Frequently Asked Questions

How is the College thinking about new student orientation in light of the COVID-19 outbreak?

The College is closely monitoring the situation and are in ongoing contact with state and local public health officials, colleagues within the Five Colleges and other relevant parties. We encourage you to make use of the COVID-19 page.

All information is accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as the College continues to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 situation and related health and safety guidance. New students will be communicated to via their MHC emails if and when changes are made. Any updates or changes to new student orientation for Fall 2020 will be communicated as soon as they are known.

What is Orientation and why do I need to attend?

Orientation was created to assist you in entering college life at Mount Holyoke. It will help you get acquainted with the college community and the resources available on campus. During Orientation, you will become familiar with the college, attend informational meetings, and get to know fellow students. You will also have a chance to speak with your academic advisor, meet college faculty and staff, and become acquainted with the academic facilities and the college offices. It is also a great time to set up your OneCard account and banking services.

When do I need to be there?

We look forward to being able to share this information.

Please note: the College is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are in ongoing contact with state and local public health officials, colleagues within the Five Colleges and other relevant parties. Exact dates along with any updates or changes to new student orientation for Fall 2020 will be communicated as soon as they are known.

What do I do during Orientation?

Orientation is a time for you to acclimate to the campus, meet your peers and ask questions. Some Orientation events are required and others are optional; at all of them, you'll explore the resources, traditions, and opportunities available to you with the help of upper-class student Orientation Leaders. There will be everything from floor meetings in your residence hall to dialogue with your Orientation Leaders to programs about multiculturalism. The schedule of events has been posted and will be updated frequently. 

Place to get keys, Orientation Guide and schedule?

Tuesday arrivals should go to Blanchard Hall, and students arriving on Friday should head straight for the Welcome Tent on Abbey-Buckland Green in Woolley Circle. Your keys and information about the Orientation Guide will be available when you check in. You will be able to access information online about your class schedule before the start of classes.

What do Orientation Leaders do?

Some of the first people you will meet when you arrive at Mount Holyoke are Orientation Leaders. They are upper-class students carefully chosen to assist in Orientation. Think of them as your ambassadors to the MHC community. They can answer many of your questions about academic, residential, and extracurricular concerns. They will assist you in every way possible in adjusting to MHC life.

Where can my family stay for Orientation?

Please refer to Lodging.

How long should my family stay?

We look forward to being able to share this information.

Please note: the College is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are in ongoing contact with state and local public health officials, colleagues within the Five Colleges and other relevant parties. Any updates or changes to new student orientation for Fall 2020 will be communicated as soon as they are known.

When do classes start?

Please see our academic plan for Fall 2020.

Please note: the College is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are in ongoing contact with state and local public health officials, colleagues within the Five Colleges and other relevant parties. Any updates or changes to new student orientation for Fall 2020 will be communicated as soon as they are known.

Where can I buy books for my classes?

The Odyssey Bookshop sells all textbooks for Mount Holyoke classes. They are located across the street from the College in the Village Commons.

Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday, noon - 5 p.m.

There are also online book retailers that sell both new and used copies of many academic books. In addition, the college has a newsgroup for selling many items, including textbooks.

Do I need to take any tests before coming?

All students who wish to study German or Spanish at Mount Holyoke must complete a Language Proficiency Questionnaire. This information is needed to place you in the course that is most appropriate for you. If you wish to study French, German, Latin or Spanish, be sure to take the appropriate placement exam. The MHC mathematics assessment is for students planning to begin the study of calculus at Mount Holyoke. The chemistry placement exam is for students who are interested in enrolling in Chemistry 201. Students should refer to the First-Year Guide for detailed information about necessary placement exams and questionnaires.

What should I pack?

packing list can be found on the Office of Residential Life website.

How do I mail some of my belongings to myself?

Please refer to New Student Services and related sections of the Auxiliary Services website for information on mail services and policies.

What do I do about bringing my car to campus?

Please refer to the Parking Office website for related information, especially on the system for parking decals.

Are there gender neutral bathrooms?

There are gender inclusive bathrooms located on different floors in each hall.

What should I think about when inviting guests?

The first thing is to discuss your plans with your roommate. Remember they share a room with you, and their opinions should be respected. Other than that, there is really no "set" advice we can give you.

How do I get off campus if I don't have a car?

The college is part of The Five College Consortium, which offers a free bus service (PVTA) between the Five Colleges. You can access the Hampshire Mall in Hadley via the PVTA. The college offers off-campus services to Holyoke Mall and the Big Y grocery store regularly. Additionally, Mount Holyoke has a small fleet of Zipcars that can be used once a membership is purchased. To learn more about them, visit Auxiliary Service's website. 

What can I REALLY do with my OneCard?

Here are a few things that you can do:

  1. Enter buildings
  2. Swipe for meals
  3. Laundry
  4. Buy snacks and beverages from vending machines
  5. Buy food at Blanchard Cafe
  6. Present a picture ID when necessary (such as picking up mail or for student discounts). See OneCard Services for more information.

Resources for students with disabilities?

Students who require accommodations are encouraged to contact the AccessAbility Services immediately upon acceptance to ensure timely provision of services. Information regarding AccessAbility Services and the accommodations that Mount Holyoke provides can be found online

Where do I find contact information?

See the Directories page, which provides links to contact information for students, faculty and staff, and College offices. Or, click on the "Offices" tab at the top of every College webpage.

What if I have more questions?

Your Orientation Leaders will be on hand as soon as you arrive on campus to answer all of your questions!