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A Hood College Education

 Our Vision

Hood College aspires to be a premiere comprehensive liberal arts college by offering its students an excellent and engaging educational experience that prepares graduates for success.

 Our Mission

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, leadership and service.

Additionally, Hood is a contemporary liberal arts college that serves as a lifelong learning center where students can examine, evaluate and plan their lives. Uniquely designed programs, dedicated staff and a faculty carefully selected for its teaching excellence and concern for the development of the individual are the hallmarks of a Hood education.

At the heart of the Hood College mission is a century-long commitment to the preparation of students for purposeful lives and careers. Hood believes that the best foundation for employment and further academic training is an education that is balanced between general liberal arts education and specialized career preparation.

Hood College, in summary, offers an education that provides the individual with a sense of identity and purpose, a positive self-image, a concern for others, a responsibility to society and the environment, a respect for freedom of choice and belief, a continuing search for knowledge and understanding and a high regard for academic excellence.

A Hood Education

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-five percent of the College’s full-time faculty hold an earned doctorate or terminal degree in their field. 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 17 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 colleges in Maryland and other areas match earned credits with Hood’s Core Curriculum requirements. Hood enrolls undergraduate international students from 23 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 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.

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.

Maryland Campus Compact Hood College is a member of and houses the Maryland Compact, an organization of colleges and universities that promote the development of global citizens and just communities in Maryland and beyond. An AmeriCorps Vista employee is housed at Hood College and connects Hood students with opportunities to eradicate poverty and injustice throughout Maryland.

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.

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.

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 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, a book conservation laboratory, and the Hood College Archives and Special Collections

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. In addition, approximately 150,000 e-books can be accessed from the library’s web pages. 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 outstanding library facility and its dedicated staff provide the ideal setting to encourage and nurture academic inquiry and scholarship.

The Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies The Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies is a center of excellence within Hood College which allows students to study all aspects of natural coastal ecosystems, coastal communities, and the watersheds that culminate at our shorelines.  In keeping with the best of Hood’s liberal arts tradition, the Center provides a framework for multi-disciplinary learning and research by students and faculty with the goal of understanding the genesis, complexities, and possible solutions to environmental and social issues that impact the coastlines and watersheds of our region, nation, and world.

Specifically, the Center provides students with:


  • Experiences that augment, enrich, and expand opportunities in our Coastal Studies program.
  • Unique, placed-based educational experiences that immerse them in the comparative study of national and international coastal environments in the context of global issues.
  • Opportunities for service-learning and research that will make a difference in their educational and professional careers, as well as in the lives of the members of the communities within which they study.
  • The conceptual understanding and practical use of computer-based analytical tools necessary to investigate relationships among natural and social factors over large geographic scales.  
  • Access to field stations and laboratories across the mid-Atlantic region for hands-on investigations of the natural and man-made environments.  
  • Campus visits and lectures by distinguished scholars representing many disciplines which enliven our existing academic programs. 


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 Shirley Conner Hardinge Center for Global Studies enhances the teaching, learning, and research of global issues at Hood College. The Center develops innovative ways to educate students in a world where a global perspective and cross cultural understanding are essential to effective leadership within all disciplines. The center funds scholarships for students studying abroad; provides funding for students and faculty engaged in international/global research; supports the development of short-term international programs; funds a yearly international visiting scholar, and funds awards recognizing outstanding contributions to global studies.

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.

Academic Computing and the Hood Experience

Among Hood College’s highest priorities is helping its students prepare for the changing environment of the new century and functioning productively in a knowledge-based society. With these goals in mind, the College has advanced the role of technology from being one of purely administrative support to one of core importance, both academically and administratively. Hood’s successful iPad pilot, that now places an iPad in the hands of all undergraduate students, is just one example of this support. Every student gets high-speed Internet service, state-of-the-art email functionality, and over 7 GB of storage without a technology fee. The school enjoys an Internet connection capable of delivering 400 Mb/s in data volume as well as a wireless network supported by access points throughout the campus.  In addition to continuing upgrades to the College computing infrastructure, 2013 will see the full implementation of the iPad mobile device integration. All undergrad students and their faculty will use these iPads to augment and enhance their learning experience.

Hood’s information technology is accessible on campus from all classrooms and residence hall rooms and off campus via the Internet. Students can use their own computers in their rooms to access the Internet, send email, print documents, consult course materials that professors have placed on Hood’s Blackboard Learning Management System, and take advantage of the scholarly resources available on the Internet as well as through Hood College Beneficial-Hodson Library databases. Hood has also embraced the concept of technology-enhanced Living Learning Centers and has placed a small computer lab in each residence hall that includes Windows and Apple technology plus a networked printer. The college also supports off-campus students with network technology that enables these scholars to access all of the information on-campus residents can draw upon.

Hood College features 24 computer labs located throughout the campus and comprised of nearly 400 computers with sophisticated software applications. Nine of the labs are open to all Hood students, while the remaining computer labs focus on specific academic disciplines. Every lab has one or more laser printers. The standard software configuration includes the Windows 7 operating system, the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), plus Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox web browsers for web-based research. Discipline-specific labs include biology, molecular modeling, general chemistry, mathematics, an organic chemistry instrumentation lab, a geographic information system (GIS) lab, a Unix computer science lab, communication arts lab, sociology lab, and a video editing lab. All of these special labs have sophisticated domain-specific software that enhance the learning process and extend students’ analytical resources.

In 2012 Hood College implemented a Virtual Computer Lab (VCL) to complement existing College labs. The Hood VCL allows all students to access the most widely used software applications from anywhere, on a 24/7 basis.

Hood also continues to refresh instructional technology throughout its classroom buildings. Most learning spaces have a computer, LCD projector, Blu-ray/DVD player, videotape capability and Internet access. This enables faculty and students to incorporate new pedagogical modalities into their lectures and class presentations.

Complementing this technology is an Information Technology Department team that maintains and upgrades campus databases, high-definition (HD) cable entertainment, and phone networks along with Apple and Windows servers, desktops, laptops, iDevices, printers and a range of software applications. This team also assists students, faculty, and staff with repairs to college-owned technology, offers guidance on the use of hardware and software, and provides technical help with a range of topics, including wireless access, free printing, and more.