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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of November 23, 2020,
for the spring 2021 semester.

Five College Registration

Important Updates

Five College Registration

Spring 2021
Note that Five College courses for Spring 2021 must be taken remotely and the other institutions start before our Spring semester.

Five College add deadlines:
January 22 - Last day to add a Mount Holyoke course
February 12 - Last day to add a Hampshire or UMass course
Feburary 23 - Last day to add an Amherst College course


Only students in good academic standing may enroll in a Five College course. Students may not register for more than two courses at any one institution.

Traditional Students

Traditional students must be enrolled in a minimum of eight credits at Smith in any semester.

First-Year Students

First-semester first-year students must obtain the permission of the class dean before enrolling in a Five College course. Second-semester first-year students may take one course within the Five College system provided the student obtained a GPA of 3.0 or better in their first term at Smith. A two-course Five College load requires permission from the class dean.

Ada Comstock Scholars

Ada Comstock Scholars may not take more than half of their total course load off campus in any semester.

Registration Instructions

1. Review Smith Guidelines for Five College Registration


2. Review Specific Policies for Smith Students Taking Courses Elsewhere

It is your responsibility to be familiar with the pertinent regulations of the host institution, including those for registration add/drop deadlines, attendance, academic honesty, grading options, and deadlines for completing coursework and taking examinations.

3. Search for a course

Consult the Five College course guides to find a course at one of the other colleges. Be aware that some courses may not be open to Five College students, and not all Five College courses are approved for credit toward the Smith degree.

4. Approval of Five College Courses

Courses will be reviewed by the registrar at the time the course request is submitted through BannerWeb. We encourage requesting prior approval by submitting a course description or syllabus to the registrar's office for review. Normally only those courses falling within the scope of Smith's liberal arts curriculum will be approved.

Courses offered through UMass University Without Walls (UWW) are not part of the Five College Interchange.

Some of the courses that have been approved in recent years can be found on the previously approved courses list. The list is not comprehensive.

5. Obtain Adviser's Approval

As with all Smith courses, your adviser must also approve your registration in a Five College course. Five College requests are made through BannerWeb and require your registration code from your adviser.

6. Submit Request Online

A link to the online Five College course request form can be found on the My Student Info tab in the Smith Portal or on your Student Profile.

  1. Click the radio button for the school where you want to take a course.
  2. Select the subject from the drop-down menu and click find course.
  3. Select the course and submit your request.
  4. Review request and submit once your electronic course request has been received by the Smith registrar's office, it will be transmitted to the host institution for approval. If permission is required see below.
  5. Save receipt and follow directions about obtaining permission if necessary
  6. Get permission (if required). Permission is required during add/drop. Permission may be required during early registration. Permission can be submitted as a forwarded email from the instructor's school email address, or submitted through the Five College Instructor Permission form.

If you are not accepted into the course you will be notified via email. If accepted, the course will be added to BannerWeb and can be viewed on the schedule details tab in your registration.

Please note: The submission of a Five College request requires the exchange of personal information with the other campus, including the student's social security number. All information is released to the host registrar only and is kept confidential as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Five College Policies & Guidelines

Course Credits

Course credit is earned according to the value awarded by the host institution. Full-credit courses at Amherst and Hampshire Colleges are awarded the equivalent value of similar courses at Smith, normally 4 credits.

Courses at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) will be awarded the credit value assigned by that institution. For example, a UMass course bearing 3.00 credits will be recorded on the Smith transcript at 3.00 credits.

Students registering for courses weighted at fewer than 4.00 credits should bear in mind that they may need to make up credits resulting from this potential shortfall. Requests for adjustments of credit from UMass courses taken in prior terms will not be permitted.

Grading Option

Smith will record the grade submitted by the host institution. You must declare the S/U or P/F (pass/fail) option at the host campus, following that college's procedures and deadlines; the Smith deadline applies to Smith courses only.

Five College Calendar

Five College Academic Calendar

Openings and closings of semesters on the five campuses vary, particularly in the spring semester and may overlap with Smith interterm. Students should make their academic and travel plans accordingly. All students must complete examinations according to the schedule of the host campus.

Five College Bus Service: For more information, students should consult the Five College website.

UMass Lab Fees

For UMass courses with lab fees, UMass will bill students directly. Most labs have an associated $95 lab fee.

Language Study

Depending on the credit policies of the comparable Smith department, some introductory language courses require completion of a full year (normally two semesters) before credit is granted.

Students interested in the Five College Supervised Independent Language Program (FCSILP) must obtain permission and should consult their website for more instructions. Credit for level I courses is not awarded until completion of levels II or higher. Foreign language Latin Honors distribution is not awarded until completion of level IV or higher.

Independent Studies

A request for independent/special studies must be made on BannerWeb. A Smith special studies form (signed by the instructor at the host school and the appropriate Smith department chair) is required and must be submitted with the interchange registration form. Students may be required to fill out forms at the host campus as well.

Graduating Seniors and Graduate Students

Graduating seniors and graduate students taking Five College courses in the spring semester should make special note of the examination schedule at other campuses. Students should be advised that there is no obligation on the part of the faculty at other colleges to make alternative arrangements or to give exams early or submit final grades before the stated deadline.

Graduating students are permitted to participate as normal in all commencement ceremonies but will not receive their diplomas until all grades have been recorded.

Seniors who are eligible for Latin honors: Your GPA will be recalculated 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.


A Five College incomplete (grade of "I") is equivalent to a failing grade and is calculated as such until a final grade is submitted. An incomplete grade at some institutions will be converted to a failing grade on the student's official record if course work is not completed by the end of the following semester.

Five College Meal Exchange

In support of Five College academic opportunities, a dining meal exchange is available for students enrolled in a meal plan at their home institution. Requests for participation in the meal exchange will be granted for academic reasons only. Other meal exchange requests, for which there is a compelling reason, will be reviewed on an individual basis.

For more information and to request the Five College Meal Exchange please visit the dining services website.
Five College Dining