Courses & Credits

Courses at Bread Loaf are valued in terms of units: one unit is the equivalent of 3 semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours of graduate credit—the equivalent of 30 hours of class time. 

U.S. campuses
Classes at ourU.S.campuses are valued at one unit each and run Monday through Thursday for a total of 30 contact hours.

  • At the Vermont campus, classes are scheduled in two blocks: morning classes run for one hour and 15 minutes four days per week; afternoon classes run for two hours and 45 minutes (including a 15-minute break) twice a week (Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday).
  • In New Mexico, classes run for  two hours and 45 minutes (including a 15-minute break) twice a week (Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday).

Classes are valued at two units each, one of which is constituted by independent study. Tutors arrange their own schedules: ordinarily, there are two group seminar meetings per week, supplemented by individual tutorials throughout the term.  

Degree candidates must complete all work within 10 years. Courses taken more than 10 years ago will remain on the transcript, but cannot be used for a Bread Loaf degree. Credits transferred from another institution must also be less than ten years old by the time a student graduates. In exceptional circumstances, and with permission of the director, credits earned towards a Bread Loaf degree can be used past the 10th year if the student returns to Bread Loaf by the 10th summer and then attends Bread Loaf every summer thereafter until completion of the degree.

Course Load

The normal course load for all students at all campuses is two units (the equivalent of 60 hours of class time): two courses at the U.S. campuses, and one course at Oxford.

  • At the U.S.campuses, students who live off campus may opt to take only one course, for half the tuition; ordinarily, students who live on campus and take only one unit will be charged full tuition. There is no one-unit option atOxford.
  • Returning students with an exceptional academic record (A/A+s) may take an additional one unit of credit (a course, an Independent Reading Project, an Independent Summer Project in Theater Arts, or an Oxford Independent Tutorial) with permission of the director or associate director. The extra unit will incur an additional cost of one-half the regular tuition.
  • Students may not take more than three units in a given summer.

Course Catalog

The Bread Loaf catalog is published, posted on the Bread Loaf website, and mailed to enrolled students in January. It includes course descriptions and text lists (with readings listed in the order that they will appear on the syllabus), dates and fees, and a general description of the Bread Loaf program. For reference, recent course catalogs are available at: