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5 College Freshman

Academics: Smith feels like an Ivy League for women. It's definitely prestigious, and classes are full of intelligent people ready to learn. The overall environment of Smith is more academic than anything else (esp. the social scene) and everyone here is driven (sometimes to the point of super stressed) because they really care about their classes and their education as a whole.

6 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: The material is very interesting and fun!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: Professors are great, registration is usually a pain. Workload is heavy but manageable. Disability services are very supportive and accessible. Engineering, Study of Woman & Gender seem to be especially popular majors.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: Though it's not an ivy, academics do really feel top-notch. Professors are all brilliant and care about the students, most classes are small, and there are plenty of academic resources.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: Registration is really stressful. The system always crashes.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
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: 4%
  • 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

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 52 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 24 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 24 responses

  • 21% This was my dream school.
  • 58% This was one of my top choices.
  • 21% This was a school I settled for (safety school).


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