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The Holy Cross Approach

A Holy Cross education is marked by a shared commitment to academic excellence, critical inquiry and reflection, and deep engagement with questions of meaning and value. It is an education that balances breadth and focus, rigor and creativity. By encouraging students to use both reason and imagination to consider and make sense of difficult topics, we foster intellectual independence, expand students’ perspectives and ensure every Holy Cross graduate is prepared for a fulfilling future.

Making Connections

We don’t think about learning as the acquisition of discrete pieces of information, but rather as the exploration of an intricate web of connections and complex relationships — and we weave fundamental questions of meaning and value into our explorations. The academic atmosphere at Holy Cross is extraordinary; so is the close mentorship our students receive from our exceptional faculty. A few examples:

  • As preparation for their lives as leaders in artistic, civic, professional, religious, and scientific realms, students learn to approach problems from a multitude of perspectives, and to take creative intellectual risks in seeking solutions.  To do so, our students must forge connections between ideas and fields of study that are often assumed to be separate.  
  • Students form long-term, meaningful connections with professors and other students in a lively intellectual community, as classroom discussions are extended to the residence hall and beyond.
  • Throughout their four years, students are guided by advisors and faculty members who help them align their interests with their goals and aspirations.  
  • Educational opportunities outside the classroom help students connect three parts of college life — learning, living, and doing — that may sometimes be seen as distinct activities, creating a holistic, transformative experience.


Helping Students Make These Connections

To further achieve these goals, the College has recently established the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World to help students identify and pursue opportunities outside of the classroom, and to better articulate the value of these opportunities as part of their Holy Cross education. 

A Jesuit, liberal arts education teaches students to think independently, to reflect on and understand the implications of their knowledge, to express themselves eloquently and to tackle the increasingly complex challenges of our world with ingenuity and compassion.
Engaged learning means enriching classroom discussion with real-world experiences, and then bringing that classroom experience out into the world to be tested, strengthened and enhanced.
Through collaborative or self-directed research, honors programs and other outstanding opportunities, students expand their knowledge and deepen their understanding.
Our advisors also offer guidance that ensures every student gets the most from their time at Holy Cross, while also empowering students to make their experience their own.
The first year at Holy Cross features our distinctive Montserrat program. Living and learning alongside one another, students acclimate to life on The Hill while exploring intriguing, interdisciplinary topics.
Students eating at tables
Vocare is an initiative that draws together programming collaborators from across campus to help students get the most out of their Holy Cross education.