All You Need To Know About Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College | Ivy Central

Nestled amidst the vibrant landscape of South Hadley, Massachusetts, Mount Holyoke College stands tall as one of the Seven Sisters, a consortium of esteemed women’s colleges. This tight-knit community fosters an environment where intellectual curiosity thrives, and female empowerment takes center stage.

Beyond its walls, Mount Holyoke’s membership in the Five College Consortium grants students access to a vast academic landscape. This unique partnership allows them to enroll in courses at any of the affiliated schools, enriching their learning experience and expanding their intellectual horizons.

Mount Holyoke embraces diversity and inclusivity, welcoming applications from female, transgender, and non-binary students. This global community fosters a sense of belonging for students from all walks of life, with one in four identifying as international citizens and another one in four domestic students being a person of color.

Financial accessibility is a priority at Mount Holyoke. The average first-year student receives over $50,000 in financial aid, and a multitude of merit scholarships, including the full-ride Trustee Scholarship and the Frances Perkins Scholarship for nontraditional students, further reduce barriers to education.

Mount Holyoke’s commitment to tradition is evident in its cherished customs. “Mountain Day,” a beloved surprise fall break, sees students embark on a collective climb of the nearby Mount Holyoke, solidifying their bond with nature and each other. “Pangy Day,” held towards the end of the spring semester, celebrates the arrival of warmer months and the enduring power of women.

But Mount Holyoke is more than just a place of learning and tradition. It is a catalyst for change. Here, students are empowered to see the world through a different lens, one that challenges conventional norms and seeks innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.

The legacy of Mount Holyoke boasts esteemed alumnae like the world-renowned poet Emily Dickinson, a testament to the college’s ability to nurture and empower women to become leaders in their chosen fields.

Student Cohort Size

Mount Holyoke College boasts a vibrant student population of 2,193 individuals, including 199 graduate students. The admitted students represent 48 states across the United States and a staggering 73 countries around the world. 23% of the student body comprises of international students. Mount Holyoke enjoys a strong national presence with students hailing from 48 states across the United States. This remarkable diversity fosters a rich learning environment where students are exposed to a multitude of perspectives and cultural experiences. 

Four-Year Completion Rate

The graduation rate is among the most important factors when selecting a college.  Mount Holyoke’s first-year retention rate is 90%. This means that 90% of first-year students continue their education for their sophomore year and beyond. The 6-year graduation rate is 90%. This implies that 90% of students were able to graduate after 6 years.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1 and 12% of classes have fewer than 10 students. 75% of classes have fewer than 20 students and 92% of classes have fewer than 30 students. The smaller class sizes provide a balance between personalized attention and collaborative learning opportunities. 


Acceptance Rate

Mount Holyoke College welcomed its most competitive class ever for the class of 2023. With a record number of 3,908 applications, up 8% from the previous year, the college selected 525 exceptional students to join its vibrant community. The admitted class hails from across the United States and 42 countries, representing a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives. This year’s “yellow sphinxes” come from 1,025 different high schools, with 19% identifying as international students.

Acceptance GPA

The average GPA of the admitted students is higher than 3.8. 77% of the class of 2023 were in the top 20% of their high school classes.

Types of Admission

Mount Holyoke applicants can apply through the Early Decision or Regular Decision programs. Early Decision is a binding admission plan for students who have determined that Mount Holyoke is their first choice and who feel they can present a strong application without senior grades being reviewed. Students admitted through the Early Decision admission plan are required to cancel their applications elsewhere and enroll in Mount Holyoke. Regular Decision is a non-binding and unrestrictive admission plan that allows students more time to complete the application and to have grades from the first term of their senior year considered in the review.

Application Components

All required parts of the Common App or Coalition Application.
Official high school transcript: An official high school transcript will display courses and grades for all years of high school attended.
Mid-year grades: Mid-year grades are the first semester or first trimester grades from your final year of high school.
Guidance Counselor letter of recommendation: The guidance counselor recommendation should detail academic and personal preparedness for post-secondary education.
Two academic teacher letters of recommendation: Recommendations must be from core academic teachers who worked with a student in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade.
Standardized Test Scores: While test scores are optional for students applying for fall 2023 and fall 2024, the average SAT scores for admitted students were between 1300 and 1510, and the average ACT scores were between 31 and 35.

Optional but highly recommended:

Essay Prompts: Please select one of the three prompts below. Your essay should be between 250-400 words.
Option 1: What unique characteristic about Mount Holyoke makes you interested in attending? (250-400 words)
Option 2: Every day, our students cultivate the competence, confidence and courage to make an impact — whether on a personal, community or global level. Tell us about the context in which you have grown up, what forms your aspirations and how your community has shaped your outlook. (250-400 words)
Option 3: Early bird or night owl? Sweet or savory? Go out or stay in? Or choose your own “this or that” scenario and make your case! (250-400 words)
Interviews: Interviews are one of the best ways for students to showcase their academic goals and personal experiences. For prospective first-year students, we suggest scheduling an interview during the spring of your junior year or the summer/fall of your senior year.
Art Supplement: Students with strong backgrounds in music, visual art, or dance are welcome to submit supplementary materials to support their application.


Mount Holyoke College offers an unparalleled academic landscape, boasting 48 diverse departmental and interdepartmental majors, ensuring students find their intellectual niche. While popular choices like biology, politics, and psychology remain at the forefront, the college is continuously evolving with the times, evidenced by the rapid growth of the computer science program and the introduction of a brand new data science major.

Beyond the classroom walls, Mount Holyoke fosters a dynamic learning environment that transcends traditional boundaries. Through cross-disciplinary academic experiences, students are encouraged to explore the interconnectedness of various fields, enriching their understanding of the world. Experiential and community-based learning opportunities provide practical application of theoretical knowledge, while faculty mentorships offer invaluable guidance and support.

Mount Holyoke proudly boasts a significantly higher proportion of female students majoring in STEM fields compared to coeducational institutions. This testament to the college’s commitment to empowering women in traditionally male-dominated fields is further strengthened by its award-winning faculty and supportive learning environment.

Recognizing the power of artistic expression, Mount Holyoke encourages all students to engage with the arts, regardless of their chosen major. Exploring a range of media, from visual arts to performing arts, students cultivate their creative thinking and connect with their shared humanity through artistic expression.

Delving into the “why” and “how” of human behavior, the social sciences at Mount Holyoke offer a unique lens through which to understand our complex world. From exploring diverse nations and cultures to examining families and individuals, students gain invaluable insights into human society, unlocking new perspectives and fostering critical thinking skills.

Mount Holyoke College goes beyond providing an education; it fosters a community of lifelong learners and empowers students to become well-rounded individuals, equipped with the knowledge, skills, and creativity to navigate the ever-changing world and make a positive impact on society.

Special Academic Programs

Five Colleges, One Education

Mount Holyoke is part of the Five College Consortium, one of the oldest and most robust consortia in the U.S. MHC students enjoy the rich resources of Amherst, Hampshire & Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst at no additional cost.

Cost of Attendance

Tuition                             $63,904
Room and board            $18,838
Student activity fee        $238
Total                                  $82,980

To conclude, at Mount Holyoke, a liberal arts education is not just about acquiring knowledge across diverse disciplines. It is a transformative journey where students are encouraged to connect people, ideas, and solutions to create a better, more equitable world. It is a place where women rise to lead, innovate, and make a lasting impact on the global stage.

Embark on a transformative higher education journey and elevate your path to academic success with the expert guidance and personalized support of an Ivy Central college counselor. Schedule a free consultation today.

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