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5 College Junior

Academics: I never thought that I would enjoy school as much as I do at Mount Holyoke.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: Professors are really dedicated t teaching, atleast so far in my experience but they do give a lot of work! And some professors tend to have this skewed impression that only their class matters. But just be prepared to study, think and you'll be fine. And you can still have fun on some weekends too. But rarely, if ever, do you see people going out for parties during the week.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Academics: I can't really say yet because I've only been here one semester, but I've had a pretty good academic experience so far. I expect to get pretty good grades, which is good because I feel like I worked pretty hard for the most part. I study in the library a lot. It is a great place.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: There are many bright students at Mount Holyoke and there are many aspects of academic subjects to explore.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Mount Holyoke has great academics


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Mount Holyoke’s academics are top-notch. The workload is very intense, sometimes surprisingly so, and burnout is a very real possibility if you don’t balance your academic obligations with extracurriculars, social time, cultural events, and speakers. However, the flip-side is that you’ll know you’re getting one of the best educations possible. It’s almost impossible to just lay back and take easy classes where you’re assured good grades, unless you’re a senior and have completed most of your credits and distribution requirements. In general, the sheer volume of requirements, both distribution and major and minor requirements, tend to make this unlikely. Because you will probably have to take at least one class in a subject outside your comfort zone, you will be exposed to things you wouldn’t normally have encountered. Quite often, exposure of this sort will change a student’s perspective on that subject, or on some aspect of life in general. She might call home newly informed on the role of racism in contemporary society or on the possibility of majoring in art history, and tell her dazed parents that she is planning to join the Peace Corps or create an art show in her hometown. No one is going to stop her.

The professors play a big role in the sort of life-changing academic experiences you’re likely to have at Mount Holyoke. Because this is a relatively small school, you’re much more likely to get to know one or several professors on a more personal level than just as “that guy who stands up there and lectures.” Some of these relationships continue beyond graduation, as the professor becomes a mentor to the student. In general, if you cultivate such relationships, they will pay off. Knowing that MHC has such an outstanding academic reputation is not the same as taking full advantage of it. If you complain that you have too many papers and finals, then maybe Mount Holyoke isn’t for you. If you take the challenge in stride, knowing that you will have difficult moments, then you will do well. There will always be other students to commiserate with or professors to give you extensions (or at least moral support).

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Transfer-Out Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 64%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 33%
  • 50 or More Students: 3%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 4%
  • English Language Studies: 4%
  • International Relations and National Security Studies: 3%
  • Psychology: 4%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Dorm common areas
  • Kendade Atrium
  • Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Ask questions in class; don't be afraid to look stupid.
  • Don't pay for cable TV in your room-you probably will barely watch it. Most people wind up in the TV room for communal TV watching.
  • Get to know at least one of your professors outside of class time.
  • Get your distribution requirements out of the way as soon as possible. That way, you won't be a senior still scrambling for a PE class, and you'll have more leeway to change your major halfway through your college career.
  • Go for the workshops, the fellowships, the internships, the lectures, the cultural opportunities in the area. You only get to go to college once, and you may not ever have this many great opportunities at your fingertips again.
  • Go to class! Going to class is 10 times more helpful than doing the reading.
  • If you're not already an e-mail fiend, become one. Some communication happens lightning-fast, and you'll be out of the loop if you haven't checked your e-mail in the last five hours.
  • Try at least one thing you've never tried before. Allow your friends to drag you places you would never have gone to on your own.
  • Understand that you can't do everything. Go to the activities fair at the beginning of the year, gather information from all the clubs you desire, heck, even put your name on all the mailing lists you want, but don't try to participate in everything that interests you-you'll spread yourself too thin. Pick one or two things, and really devote yourself to them. You'll be much happier in the long run.
Did You Know?
  • Mount Holyoke students can take courses for credit at any of the other Five Colleges (Smith College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and UMass Amherst) at no additional cost.
  • Approximately 40 percent of Mount Holyoke students study abroad during their four year career.
  • Each year, a small group of incoming first-years are selected for participation in first-year tutorials. These are opportunities to work closely with a professor and a few other students in an area of interest. Tutorials may involve research or special projects, and are two credits per semester (most tutorials go for the entire first year).
  • Many students design their own major or choose an interdisciplinary major.
  • The Frances Perkins Program allows women who are older than the traditional college age to attend Mount Holyoke. "FPs," as they're called, add spice to classes with their more experienced perspectives.
  • At the end of every course, students have the opportunity to complete a course evaluation, either anonymously or signed by the student. Academic departments take these very seriously when evaluating particular courses and professors.
  • Mount Holyoke provides the option of self-scheduled final exams. Students sign up to work one or more exam shifts (there are three exam sessions in a day) so that their classmates can choose when to take their exams. Most exams are scheduled this way, although a few are pre-scheduled. The entire system runs on the Honor Code, and students are not supposed to discuss their exams until the entire finals period is over.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 59 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 27 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 26 responses

  • 12% This was my dream school.
  • 77% This was one of my top choices.
  • 12% This was a school I settled for (safety school).



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