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Ask a student!

MHC2011MHC2011 284 replies3 threads Junior Member
edited December 2008 in Mount Holyoke College
Since this board is a little dead...does anyone have questions to ask a current student? Fire away. :)
edited December 2008
27 replies
Post edited by MHC2011 on
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Replies to: Ask a student!

  • LaMariposaAzulLaMariposaAzul 354 replies25 threads Member
    Got any info on the English Dept.?

    How about music stuff--orchestra, etc.?
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  • standardprintsstandardprints 33 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Alright, I've got one...

    Is financial aid negotiable at MHC? It's my first choice, but I'm really worried I'll get better offers from other colleges and end up at one of those for financial reasons.
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  • khsstitcheskhsstitches 580 replies16 threads Member
    How about theater opportunities?
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  • MHC2011MHC2011 284 replies3 threads Junior Member
    English: I'm actually leaning towards minoring in English here. I won't lie -- it's considered one of our more difficult departments in terms of expectations. There's no hand-holding, which means it's wonderful if you really want to learn and push yourself. The faculty members are outstanding and most are really well published themselves. (Our department chair, for example, is one of the foremost scholars on Joyce.) The course offerings throughout the Five Colleges are also fantastic, so you can do pretty much any focus for your major.

    Music: I do participate in one of our music programs but would rather not completely give myself away. A cappella and vocal performance are REALLY big here, and the majority of admitted students performed either instruments or vocally in high school. We have a huge artsy contingent, so it's nice. Our orchestra is great but they always have openings, especially since so many juniors go abroad, so it's a good school if you want to jump in right away. You can also participate in music programs through the Five Colleges, including special ensembles that involve students from each college. Basically, if you want to be involved with music here in any way, they will help you do it, whether you're a beginner or really advanced.

    Financial aid: The college is need-conscious, meaning if two students who are roughly equivalent apply, but one needs more aid than the other, they'll take the one that needs less. HOWEVER, if you're a strong candidate, then they'll take you whether you need the money or not. I did negotiate my package and was able to take out more in loans than they initially were going to let me to help cover my EFC, so now I'm only paying a tiny bit every year and have very limited loans. To negotiate, you need to have documentation explaining why you need more money than they were going to give you. It can be done just like I've done it, but you have to be prepared. And keep in mind that we require not just the FAFSA but also the CSS PROFILE, so you might be paying more or less than what the FAFSA says depending on how your PROFILE goes.

    Theatre: I honestly don't know a lot about that, unfortunately. We do have a theatre here on campus and they do several productions a semester, and you can also major in theatre here, which I know isn't common at liberal arts colleges. Like most of our arts programs, there's a lot of collaboration with the other Five Colleges, so you have the resources of every institution available to you and can even participate in many of their productions. I will try to find out a little more for you. :) But like I said, this is a very arts-positive college, so there's always support for these types of things.
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  • pyewacketpyewacket 1568 replies114 threads Senior Member
    Mount Holyoke is very supportive of theatre majors. Suzan-Lori Parks and Wendy Wasserstein --both Pulitzer prize-winning playwrights graduated from MHC.
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  • shelley14shelley14 836 replies44 threads Member
    My daughter has done theater tech - sets, props, lighting - throughout high school. She does not want to study theater but she would like to continue in tech. Is that possible?
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  • forgottenmuch987forgottenmuch987 146 replies30 threads Junior Member
    How is the International Relations at Mount Holyoke?
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  • MHC2011MHC2011 284 replies3 threads Junior Member
    International Relations: This is actually one of our best fields and the program we have is nationally known. We have students who come from all over the world specifically to be in our IR program. Some of the introductory classes can be a little large because they have so many students in the program - American Foreign Policy is one that a LOT of people take, even outside the major - but once you hit the 200 or 300 level, it's a lot better. What's nice about our program is that all of our IR faculty members have either immigrated from abroad, are here on visiting fellowships from abroad, or have lived and worked abroad in the field, so they really know what they're talking about. I can't begin to tell you how many people I know here who are IR majors, so you'd definitely have a large, supportive community. :) There's info here: International Relations :: Mount Holyoke College

    Theatre tech: All of our events, from orientation to commencement, are staffed by student technicians. I'd say it's quite likely she'd be able to keep participating. :) And they'll also help to train her in more advanced skill areas, too.
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  • saiyukiznsaiyukizn 1 replies0 threads New Member
    How is Biology and Chemistry? Friske guide says that MHC produces more female PHDs in biology and chemistry than other colleges. Could you say something about it?thanks a lot~
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  • khsstitcheskhsstitches 580 replies16 threads Member
    How does MHC encourage/discourage courses at the other 4 colleges in the consortium? I have heard that Smith does not encourage it although I wouldn't say actively discourages it.........nor do they welcome students from the other schools quite so much. What is your take on it at MHC? To me although each college is excellent (even UMass) and unique in its own right, one of the great benefits to that area is that the possibilites in the 5-College Consortium are almost endless. My D is shadowing on the 20th....we'll see what she thinks.
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  • mtholyoke2010mtholyoke2010 120 replies3 threads Junior Member
    khsstitches, MHC encourages use of the Consortium. Smith also encourages it; the reason that so few Smith students take classes elsewhere or vice versa is because Smith is so far by bus! The Psych department is probably the most open about Five College students; they have joint programs with Amherst for teacher licensure. However, it is not rare to see a Hampshire student! They take classes here more than students from any of the five colleges, though Smithies, UMass people, and Amherst people also take class here. We really are a consortium - there really is a community.
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  • khsstitcheskhsstitches 580 replies16 threads Member
    Thats good to hear. My nephew took a few courses at Smith and never felt welcomed and had 1 prof. who was downright uninviting. Maybe the male factor, who knows! Anyhow, glad to hear it is accepted b/c I think its a tremendous opportunity. Thanks.
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  • frazzledmaybefrazzledmaybe 195 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Hey, saiyukizn. I am taking some sciences this semester. I think we have a really strong program. There's a really good class selection. For example, in 100-level biology alone there are about 9 different class options this year (e.g., Intro Bio: Diversity of Life, Intro Bio: Organismal Biology, Intro Bio: The Lives of Animals, etc.). We also have a unique integrated bio and chem class that is two classes, taught one after the other, that share 1 lab (3 lab sections). It's a really nice way to take both intro chem and intro bio manageably in your first semester.

    As for resources, the CDC (career development center) is really great about working with students interested in science. The opportunities here are really amazing. The office has TONS of internship and research opportunity information. Also, everyone here wants to help you. Right now I'm talking to an alumna about a hospital internship, but a girl in my class also said that she'd put me in contact with her boss at her last research position, and I'm also looking into working at a different hospital or maybe going abroad. And I haven't even been to the CDC yet (I'm sure once I go I'll find too many options to even consider!). People are not only willing to help here--they WANT to help and see us succeed.

    Also, we have really nice facillities and equipment. We have a YSI 6600 dissolved oxygen sensor, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, and tons of other fancy machines that, from what I understand, are pretty rare at colleges our size. To risk sounding like an admissions catalogue, if you are interested in science, MHC is definitely the place for you. The resources combined with the consortium and size of the school--which makes it so easy to have real interaction with professors and get involved with research and other opportunities--make it unbeatable.
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  • andreeabandreeab 167 replies46 threads Junior Member
    I have a 1980 SAT 1(580 reading, 690math, 710 writing(9 essay)) and I'm an international student trying to apply ED. The problem is I will apply early with other 6-7 girls I know, who have somewhat better scores that I do. I don't know if I should "show" my SAT because of my poor reading section. I don’t even know if it's worth competing with these girls, since they will all send in their SAT1+Sat subject test(which I'll take this weekend and in december). Are there two separate applicant pools one for the ones who submit SAT's and one for those who don't? I really don't know what to do... I think I can write a pretty strong essay in 2 weeks and I have rather cool EC such as concert organizing(big international events) and writing for webzines(since I was 15), greenpeace and others...
    will they compare my appl and think "oh this girl didn't even submit her SAt's or she has lower SAT scores than her fellow foreigners, we’ll just choose the one with best academic performance"?
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  • LaMariposaAzulLaMariposaAzul 354 replies25 threads Member
    My sense of the MHC admissions officers is that they'd rather evaluate you as a whole, and not pick up on little individual things...When I visited, there was a lot of rhetoric about the "holistic evaluation" of students and stuff like that. How is your GPA? That's probably the most important thing for academic performance, especially since some people don't submit SAT scores.

    Basically, I've gotten the impression (only an impression, not a fact!) that MHC isn't about to deny you admission based the fact that you didn't submit SAT scores (why would they be SAT optional if SATs were a huge part of their admissions decision?) If you like MHC, apply! Don't feel like you're unlikely to get in based on a single score, especially if you have a fair chance with everything else in your application.
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  • andreeabandreeab 167 replies46 threads Junior Member
    Thanks so much for the reply!

    Ahhh, but those other girls I know, all applying ED. I called today and the lady there told me that there is only one application pool and not two as I had hoped so probably they will have a clear advantage if everything evens out at the end of the process. I can't accurately say what my GPA is, because I didn’t fount a proper converter on the internet, but in Romanian system it's 9.3 out of 10 for the first 3 years of high school. Also my highschool is the most prestigious in the country for computer science, but still I’ll probably choose a social science major so the profile of the school and its prestige won't be a plus here either.
    Other than that I'll soon start my essay for CA, and I have an idea which I think is pretty good and interesting, but a bit too abstract. I mean it says more about y writing rather than about me. It that ok or should I change the subject? I'm not writing about death don’t worry:D
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  • butterfly__*butterfly__* 77 replies1 threads Junior Member
    An abstract essay topic is great! Make sure that in some way you can connect it to yourself, though. A personal statement, of course, has to be somewhat "personal". Good luck with your application.
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  • MHC2011MHC2011 284 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Just to go back to the Five Colleges question...like someone else pointed out, I think the only reason there isn't a lot of cross-registration between Mount Holyoke and Smith is that we're the two colleges that are farthest apart from each other. If you have a car, it's really easy, but if you're taking the PVTA, it's at least 45 minutes each way and you usually have to do a transfer at Hampshire. I do have lots of friends who take classes at Smith, but they either drive or take classes that are much later in the day or only meet once a week.

    We get a lot of Hampshire students for a couple reasons. First, they're the closest college to us -- it goes Hampshire, Amherst, UMass, Smith -- so it just makes sense that they'd come here a lot. More than that, we have some departments they don't have. For example, Hampshire doesn't have any foreign language courses, so their students have to go off-campus for foreign language. Since our foreign language program is so outstanding and we offer such a neat variety, they usually pick us over Amherst, which they're actually closer to.

    I think the college really pushes students to see what else it out there. My adviser always asks me which classes I'm planning on taking through the consortium and makes suggestions for which ones to take and when. And my department chair e-mails us just about every day to let us know about events going on at the other colleges that might be of interest to us. It's pretty neat. :)
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  • katmandookatmandoo 92 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Do you like the school? Do you get to see guys often?
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  • nellenelle 55 replies32 threads Junior Member
    Hey international here. My gpa is pretty weak. I come from an international system that only values major exams. So my grades for the past 4 years are literally 50, A (major exam), 50, high B (predicted grades for next year). I only found out about American Universities this year. I made an attempt to improve my grades, though I don't know whether that is reflected... any chance I can get in?

    How are the internships for the IR major? Or the alumni support for Mt holyoke? Is it very competitive in the IR Department? I love competition so that would be a plus!
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