Location: Northampton, MA
Size: About 2,600
Percent Women: Smith is an all-women's college.
Tuition (one year): $44,450
Most Popular Majors: Government, Psychology, Art, English, Economics and Biology
Greek Life: No
Acceptance Rate: About 40%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit Smith College’s website at http://www.smith.edu/about_justthefacts.php
Why Choose Smith College?
“I chose Smith because of the outstanding academics and exuberant student body. When I visited campus, everyone was incredibly warm and welcomed me with open arms. Northampton is such a cozy city and I knew I would love spending time in town when I wanted to get off campus!”
“I was first drawn to Smith because of its strong academics, but what I fell in love with most when I first visited were the people and the atmosphere. There is nothing more inspiring than being surrounded by strong, passionate women, on one of the most nurturing college campuses in the country. Smith made me feel like I could achieve everything I wanted by going here and it hasn't let me down at all.”
“I chose Smith because I wanted to go to a college that encouraged academic excellence for women. I also loved the idea of the housing system and the house community. When I visited the campus it was so beautiful I just couldn't say no.”
“I love the dorms, and sense of community. Despite its small size, I love that I am always meeting new Smithies because there are so many diverse activities and classes that one can choose to focus on.”
“I initially applied to Smith because it is close to home. The thought of going to an all-women’s college did not appeal to me at first, but it definitely grew on me when I visited for Open Campus.”
"I grew up around Smith, but I never thought I would come here. I was so apprehensive about the fact that Smith is a women's college, but once I looked past that and saw how great the community is here and how stellar the academics are, I knew that Smith was the place for me."
“I think the best part about Smith is our traditions. From convocation to Mountain Day to weekly teas, Smith builds one of the most tight-knit, fun, and nurturing environments on a college campus. I think the traditions really connect every single student to each other and they build a lot of school spirit.”
“The botanical gardens are one of my favorite places on campus. In the winter, when it's cold, you can step inside the greenhouse and it feels like you're in the tropics - there's even a waterfall!”
“My favorite part about Smith is the various close-knit communities. You can find a close-knit community almost anywhere, from the houses to groups in a certain academic department who are passionate about their area of study.”
“Senior banquet is definitely a memorable event, even as a first year. It is centered around the graduating class while the rest of the house caters to them and the whole house reminiscences about their 4 years at Smith. It’s an event that I’m definitely looking forward to in 3 years.”
“Traditions of Friday Tea and the random holidays that are special to Smith sound typical, but are definitely one of the major perks at Smith. Also, Smith is unique in that you get to live in houses where every grade is mushed together and gets to interact. I love having “big sibs” and upperclassmen to give me advice on what courses to take, where to eat, and to commiserate with when it has been a long day.”
“I love Mountain Day- where the president cancels class and we have a fun fall day. I also love Julia Child Day because I love eating so much. Additionally, the houses are probably my favorite part of living here.”
“I love being a Smith student because every one of my friends is so supportive of me no matter what. One line that always works as a source of motivation is, ‘You can do it, you’re a Smithie!’”
“Sometimes it feels as though the social scene is lacking, but that is less bothersome now that I am an upperclassmen. Honestly, though, the food is the worst part of Smith. Occasionally I’ll pick McDonald’s over Smith dinner.”
“This is a really hard question because most of my critiques are really small issues: We need trash bins around the campus. It’s really annoying carrying your trash with you for 10 minutes, Smith makes it hard not to litter. Also, I don’t like that we don’t get a lot of holidays off, but that’s not going to change at all.”
"Smith is a very liberal school and it can get intense sometimes, especially if you’re not used to living in such an open community. Don't get me wrong, I think the various viewpoints and voices represented here are great, but it can be a bit overwhelming.”
“I wish there was more communication between administration/student government and everyone else. Also, I feel like sometimes we are really babied here and I wish we were given more freedom. For example, there are so many rules about having a house party which can make them a pain to plan and not as fun.”
New Collegiette on Campus
“I think that one of the best parts about being a first year at Smith is that there is no separate first year housing. I instantly got to know the upperclassmen living in my house in a way that I don't think I would have had the opportunity to at another school.”
“My first semester at Smith was extremely hard. Although I love it now, Smith was really hard to get used to because it provides a completely different college experience from other places. I think the housing system is great but it also limits the people you meet because people tend to just stick with people in their own house, which I think can be detrimental for first-years.”
"First year housing isn't separate and I think this system really helps first years get integrated into the campus and social scene.”
“Being a first year at Smith has been an amazing experience. You get to meet such diverse individuals and are able to befriend the most incredible women.”
“It’s not necessarily easy or hard to get to know upperclassmen. If you put yourself out there and befriend them, they’ll definitely welcome you with open arms. As for sticking with mostly first-years, I feel that that is common, mainly because everyone is going through the same experience.”
All About Academics
"I love Smith's open curriculum. I think it really challenges students to figure out what they really want to do instead of wasting time in required courses that they don't actually want to be in."
"As a transfer student, I've found that people at Smith are more motivated in classes because they are learning material that they are really passionate about."
"Even though there is a writing intensive course everyone has to take, there are more options than you can imagine. Because they span lots of departments, there is bound to be something for everyone."
"Course registration is super easy. I've never not been able to get into a class I wanted."
"It's really easy to get into the classes you want to take. Even if you can't pre-register, you can always add yourself to the waitlist and show up to the first class. As long as you show an interest, your chances are greatly increased."
"Workload is heavy but manageable. I feel like I can make it as large as I want but also streamline it if needed."
"As a senior, I wrote a thesis. Although worthwhile, it was an incredibly time-consuming and at times stressful project. My thesis adviser was there to support me the entire way. This has been the largest project I've worked on since coming to Smith. It's been a great learning process and I've taken so much from everything!"
"The majority of my classes have final projects, papers or tests. Often tests are cumulative and any final project will be something that brings the class full-circle."
"I love to study in my room because I'm close to my bed. It can be distracting though so I can only study there on days where I'm feeling particularly focused. Otherwise, I head to the CC to study with friends."
"I like studying downtown to be in different environments, but I also use the library a good amount. "
"I like studying downtown because there a lot of great options for coffee. I'm not distracted by my friends because most of the time I don't know anyone there."
"Where I study varies semester to semester. I have spent a lot of time in the library before, but I've also spent a ton of time in the CC, my house's dining room and the Center for Media Production. There are SO many cool places to study that are not the library."
Learn From the Best
"Smith professors are wonderful smart brilliant people who work to help students at Smith succeed and become future leaders."
"Smith professors provide good career advice."
"They're experts in their field and they provide a stimulating and competitive classroom experience."
"Professors at Smith really get to know the students here and they put in the time to stay after and discuss any problems or questions that students might have."
"Smith professors are very dedicated to their students and passionate about teaching their subject."
Interests and Involvement
“Smith hosts an org fair at the beginning of the year, where every organization gets a table with all of their information. It was great, the tables circled all around Chapin Lawn and everyone was out and able to find clubs that fit their personalities.”
“I’m a member of the Smith Democrats, which is pretty laid back, but we have a lot of events. We like to work across the aisle, we even hosted a bipartisan tea this year with the Smith Republicans.”
“Acapella is huge here at Smith. We have no shortage of fantastic groups, including the Smithenpoofs, who sang at the White House. We even have Crapapella, an acapella group for awful singers. They’re hilarious.”
“It’s really easy to get involved with organizations here. Many don't require any commitments, and you can pretty much find any type of club. We have organizations like Student Government, the Badminton Club, or the Peer Sexuality Educators. There’s something for everybody.”
“Being an athlete at Smith is a great experience. The Smith community is so supportive of us, and Smith provides us the best facilities and resources. The coaches really stress that we’re "student-athletes," student being the priority, so we’re given a lot of encouragement with our academics. I remember one time as I was running to a game straight from class, a girl I’d never met shouted 'good luck' to me and it was a great feeling that people were rooting for us.”
“Since Smith is a women’s college, we have a little less excitement about sports. Although we truly love and support our athletes, there's not as much excitement about the ‘big game' as there is at other schools.”
“Basketball is huge here at Smith, since Smith hosted the first women’s basketball game and represented the first women to join the NCAA. The varsity sports are really close knit and competitive, which is great, but you can also have a more laid back experience with club sports like rugby or ultimate Frisbee.”
“Being a part of a team at Smith is like having a second family. The coaches and captains really stress an environment in which everyone feels comfortable and a part of things.”
“Our motto on the softball team is Ohana, which means family. It’s real.”
"Because Smith is a women's college, you are constantly celebrated as a woman. Being a woman at Smith gives you a sense of empowerment and pride that stays with you forever."
"There is nothing like being around smart, opinionated and strong women on a daily basis to make you feel like you can take on the world!"
"Smith women run the world."
"Smith brings together a diverse and incredible group of women from around the world and teaches us that there is nothing that we cannot accomplish as women."
Food & Drink
“There’s 15 dining halls on campus, so if you don’t like what one is serving, you’ll always have a different option.”
“Smith’s dining rooms are smaller and more intimate than the large cafeterias of other colleges. This atmosphere adds to the cozy house environment.”
“All major dietary restrictions, like vegan, kosher, halal, and gluten-free, are provided so chances are there will be something for you.”
“Lots of houses have special meals. For example, every Wednesday at Chapin is breakfast for dinner and it has become a weekly tradition for me and my friends.”
“Lots of houses have dining halls in them, which is really convenient, especially for breakfast or for when it’s snowing.”
“There’s no question that Smith does not provide you with your typical college experience, but part of that is because of the level of academic rigor. If you look at one of our neighboring schools, Amherst College, you will find that people often have similar opinions about their social scene. Going to a top school means that people are invested in their studies and so that is the priority. It was definitely hard at first, but if you make some close friends you’ll begin to realize that Smith is a great place to be and all you need is a few people to have fun with!”
“People go to Amherst a lot, but they also stay on campus for the weekends. Even though we are not a huge party school I think the best part about the Smith social scene is that you become extremely close with the girls here. My best memories of my time here are just times hanging out with my friends.”
“There are many options for the weekends at Smith including going to a nearby 5-college party (Umass Amherst and Amherst College are most popular), going to parties on campus, hanging out with friends, or going to one of the many Smith hosted activities that are offered.”
“The party scene at Smith varies depending on who you ask. Some people like to stay on campus with their friends and go to parties around campus while other girls like to venture off-campus to UMass Amherst or Amherst College. I find the social scene to be pretty exclusive because people really like to just stay with their own groups of friends.”
Dorm Life"One thing about the houses is that all of them have a kitchen, so you can just go down stairs and pop some popcorn or make cookies. My favorite part of Smith is how integrated the housing system is. I am able to meet multiple different people of all grade levels. I think meeting other students made the transition into Smith more smooth and helped me get to know the school a lot better. Housing is provided all four years and you can stay in your house for all of them, or choose to switch into another that fits the environment you desire. The dorm life here at Smith is the best!""Honestly, one of the main reasons I chose Smith over other schools was for the reputation of the dorms!""The rooms are spacious and open, and the houses themselves are really diverse and beautiful. Each area of campus definitely has its own flavor, and first year students can choose to live in whatever place best fits their personality. In the quad, many students can get a single after their first year, which is an amazing perk!""Being in a house with students from all four years is great. The upperclassmen are eager to answer any questions you have about Smith”."Traditions such as Friday Tea and Big Sib/Little Sib week really strengthen house community and make each Smith house a home”."Because most students live in the same house for all four years, the people living there become family. I absolutely love my house community and couldn't be happier to have been placed there my first year”."Dorms at Smith are great! Compared to many other campuses, Smith first year students have larger than normal sized dorms, with wooden floors, a large window (sometimes two!) and often a window seat. Each room comes with a bookshelf, desk, desk chair, room phone, and set of drawers. The closets are usually walk in, with room for storage and extra clothes”."The housing system at Smith is a great way to make friends- almost all of my closest friends live in the same house as me. Each house has special traditions to further enforce the sense of community. People are friendly to each other and hang out often. The mixture of class years means good advice (regarding Smith classes or just generally life advice) and is not hard to come by. All houses also have house council, which is a great opportunity for those who want to get involved more in their house community”.
“Northampton is a vibrant and fun town with great food, good shopping, and conveniently located within easy driving distance of New York City and Boston. The towns of Amherst and South Hadley, home to the other 5-College schools, are easily accessible by the PVTA bus (free for 5-College students) or car.”
“From great restaurants and bars to famous music halls, Northampton has a lot to offer college students. There’s plenty of exploring to be done downtown, and for those who have grown up in the city, it can also be fun to venture into the more rural towns surrounding NoHo.”
“A lot of people think Northampton is some kind of cow-town, but the truth is the Pioneer Valley has a lot to offer.”
“Coming from the city, I expected Northampton to be boring, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s great having it as a resource so close to Smith. It’s literally a 15-minute walk downtown from the farthest point away on campus. NoHo has pretty much everything you’d need in a town, and there’s always stuff going on, whether it’s a concert at the Iron Horse or Divas, or a show at the Academy of Music.”
HC's Complete College Guide: Smith College
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