Mount Holyoke is known for its distinguished faculty. The provost and dean of faculty provides academic leadership, and there are 35 academic departments and programs within the College’s three divisions, humanities, science and mathematics, and social sciences. Department chairs report to the provost. The College’s three scholarly centers, the Miller Worley Center for the Environment, the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, and the Weissman Center for Leadership, as well as the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, are also a part of the Academic Affairs division and offer research, study abroad, experiential, and community-based learning opportunities. Mount Holyoke recently completed a search for a new provost and is excited to welcome Dr. Lisa Sullivan from Harvey Mudd College; she began her tenure in August.
The education Mount Holyoke provides is exceptional both in its intellectual richness and its rigor. The imagination and creativity of the College’s ambitious faculty, students, and staff enrich the experience. Students routinely express appreciation and delight at the opportunities to spread their intellectual wings, to study across multiple disciplines, and to collaborate with first-rate faculty in serious research and entrepreneurial invention. Teacher-scholars across the humanities, social sciences, and STEM engage students deeply in classrooms, labs, archives, and in the field. Funded research collaborations and co- authorships are commonplace.
Mount Holyoke’s 247 faculty are best-in-class: celebrated scholars, active researchers, and gifted teachers who choose Mount Holyoke because they seek immersion in undergraduate teaching. They are the lifeblood of the institution’s academic core, setting the tone for MHC’s intellectual culture of concentrated curiosity, rigorous investigation, and intensive dialogue. Approximately 60 percent identify as women and 31 percent as people of color.
The College’s faculty are frequent recipients of prestigious fellowships and highly competitive grant funding. Markers of achievement include early career National Science Foundation (NSF) awards, the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, several Guggenheim and Carnegie Fellowships, multiple Fulbrights, and many more faculty accomplishments. Funders of faculty research include the NSF, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, New England Foundation for the Arts, and numerous private philanthropic sources.
Mount Holyoke's rigorous liberal arts curriculum is anchored by distribution requirements, designed to introduce students to a broad swath of disciplinary perspectives and methods while allowing flexibility in designing one’s course of study. More than a dozen of the College’s 48 majors are interdisciplinary, with 29 percent of current students pursuing majors in the humanities; 37 percent in the social sciences; 33 percent focusing in science and mathematics; and one percent self-designed interdisciplinary majors. Students also have access to 17 Five College certificate programs, in areas such as biomathematical sciences and ethnomusicology.
The College has a striking legacy of achievement in its science and mathematics teaching and research. Among all baccalaureate colleges in the U.S. over the past 50 years, Mount Holyoke launched the greatest number of women who go on to earn doctorates in the life sciences; and MHC earns the number two spot for science and engineering overall. More than one-third of Mount Holyoke’s students graduate with a STEM degree. MHC plays an outsized role in the drive toward gender and racial equity in STEM and is ranked among the best colleges in the nation for underrepresented students in STEM. Undergirded by an interdisciplinary liberal arts program, a rigorous STEM education bolsters alum success in these fields.
In recent years, the College has invested in curriculum-to-career initiatives including the Nexus concentration, which provides a way for students to gain interdisciplinary expertise in a variety of subject areas. Elementary and secondary-level teacher licensure can also be obtained. The campus’s Career Development Center has strengthened its programming and connections with employers and the alum network over the past decade, establishing a signature program called The Lynk, a universal application process and advising system whereby every undergraduate is eligible for at least $3,000 in internship funding.
Professional and graduate-level programs with a focus on educators were formally introduced in 2012 and have expanded over time. The master of arts in teaching is available through on-campus and hybrid instruction, and with concentrations for English language learners, teaching mathematics, special education, and teacher leadership, among others. Professional development institutes for educators are also offered. These programs are open to students of all genders.
The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC), through its New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Mount Holyoke was initially accredited in 1929 and has been continuously accredited since; it is presently accredited at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels. The College’s last comprehensive review took place in 2017. Formal continuation in accreditation was approved by NEASC in spring 2018; an interim report was submitted in summer 2022.