International FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you Apply:

What is a liberal arts College?
The U.S. liberal arts college is similar to the faculty of arts or humanities at a European university but also includes programs in the natural and physical sciences. A bachelor's degree within the liberal arts curriculum serves as ample preparation either for a wide range of jobs or for an equally wide assortment of graduate programs. Our graduates go on to highly ranked professional schools as well as to jobs at top organizations around the world. More about the liberal arts...

How do I know if I am considered an international student?
At Mount Holyoke, we value diversity and recognize that internationalism can be defined in many ways.  International citizens are considered international students at Mount Holyoke. When applying for financial assistance, international citizens must fill out the CSS PROFILE and submit a Certified Verification of Income.  New international students are also invited to a special international orientation a few days before our general orientation starts.  US citizens living abroad are not considered international students.

How large and diverse is the international student body?
Currently there are more than 500 international students from more than 80 countries and 6 continents. See where the entering first-year class comes from...

The Application Process:

What are your testing policies?
Because Mount Holyoke's curriculum is writing and speaking intensive, fluency in English is essential. Applicants for whom English is not the first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Mount Holyoke will consider the TOEFL (our TOEFL code is 3529), IELTS or PTE results.  Mount Holyoke has no minimum or "cut-off" score that would automatically eliminate an application. The average paper-based TOEFL score for matriculating students is 628; internet-based is 105. The average IELTS score is 7.  The preferred minimum score for the PTE is 68.

Do I have to submit my national exam results?
Students from most African countries, the Caribbean, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh are required to submit official national exam results (i.e. WASSCE, EGSE, KCSE, CAPE, IGCSE, ISC, SLC). You may fax or scan and email a copy of the official certificate if you are unable to mail it. Other international students are not required to submit national exam results, but are welcome to do so. 

I'm in an A-Level/IB curriculum. What exam information should I submit?
If you are in an A-Level curriculum, you must submit your O-Level/IGCSE results, and predicted A-Level results. Students in an IB curriculum must submit predicted IB exam results.

Can I receive credit for IB or A level courses?
Mount Holyoke welcomes applicants from IB and A level preparatory schools, and has found them to be very well prepared for the College's curriculum. Students who have completed the full IB Diploma with a total of 36 or more points, including at least three higher level grades of 6 or 7, are eligible to apply for sophomore standing. Students who have completed 3 A level courses with grades of C or better may apply for advanced standing of 8 credits per A level exam. Such standing is not granted, however, until a student has been admitted, arrives on campus, and presents her credentials. The IB diploma or A level exam scores will be reviewed by the registrar. More about transferring credits...

How should I submit transcripts or teacher evaluations that are in another language?
If your secondary school documents are not in English, you must submit notarized translations along with original documents.

I do not have a school counselor, so who should write my counselor evaluation?
If your school does not have an advisor for students applying to university, please ask a school official such as a principal, vice-principal or dean to complete your International Secondary School Report and send it in with your Secondary School Transcript.

Can I send copies instead of official documents?
We strongly encourage students to submit official transcripts and TOEFL scores. These original documents must be sent directly from your school with the embossed seal, or be sent by ETS/College Board. Only in the most extreme circumstances will copies be allowed. You must request in writing permission to send copies. Those copies should be sent directly from your college counselor or headmaster with the official signature or school seal.

Do I need to submit an International Supplement?
This form should only be completed by secondary schools using non-US educational systems. International schools using an AP curriculum exclusively need not complete this form.

Many of my friends are using agents for help with their applications. What is your policy on agents?
It is not necessary to use an agent to achieve admission to Mount Holyoke College.  Please note that if we detect that a portion of an application was completed by someone other than the applicant, the application will not be considered.

Can international students apply to Mount Holyoke through the Early Decision programs?
Yes. Learn more about Early Decision...

Is financial aid available for international students?
Limited amounts of financial assistance are awarded competitively to international applicants based on their academic achievements and financial eligibility as determined by College guidelines. Applicants must apply for financial aid at the same time they apply for admission. Once a student has been admitted, she cannot then apply for aid. More about international financial aid...

Once Admitted:

How do I apply for a visa?
After you are admitted to the College, you will receive an I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility) and will most likely apply for an F-1 Student Visa. Learn more about student visas.

Is housing guaranteed?
Yes. On-campus housing is guaranteed for your all four years at Mount Holyoke.

What are the possibilities for my employment within the U.S. after graduation?
As a current international student or international graduate, you bring with you not only the skills you've acquired at Mount Holyoke, but a wealth of cultural and linguistic knowledge that enriches any workplace. More about life after graduation…

I have questions that are not addressed in the International FAQ section.  Where can I direct these questions?
MHC welcomes questions from prospective students and their families. Don’t see the answer you’re seeking? Take a look at the first year FAQ