Three departments at the College of the Holy Cross—history, mathematics, and political science—are ranked among the best in the Princeton Review’s “Great Schools for 20 of the Most Popular Undergraduate Majors,” which ran in conjunction with the Princeton Review’s annual college guide, “The Best 377 Colleges.” Holy Cross is listed in the 2013 edition of the guide, in which schools were selected according to several criteria including academics, cost, and financial aid. The list represents the top 15% of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges.
For the “Majors” section, the Princeton Review collects data from more than a thousand colleges on the subject of undergraduate academic offerings. The Princeton Review says, “We ask colleges not only to report which undergraduate majors they offer, but also which of their majors have the highest enrollment and the number of bachelor’s degrees each school awarded in these areas.”
With 18 history professors, Holy Cross boasts roughly twice as many as most schools its size. “History majors learn about every facet of human behavior, from wars and revolutions to cross-cultural encounter, family and social patterns, and changes in ideas and identity,” shares Noel Cary, professor and incoming chair of the history department. “Students have the opportunity to cluster their courses in their areas of interest and to compare diverse historical experiences. Outcomes include widened horizons, the ability to think aloud and to consider alternatives, skillful research and writing, and a heightened capacity for focused inquiry.”
In our increasingly technology-driven society, mathematics and computer science are part of our daily lives. The department works toward helping students become knowledgeable and sophisticated learners, able to think and work independently, and as part of a team. “Our major is very welcoming and our students enjoy multiple opportunities to interact closely with faculty,” says Catherine Roberts, associate professor and chair of the department.
At Holy Cross one-on-one interaction in and out of the classroom, academic advising, and mentoring take place on campus every day. “The political science major is one of the most popular at Holy Cross because the department offers courses by 15 teacher-scholars who have made distinguished contributions to the field of political science and won accolades for teaching excellence,” says Donald Brand, professor and chair of the political science department. “The department is committed to education for citizenship and prides itself on representing diverse views and encouraging students to think for themselves and to question any and all preconceived ideas.”
In addition to “The Best 377 Colleges,” and “Great Schools for 20 of the Most Popular Undergraduate Majors,” Holy Cross is included in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to 322 Green Colleges,” a separate guidebook released in the spring that features the “nation’s most environmentally responsible ‘green colleges.’”