Smith College is a private institution for women only. Located in Northampton, Massachusetts (about two hours from Boston and three from New York City), Smith is located in an urban setting covering 147 acres. Smith is also part of the Five Colleges Consortium. (Which consists of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.) The school, founded in 1871, also belongs to the Seven Sisters colleges. (Which includes six other liberal arts schools that were originally for women only.) With a small undergraduate population of just over 2,500 students, classmates form a tight bond over their four years on campus.
Smith offers 50 courses of study. Students are also encouraged to take part in classes offered by the other schools in the consortium. This opportunity increases the availability of classes—giving individuals more than 5,000 courses to choose from. The most popular majors include social sciences; foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics; biological and biomedical sciences; psychology; and visual and performing arts. Smith College was actually the first and only women’s college in the country to offer undergraduate degrees in engineering. Class sizes are small with a student to faculty ratio of nine to one. About 70% of the classes have fewer than 20 students.
Smith College structures their residential housing a little different from most schools. There is no Greek life or typical dorms, and students are assigned to one of 41 houses on campus. Each house holds between 10 and 100 students. Individuals typically decide to stay in the house they’re first assigned to as freshman, but some decide to switch during later years. Students also connect through the social organizations on campus; there are currently more than 140 clubs. Students are also drawn together in the newly built Campus Center and the Olin Fitness Center. There are many traditions that Smith College students take part in, including Convocation, Mountain Day, and Ivy Day. Smith also has 14 varsity sports teams that participate in the NCAA Division III and Eastern College Athletic Conference levels.
Smith College is known for providing a close-knit community for women who are dedicated to their studies and want to create lasting relationships. Notable alumni and long history have proven that Smith creates passionate, driven students who go on to accomplish great things. Small class sizes and devoted professors also help shape and mold students to become great leaders and thinkers. Women interested in a liberal arts education should investigate the many opportunities Smith can give to its students.