Each of Bread Loaf’s campuses offers a different set of courses, and the curriculum takes advantage of the location of each campus.

Academic course descriptions for the coming summer are posted in the course catalog section of our website in the winter.

You can also download the complete course catalog or see catalogs from past summers.


Each Bread Loaf unit is equivalent to three semester hours or four-and-one-half quarter-hours of graduate credit. Classes at the U.S. campuses are valued at one unit each; Oxford classes are valued at two units.

In order to be used for a Bread Loaf master’s degree, all credits must have been earned within 10 years of a student’s initial enrollment at Bread Loaf. MA candidates must earn a grade of B- or better, and MLitt candidates must earn a grade of B or better, in order to receive course credit. This is also true of credits transferred to Bread Loaf from other institutions.

Course Load

The normal course load is two units per summer. To complete either degree in four years, students may request to transfer up to two graduate courses from other accredited institutions.

The normal course load in New Mexico and Vermont is two courses—or units—each carrying the credit equivalent of three semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours.

At Oxford the normal load is one two-unit course (six semester hours or 9 quarter hours of credit), with roughly half devoted to independent research.

Third Course Option

After the first summer, students with an outstanding academic record (A/A+s) may request permis­sion from the associate director to take a third course for credit in New Mexico or Vermont or an independent tutorial (for one unit of credit) at Oxford. There is an additional charge for the third course equal to one-half the published tuition for that summer.

Single Course Option

Students in Vermont and New Mexico have the option of taking just one course for credit. In New Mexico a student may live on or off campus and take one course for one-half the cost of tuition. Vermont offers two options:

  • A student living on campus and taking only one course pays for the normal course load (full tuition)
  • A student living off campus may take one course and pay for only one course (half tuition).