Fall 2020 - Spring 2021 Special Notice regarding Five College Interchange

In keeping with the five institutions' plans to limit campus access to their own students, faculty, and staff, all Five College students who register for a course on another campus [during the 2020-21 academic year] will be required to attend classes remotely, if such an option is available. As always, the instructor has the final word on who is admitted to the course.

Five College Course Request

Amherst College students can submit a request to take a course at Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College or the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This is done along with the submission of the placeholder class on your online registration via ACData.

Restrictions:  No more than two Five College courses may be taken in any one semester. Only liberal arts courses can be taken for Amherst College credit.  Online and hybrid courses are generally not creditable but exceptions are being made for the 2020-2021 academic year.

NOTICE:  Students selecting Five College classes should know that UMass is including online classes in their online course list.  These classes are NOT eligible for credit as the Amherst College policy is that we do not give credit for online classes.  (Update: During the 2020-2021 academic year, online or "remote" classes are the only classes allowed to be taken by both in-bound and out-bound students at any of the Five Colleges.)

Start dates for the Five Colleges may not align with Amherst College. Please be sure to check the calendar of the host campus using this link: Five College Academic Calendars.

3 Steps to Register for a Five College Class!

  1. Print out a 5-College Permission form: Five College Permission Form. Be sure to list on the permission form each component of a course (Lecture, Lab, Discussion, etc ) or you may not be fully enrolled. Submit these forms during your registration window.
  2. Fill out the 5-College online  FIVE COLLEGE COURSE REQUEST. We cannot process your request without completion of this step. You must fill out a request for each component of a course. 
  3. Put in a placeholder course into your schedule through ACData (example: UM_COURSE_REG or SC_COURSE_REG) The Registrar’s Office will change the title when the host college confirms your enrollment. 

Instructor Permission:  During the Pre-registration period you only need the instructor's signature if it says so in the course description.  During Add/Drop, you have to have the instructor's permission to enroll. Every permission form requires your advisor(s) signature. An email may be PRINTED and attached to your form in lieu of a signature but it must clearly name the course number and title of the class.

Only liberal arts courses can be taken for Amherst College credit. If you have a question, contact the Registrar’s office ASAP for more information.  

Online and hybrid courses are not creditable. Courses must be in person and in class.

Note: With two rounds of pre-registration, in contrast with the other colleges, we can only forward your Five College registration form during the first week. If the registration is not turned in during the first round of pre-registration, students will have to wait for the Add/Drop period at the beginning of the term.

Warning about Credits:  Some Five College classes have variable credits assigned.  This can mean a course doesn't equal an Amherst course and won't be considered a full course unless the credit is confirmed.  Please note on the Permission form if the course has variable credit and how much that credit is assigned.  This must be confirmed by the instructor.

Check on the status of your request(s) here.

General Information About Taking Five College Courses