Mount Holyoke Science Facts and Figures

A partial list of accomplishments by Mount Holyoke alumnae and teacher scientists:

  • First person to collect weather data in the U.S.
  • First woman specialist in aerospace medicine
  • Co-discoverer of the antibiotic nystatin, first of the "wonder drugs"
  • Inventor of Apgar Score, used worldwide (and probably on you!) to measure health of newborn babies in the delivery room
  • First physician to identify cystic fibrosis
  • First woman president of the:
    • American Chemical Society
    • Royal Canadian Institute
    • American Paleontological Society
    • American Association of Physical Anthropology
  • First woman given a research post at Woods Hole Biological Laboratory
  • Pioneer in the study of the role of the thymus gland in the immune system
  • Pioneer in development of nuclear medicine
  • One of the first women to earn a Ph.D. in science from Yale University
  • Primary anesthesiologist at New England's first heart transplant
  • Pioneer researcher in forensic medicine
  • Developer of the concept of "territoriality" to explain birds' nesting behavior
  • Researcher at McMurdo Station in Antarctica
  • Developer of theory that an ancient map of the world, including the New World, is contained on coins of ancient Carthage and Phoenicia
  • High school teacher who encouraged astronaut Sally Ride to pursue a career in science.

Twenty-five percent of Mount Holyoke students major in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), per 2017 data.

Among all baccalaureate colleges, Mount Holyoke produces the greatest number of women who go on to earn STEM doctorates. (Source: National Science Foundation, Survey of Earned Doctorates, 1966 – 2015.)