1. Now more than ever
At Mount Holyoke, the first of the powerful Seven Sisters colleges, social activism is in our DNA. The Princeton Review saw this when it named us the #1 Best School for Making an Impact in 2021. Mount Holyoke has long been committed to access and social justice.
1916: Supporting the right to vote
1985: Protesting against apartheid in South Africa
2018: The #MeToo movement
Today, taking a stand means acting on both a local and global scale: To expose and bring an end to injustice and inequality worldwide. To safeguard the status of women. To promote human rights and LGBT rights and dismantle gender oppression. The world needs our graduates — who share the conviction and readiness to make their lives stand for something bigger — now more than ever.
2. Equality + power = empowered
Here, it’s not about leaning in. It’s about standing among — and following in the footsteps of — brilliant women at work. Who win cases, make deals, run governments, write code, manage startups, debate global politics, conduct experiments, save patients, edit dissertations and perform on stage. Who approach gender and other complex issues with urgency. It's about choosing a place where you are surrounded by peers, role models and mentors who see you and value you. Who take you seriously without you having to ask. Who push you to aim high, take risks, ask questions, make mistakes and break restraints — knowing that such actions can spark momentous and meaningful change.
3. An enviable academic experience
Rigorous. Relevant. Spirited. Inspiring. The learning landscape at Mount Holyoke is shaped as much by curiosity and intensity as it is by collaboration and guidance. Your guides? Our faculty, who were named #1 in the nation, per the 2020 Princeton Review, based on student surveys. From classes on renewable energy and critical race theory in education to wearable circuit workshops at the Fimbel Maker & Innovation Lab, you’ll find people who brim with passion. Who seek the whys and hows of human behavior. And who forge multidisciplinary connections and relationships quicker than you can say “intersectionality.”
4. For the love of STEM
Tired of being one of the only girls in your AP biology, calculus or physics class? Many Mount Holyoke students were, too. Here, 34% of our students major in STEM, which is significantly higher than the proportion of women who typically major in math or science at coeducational institutions. Beyond access to state-of-the-art labs and maker spaces — which blend technology with the liberal arts in forward-thinking, entrepreneurial ways — Mount Holyoke students join a community that emphasizes peer mentorship, internships and research with faculty.
5. See yourself as a leader. As you become one.
At Mount Holyoke, it’s not about equal opportunity to take on leadership roles. It’s about every opportunity. Fact: Powerful women recognize — and encourage — powerful women. And seeing yourself reflected in those who hold positions of influence isn’t a luxury. It’s a must. The leaders of our 100+ student orgs plan hackathons and tech conferences, publish an award-winning campus newspaper, organize Five College Model UN conferences and cultural events and much more.
6. Own your social scene
Let's cut to the chase: Social life at many colleges is defined by a single dominant norm — a prescribed thread of what having a good time looks and sounds like. At Mount Holyoke, social life is defined by choice. As in choosing from cultural events and social programming on campus or within the Five College Consortium. Or running the Seven Sisters trail with your rowing team. Or watching — or performing — classical Indian dance. Or seeking out apple cider doughnuts with your improv troupe or a cappella group. Or snapping pics on Mountain Day — one of the many highly anticipated College traditions. Odds that the friends you make will be lifelong? Very high.
7. An Inclusive and global community
Mount Holyoke's expansive commitment to access and inclusion is reflected in our student body. Big picture: One in four students is international. One in four domestic students identifies as a student of color. More important than our compositional diversity is the fact that we recognize all identities as multidimensional, intersectional — and we explore that fact in class, in community, in our cultural centers and in our residence halls. And did we mention that we lead the way in welcoming transgender and gender non-conforming students? Bottom line: An incomparably dynamic environment in which to live and learn.
Citizenship of current international students
Hover over the image to see the countries represented in our student population.
8. Open doors to opportunity
Some secrets of the 2%? Though women’s college graduates make up 2% of the college graduate population, they are more than twice as likely as graduates of coeducational colleges to receive doctoral degrees. More than 20% of women in Congress and 33% of women on Fortune 1000 boards graduated from a women’s college.* Within 10 years of graduation, nearly 80% of Mount Holyoke alums pursue advanced study.
Employers — specifically in finance, business and STEM — intentionally seek out graduates of women's colleges because of their potential to lead out of the gate. Unafraid to challenge conventions, the 2% are also poised to excel as entrepreneurs in a globally connected economy.
*Data from “Why a Women's College,” a 2014 study by Collegewise counselors.
9. One word: Alums
Engaged alums are a given. Our network of more than 38,000 alums around the world share their time, insight and connections — these of course being code words for power. Alums of women’s colleges arguably constitute the most influential professional women’s networks on the globe.
At Mount Holyoke, the bench of female “firsts” is deep and varied. From the first woman in the presidential cabinet to the first woman of color to win an Oscar for best director. These leaders in their fields are actuely aware of the shoulders they stood on to achieve success. And are ready to do the same for the next generation: They're the reason The Princeton Review named us #10 for “Best Alumni Networks” in 2021.
Meet some Mount Holyoke alumnae who have made their mark since the College’s founding — by a woman — in 1837.
Advanced degrees and career success
Within 10 years, nearly 80% of alumnae pursue an advanced degree at top-level institutions. Mount Holyoke alumnae across the decades pursue rewarding careers in fields ranging from medicine, law and business to communications, finance and consulting.