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Points of Pride

Students are walking up the stairs to the Library

We are proud to be recognized by publications and organizations that cover higher education for our exceptional academic programs, top professors, and great campus experiences. Here are a few of the factors that set Holy Cross apart.

College Excellence

Student Achievement

  • 89% first-year retention rate
  • 93% six-year graduation rate
  • Tied for No. 1 in the nation for highest graduation rates (99%) for student-athletes, among NCAA Division I schools
  • Among colleges with the highest four-year graduation rates, according to U.S. News & World Report 

Success After Graduation

  • Despite graduating during a pandemic, 94% of respondents to our survey of the class of 2020 report being employed in a job or internship, in graduate school, engaged in service work, or on a fellowship seven months after graduation
  • Average starting salary for 2020 graduates: $56,633
  • 76% medical school acceptance rate
  • 91% law school acceptance rate
  • No. 7 on PayScale's list of best religious schools by salary potential
  • No. 10 on PayScale's list of best colleges in Massachusetts by salary potential 
  • No. 16 on PayScale's list of best schools for humanities majors by salary potential
  • No. 18 on PayScale's list of best liberal arts colleges by salary potential
  • No. 18 on the list of best value liberal arts colleges in the country, according to PayScale’s 2018 College Return on Investment Report
  • No. 31 on PayScale's list of best schools for business majors by salary potential
  • Among colleges with the best return on investment, according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Six young alumni awarded Fulbright grants to teach and conduct research around the world during the 2020-21 academic year
  • A top producer of Fulbright students during the 2019-2020 academic year, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Over the last five years, 38 Holy Cross graduates have been awarded Fulbright grants to work and teach abroad 
  • Clarence Thomas '71 is associate justice of the Supreme Court
  • Joseph E. Murray '40 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1990 for performing the first successful kidney transplant
  • Three Holy Cross alumni are recipients of a Pulitzer Prize: Dave Anderson '51 (1991), Jack Higgins '76 (1989), and Edward P. Jones '72 (2004)  
  • Three alumni are members of Congress: Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. '82 (D-Pa.) and Reps. Mark DeSaulnier '74 (D-Calif.) and Peter Welch '69 (D-Vt.) 

Alumni Engagement


  • All courses are taught by faculty members; none by teaching assistants
  • 97% hold terminal degrees
  • 10:1 student to faculty ratio
  • Four faculty members have won Guggenheim fellowships: Todd Lewis, professor of religious studies (2011); Sarah Stanbury, professor of English (2010); Leila Phillip, associate professor of English (2007); and Osvaldo Golijov, Loyola Professor of Music (1995)

Service and Social Justice

Sustainability and Stewardship