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Instructions and deadlines for registration in Smith and Five College courses are distributed by the Office of the Registrar.

Changes in Course Registration

During the first 10 class days (September in the first semester and February in the second semester) a student may drop or enter a course with the approval of the adviser.

From the 11th through the 15th days of class, a student may enter a course with the permission of the instructor, the adviser and the director of graduate and special programs.

A student may drop a course from the 10th day of classes to the end of the fifth week of the semester, only:

  1. after consultation with the instructor AND
  2. with the approval of the adviser and the director of graduate and special programs.

Completion of Course Work

A graduate student who is unable to complete required course work on time must submit to the director of graduate and special programs a written request for an extension before the end of the semester in which the grade is due. The request should include the reason the extension is needed and a specific date by which the student proposes to complete the work. The instructor of the course should also submit a statement in support of the extension. If the extension is granted, the work must be completed by the date agreed on by the director, instructor and student. No extensions may exceed one calendar year from the time of initial enrollment in the course. The initiative in arranging for the completion of course work rests with the student.

For every degree program, all work to be counted toward the degree (including the thesis) must receive a grade of at least B-minus, but the degree will not be awarded to a student who has no grade above this minimum. Courses for graduate study may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Residence Requirements

A student who is registered for a graduate degree program at Smith College is considered to be in residence. A full-time graduate student takes a minimum course program of 12 credits per semester. A half-time student takes a minimum course program of eight credits per semester.

Candidates for master’s degrees, certificates, and diplomas must be in academic residence, in Northampton, through completion of their programs. Remote enrollment is not permitted for any reason, including employment. A student who stops attending in-person classes may be administratively withdrawn from the college.

With the approval of both the academic adviser and the director of graduate & special programs, a student may take a maximum of 12 credits for degree credit at Amherst, Hampshire or Mount Holyoke colleges or the University of Massachusetts. No more than two courses (eight credits) will be accepted in transfer from outside of the Five Colleges.

 We strongly recommend that work for advanced degrees be continuous; if it is interrupted or undertaken on a part-time basis, an extended period is permitted, but all work for a master's degree normally must be completed within a period of four years. Exceptions to this policy will be considered by petition to the Administrative Board. During this period, a continuation fee of $60 will be charged each semester during which a student is not enrolled at Smith College in course work toward the degree.

Leaves of Absence

A student who wishes to be away from the college for a semester or academic year for personal reasons may request a leave of absence. The request must be filed with the director of graduate and special programs by May 1 for a fall semester or academic-year leave or by December 1 for a second-semester leave. No leaves of absence will be approved after May 1 for the following fall semester or academic year and December 1 for the spring semester, and the student must withdraw from the college.

A leave of absence may not be extended beyond one full academic year, and a student who wants to be away from the college for more than one year must withdraw.

A student on a leave of absence is expected to adhere to the policies regarding such leaves. A student's tuition account must be in good standing or the leave of absence will be canceled.

International Students

Under special circumstances we may award the Certificate of Graduate Studies to international students who have received undergraduate training in an institution of recognized standing and who have satisfactorily completed a year's program of study under the direction of a committee on graduate study. This program must include at least 28 credits completed with a grade of C or better. At least five of these courses should be above the intermediate level.


Contact Graduate & Special Programs

Seelye Hall 209

2 Seelye Drive

Smith College

Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-3050 Email:

Associate Dean of the Faculty/

Dean for Academic Development: 

Hélène Visentin

Program Coordinator: Ruth Morgan