Mount Holyoke College is a pioneer member of the Seven Sisters colleges, and it’s an institution for female students that strive for academic excellence. This institution belongs to the Pioneer Valley’s Five College Consortium. Students can cross-register and use the resources of Amherst College, Smith College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Standardized test scores are not required for admission.
Housing a student population of more than 2,000, this school is considered one of the best places to study the liberal arts. Approximately 48 departmental and interdepartmental majors are offered. A student has the option to create her special major. The institution confers an AB degree, which requires students to 128 semester credits. No less than 68 credits should come from courses outside the major department, and these credits can come from the three curricular divisions: humanities, science and mathematics, and social sciences. A student must also study a foreign language and complete a multicultural perspectives course to graduate.
In 1837, Mary Lyon established Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Mary Lyon, the founder of this school, is known as a pioneer and innovator in many aspects of women’s education. Lyon is one of the few individuals that pushed for higher education for young women during the time when most of the colleges in the country are for males. Lyon is known to have played a big role in the creation of other all-female institutions, namely Hartford Female Seminary, Wheaton Female Seminary and Ipswich Female Seminary.
The institution received its collegiate charter as Mount Holyoke Seminary and College in 1888. In 1893, the school’s name was changed to Mount Holyoke College. A Phi Beta Kappa chapter was established in Mount Holyoke in 1905.
Between 1896 and 1960, Mount Holyoke went through a massive growth and many school buildings were designed between 1896 and 1960. The golf course, The Orchards, which was designed by Donald Ross served as host to the U.S. Women’s Open in 2004. Throughout the years, various school rankings listed Mount Holyoke College among the top colleges in the country.
There are more than 150 student organizations to join, and many of these are involved in community service. Mount Holyoke has a full calendar of concerts to attend, art exhibits, seminars and lectures, and parties. The environment surrounding the school is vibrant and full of life. The Five College area has a wide array of hangouts where students spend their free time.
Many students live in serenity in the stately residence halls with neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque designs. The residences are located right at the center of campus. Some modern residences afford views of Mount Holyoke’s two lakes. Every residence hall has a mixture of freshmen and upperclassmen, with a fourth of the rooms available reserved for incoming freshmen.
Some of the traditions in Mount Holyoke are the September Convocation, which is a tradition meant to welcome the freshmen. There is also the weekend reserved for family and friends, and the school hosts open house events, performances and athletic events. Hiking is also a tradition in campus, especially on Mountain Day.
The institution offers merit-based and need-based scholarships and grants to qualified applicants. Eligibility is determined by the institution and a corresponding financial aid package is offered to the student and her family. Health insurance is mandatory and is a part of the cost of education. A student may waive this fee if she has a comparable insurance coverage.
2017 College Rankings