4.5 out of 5 Stars
All professors I had at Smith were dedicated to education and genuinely cared about their students.Downers
Social activities are a little lacking as an all women’s college.Comments
Definitely come to Smith if you want a top tier college education with greater than 100% support from faculties and staff.Would You Recommend
People are friendly. Professors are very helpful and open to questions.Downers
Poor transportation out of town and limited summer opportunities on campus especially in my fieldComments
Go on a campus tour and talk to recent alumni to decide whether the school is a good fit.Would You Recommend
There are no general education requirements, except that half your credits come from outside your major field and that you take a writing intensive sometime in your first year. This system is great, because it means that everyone in your classes are there because they want to be, as opposed to taking the class to fulfill some sort of requirement. That said, there are around 8 different subject areas you have to take classes in to be eligible for Latin Honors and Phi Beta Kappa, but these requirements are not difficult to satisfy early in your Smith experience.
Most majors require 10-12 classes within the major, ranging from introductory classes to seminars (I'm an English major, and we're required to take 2 seminar classes to graduate).
Academic advising is excellent: first-years are assigned a pre-major advisor in the field of interest they indicated on their application or in a related field. Once the student is ready to declare their major (which usually happens in the sophomore year), they choose a faculty member from their chosen department to advise them. If a student decides to declare a minor or a concentration (interdisciplinary minor: Smith offers concentrations in Archives, Poetry, and Museums), they will choose another advisor from that department or faculty group.
Class sizes usually hover between 15-25. Introductory classes and lower level classes are generally large, but, in the event of a huge lecture class, professors either meet separately with smaller sections of the class, or they team teach the whole class to provide enough face time with the professor to students. Additionally, professors are extraordinarily accessible by email and are required to have weekly office hours. They are always happy to help with classwork, paper revisions, projects, or to simply discuss the class in general or the student's thoughts about the subject. All Smith professors are active scholars in their fields of study, and many are well-known scholars in their own right. Certainly, professors are busy, but they always make time for meetings with students and often extend research positions to students.
Competition between students is fairly minimal, considering the caliber of Smith. Most students are more interested in collaborating or learning from each others' academic ventures than in competing with each other. In my opinion, this kind of collaboration arises from the rigor of academics at Smith: grading is not impossible, but it is quite tough nonetheless, so students prefer to tap into each others' intelligence and help each other through difficult assignments.
Study abroad opportunities are comprehensive and include full-year Smith-run programs in Paris, Hamburg, Geneva, and Florence, as well as Smith-approved programs nearly everywhere else in the world. The majority of Smith juniors study abroad; Smith has the highest percentage of students who will study abroad for a full year out of all of its liberal arts college counterparts.
The workload is substantial; four full classes at Smith equates to a very large amount of work. Expectations are high. In addition to the difficulty and quantity of work assigned, Smith students are also governed by a strict academic honor code, which is an extraordinary point of pride in the student body. During midterm exams and other in-class tests, professors always leave the room after the first few minutes, as a way of showing their confidence that their students will not cheat. Nearly all final exams and several mid-semester exams are self-scheduled, meaning that a student can decide when to take the exam within a set timeframe, go to a test center, pick the exam up, and complete it in the alloted amount of time.Quality of Life
Housing is a pivotal part of campus life at Smith. Students live in self-governed houses of between 10 to 100 students each; physically, the houses are beautiful, the rooms are spacious, and possibilities of getting single rooms after first year are excellent. The 13 or so dining halls on campus are located in the houses, and students from any house on campus can dine in whatever dining hall they want. There is one meal plan: unlimited.
Campus and facilities are in excellent condition and are top-of-the-line in terms of up-keep and technology. Most buildings have wireless internet access. There are 4 libraries on campus, with the main one being the humanities/social sciences one, supported by the science library, art library, and music/theater/dance library. Smith libraries also include the Smith College Archives (historical documents and other items illustrating the history of the college), the Sophia Smith Collection (oldest and largest women's history collection of archival material in the country, home of many notable peoples' papers, such as Gloria Steinem and Margaret Sanger), and the Mortimer Rare Book Room (houses a collection of valuable first edition books, original drafts/manuscripts, and other related material, such as cuneiform tablets and medieval manuscripts).
Northampton is a very welcoming town, and town/gown relations are fine. The community is safe, and often reaches out to Smith students to participate in various activities or business promotions.
Overall happiness: awesome!Admissions
Smith is a Common Application school. It does have a supplement, but a reasonably short and easy one--they require two short answer questions describing your understanding/interest of Smith in particular. I applied Regular Decision, but there is an Early Decision (binding) option. When I was accepted, I was accepted with a STRIDE (Student Research in Departments) scholarship, which is a substantial merit scholarship that comes with the opportunity to do paid research with a faculty mentor as a first-year and sophomore student.Level
There are no general education requirements. The only requirements are those for your major and a writing-intensive course. Average class size is about 17 and student-to-faculty ratio is about 10 to 1. Professors are really accessible and encourage you to come to their office hours or schedule an appointment. The workload can be quite intense, but often rewarding. Study abroad opportunities are many and highly regarded.Quality of Life
Housing is an important reason why students choose Smith. Houses are small, tight communities that offer lots of activities ranging from House Council to intramural sports. The cost of living is high. Most students live on-campus. Food is quite decent for a college. The libraries are great resources. The town is great - lots of shopping, restaurants and other activities. The town is also quite safe - lots of families and residential areas.Admissions
Common App, supplemental essays, financial aid application, interview, regular decisionLevel
No required classes except one writing intensive your first year here. The majors all require around ten specific classes. The average class size is 17, i've never been in a class over 40 students. Advising and professors are amazing, they want to get to know you, help you with things other than their class. Students are semi competitive but work together often. Grading is average, depends on the professor. There are two many great faculty to name them all. Study abroad is great, you can basically study anywhere there is an accredited program as long as you have above a 3.0 which is basically everyone. The workload is intense and pushes you.Quality of Life
Housing is the best part of Smith. We line in houses, the same one all four years. We have a self governing system that allows us to have free reign over our life here. Food is great, lots of options.Admissions
I think the common application and an essay, interview is optional but a good idea, lots of financial aid is given out. The senior class this year is 72% on financial aid.Level
no general requirements, major/minor or double major, professors have open office hours as well as available for appointment, research opportunities in every department through special studies, great study abroad programs, great professors who care about teaching, major advisor, 12:1 student faculty ratiopQuality of Life
the housing community is the best!Admissions
Common application, early decision or regular decision, financial aid packages, scholarships, interviews, overnightsLevel
i applied early decision to Smith, using the common application. I wrote my essay about the influence that dancing/ballet has had on my life, and how it has shaped the person I am today. I was not offered any financial aid. I came for my interview the spring of my Junior year, because at that point I was almost 100% certain that I wanted to go to Smith.Level
There are no distribution requirements at Smith, which is awesome because you only have to take what you want, and the people in your classes genuinely want to be there. Advising is very involved. Most professor, even those who aren't advisers, are easily accessible and interested in the lives of their students. Students are competitive in that they want to do well and have high standards for themselves, but their is rarely animosity or negative competition between students. The work load can be much at times, but most professors are flexible if it's too much. I think about half of students study abroad, and there are a lot of ways to do independent semesters off in the United States too.Quality of Life
The campus is absolutely beautiful all year round. Housing is one of the most important aspects of Smith. We live in smallish student governed houses, not huge dormitories. Every house has its own personality and community. Our houses offer an incredible experience because they allow us to choose how we live. The members of the community decide when "quiet hours" are, what the overnight guest policy is, how we are going to keep our common space clean, etc. It's up to us, not college officials, and because of that we take more pride and responsibility for ourselves. Our houses are homes, and our neighbors are family. The unique housing experience at Smith is probably one of the best parts of the school.Admissions
I applied regular decision via Common Application. I don't really remember the extra essays. I did visit and stay overnight. Also, I did an interview, which was much more low key and less intimidating than at some other schools. I didn't apply for financial aid.Level
We don't have core classes, but we do have to take a writing intensive class. There are premajor and major advisors, there are numerous amounts of study abroad opportunities, the faculty is very willing to speak with you and guide you if you are having problems, and the class sizes are small.Quality of Life
There are dining halls all around campus, we have an unlimited dining plan so we can eat however much we want, at any different house, during every meal. The houses are mostly all gorgeous, with the exception of one. The campus is small enough to get from one side to the other in about 15 minutes. The crime is low, but if there is a safety issue, there are blue lights with a direct emergency line to the Public Safety office every few feet everywhere on campus. The community is welcoming to the college students and the downtown area has many opportunities for fun.Admissions
Smith College used the Common Application, had no SAT or ACT requirements, accepted early decision/ action, and gave many interviews.Level
Smith uses the Common Application with a unique suppliment, as well as an interview. The admissions process is need-blind, so financial aid packages are worked out after the offic of admissions has selected the class. They have two early decision options, one in December and one in February. There are multiple student research scholarship opportunities.Level