete 6 units of physical education.

Distribution Requirements

To earn a bachelor of arts degree, you must complete courses in seven different categories, distributed among the following three curricular divisions:

Group I—Humanities

Three courses from three different disciplines are required from Group I, including at least one course from each of the following two subgroups—A and B.

  1. Arts, language, and literature: art, classics, dance, English, film studies, French, German studies, Greek, Italian, Latin, music, Russian, Spanish, theatre arts, or an interdisciplinary course in arts, language and literature.
  2. History, philosophy, religion, or an interdisciplinary course in this area.

Group II—Science and Mathematics

Two courses from two different disciplines are required from Group II, including at least one laboratory course in a natural or physical science; both courses may be laboratory science courses.

  1. Mathematics, statistics, computer science, or an interdisciplinary course in this area.
  2. Natural and physical sciences: astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry, geology, physics, or an interdisciplinary course in the natural or physical sciences.

Group III—Social Sciences

Two courses from two different disciplines are required from Group III.

Anthropology, economics, geography, politics, psychology, sociology, or an interdisciplinary course in the social sciences.

NOTE: Interdisciplinary and interdepartmental courses meet the distribution requirement in the category indicated for each such course. If a course is cross-listed between a department and an interdisciplinary program, it will meet distribution within the department.

Other College Requirements

Foreign Language Requirement

A degree-seeking student at Mount Holyoke is expected to study a language other than English while matriculated at the College. She can satisfy the language requirement in a number of ways. Preferably by the end of the sophomore year she should either:

  1. complete a formal two-semester elementary course sequence in a foreign language new to her or for which she has little or inadequate preparation. (The self-instructional and mentored language courses offered through the Five College Center for World Languages cannot be used to meet the Mount Holyoke language requirement.)
  2. complete a designated one-semester foreign language course or foreign literature course taught in the foreign language at the intermediate level or above.

Note: international students are not exempted automatically from the language requirement.  However, a student whose first language is not English can satisfy the language requirement with:

  • documentation that she attended a secondary school for at least one year at which instruction was conducted in a language other than English.
  • documentation that she attended a secondary school outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction was English, but she elected a language or literature course taught in her native language.
  • an O-level, A-level, or GSCE language result (for students from India, this would be a Grade X or Grade XII) or an official record of a college-level course in her native language.

If a student meets at least one of the criteria listed immediately above and wishes to be exempted from the language requirement, she must contact the Director of the Language Resource Center, who will review the student’s records and inform the registrar's office if she determines that the language requirement has been fulfilled.

Multicultural Perspectives

All Mount Holyoke students must complete one 4-credit course that is devoted primarily to the study of some aspect of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, or the nonwhite peoples of North America and that incorporates a diversity of perspectives. Courses that satisfy this requirement are listed in the online course catalogue database and are marked with a special Course Type in the ISIS "Search for Classes".

Physical Education and Athletics

Students should earn six physical education (PE) units by the end of the junior year, starting in the first year. Four units are required for sophomore transfer students; two units for junior transfer students. See the complete listings under PE in the Schedule of Classes. Descriptions are in the course catalogue and supplement. Students in intercollegiate sports earn two units per sport for their participation. If you plan to participate in an intercollegiate sport, be sure to register for the appropriate physical education course. Physical education units do not count toward the 128 semester credits required to graduate.