Academics

Location
Northampton, MA
Undergrads
2,643
Tuition
$41,460
Admission Difficulty
Average
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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5 College Sophomore

Academics: All the professors are outstanding. It's easy to get involved in research with professors in what wouldn't usually be done at other colleges, more graduate level studies.

4 College Junior

Academics: I love the program I am in because I get to learn so much about society. The workload is heavy at times depends the professor you are taking. The professors are really helpful and able to connect you with internships and job opportunities.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Great classes and professors. Challenging but still fun and engaging. Most classes small- good if you need help but not so good if you need//want a day off. Attendance is a big deal.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Great variety, work load can seem like a lot at times but you can usually pull through.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: It's Smith, it's the best

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 3rd
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 4th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 5th
    Smartest Professors
  • 31st
    Most Available Classes
  • 41st
    Most Caring Professors

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

There is no such thing as an “easy” class at Smith—the challenging and invigorating academic environment is what this College is best known for. Some students even say they settled for a less-attractive social scene in order to take advantage of Smith’s academic resources and opportunities. The academics here are Ivy League caliber and all-nighters are common, but the all-female environment often provides a supportive atmosphere that can ease the pain of a massive syllabus. The College’s open curriculum allows students to explore focused topics that pique their interest, which is the point of a liberal arts college. Many students' most rewarding academic experiences have come from classes outside of their major, and having the freedom to discover the class offerings from the Five Colleges consortium is a major perk of Smith.

The College’s professors are consistently regarded as one of the school’s best attributes. Smith has a tradition of hiring intelligent professors who are dedicated to their fields, and many go out of their ways to make the material exciting and relevant. Professors are accessible to all students, even those not in their classes. They will meet with students after class or respond to e-mails—sometimes with an almost frightening speed. However, not all students foster close relationships with their professors, mostly because the relationships are largely based on the amount of effort put in by the student. Some students complain that, much like the student body, the professors are too outspokenly political, causing discomfort to anyone who doesn’t agree with the views they express. However, in reality, while many professors express their views freely, very few are closed to hearing dissenting opinions. Smith professors are dedicated to the academic material and make sure students get the full picture—they rarely use class for merely preaching their personal opinions.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
9:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
297
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
74
Total FT Faculty
297
Faculty with Terminal Degree
98%
Average Faculty Salary
$104,899
Full-Time Retention Rate
93%
Graduation Rate
85%
Programs/Majors Offered
68
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 67%
  • 20 to 49 students: 28%
  • 50 or more students: 5%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Economics and Econometrics: 3%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 4%
  • Psychology: 3%
  • Social Work: 6%
Graduation Requirements
Writing-intensive course
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Best Places to Study
  • Atrium in the Brown Fine Arts Center
  • Campus Center (try to get the comfortable booths in the cafĂ©)
  • Neilson Library, especially the alcoves
Tips to Succeed
  • Don't be afraid to go to your professor when you're struggling. They're usually very understanding about individual circumstances and are happy to offer extra help or extensions.
  • Don't be afraid to take a class pass/fail. It lets you experiment and enjoy the class without worrying about your GPA.
  • Get involved. There are a ton of organizations on campus and at the other local colleges. Getting involved helps you meet different people and makes the school feel more like home.
  • Get off campus once in a while. Even if you're not taking a trip to Boston or going home for the weekend, go to events downtown and at the other local colleges. It's very easy to get sucked into the Smith bubble and then feel really claustrophobic.
  • Research professors before taking their classes. There are two survey databases online where you can read reviews from former students. These are invaluable in finding out which professors to stay away from and which ones to make an effort to take a class with.
  • The Smith alumnae network is truly incredible. Many Smithies find summer internships and jobs after college through Smith alums, so use them as a resource early and often!
Did You Know?
  • Smith students can take classes at any of the other schools in the Five Colleges consortium (Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Amherst College).
  • Smith's founder, Sophia Smith, was encouraged to leave her fortune to Amherst College. Instead, she stipulated in her will that the money be used "for the establishment and maintenance of an institution for the higher education of women." Smith opened in 1875 with 14 students and six professors, and today, it is the largest women's college in the United States.
  • In 1999, with the founding of the Picker Engineering Program, Smith became the first women's college to offer a program in engineering. In spring 2004, Smith graduated the first class of all-female engineers.

Student Polls

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 33 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 34 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants

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