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A Hood College Education


Hood College prepares students to excel in meeting the personal, professional and global challenges of the future. Hood is committed to the integration of the liberal arts, the professions and technology, to the exploration of values, a sense of community and to the preparation of students for lives of responsibility and leadership.

A Hood Education 

Hood provides a residential experience for undergraduate women and men, as well as graduate and undergraduate education for both women and men. Hood maintains a vital community that is enriched and energized as it responds to the intellectual, professional and personal goals of individual students of diverse races, ethnicities and ages. The Hood environment, both in and out of the classroom, promotes the understanding that learning is interactive among individuals and disciplines, that the exchange of ideas must involve the exploration of values and that education requires lifelong engagement. The Hood College community at all levels aspires to the highest standards of academic achievement and reaffirms the College’s commitment to preparing students for the personal, professional and global challenges of the future.

The Hood College Advantage 

A commitment to academic excellence, distinguished teaching, a wealth of academic resources and personal attention all contribute to the Hood College experience. Involvement, friendship and commitment are valued by the Hood community. With an undergraduate population of more than 1,400, Hood offers an opportunity for every student to participate and to excel.

Hood’s emphasis is on teaching. Ninety-eight percent of the College’s full-time faculty hold an earned doctorate. Hood supplements this core of professors with carefully selected adjunct instructors, many of whom are eminent scientists and professionals in their fields.

Involved in professional and research activities off campus, Hood’s faculty have strong connections to colleagues in both the academic and the professional worlds. These relationships translate into excellent opportunities for students seeking internship placements, pursuing special academic projects and moving into graduate study or careers.

Interaction between Hood’s faculty and students begins in classes averaging 14 students. Beyond the classroom, students receive guidance, support and challenge from faculty advisers, collaborate with faculty on research projects and share meals with faculty in Coblentz Dining Hall.

The Hood College Academic Honor Code reflects our tradition of a place of Honor and Respect. Students, faculty and staff work together to promote and enforce the Academic Honor Code.

Hood College is committed to enrolling a diverse student population. Many of Hood’s undergraduates are residential students who live in five on-campus residence halls or three language residences. Hood also enrolls students who commute to campus from their homes in the area. The College welcomes transfer students from four- and two-year colleges. Agreements with community and junior colleges in Maryland and other areas match earned credits with Hood’s Core Curriculum requirements. Hood enrolls undergraduate international students from 26 countries.

The College has been recognized as a leader in lifelong education and in career development. Hood’s Graduate School offers master’s degrees in 14 areas. These co-educational programs emphasize professional preparation and are designed primarily for students requiring evening classes.

On campus and off, Hood’s academic resources are outstanding. Located less than an hour from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, the College has affiliations with regional businesses, research laboratories, embassies and international organizations, government agencies and nearby colleges and universities.


The Hood community values its distinctive traditions that foster strong bonds of friendship and create enduring memories for alumnae and alumni. First-year students are greeted on their arrival by upperclass students who help orient them to campus life.

Parents, siblings and other family members are invited to share the spirit of Hood by attending Family Weekend and special events, including art festivals, concerts, fairs and athletics. For many Hood families, the annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” by the Hood Choir is the highlight of the holiday season.

Strawberry Breakfast on graduation day, “Give Your Heart to Hood” day, Sophomore Dinner, Junior Ring Ceremony and May Madness are all part of a legacy that connects Hood students to the thousands of alumnae and alumni who have shared these traditions over the past 100 years.

The academic community includes dedicated faculty, enthusiastic students and professional staff who share a deep commitment to academic inquiry.

The Honors Program 

For the academically exceptional student, Hood’s four-year Honors Program emphasizes analytical skills, writing and speaking ability, multidisciplinary perspectives and an understanding of national and international issues. The Honors curriculum includes interdisciplinary study, collaborative learning and a distinctive sophomore seminar combining scholarly study with an experiential community service-based project. The Marx Center serves as a center for the program, providing spaces for meetings, student project activity and studying.

Departmental Honors Paper 

The Departmental Honors Paper is a senior-year program designed for students who wish to pursue intensive research or special projects in close coordination with faculty advisers. All Departmental Honors papers are included in the permanent collection of the Beneficial-Hodson Library. For further information, please see Undergraduate Special Opportunities. 

Leadership and Service Opportunities 

At Hood, students have the opportunity to gain recognition for community service as well as for academic accomplishments. Each year, approximately 30 Hood students are selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and 21 Hood sophomores are inducted into the Ionic Society, an honorary organization recognizing those who provide service to the College. Membership in Mortar Board, a national honor society, is accorded to a select group of students who are outstanding academically and are campus and community leaders.

The Catherine Filene Shouse Career Center offers assistance to students wishing to pursue internships or careers in nonprofit and service organizations.

Community Service and Service Learning 

The College’s motto, Corde et Mente et Manu (With Heart and Mind and Hand), expresses the value placed on service by the Hood community. Opportunities abound for students to engage in service learning that is community-based and enhances the major field of study.

The Office of Service Learning, located in the Catherine Filene Shouse Career Center, provides interested students with the opportunity to learn through service to others. Here, student volunteers are matched with local, regional, national and international community service experiences.

The Second Century Foundation encourages academic initiative and public service by awarding up to $2,000 each year to Hood sophomores, juniors and seniors conducting independent research or carrying out community service projects.

Hood’s Center for Community Research, housed in the Sociology and Social Work Department on the third floor of Alumnae Hall, gives students the opportunity to work collaboratively with organizations and agencies in the Frederick community on research projects that meet a community need. Students from a variety of fields—primarily sociology, but also those with majors in disciplines such as law and society, social work, history, political science and environmental studies—have applied their research skills to help solve real-life problems while, at the same time, giving the Frederick community access to some of Hood’s resources.

International Opportunities 

Students with appropriate skills in Spanish may study with Hood’s consortium programs in Spain or the Dominican Republic. Hood College also has exchange programs with institutions in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Other countries and programs may be explored through the Office of the Provost and International Exchange Programs. Recent approved sites have included Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Mexico and the Republic of Korea.
In addition to year or semester programs, Hood offers short-term summer courses conducted in Europe (selected topics in European issues) and in the Bahamas (marine ecology). Instruction is in English.

Academic Resources 

Hood is particularly well-regarded for its science laboratories, as well as for the strong, collaborative relationships between the College and the nearby Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center of the National Institutes of Health, an internationally renowned research facility. Other specialized resources include art studios, the Onica Prall Child Development Laboratory, the Juana Amelia Hernández Language Technology Center, the Williams Observatory and music study and performance facilities. These, together with other specialized facilities and opportunities, are described in the Undergraduate Programs and Courses of Study section of this catalog, within academic departmental listings.

The Beneficial-Hodson Library and Information Technology Center is located in an imposing 57,000 square-foot, Georgian-style brick building, which was dedicated in 1992. Situated at the College’s main entrance, it was named for Clarence Hodson, founder of the Beneficial Finance Company and the Hodson Trust. In addition to its function as a modern academic library, the building houses the Beneficial-Hodson Computing Center, one of the campus’ many computer labs, the Hood College Archives and special collections and a book conservation laboratory.

The library boasts a modern telecommunications network infrastructure, including wireless Internet capability. Materials collections, student reading and study areas and staff offices are conveniently arranged and comfortably furnished, creating a welcoming environment for recreational reading or serious study.

The library successfully integrates information technology with traditional library services and collections. In addition to the more than 200,000 volumes housed at Hood, any of the 1,000,000 volumes held at Hood’s five sister libraries in the Maryland Interlibrary Consortium are available via courier within 24 hours of a request. The library currently subscribes to more than 300 print and microform periodicals, and nearly 42,000 additional full-text periodical titles can be accessed via the World Wide Web through numerous subscription databases. The library’s homepage provides links to reference sources around the world. These and other computer-based resources may be consulted at a number of in-house computer workstations, as well as from any web-capable computer in a residence hall room or off campus. Video and audio collections are stored in the audio-visual center, with playback equipment for student use.

The Beneficial-Hodson Library’s mission is to support the curricular and informational needs of the Hood community by providing appropriate library resources, instruction and assistance. This excellent library facility and its dedicated staff provide the ideal setting to encourage and nurture academic inquiry and scholarship.

Academic Computing Facilities 

Hood offers a student-to-microcomputer ratio of four to one, as well as a high-speed Gigabit ethernet campus-wide network. The communications network is accessible throughout the campus and off campus via dial-in and Internet connections. The Computing Center, located in the Beneficial-Hodson Library, houses a collection of current generation Digital Equipment Corporation Alpha computers and Intel-based servers running Unix, and Microsoft NT operating systems. These servers provide Internet and Intranet services, such as access to the World Wide Web and e-mail.

A number of the lecture rooms in the teaching halls are equipped with both computer and audiovisual technology. Most learning spaces have large screen monitors, videotape capability and Internet connections under the control of the professors and students.

Hood has embraced the concept of technology-enhanced Living Learning Centers and placed networked computers and printer resources on each floor of the residence halls. The Juana Amelia Hernández Language Technology Center permits creative pedagogical development for faculty and a wealth of learning alternatives for foreign language students. The Molecular Modeling Laboratory, funded under a National Science Foundation grant, empowers students to dynamically manipulate, visualize and hypothesize molecular structures at the atomic level. The Journalism and Communication Arts Lab, through enhanced hardware, large professional- grade monitors and the installation of state-of-the-art imaging and desktop publishing software, enables students to create professional, industry standard publications.

The Center for the Humanities organizes and funds programs and educational opportunities focusing on the humanities for the Hood community. Students are offered the opportunity to enhance course study with free admission to cultural performances and activities. The Janice E. Cole Writing Prize is awarded annually by the Center to the best essay on a subject in the humanities. Humanities faculty coordinate interdisciplinary studies among the humanities disciplines.

The Center for Science and Mathematics coordinates courses, speakers and seminars within the scientific and mathematical disciplines. Students are offered the opportunity to collaborate on research projects with science and mathematics faculty, as well as to secure valuable internship positions.

The Tidball Center for the Study of Educational Environments, housed in Alumnae Hall, contains materials accumulated by former trustee Dr. M. Elizabeth Tidball during 25 years of research on collegiate learning environments. These include books, commissioned databases, educational journals and speeches. Since 1992, Dr. Charles S. Tidball has become a colleague in research on the baccalaureate origins of accomplished graduates. In addition, the Small College Database he has developed is an online resource of the Center.

The Tidballs, professors emeriti at The George Washington University Medical Center, are distinguished Research Scholars at Hood College and co-directors of the Center.

The Whitaker Campus Center, which opened its doors in the fall of 1997, provides a forum and focus for the Hood College community. Housing a bookstore, mail center, Student Government Association Office and other offices for campus-wide student organizations, the Center also offers a snack bar and the Campus Commons, where residential, commuting and graduate students can gather with one another and with members of the faculty and staff. This facility is also the home to the Commuter Lounge, several Student Life programs and the offices of the Assistant Dean of Students, Multicultural Affairs and International Student Programs, Student Activities and Commuter Life, and Residence Life.