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First-Year Student Guide

Dear Member of the Class of 2021:

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Holy Cross! ¡Bienvenidos!

Over the next four years, you will take part in many experiences that will shape your life and the lives of those around you in significant ways. To highlight the many opportunities and resources that await you, the College has prepared this First-Year Student Guide. 

In addition, you will find detailed information about the first-year curriculum, here, on our first-year website. This material will serve as a guide for your initial course selection process.

You are responsible for deciding which four courses to take each semester. During your first year, one of your courses each semester will be a Montserrat seminar. These seminars allow all first-year students to work closely with faculty in small class settings and connect with others through participation in interesting co-curricular activities — part of an academic program that we hope will be an exciting, productive, and meaningful dimension of your life at Holy Cross and beyond.

Navigating through the course selections can be both intimidating and exciting—there are so many captivating courses to choose from. As you prepare to make your course selections, I encourage you to consider the following points:

  • Be thorough. View all of the Montserrat courses before selecting your top preferences. Each Montserrat seminar is designed to provide a rich educational experience. Think about major themes that spark your interest as you compile your list of preferred two-semester seminars.
  • Be open-minded. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore the curriculum with an eye toward finding your home in a potential major. Our Common Requirements will provide exposure to new ideas and perspectives in a variety of disciplines, but don’t be too anxious to complete all of them right away. Allow yourself the pleasure of taking courses simply because they are intriguing or different from anything you have ever studied.
  • Plan ahead. Keep in mind all of the wonderful off-campus academic opportunities available during your third year at Holy Cross. I encourage all students to consider enriching their academic plans through study abroad, taking the appropriate language courses early if needed.

Think of your academic plan at Holy Cross like a mosaic, with one-third of the pieces associated with the major, one-third comprising the Common Requirements, and the final third representing the pieces that you will choose to complete your unique academic picture. While it is important to make good choices your first semester as you start to lay out your educational plan, you should realize that you have seven more semesters to put all of the pieces together. That’s plenty of time to create something special!

In my role as Class Dean, I will assist you with your personal academic program and address any questions or concerns you might have at this time; feel free to email me at classdean2021@holycross.edu or to call me at 508-793-2532. I also encourage you to immediately activate and regularly check your Holy Cross email account, as this is the primary way that I and other members of our community will communicate with you.

For now, I wish you the very best as you embark on this important and exciting new chapter in your life. 

Sincerely,

Francisco Gago-Jover (a.k.a. “Dean Paco”)
Dean of the Class of 2021