Most Mount Holyoke students seek admission for the bachelor of arts degree. The College also offers graduate degree, 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
Entrance is determined by a student’s overall record. To gain admission to Mount Holyoke, it is important to have a 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 the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. A strong academic program would include a minimum of three years in core classes (English, mathematics, foreign language, laboratory science, history). Please note that this program is preferred, not required.
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 character. The College is also interested in how students express themselves in writing, and the admission committee looks closely at student essays. 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
- Mount Holyoke College Writing Supplement
- High school transcript
- Two teacher evaluations
- College counselor evaluation
- Standardized tests: submission of SAT and ACT scores is optional (home-schooled students are required to submit either the ACT or three SAT subject tests unless they have earned a minimum of 12 credits in college transferable); TOEFL or IELTS is required if English is neither your first language nor the primary language of instruction you have 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 (cyber charter), and/or does not follow the curriculum established by 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. Applicants are also required to submit the ACT or three SAT subject tests.
- 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. We also review applications from and admit a cohort of first-year and transfer students for the spring semester.
Early Decision is for students who have made Mount Holyoke their first choice. Students who apply Early Decision may apply to other colleges, but may not apply Early Decision to any other college. Students who are admitted through Early Decision must withdraw all other applications.
Transfer applications are welcome from students with at least 16 transferable credits and strong academic records from two-year and community colleges, as well as from four-year colleges and universities, who wish to continue and complete their first bachelor of arts degree. Transfer students are admitted both in the fall and spring. Please consult the Office of Admission Web site or the transfer application for application deadlines. Transfer application requirements include:
- Transfer Common Application
- Mount Holyoke College Writing Supplement
- Transfer College Report
- Transfer Mid-Term Report
- Instructor evaluation
- Secondary school report
- High school transcripts
- College transcripts
- TOEFL score (if applicable)
- $60 application fee (not applicable to Frances Perkins applicants)
For more information regarding transfer credit policies, please refer to the Academic Regulations chapter.
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 is designed for women over 25 years of age who have experienced an interruption in their undergraduate study and wish to continue and complete their first bachelor of arts degree. Younger students who have dependents or are veterans may also apply to the Frances Perkins Program. Up to twenty-five (25) Frances Perkins scholars will enroll with full tuition scholarships.
The program is named in honor of one of Mount Holyoke College’s most extraordinary alumnae, Frances Perkins 1902, who was the first woman appointed to a presidential cabinet, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor.
A full-time program for Frances Perkins scholars is defined as either 16 credits (four courses) for residential students or 12 credits (three courses) for students who commute to campus; Frances Perkins scholars may also carry a part-time program of 8 credits (two courses) if they do not live in a residence hall. Frances Perkins scholars meet all of the degree requirements, participate in the total academic offerings of the College, are assigned faculty advisors, and have full access to the resources and facilities of the College.
Applying to the Frances Perkins Program
The admission process for Frances Perkins scholars is similar to that of traditional-age students, with appropriate allowance for the special circumstances of the nontraditional student. To qualify for admission, candidates must present a minimum of 32 transferrable college credits. The admission application deadline is March 1 for September enrollment. Applications for January entrance will be considered on November 1. All Frances Perkins candidates are required to interview in person, or via phone or Skype, before the application deadline.
Candidates may obtain further information about undergraduate studies through this program by contacting the Frances Perkins Program, Mount Holyoke College, 50 College Street, South Hadley, Massachusetts 01075, 413-538-2077, or by completing the inquiry form on the Frances Perkins website at www.mtholyoke.edu/fp.
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 Mathematics Teaching
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.
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.
Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical Program
The Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical Program typically attracts students who have completed a minimal amount of college-level science and who have a strong academic record as well as some clinical experience. Because of the restricted availability of seats in U.S. medical schools, this program is open to U.S. citizens only. Admission requirements include:
- a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution
- a minimum 3.3 overall undergraduate GPA
- GRE, ACT, or SAT scores, and
- an application essay and interview
Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. However, suggested target dates for submitting applications are February 27 for Fall or Summer entrance, and October 1 for Spring entrance.
More information and links to the online application are available from this website.
For information on readmission, see the Academic Regulations chapter.