Most Mount Holyoke students seek admission for the bachelor of arts degree. The College also offers graduate degrees, dual degree, second bachelor’s, and other certificate programs.
Mount Holyoke College is looking for intellectually curious, motivated students who understand the value of a liberal arts education. The College believes in the educational, social, and ethical value of diversity and actively recruits students who have different interests and talents and who come from a wide spectrum of ethnic, geographic, and economic backgrounds.
The Admission Process
Admission is determined by a student's overall record of achievement. Successful candidates demonstrate a very strong academic foundation. The College seeks students who have consistently challenged themselves by taking honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses, or their equivalent, or enrolled in an International Baccalaureate (IB program). A typical academic program includes a minimum of three years in core classes (English, mathematics, foreign language, laboratory science, history) that reflect increasing rigor. Please note that while this profile is typical, variations are common and will be considered.
While the greatest weight is attributed to school records and evaluations, consideration is also given to the student's entire portfolio, which includes special talents, particular goals, and unique experiences. The College greatly values how students express themselves in writing, and the admission committee looks closely at all student essay submissions. Finally, the College seeks students whose interests and aspirations match the opportunities offered by Mount Holyoke.
Standardized Testing: Optional
Since fall 2001, Mount Holyoke has made it optional for applicants to submit standardized tests for admission purposes. Students are welcome to submit Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and ACT scores.
- Common Application or Coalition Application
- Mount Holyoke College Writing Supplement
- High school transcript
- Two teacher evaluations
- College counselor evaluation
- Standardized tests: submission of SAT and ACT scores is optional; TOEFL or IELTS is required if English is neither the applicant's first language nor the primary language of instruction the applicant used throughout secondary school
- Application fee ($60)
Mount Holyoke College strongly recommends personal interviews for all candidates. Candidates must make appointments in advance.
Candidates who are unable to visit campus may be interviewed by an admission representative via Skype, or meet with alumnae representatives in their home or school areas. To sign up for an interview, please complete an Interview Request Form on the Mount Holyoke College website.
Mount Holyoke welcomes applications from students whose secondary education and curriculum have been primarily at home, online, and/or does not conform to the established curriculum in an accredited school district. To facilitate the application process, the College advises home-schooled candidates to contact the admission office early in the process. In addition to completing the Mount Holyoke application forms, candidates must submit two letters of recommendation that speak to the candidate’s academic and personal qualifications. Students who feel that their application may be enhanced by including traditional measures like standardized test scores may choose to submit either the SAT or ACT. While not definitive in the review process, scores, like grades achieved in college level courses, may add information and context in the evaluation of a student's file for admission.
- Early Decision I: deadline November 15; notification January 1
- Early Decision II: deadline January 1; notification February 1
- Regular Decision: deadline January 15; notification April 1
Every year, a number of regular decision applicants are admitted for entrance in the spring semester. The College also reviews applications from and admits a cohort of first-year and transfer students for the spring semester.
The Early Decision Plan is designed for students who have made Mount Holyoke their first choice. Students who choose to apply Early Decision may apply to other colleges, but not through another Early Decision program. If admitted, students are required to withdraw all other applications and notify those colleges of their intent to enroll at Mount Holyoke.
We welcome transfer applications from those with strong academic records who have completed high school and earned 16 or more transferable credits at an accredited post-secondary institution. Transfer students are admitted in both the fall and spring. Please consult the Office of Admission website for application deadlines. Transfer application requirements include:
- Transfer Common Application
- Mount Holyoke College Writing Supplement
- Transfer College Report
- Transfer Mid-Term Report (if currently enrolled)
- Two academic evaluations
- High school transcript(s)
- College transcript(s)
- TOEFL score (if applicable)
- $60 application fee
For more information regarding transfer credit policies, please refer to the Academic Regulations chapter of the catalog.
International students are welcome and vital members of the Mount Holyoke community, and the College actively recruits international applicants. International applicants may apply for the full four-year bachelor of arts degree program. Additionally, international students may apply for the International Guest Student Program (see the Other Degree and Certificate Programs chapter).
In addition to completing the Mount Holyoke application forms, international applicants are also required to submit the International School Supplement to the Secondary School Report.
The Frances Perkins Program
The Frances Perkins Program – so named for renowned 1902 alumna and former Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins – is open to women over 25 years of age who have experienced an interruption in their undergraduate study and wish to complete their first bachelor of arts degree. Younger students who have dependents or are veterans may also apply to the Frances Perkins Program.
A full-time program for Frances Perkins scholars is defined as either 16 credits (four courses) per semester for residential students or 12 credits (three courses) per semester for non-resident, commuting students. Frances Perkins scholars who live on-campus must carry a full-time program while non-resident Frances Perkins scholars have the option to carry a part-time program of 8 credits (two courses) per semester.
As students, Frances Perkins scholars are held to the same degree requirements as our traditional-age students and have full access to the resources and facilities of the College.
Applying to the Frances Perkins Program
Admission to the Frances Perkins program is highly competitive, and enrollment is limited. Applicants are reviewed in a manner similar to traditional-age students, with appropriate allowance for the special circumstances of the nontraditional student. To be considered for admission, candidates must present a minimum of 40 transferable college credits, preferably in a broad-based, liberal arts program of study. The admission application deadline is March 1 for September enrollment and November 1 for January entrance. An interview, either in person, via Skype, or by phone, is a requirement for all Frances Perkins candidates.
For more information about pursuing undergraduate study through the Frances Perkins program, please complete the inquiry form on the Frances Perkins website, www.mtholyoke.edu/fp, or contact the Frances Perkins Program, Mount Holyoke College, 50 College Street, South Hadley, Massachusetts 01075, 413-538-2077.
Master of Arts in Teaching
Those interested in applying to the M.A.T. program should submit a completed application, have an undergraduate major (or demonstrate equivalent subject area knowledge) in their desired teaching discipline, and be prepared to submit a passing score on the appropriate Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL). Applicants who have not yet taken the MTEL are still able to apply.
The preferred application deadline is January 15. For details and procedures, see the online application or the Master of Arts in Teaching information in the catalog. Applications received after the preferred date will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis through May.
Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics
Those interested in applying to the M.A.M.T. program must have a teaching license (initial or professional) and at least a bachelor's degree. Prospective students should consult the program’s website for details and to access the online application.
Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership
Those interested in applying to the M.A.T.L. program must have a teaching license, a bachelor's degree, and a history of effective classroom practice and strong passion for student learning. GRE scores are not required. Interested applicants should consult the program’s website for details and to access the online application.
Non-degree Study at the Graduate Level
Professional and Graduate Education offers courses, institutes, and workshops open to enrollment by qualified community members, professionals, and undergraduate students equipped to undertake work at the graduate level. More information about these programs is available in the Professional and Graduate Education chapter and its Institutes' admission page.
A cooperative doctoral program is offered by Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst in astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry, geology, and physics. The degree is awarded by the University of Massachusetts but in exceptional cases much of the work leading to the degree may be taken at one of the participating institutions. Information about specific areas of research can be obtained from the chair of the appropriate department at Mount Holyoke College. General information and application materials are available from the graduate school at the University of Massachusetts. All applications must be made directly to the University of Massachusetts.
Other Undergraduate Degree and Certificate Programs
See Other Degree and Certificate Programs for information about the following: the second Bachelor’s degree, dual-degree programs in engineering and Latin American studies, teacher licensure programs, the International Guest student program, and the Certificate for International Students.