Northampton, MA
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Reviews 847 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Many people love the "houses not dorms" thing that Smith does. I did too, when I applied. However, it becomes incredibly stifling after awhile and changing houses is incredibly difficult. If you register with Disability Services, expect there to be some hang ups and lack of communication from both offices.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The town is great. You might run into some people that make you a little unnerved, but they're mostly fine. The locals are really friendly towards students, though there is some animosity as well if you talk to them regularly. Shopping is expensive and I don't really know many people who go downtown for clothes often. Arts night out is really fun and people enjoy it. It's a fairly safe town, though I wouldn't recommend walking alone at night. If you're clearly queer, you still have to be aware of your surroundings despite Northampton being called the "lesbian mecca." Myself and several friends have had very uncomfortable run-ins, but the general sentiment is that you're safe and it's celebrated.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: If you like DIVA's you're gonna be all set. If you don't, I'd check out the live music scene. The Iron Horse is great, Calvin is pricey but sometimes worth it, and the Basement is in a scary building.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: We're a woman's college, but that doesn't mean there are no men. Men attend the graduate programs at Smith, take classes here with the 5-College Consortium, and are here--everyday. Let's not forget trans-men and bois on campus, they're here--they're great.

Another reviewer said that most Smithies don't care about their looks, but I don't think that's true at all. Most students look great pretty much everyday. Fashion is pretty "cool" here. Pretty much everyone has something that they're particularly passionate about and you can have a conversation go from one seemingly endless rant about the patriarchy to another. Relationships are a pretty standard thing. A lot of people say that the majority of students are queer (looking at you "straight girl sorority"), but that's actually just not true. The queer relationships are fabulous, but they aren't anywhere near the majority. Perhaps straight people are just really uncomfortable with the idea that queer people exist and that's why they think that if they see two lesbian couples they're outnumbered. Err, yeah.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Most students are comfortable going to the police when they have a problem on campus. In my group of friends, we practice safety with one another--most students don't leave one another alone places at night.

4 College Junior

Majors: Internships vary greatly within the Sociology major. It really depends on what you'd like to do after graduation. Most people have at least one internship while at Smith. The school pays you a stipend for certain internships, so look into that.

3 College Junior

Majors: Make a list of all the things you've spent more than 5 hours on. Which one is your coolest/favorite? I'd write about that for your personal statement. It's important to highlight how you're going to add something to the community. Along with this, I'd get good grades. Your SAT/ACT scores don't matter unless you're an international student.

College Junior

Greek Life: Smith College doesn't have Greek Life

2 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Living in Northampton is ridiculously over priced. If you're dying to get off campus, check out Easthampton (though you will need a car).

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: The general sentiment is no one has the money for it until around 3 am on the weekend. You definitely don't want to eat out all the time in Northampton, but it's great when you have the money and time.

4 College Junior

Scholarships: They're really a great group of people to work with. I recommend that once you're here, you do most of the things in person. They will help you and make you feel less worried about the process.

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: The college has many faults, and everyone disagrees which aspects are the faults. Nonetheless, you (mostly) stay. Despite the many times I have been angered with administration's decisions, housing, or professors, I can't imagine myself anywhere else. Something Smith teaches you is to be angry and then harness that anger to do something. That's not really something a lot of people understand when they first get to college, but it's something most of us grasp by the end.

5 College Junior

Overall Experience: You're going to get a job after college. There are several resources on campus, the alumni network is strong, and the degree sets you apart from other applicants.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Everything on campus is pretty beautiful. The functionality of some spaces can be less than pleasing, but it's definitely aesthetically pleasing.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: The food on campus tastes fine. You're not going to miss it post graduation, but you'll definitely think it's great when you first arrive. Beware, you're paying for way more than you're getting. Sleep late on the weekends because you're not getting brunch until 11, and don't stay up late to study unless you want to buy snacks with your ten dollars of "free" campus cash.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: The policies at Smith reflect the general sentiment that students have regarding drug use/alcohol consumption and honor code violations. No one cares if you're not causing a disruption when it comes to drug use or alcohol consumption. Occasionally, you'll have a house-mate who makes it their mission to report all underage drinking or drug use. The police will come if they are called. Once they are there, they have to do something. It's pretty standard. However, if you call for help when a friend is in danger (alcohol poisoning) you're not going to get in trouble. As far as honor code violations (cheating/hate crimes) you should just not. You're going to get in trouble and pretty much everyone on campus will be less than thrilled about your actions.

College Junior

Athletics: The athletics department is often forgotten by students who do not play any sports. However, the "Get Fit Smith" classes are really fun!

4 College Junior

Academics: The professors in the Sociology department are fantastic. They all know their theory and seem to really care about how the students leave their classrooms at the end of the semester. Obviously, some of them are better than others and talking to older students helps when choosing courses. I was formerly a Film Studies major, and the program is rather disastrous. This is no fault of the FILM professors. Smith seems to believe that English professors are great substitutes for actually hiring film scholars. The program would benefit tremendously if they hired more professors like Lokeilani Kaimana.

4 College Junior

Academics: Overall, the professors are extremely thoughtful and help you to become a better thinker and student. There is a definite divide between students who study STEM versus those who do not. In fact, I can't even attest to the STEM programs at Smith. The programs such as Sociology and English are really great though. Visiting classes before applying would be really helpful at Smith.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: I am currently undeclared but I have a Liberal Art Advisor who helps give me direction when choosing classes. The ratio of work is generally for every hour you are in class there are two hours of homework.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: There is a very wide range of classes offered at Smith. Smith is also a part of the Five College Consortium, which means students can enroll in any classes at UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and/or Mount Holyoke College.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: There is a lot of trust given to students at Smith. There is only one "RA" figure in each house which is the HR or House Resident who lives on the first floor. Everyone is generally very lenient but if a student is having problems with someone else's noise level, drug use, or something else, the HR is informed and then (depending on the severity of the problem) they may have to go in front of the Judicial Board which is run by Smith Students and usually involves doing community service.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Some of the teams do well, but no one really pays much attention. I've only gone to games if my friends are playing. Otherwise there are other things to do.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: The facilities on campus are all around wonderful.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Northampton, Ma has a great selection of food. Some of my favorites are Beuno y Sano, Local Burger, and Viva Fresh Pasta.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Dara Kagan
Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Government, with a minor in the Study of Women and Gender
View all previous student authors

One thing is for sure, Smith is not for everyone. One person’s favorite part of the school could be another’s most-hated aspect. Some cannot handle the single-sex environment, while others find it to be their favorite part of Smith. Some are miserable with the social scene and feel limited in their options, while others are perfectly content. It’s a college of extremes, and when talking to Smith students, you’ll probably find that most have an ambivalent relationship with the school. However, when it comes down to it, the education received at Smith is top-notch. The small classes and wide range of academic opportunities ensure that students are engaged and challenged. Moreover, Smith is committed to providing opportunities that most students don’t get until graduate school, such as independent research with professors in their first year or writing graduate-level theses.

Smith is not a huge party school and it’s not a stereotypical college experience, but, for most Smith students, that’s exactly the way they like it. The small campus can make students feel claustrophobic at times, but there is a tremendous sense of community, and the comfort and security of the campus ensures that students have four years to discover themselves and really come into their own. Time and again, alumnae have told students they are still very close to their friends from Smith. The campus community fosters tight bonds that last far beyond graduation.

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