Mount Holyoke College, the first of the Seven Sisters Colleges, is located in South Hadley, MA just 12 miles north of Springfield. This private, 4-year college was founded in 1837 as Mount Holyoke Female Seminary and remains exclusively for women today. The 800 acre academic campus contains a blend of European-inspired gothic buildings as well as functional contemporary architecture. The campus also includes an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Donald Ross. Culturally (and socially), Mount Holyoke is a sister school to Dartmouth (in NH). Mount Holyoke has educated many powerful and influential women, including Emily Dickinson, but more recently, several women who have had an impact on business, academia and politics.
Mount Holyoke is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and offers Bachelor’s Degrees, post-baccalaureate certificates and Master’s Degrees in over 50 majors. The largest program is Social Sciences. While there are no online degree programs available, Mount Holyoke is known for a robust Junior year abroad, where approximately 40% of all Juniors study overseas. The school is made up of three ‘academic centers:’ McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, Miller Worley Center for the Environment and Weissman Center for Leadership. The college’s stated mission is to “provide an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts and sciences through academic programs recognized internationally for their excellence and range; to draw students from all backgrounds into an exceptionally diverse and inclusive learning community with a highly accomplished, committed, and responsive faculty and staff; to continue building on the College’s historic legacy of leadership in the education of women; and to prepare students, through a liberal education integrating curriculum and careers, for lives of thoughtful, effective, and purposeful engagement in the world.
Mount Holyoke has approximately 2200 students enrolled, most of whom live on campus in any of the 17 residence halls and apartments available. There are many clubs centered on interests ad pursuits, as well as club sports. For the varsity athlete, the light blue and white Lyons field teams in 14 sports and participate in NCAA Division III competition. There are several traditions on campus, including two satirical shows, the Faculty Show (put on by members of the administration and faculty) and the Junior show. Mountain Day is a surprise day (chosen by the president) where classes are canceled and a hike up Mount Holyoke is encouraged. To help foster community, activities such as “Elfing” where second year students give small gifts to ‘firsties’ or first year students during the week’s event and a Big/Little Sister program for elder students to be a mentor to younger ones. “Mount Holyoke is committed to the success of its students. To that end, we offer rigorous, innovative academics and maintain robust facilities. We develop experiential learning and facilitate… internships both in the community and across the globe. And we connect students with female mentors and role models.”