Why a Women's College?

Mary Lyon with text overlay: Why a women's college: Top 9 Reasons

1. Now more than ever

At Mount Holyoke, the first of the powerful Seven Sisters colleges, social activism is in our DNA. Which is to say that we have long been committed to access and social justice, and to the belief that women of strength and conviction give rise to a better world for all.

Photo of students in 1916 holding a sign supporting the right for women to vote

1916: Supporting the right to vote

Photo of students in 1985 protesting against apartheid in South Africa

1985: Protesting against apartheid in South Africa

Photo of students in 2018 standing up in support of the #MeToo movement

2018: The #MeToo movement

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. 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.

Graphic of a number of student faces with the overlay quote: "I never have to ask to be taken seriously" by Mariana Jaramillo ’20


A quote by Suzan-Lori Parks ’85, "Be bold. Envision yourself living a life that you love."

3. An enviable academic experience

Rigorous. Relevant. Vibrant. Inspiring. The learning landscape at Mount Holyoke is shaped as much by curiosity and intensity as it is by collaboration and guidance. From classes on renewable energy and critical race theory in education to wearable circuit workshops at the Fimbel Maker and Innovation Lab, you’ll find people who brim with passion.

Montage of photos of students, faculty and alums

Get to know us: #WeAreMountHolyoke

Community encourages conversation. Diversity elevates it. Meet some of the students, faculty and alums who call the community at Mount Holyoke home.
Alexi C Arango    Assistant Professor of Physics

Innovative, dedicated faculty

Mount Holyoke’s faculty are active scholars, research scientists and creative artists — who are passionate about their disciplines and about teaching.
Photo of a group of students on the Restoration Ecology boardwalk

Areas of study

Featuring 48 majors, three academic centers (dedicated to leadership, the environment and global initiatives) and a 700-acre Campus Living Laboratory.

4. See yourself as a leader. As you become one.

US News & World Report says women's colleges are "a great choice for students interested in leadership."

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.

Two photos show selfies of five students and a guide dog in Washington, D.C. One is inside the ornately decorated Rayburn Reception Room in the Capitol. In the other, the group poses with their professor in front of the Capitol against a blue sky.

Meet the students of the MHC Semester in D.C.

Five students spend the semester building careers in public policy and advocacy as they work, study and live in the nation’s capital.
Image of Model UN students

Investigate. Debate. Negotiate.

Four members of MHC Model UN share their stories.
Board members of the Mount Holyoke Model United Nations pose with their Distinguished Student Organization Award citation (from left): Maham Khan '19, Marwa Mikati '17, Kim Foreiter '19 and Edith Amoafoa-Smart '19.

Make an impact

Our community boasts diverse and seemingly endless possibilities for involvement both on- and off-campus.

5. Calling all STEMinists!

Tired of being one of the only girls in your AP biology, calculus or physics class? Many Mount Holyoke students were, too. Thirty-five percent of our students major in STEM — a significantly higher proportion of women than at coeducational institutions.

Photos of students with the quote "I designed Mount Holyoke's first undergraduate curriculum in neuroscience and law, an emerging field known as nurolaw, typically present only in graduate programs." by Maria Jaleh McTeigue ’18

6. Own your social scene

At Mount Holyoke, social life is defined by choice: cultural events and social programming on campus or within the Five College Consortium, running the Seven Sisters trail with your rowing team, seeking out apple cider doughnuts with your improv troupe or a cappella group, or striking a power pose on Mountain Day. Odds that the friends you make will be lifelong? Very high.

Photo of three students playing Scrabble on the large board in the Community Center

Over 100 student organizations

Student organization events and programs celebrate the depth and breadth of our diverse community, and provide a great opportunity for making connections.
Image of students at Convocation.

Mount Holyoke Traditions

From Convocation to Milk and Cookies and the Laurel Parade, traditions bring the community closer together and create memorable moments to last a lifetime.
Graphic that reads: 5 things to love about the Five College Consortium

The Five College Consortium, by definition?

Ask five people and you’ll get five different answers. Which is to say, Five Colleges is a whole lot of everything. All of it amazing. Watch the video!

7. Inclusivity and diversity — on a global scale

One in four Mount Holyoke students is international. Inclusivity and diversity are present throughout campus, manifested in our five cultural centers and celebrated through dozens of student orgs and events with a global focus. And lived through shared experiences via our five language Living/Learning Communities, MoZone peer education program and Global Partners Program. We even have an academic center devoted to all things global learning.

Photo of a group of international students

Thinkers and doers from around the world

Students across the globe are drawn to Mount Holyoke because of the powerful living and learning experience the College provides.

Citizenship of current international students

Hover over the image to see the countries represented in our student population.

8. Open doors to opportunity

Women’s college graduates are more than twice as likely as graduates of coeducational colleges to receive doctoral degrees. And more than 20% of women in Congress and 33% of women on Fortune 1000 boards graduated from a women’s college.*

Graphic of students with quote overlay "Mount Holyoke has taught me how to be an advocate for change, not just when it benefits me, but for the greater good" by Brandy Williamson ’18

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.

*Data from “Why a Women's College,” a 2014 study by Collegewise counselors.


9. One word: Alumnae

Engaged alumnae are a given. Mount Holyoke’s network of more than 38,000 alumnae around the world share their time, insight and connections. Alumnae of women’s colleges arguably constitute the most influential professional women’s networks on the globe.

Sajia Darwish ’18

Kabul, Afghanistan

Photo of Sajia Darwish, class of 2018

“Mount Holyoke has taught me to resist against whatever pushes me down — including those with a narrow view of what women can and can’t do.”

At Mount Holyoke, the bench of female “firsts” is deep and varied. From the first woman in the presidential cabinet to the first woman producer to win an Oscar. These leaders are ready to help new graduates find their way.

Meet some Mount Holyoke alumnae who have made their mark since the College’s founding — by a woman — in 1837.

Alumnae outcomes

Advanced degrees and career success

Grpahic of colored circles depicting types of outcomes: employed, graduate of professional education, etc.

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.