Department Awards

The Claude Fennema and Deborah Strahman Prize

This award is given to an upper-class student who shows outstanding career potential. The award winner is chosen on the basis of GPA and other indicators of academic achievement, including research.

Robert J. Weaver Prize for Excellence in Mathematics and Computer Science

Excellence in Mathematics and Computer Science


Excellence in peer mentoring



Bay State Fellowship Program in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Mount Holyoke College Computer Science majors who meet the GPA and course prerequisites detailed below are eligible for admission to a tuition-free MS program at the University of Massachusetts.

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is among the Top 20 computer science departments in the country. Their Bay State Fellowship program offers a tuition-free masters degree, accompanied by a small assistantship, to any undergraduate computer science major at Mount Holyoke College, who completes the program with an overall GPA of at least 3.6. In recognition of their academic achievements, participants will be designated as "Bay State Fellows." Fellows may participate in the masters program at UMass Amherst for up to two years (four semesters), although it is possible to complete the program in less time.

The Computer Science masters degree at UMass Amherst is a 30 credit program that requires 24 course credits (generally eight courses) and a six credit masters project. Up to six credits of previous work -- for example, graduate courses taken while an undergraduate and not used to satisfy undergraduate computer science requirements -- may be applied to the 30 credit MS requirement. Some MS work - for example, the 6 credit project - may be done over the summer.

Requirements and Qualifications

To be eligible for the program, a student must have completed the computer science degree at Mount Holyoke College.  In recognition of the mathematical demands of graduate work in CS at UMass, an applicant must also have taken

  • calculus I and II
  • calculus III or a statistics course 200 level or above
  • linear algebra (MATH 211)
  • an additional 300 level Mathematics course
  • either COMPSC 311 (theory of computation) or MATH 311 (abstract algebra) with a grade of B- or better

Students may consider other math or CS options from courses at the University to satisfy this requirement; for more information see the Bay State Fellowship Program. They are also urged to contact Robert Moll in the CS department at the University.

Bay State Fellows must begin the masters program at UMass Amherst in the fall term. Students who wish to participate must notify the University Computer Science Associate Chair for Academic Programs and complete the brief application process by February 1st of the year they plan to begin their program of studies.

The fellowship appointment includes an approximately 1/2 time assistantship, which comes - minimally - with a small stipend along with a waiver of most fees*. In return, participating students are required to make a corresponding commitment to the educational or research mission of the department, either by serving as a half-time teaching assistant, or by serving in some other half-time research or project assistant job. The nature of a student's assistantship will be determined at the discretion of the department.

A student who qualifies for the Bay State Fellowship program must begin the masters program within one year of graduation.