Campus Updates

Visit the campus updates page for information on Mount Holyoke's response to the global pandemic. 

Mount Holyoke College
Weissman Center for Leadership


The annual Senior Symposium allows students the opportunity to share the projects, scholarly research, and intellectual passions that they have brought to their year of independent research, 395-course work or other course work that demonstrates depth of research and analysis during their senior year. The emphasis is on the subjects that you, our seniors, have chosen to study and the ways in which your questions, theories, and conclusions about your projects have evolved during this academic year.

The Weissman Center helps to coordinate the symposium. Please review the following information and guidelines. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at the Center at 538-3071.

The Senior Symposium schedule of presentations will be available online when it becomes available.

Presenters will be allotted 15 minutes, including time for questions: 12 minutes for the presentation itself. Each presenter will be scheduled in a session with two or more students. Each presenter will be required to attend the entire session to which they are assigned.  Please make sure that you arrive early for your session and stay the entire time.

The Senior Symposium typically draws hundreds of visitors to hear student presentations. So many are eager to hear your presentation, learn about your independent work, and celebrate this special day with you. Please do commit yourself to present a well-organized, compelling, and well-delivered talk that will make you feel proud. The Weissman Center will offer workshops in effective presentation skills that will be available to all presenters, even those who may be working on the presentation with their advisor.

Deadlines and Important Dates

Abstract Guidelines

You must submit your abstract online in PDF format by the deadline listed above. You should discuss with your advisor your abstract well in advance of the deadline. This deadline cannot be extended, so do plan accordingly.

Abstracts will be posted to the Senior Symposium website. Be sure that the abstract you submit online in PDF format is free of errors, typographical and otherwise, and adheres to the abstract format described below.

Abstract Format Instructions

Each abstract should be no more than one page in length. Please note that each participant will be allotted only one page.

  • start your abstract with the title of your talk in title case (using upper and lower case letters), and center the title 
  • leave one blank line
  • at the left margin, type: “Student name:” and then type your name (title case), and hit enter
  • on the next line at the left margin type: “Project advisor:” and then type the first and last name of your project advisor
  • leave one line blank
  • then start your abstract. The abstract itself should be single spaced and include an overview of your project and review of the primary questions, sources, and issues with which you have been working.

The type font must be TIMES NEW ROMAN SIZE 12 for the text. References and/or footnotes must be TIMES NEW ROMAN SIZE 10. The top, left and right margins must be 1.25" and the bottom margin should be 1" or more. Abstracts do not have to fill the whole page.  We do ask that you do not type beyond the 1" margin on the bottom. See  Science_Sample.pdf or Humanities_Sample.pdf abstracts.


  • Each abstract may include a few key references as footnotes, which you should list at the end of the abstract (but still within the one-page limit).
  • Footnotes for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences should follow the Chicago Style Format Guide unless the specific academic discipline requires another format.
  • For Math and Sciences, references should be cited as they normally would within your academic discipline.
  • Please take the time to review your footnotes for accuracy and consistency with the appropriate style guide.

Preparing Strong Presentations

The Speaking, Arguing, and Writing Program (SAW) of the Weissman Center will be offering assistance to students on effective presentations, and will be available to all presenters, even if you are working with your advisor on your presentation. More information will be available in March.

Technology for Presentations

It is your responsibility to ensure that PowerPoint, or other technology you are planning to use for your presentation, will work on the computer equipment in the classroom to which you are assigned. Students are well advised to test their technology a few days prior to the Senior Symposium.

Celebratory Reception

All Senior Symposium presenters, their advisors and guests are invited to attend the symposium reception at the conclusion of the Symposium.