About the Region
Mount Holyoke is located in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in the Pioneer Valley--one of the most beautiful areas in New England and one of the most intellectually and culturally vibrant regions in the United States.
The Pioneer Valley, in western Massachusetts, is home to the Five Colleges--Mount Holyoke, Amherst, Hampshire, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This community of more than 30,000 students offers an extraordinary range of activities, including concerts, films, theater and dance productions, athletic activities, and museum exhibitions.
Across the street from the main campus, the Village Commons, designed by award-winning architect Graham Gund, is home to shops, restaurants, a coffeehouse, movie theater, and the renowned Odyssey Bookshop.
The nearby towns of Amherst and Northampton--both reachable by a free bus--offer a combination of cosmopolitan and small-town charm. You'll find great coffeehouses, bookstores, clubs, movie theaters, galleries, restaurants, and specialty shops. The area also offers malls, flea markets, and farm stands.
Nearby Skinner Park on Route 47 offers spectacular views of the valley and the Connecticut River's famous oxbow from atop Mount Holyoke, the mountain for which the College was named. For hikers, there are miles and miles of nearby trails. Water lovers will find opportunities to boat, swim, kayak, tube, and canoe. In the winter, you can downhill and cross-country ski. And for the truly adventurous, the region offers diversions like hang gliding, skydiving, and rock climbing.
New York City is just three hours away by car; Boston is 90 minutes.
Campus Facilities & Equipment
The College's abundant academic resources comprise more than 25 academic buildings, including a 700,000-volume library, with dedicated science and music libraries, and computerized access to five million volumes through the Five College Consortium; state-of-the-art science facilities; computer and language centers; outstanding dance facilities; botanical center; and proscenium and black box theaters.
Mount Holyoke is fully committed to using emerging technology tools that enhance the teaching and learning experience. Tools currently used include wireless networking, video conferencing, and interactive, multimedia-based, curriculum-enhancing Web software. There are ongoing training opportunities for students to learn emerging technologies.
The College recently invested $12.3 million in the expansion and renovation of its music and art facilities, which include the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, one of the nation's leading collegiate art museums with an active teaching collection.
The newly renovated and expanded Blanchard Campus Center is a meeting place for the entire Mount Holyoke community. Home to the campus store, student art gallery, campus information desk, mailroom, ticket box office, and student organization office, Blanchard offers food and drinks at the Uncommon Grounds coffee bar and at a fully equipped caf . Dances, intimate concerts, lectures, and shows are held in the main caf area, and larger events take place in the adjoining 5,000-square-foot Great Room, which offers a two-story glass wall with views of Lower Lake.
Other facilities include five cultural houses; kosher/halal dining hall; Japanese teahouse and meditation garden; health clinic and counseling center; Eliot House, a center for the spiritual life and community service; and the Career Development Center, with extensive career counseling services.
Kendade Hall, a multistory "green" building connecting several laboratory facilities, features a three-story atrium where community members can gather.
Superb New Science Facilities
The College's new $34.5-million unified science complex includes Kendade Hall, a multistory, 40,000-square-foot, certified "green" building according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. Kendade connects four science-related buildings and serves as the nexus for the science center. It features a three-story, 3,000-square-foot atrium that provides a gathering place for all members of the community, benefiting the entire campus.
The science center houses the departments of astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth and environment, mathematics and statistics, and physics, as well as the College's programs in biochemistry and in neuroscience and behavior. This state-of-the-art science center is outfitted with exactly the kind of advanced scientific equipment found in professional research laboratories.
The science center is also specifically designed to complement MHC's interdisciplinary approach to science and math. Within the center's interconnected spaces students are exposed not only to the full range of their field but to related subjects as well. They gain research and laboratory experience and are provided with the foundations essential for success in careers ranging from teaching and research to environmental protection and public policy.
Student Organizations & Activities
Mount Holyoke welcomes students of all religious traditions and spiritual paths and is one of the few liberal arts colleges in the country to serve nine active faith groups--Baha'i, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Unitarian Universalist, and Wiccan. Chaplains in four different faith groups--Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim--respond to the pastoral and liturgical needs of the College's pluralistic community. The College is pleased to offer students a kosher/halal dining facility, one of only a few of its kind on American college campuses.
Ninety-eight percent of students live on campus in 19 residence halls that have been described as "palaces" by the Princeton Review. Each hall houses students from all four classes. In addition to a range of dining options in the residence halls, board students may dine in Blanchard Caf in our campus center for lunch and/or dinner. The College was one of the first in the nation to offer its students a kosher/halal dining hall. The facility welcomes students of all backgrounds but in particular allows religious Jews and Muslims to practice the dietary laws of their respective faiths.
Mount Holyoke has NCAA Division III teams in basketball, crew, cross-country running, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, riding, soccer, softball, squash, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball, as well as the nation's third-largest equestrian center, called the "finest East Coast facility" by Town and Country. The College is also home to The Orchaards, an 18-hole championship, Donald Ross designed golf course, site of the 2004 U.S. Women's Open. The College's state-of-the-art sports and dance complex features outstanding facilities and equipment for athletics, dance, physical education, and recreational use.
The College offers more than 100 clubs and organizations in the arts, sports, politics, community service, cultural and spiritual life, health and wellness, and more.
Students here are a pretty active lot. As such, they frequently enjoy engaging in “outdoor activities like hiking and apple picking as well as a broad range of athletics.” However, if you don’t fancy yourself the sporty type, fear not. There “are also many clubs to fit nearly every hobby from singing to community service.” Certainly, students can participate in everything “from midnight howling and fandom-themed groups to the Roosevelt Institute, NARAL, and equestrian clubs.” And a number of students are “active in social justice [groups].” It’s also quite common for these undergrads to simply sit around and engage in “very intellectual conversations...about politics, subjects brought up in their classes, or maybe just a lively debate about a book or a movie.” On the weekends, many students head “off-campus to nearby college towns such as Northampton and Amherst to socialize because...South Hadley is fairly quiet without many options.” Fortunately, “bars, music venues, and really good restaurants” are only “a short (free) bus ride away.” And, of course, “there’s always plenty going on with...the other colleges in the Five College Consortium: from lectures to theatre to concerts to exhibits to parties.”