College Snapshot: Smith College

Smith College

Smith is a 147-acre women’s college in Northampton, MA with 2,500 undergraduates hailing
from 48 states and 73 countries. Like Brown University, Smith boasts an open curriculum; as a women’s
college, it is also very LGBT-friendly. Rather than living in traditional dorms or sororities,
students reside in 37 self-governing houses, each of which houses 12-100 students (in most
cases from all four classes). In the summer before freshman year, the Heads of New Students
(HONS) writes to the incoming students to let them know where they’ve been assigned. Sixteen
dining rooms offer kosher, vegetarian and many other options.

Northampton (“Noho”) is a five-minute walk from campus, where students can enjoy restaurants,
plays, concerts, shops and more. On campus, there are opportunities to see performances at
the 450-seat Theatre 14, the 690-seat Sweeney Concert Hall and smaller venues. The Smith
College Museum of Art houses over 25,000 objects.

A Division III school – and the first women’s college to join the NCAA – Smith features 11 varsity
sports (e.g., soccer, tennis, volleyball), as well as intramural and club sports. Athletic facilities
include a 24-foot-high climbing wall, 25 acres of grass fields and a 5,000-meter cross-country
course. Students can even kayak on Smith’s own Paradise Pond.


Smith hosts over 120 student organizations to meet a wide range of interests. Unity House is a
space for 11 diverse organizations such as Nosotras (for Latina students), Vietnamese Students
Association, and Black Students Alliance. Since Smith is part of the Five College consortium
(which includes Mt. Holyoke, Hampshire, Amherst, and UMass/Amherst), students actually have
access to over 550 organizations, and there are always many parties to choose from.
Fortunately, Smith campus police provides 24-hour security.

Over 40% of juniors study abroad, whether in Smith’s own programs in Florence, Geneva,
Hamburg and Paris, or in one of many other approved programs worldwide.

According to the Princeton Review, Smith students are “hardworking and idealistic,” often
involved in community service and activism, and apt to rate the quality of life at school as
“outstanding.”

Niche.com reports Smith student survey ratings as follows:
Dorms A
Food A
Student Life A
Party Scene B

StudentsReview.com gives Smith’s social life an B+ and the extracurricular activities an A-,
based on 45 reviews.