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Five College Guidelines

Smith Students Studying at the Five Colleges

Smith Students taking a course at one of the other institutions are, in that course, subject to the academic regulations, including the calendar, deadlines and academic honor system, of the host institution. It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with the pertinent regulations of the host institution, including those for attendance, academic honesty, grading options and deadlines for completing coursework and taking examinations.

However, students must follow the registration add/drop deadlines of their home institutions.


Only students in good academic standing may enroll in a Five College course. A first-semester first-year student must obtain the permission of the class dean before enrolling in a Five College course.

During any given semester, a student must take at least half of her course program on campus. To that end, a traditional student must enroll in a minimum of 8 credits at Smith in order to take five college credits; an Ada taking less than a normal 16 credit course load may not take more than half of her total course program off campus. Students may not register for more than two courses at any one institution.

The registrar's office will not process the additional requests.

Course Approvals

Not all Five College courses are approved for credit toward the Smith degree. Below are lists of previously-approved courses. Courses not on this list will be reviewed by the registrar at the time the course request is submitted through BannerWeb. Students may request prior approval by submitting a course description or syllabus to the registrar's office for review. Only those courses falling within the field of liberal arts will be approved.

Previously Approved Five College Courses

University of Massachusetts (PDF)

Courses offered through UMass Continuing and Professional Education are not part of the Five College Interchange. Students may not receive transfer credit for continuing education courses completed while in residence at Smith College, but may receive credit for those offered during interterm and summer.

Students interested the Five College Supervised Independent Language Program (FCSILP) must obtain permission and should consult their Web site for intructions.  Credit for level I courses is not awarded until completion of levels II or higher.

For more information on transfer credit at Smith, click here.

Course Credits

Course credit is earned according to the value awarded by the host institution. Full-credit courses at Hampshire College and UMass are awarded the equivalent value of similar courses at Smith, normally 4 credits. Courses that involve labs will earn credit according to the value of equivalent Smith courses.

Students planning to begin the study of a lanugage on another campus should be aware that, depending on the credit policies of the comparable Smith department, credit may not be awarded for the first semester of some introductory languages until the equivalent of the full year is completed.

Five College Supervised Independent Language Program (FCSILP).  Credit for level I courses is not awarded until completion of levels II or higher.  Language distribution is not awarded until complete of level IV or higher

Dropping a Course

Students can use BannerWeb to drop Five College courses and by following the usual procedures for dropping courses. Students may also drop courses by submitting an approved course change form to the Smith registrar's office by the appropriate deadline.


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.


The submission of a Five College application requires the exchange of personal information with the other campus, including the social security number. All information is released to the host registrar only and is kept confidential.

Travel Plans

When making travel plans, please keep in mind that all students must complete examinations according to the schedule of the host campus. Students enrolled in courses at Smith College must complete their examinations during the examination period and are not permitted to complete examinations early. The examination schedule for each campus can be found on the Five College Academic Calendar.

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. For weekday lunch, Monday through Friday, there is an open interchange of meals. Dinner or weekend meals may be allowed at another campus in a specified dining facility if the student provides proof of taking a class or being involved in an extracurricular activity such as a performance. Each campus has designated dining locations that Five College students are assigned to for the approved meal exchange on weekends and for dinner.

For more information, contact the Dining Services at 585-2300 or e-mail eherring@smith.edu.

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 the other campuses. Graduating students are permitted to participate as normal in all commencement ceremonies, but will not receive their diplomas until all grades have been recorded. Students should be advised that there is no obligation on the part of faculty at other colleges to make alternative arrangements or give exams early. If undergraduate seniors are eligible for Latin honors, their 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 publications deadlines.

Five College Students Studying at Smith

Students who are unable to attend the first class meeting and wish to be considered for a space in the course should contact the instructor directly prior to the start of classes. Instructors' e-mail addresses can be found on the Smith College campus directory.

All students enrolled in Smith courses are required to abide by the Smith Honor Code.


The names of students closed out of limited courses at the time of preregistration are placed on a waitlist. Students interested in pursuing admission must attend the first class meeting and obtain the permission of the instructor.

Special Studies

Interchange students enrolling in a special studies at Smith College must obtain approval of the department chair by completing a special studies registration form found on the forms page.

Access to Online Course Material/Moodle

Moodle accounts are automatically generated for preregistered students. If you preregistered, you can log into Smith Moodle using your home school credentials.

Students who are adding courses at the beginning of the semester and need immediate access to course materials in Moodle should visit the Smith registrar's office to process a temporary registration in the course. Once your temporary registration has been processed, you will receive an email confirming access to the Moodle course using your home school credentials.  Students must then be sure to officially register through their home institutions.

Smith Calendar

Smith classes are rarely canceled because of poor weather conditions. Students may consult the Smith College Information Line (585-4636) for current information on delayed college openings, early closings or other events.

There are special holidays or events for which some or all classes are canceled. View the Smith College academic calendar for such occasions. Known special days are Mountain Day* (morning and afternoon classes canceled), Otelia Cromwell Day (afternoon and evening classes canceled) and Rally Day (all classes canceled).

*Mountain Day is a surprise break from classes. The president chooses a beautiful fall day and announces the holiday by ringing the college bells. Classes and academic appointments scheduled before 7 p.m. are canceled. Evening classes, films, lectures and other events will be held as planned. Mountain Day is usally held in late September, early October before autumn recess.

Five College students should check the Smith Web site or call the college's INFO line (585-INFO) after 7 a.m. for the status.


Interchange students may register for a Smith course with a grading option of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (equivalent to a grade of C- or better) by completing the Change of Grading Option form found on the forms page. The signature of the instructor is required and the form must be submitted by the end of the ninth week of classes. Deadlines for these forms are posted here.

Final Examinations

Final examinations at Smith College are primarily self-scheduled and are administered during a scheduled exam period at the end of the semester. Only courses involving slides, dictation or recordings are scheduled.

No student is permitted to complete examinations early and are not permitted to make special arrangements with faculty to complete exams outside the examination period. Five College students making their end-of-the-semester travel arrangements should be sure that their plans do not conflict with the Smith examination schedule.

More information on Smith College examinations is available here.


Only a Smith College class dean may authorize an extension for any reason beyond the end of the final examination period. Individual instructors may only grant extensions on work due during the semester through the last day of final exams.

Any Five College student who, for reasons of illness, emergency or extenuating personal circumstances, cannot complete his or her work by the end of the semester must request an extension through the Smith College class deans office. In cases of illness, the class dean may request the student to obtain documentation from health services at the student's home campus.