Dual-Degree Engineering Programs


Renowned throughout the world for its strength in the sciences, Mount Holyoke is proud to offer three outstanding dual-degree opportunities in engineering, as well as excellent preparation for graduate work in engineering. Through agreements with three leading engineering schools, you can earn two bachelors degrees in five years: a bachelor of arts degree from Mount Holyoke and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the partner school. Each program has different conditions for receiving both degrees so be sure to check the specific information about each program. For each of them, it is important to begin planning in the first year.

Program Overview

At a time when science remains a male-dominated field, Mount Holyoke is actively committed to increasing the number of women in science. Approximately 25 percent of our students major in the sciences. Mount Holyoke students have a strong record of getting into top professional and graduate school programs. Science faculty comprise more than 25 percent of the total faculty, and the College boasts a high number of tenured women faculty in science as well.

Why study for five years rather than four?

Engineering requires a rigorous course of study, with an extremely high number of mandatory courses. Students who seek to complete an engineering degree in four years have very little time to explore the liberal arts curriculum. Many professional engineers regret later in their lives that they "missed out" on getting a broader education. They wish they鈥檇 had a chance to take that extra history class or that art class or seminar in creative writing. While rigorous, a dual-degree program gives students flexibility and the opportunity to get both a liberal arts education and an engineering degree.

Regardless of the program you choose, all three dual-degree programs require careful planning right from the first semester at Mount Holyoke.

The importance of a liberal arts education in the study of engineering

As a future engineer, you鈥檒l be served well by a degree from a rigorous liberal arts college. Engineering professors at first-rate universities say that most graduate school programs in engineering are as interested in strong students with broad-based science backgrounds from excellent liberal arts colleges as they are in students with engineering degrees. Many professors note that students with liberal arts backgrounds bring an awareness of the human dimension of every issue, as well as a technical dimension. And alums who are now engineering professionals say that the way the College鈥檚 faculty and students work collaboratively is ideal preparation for the teamwork that is typical of many engineering projects.


Excellence in STEM

We excel in preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math. 40% of our students major in STEM fields 鈥 a significantly higher proportion of women than at coeducational institutions.


Career outcomes

95% of graduates from the class of 2023 for whom outcomes data could be obtained (74% of the class) were employed and/or in graduate school within six months following graduation.

General guidelines and information

First-year requirements

You must consult with a member of the MHC Engineering Committee during your first semester.

Some UMass programs require taking a course there on the Five College Exchange in the spring of the first year but you are encouraged to take an introductory engineering course in the spring of your first year.

Sophomore year requirements

Planning for declaring your MHC major can be coordinated with planning for the dual degree during your sophomore year. You must declare your departmental major (or your intention to design a special major) before submitting the application for a Dual Degree in Engineering.

Complete the MHC Application for a Dual Degree in Engineering along with a statement explaining how the proposed work in engineering fits into your Mount Holyoke major and long-term plans.  Be sure to have your major advisor sign the application. Complete and return the form to the Office of Student Success and Advising, 300B Mary Lyon Hall, no later than December 15 of your sophomore year. The application may also be submitted by emailing it to academic-deans@mtholyoke.edu.

If you are applying for the dual degree at UMass, whether as a first or a second choice, you must also complete and attach the MHC/UMass Engineering Dual Degree Program form.

Financial Aid

If you are receiving need-based aid from Mount Holyoke, the MHC Application for a Dual Degree in Engineering form also serves as the application for an Mount Holyoke engineering scholarship for study at the dual degree partner institution.

We work to maximize the number of students we can support with Engineering Scholarships. When making awards we consider the costs of the options available to you. You will increase your chance of receiving a scholarship meeting full financial need if you include the UMass program among your choices; funding meeting full need is not guaranteed for scholarship recipients attending Dartmouth. The maximum Dartmouth award is capped at the maximum required for the UMass program. Applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 in mathematics and science courses and at least 3.0 overall. These are minimum requirements, and successful students usually have stronger records in mathematics and science.

Completing the dual-degree requirements

All Mount Holyoke graduation requirements, including all major requirements, must be completed by the end of year four. You may also work with your Mount Holyoke advisor to design a special minor in Applied Science that includes engineering courses taken at the partner institution.

Dual-degree schedule by institution

School Program Schedule Years at dual degree institution
Thayer Chemical, civil, mechanical and industrial programs 2-1-1-1* 3rd and 5th
UMass Chemical, civil, mechanical and industrial programs 2-1-1-1* 3rd and 5th
UMass Electrical engineering 3-2 4th and 5th
CalTech Electrical engineering 3-2 4th and 5th

*Special arrangements can be made to do the Thayer and other UMass programs on a 3-2 schedule, but on any schedule, the internal MHC application must be completed in the sophomore year.

Types of dual-degrees

Thayer and Caltech confer the Bachelor of Science in Engineering. In these programs, you choose an engineering major, but the degree itself is relatively broad. Most people who earn this degree either go into management or on to graduate study.

UMass Amherst confers the Bachelor of Science in a specific area of engineering. This requires more specific courses throughout the five years. This more specialized degree is ideal preparation for someone who wants to be a working engineer "in the trenches"; it is also solid preparation for graduate study or management.

Learn more

The Engineering Committee advises students who wish to earn both a bachelor of arts degree from Mount Holyoke and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from one of our partner schools within a period of five years.

Next steps

Apply to Mount Holyoke

Mount Holyoke seeks intellectually curious applicants who understand the value of a liberal arts education and are driven by a love of learning. As a women's college that is gender diverse, we welcome applications from female, trans and non-binary students.

Dual Engineering Applications and Scholarships

An additional application is required for the dual degree in engineering program, which is due no later than December 1 of the sophomore year. The form is available in the Office of Academic Deans in Mary Lyon Hall. Applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 overall and at least 3.0 in mathematics and science.

If you receive financial aid from Mount Holyoke, the application form also constitutes the application for an MHC Engineering Scholarship for study at the dual degree partner institution. A limited number of MHC Engineering Scholarships are available to highly qualified students on a competitive basis. If you apply, you will learn whether you have been awarded an Engineering Scholarship before the start of the spring term of your sophomore year.