Selecting Courses

As a Mount Holyoke College student, you will pursue a rigorous, well-balanced course of study that includes work in the humanities, science and mathematics, and social sciences. Whatever your major, you will develop both your verbal and quantitative skills. You will be expected to think analytically and critically, write clearly, argue coherently, and speak persuasively. The curriculum and requirements (explained in greater detail on the next page) have been designed to help you achieve these fundamental goals of a liberal arts education.

The information you need to devise a tentative schedule of courses can be found by referring to both the course catalog and the course schedule in the College's student information system (my.mtholyoke).  Please begin your search for classes on my.mtholyoke.

You should plan to consult with Carolyn Dietel no later than December 21 to discuss your spring semester course choices and resolve any questions you have about transfer credit. Once you’ve selected your spring courses with Carolyn’s guidance, the Registrar will enroll you in your chosen courses and/or add your name to the wait list.

If you are currently enrolled in courses, please remember to send your final transcript to the Registrar if you have not already done so. 


Guidelines for Creating a Balanced Program

Transfer students are expected to select a total of four, 4-credit courses (16 credits). You may wish to add a 1- or 2-credit course (e.g., dance, piano, concert choir).

All Frances Perkins students should keep in mind that a full course load at Mount Holyoke is sixteen credits (four courses); however, some of you may want to consider a reduced load in your first semester. All resident FP students should plan to take the full load second semester and thereafter, moving "with all deliberate speed" toward the degree. Non-resident students, especially those with family or work commitments, may only be able to carry two courses (eight credits) comfortably. Most commuting FPs average three 4-credit courses per semester.

As you select your courses, think of your first semester here as a time to integrate the courses you have taken at other institutions with the Mount Holyoke curriculum. The following are some guidelines for creating a schedule. Remember, these are only suggestions.

  • Review the courses that have been posted to your Mount Holyoke unofficial transcript and your degree audit on my.mtholyoke to carefully to determine the progress you have made in fulfilling the distribution and degree requirements at Mount Holyoke. If you haven't completed all of the basic requirements for the degree, take at least one course that will satisfy distribution or College requirements.
  • Take at least one course in what you think is likely to be your major subject.
  • Take a course in a subject you like and have studied successfully in the past.
  • If you are a transfer student, make sure your courses are spread out reasonably between Monday and Friday. We encourage you to balance your course work with co-curricular activities, community service, and exercise.
  • Especially in the first semester, we strongly discourage credit overloads (more than 19 credits).
  • If you are a commuting Frances Perkins student, consider other obligations and responsibilities when choosing courses and consult the staff about finding courses within certain timeframes or on certain days.
  • The usual graduation requirement is 4 PE units.  However, every student admitted as a transfer student or Frances Perkins Scholar receives an automatic waiver of 2 PE units, so need only complete 2 additional physical education units after enrolling at Mount Holyoke.
    • PE units are distinct from academic credits and can be earned through most PE and most Dance technique courses.
  • When you meet with your adviser during Orientation, plan on a thorough discussion and be open to revising your choices.