MHC Ranks High in Science Ph.D. Production

Posted: October 6, 2006

Mount Holyoke has long been a place where students excel in the sciences. And recent NSF data shows that our science students continue to be among the most productive in the country. Mount Holyoke's combination of top-notch science facilities, faculty who are among the best in their field and who serve as excellent mentors, and unique research opportunities normally available only at large universities gives students the tools they need to succeed. From 1966 to 2004, according to the National Science Foundation's Survey of Earned Doctorates, Mount Holyoke graduated more women than any other liberal arts college who went on to get U.S. doctorates in the physical and life sciences (356 and 109, respectively). This puts Mount Holyoke in the top 2 percent of all colleges and universities--even major research universities with at least double the enrollment and faculty.

Among all colleges and universities, Mount Holyoke ranks eighth (tied with Stanford and Wellesley) in the number of graduates who earned U.S. doctorates in physics from 1966 to 2004; ninth in chemistry; and sixteenth in biology.

"Since its earliest days, Mount Holyoke has been a leader in educating women in the sciences, as the continued success of our students demonstrates," said Sean Decatur, associate dean of faculty for science and Marilyn Dawson Sarles, M.D. Professor of Life Sciences. "The close-working relationships between students and faculty in research labs and the classroom is an essential part of the Mount Holyoke experience that prepares students for postgraduate education and future careers in science."

Diversity in the Sciences

Mount Holyoke is also a leader in educating international and minority students in the sciences. From 2000 to 2004, Mount Holyoke produced more international (non-U.S. citizen) female graduates who went on to receive U.S. doctorates in the physical and life sciences than any other college or university. Twenty-three MHC alumnae received U.S. doctorates in life or physical sciences, compared with 21 women from the University of California-Berkeley, 19 from Harvard, and 17 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Among elite liberal arts colleges, Mount Holyoke ranks first in graduating minority women who went on to receive U.S. doctorates (22 total) in life and physical sciences from 2000 to 2004.

Expert Faculty

Science students at Mount Holyoke work side-by-side with accomplished faculty. Since 2000, Mount Holyoke science faculty have been awarded more NSF grant money--$8,122,015--than any other leading liberal arts college, which translates into unique research opportunities for students.

Our science faculty mirrors our diverse student population: Of our 51 full-time science faculty members, 57 percent are women, and 22 percent are individuals of color.

Related Link:

Science Leadership