Smith College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


It's a beautiful campus with a welcoming feeling and an immense amount of opportunities for students.


The best thing about Smith is that everyone can feel free to be WHOMEVER they want to be. There are so many opportunities available for us to explore who we are, and everyone in our community is so supportive of each person finding their individual path. That is the best aspect of it, I think, for students. When I tell people I go to Smith they are generally impressed. Not only are our academics excellent, but the fact that Smith is a women's college also impresses on people how seriously you take your education. The town of Northampton is wonderful. It is cute, and very welcoming. The variety of restaurants for such a small town is astounding. My complaint about Smith is the liberal bias. I wish that Republicans, and conservative people had more of a presence on campus so we could have substantial debates. The other issue is that we are not trained to interact with men. There just arent' that many men around, I have had to make a special effort to take classes at Amherst and UMass (another perk!) to make sure that I am getting a well-rounded social experience as well. I will say that there is so much value in a women's college - particularly because at co-ed schools leadership roles are male-dominated. At Smith everyone can be, and in fact IS a leader on campus.


Smith was absolutely perfect for me. I loved the academics and I felt like my college experience really prepared me for my career instead of just being something I did because it was expected of me. I met wonderful people there and the campus was beautiful. I thought it was a good size; the first year or two when I wasn't used to living away from home it wasn't too big and overwhelming, but then as I got more confident I spent more time at the neighboring colleges and universities and in the town. Northampton has an amazing music scene and some good cafes, and even a couple of fun, cheap bars. Town-gown relationships are good and a lot of Smithies work in town. The administration is very focused on students and student-life; if the student body speaks up about something, it is usually heard and taken care of. There is a LOT of Smith Love and pride. Even after graduating, if I meet a fellow Smithie there's an instant bond. In fact, once my car broke down in a far-away state, and a woman stopped to help me. She said she saw the Smith sticker on my car, and she stopped because she was an alum too. There's a very very big sense of comraderie and once you graduate there's a big "Old Girl Network" of people willing to help you find a job and get on your feet.


As a young woman from a small midwestern town who always thought she was a city girl, I felt trepidatious attending college in a smaller city. But Smith's small-community atmosphere combined with Northampton's abundance of youth and nightlife made it perfect. In addition, if one goes stir crazy, Boston and New York City are within a short ride on the bus.


I think one of the major issues that people have with Smith is that it is all women. For me, it was definitely an issue when deciding where to go. I have come to really appreciate the environment that it cultivates, even though I, too, am a fan of men. For me, not having men around does not create a deficit--it allows for something entirely different, wonderful and indescribable to take its place.


Smith has a great sense of community. The campus center and the quad are the social hubs. People also spend a lot of time in Northampton, which is a great college town. Saying you go to Smith might inspire questions as to what it's like going to a women's college. The experience is different for everyone but I think overall positive.


People are usually impressed and/or excited when they find out you go to Smith. It has a great reputation as a prestigious and respectable institution. Northampton is a fun town with cool shops and a culture that intertwines with the college in some ways, but is very independent in other ways. I suppose the worst thing about Smith - and basically any college or university - is that it is a business and they do want to make money. Thus, students can get screwed over in financial aid or by the bureaucratic tools that run the place.


Smith is a great place but at times it can be a bubble. In that bubble "nothing bad" ever happens and when it does Smith sometimes sucks at dealing with such an issue.


Social: I like Smith because I really fit in here. If you want good academics and socially liberal people, then I recommend looking at Smith. Some people are hesitant to apply to Smith because it is single sex. I will admit that I was hesitant about this too, but once I got here it was fine, and actually good. As horrible as it sounds (it really is unfortunate :/), the campus is really safe because of the lack of men, there are hardly any assault incidents on campus. In addition, I think the single sex setting helps women here academically. Anyway though, one last point about this is: If you need to hang out with men to socially survive or if you need to date men, then you should think very carefully about choosing Smith because despite what Smith advertises, it is difficult to meet guys and the four surrounding colleges are actually kind of far away. A lot of my friends complain about this and it's hard for them sometimes. Size/Location: I think Smith is a nicely sized school. Perhaps it could be a little bit bigger, it's about 2600 students. You see a lot of people that you know all the time, but you don't actually know them personally, so it's nice. The location of Smith is pretty nice. Some people call Northampton the San Francisco of the East Coast, but my friends who are actually from SF strongly disagree with that statement. Northampton is chill, it's a hippie/liberal/upper class type of town. However, it is small and there is not much to do except go shopping, get ice cream, or go to the movies. There really is not much night life in town, you have to make your own fun. Administration: Although Smith is down sizing its professors, for whatever reasons, I think that the administration is great. All of my professors, with an exception of a few (who were actually visiting professors mostly), have been great and very engaging. They are interested in what the students have to say and they encourage you to come up with your own ideas and to think critically. The classes are really good in my opinion.


Smith is the perfect size. It takes about ten minutes to get to everything on campus. Employers love when you tell them you go to Smith because they know it is a very tough school academically and challenges the students. I spend most of my time on the soccer fields, in my house or at house parties. The athletic community is very close on campus. If your an athlete you know all the other athletes because you party with them every weekend.


Smith is beautiful. Having a beautiful campus is very important to me and that was the main reason I chose Smith. I remember my day as a prospie, looking out over the lake from the boathouse and knowing that I was going to come here. I love it despite the fact that, and because, it is all women. Students here are also way too picky--we don't realize how lucky we are compared to many other college students in our housing, dining, and education. There is not enough school pride, and I wish we still had a brother school to cheer for their sports teams or to have parties or dinners. If you start to go stir crazy in the bubble, start studying downtown or get a job off campus. It also helps to take courses at other schools, and Umass courses are often prematurely discredited.


The best thing about Smith is the support. Between professors, other students and places like the Jacobsen Center for writing there is always somewhere to go if you need help with an assignment. People here really want to see each student succeed and are willing to do many different things to help. Northampton is a nice college town, lots of interesting places to eat, some really quirky shops downtown and Herrell's is famous for bizarre and delicious ice cream flavors. The biggest complaint is the dining. The food is not always so great and there has been lots of upheaval as the dining system has changed over the past five years or so.


Smith is a very academically focused college with and interesting mix of people. It is very small and one becomes familiar with many of the faces of the students who attend. Though Northampton is a very nice town with good food and shopping, Smith students don't tend to interact with the town that much and usually only make quick trips into it. Smith doesn't have a mascot and sports are not well supported.


Smith is just the right size. You really get to know people, but there are always new people to meet as well. Since it's part of a consortium, you can always go to other colleges to meet people. I get three reactions when I tell people I go to Smith: "oh, you're gay," "What's that?" and "My, what a good school. my great aunt/neighbor's friends friend/dog's first owner went there." Northampton is the cutest town ever. It's basically attached to the school, so students go down there every day. And while Northampton is more cutesy than practical, we're just a short bus ride away from a mall with walmart, target, linens n things, etc. I like Smith's administration overall, but you do have to be pushy. Smithies definitely like to complain about everything, from stiff doors to which downtown theaters they should be supporting, so I hear a lot of bullshit about how awful the administration is. Truth be told: it runs better than most. My Reenacting the past class, which was a freshman seminar, and my house, Talbot, are probably going to be my two greatest memories of Smith.


The administration and specifically the college president, Carol Christ, are unpopular. The dining is more expensive than it needs to be and there's no way to avoid paying for a 3 meals a day, 7 days a week plan unless you live off-campus or in one of the co-op houses. The all-women atmosphere is strange at first, but you get used to it faster than you'd think, and you don't really miss having men in classes. The campus is beautiful, although the weather gets bleak in the winter.


We have a great community. You can usually avoid people you don't want to see, but it's also really easy to run into people if you want to. The food is good most of the time, and there are a lot of options (Asian, vegan/vegetarian, Kosher, Mediterranean...) Northampton is a neat little college town, except that everything closes really early. Lots of good places to eat and shop.


The dorms. I live in Scales house and I love it. I have my own room and that is all that matters to me. I would change the ignorance about racial issues. I think smith is just right. I'm used to a small class setting and I enjoy that tremendously. When I tell people that I'm going to Smith some of them are proud, others ask me if I'm a lesbian. I spend most of my time in my room. I'm comfortable here in my room. The second place I spend most of my time is outside by the pond. It's really gorgeous there. I love nature!!! It's really a college town but not really. We are very close to other colleges but Northampton doesn't really stay open that late. I enjoy the administration here. I think they really want you to learn. The biggest controversy was the black face incident. That was just due to pure ignorance. Yes there is a lot of Smithie pride!!! Unusual things about Smith...hmmm... you would just have to see that when you visit here. One experience I will always remember is convocation. That was pretty interesting. Students usually complain about the work load. I don't because I have great time management skills.

Petunia Bee

Smith, an all-women's school in the NorthEastern part of the United States, educates pioneers and unicorns. The students all love free ice-cream and are moderately-extremely intelligent.


The thing about Smith that I think sets it apart from other schools is the community that exists here. Being in an environment of all women is a unique experience. People are very proud of their houses and there is a lot of community within the houses. There is a sense of unity among the students, especially at events like convocation. Northampton is a great town- I couldn't think of a better place for a college. It has great concert venues, shops, restaurants. Also, the five-college exchange is a great resource for taking classes at other colleges, meeting other people, etc. Smith always has tons of things going on- way too many to possibly go to. Lectures, concerts, shows, movies, etc. The only hard part is choosing which ones to go to.


Smith is an absolutely wonderful school and I'm really glad I decided to go here. There are so many wonderful things, from the accepting and intellectual environment, to the people, to the beautiful campus. The school is a great size, with a small student to faculty ratio so you really get to know your teachers.


I love going to Smith. It fosters a very independent group of young women who are ready to take on the world. Smith is the perfect fusion of a great education with a great social scene. Everyone is so different and diverse at Smith and it makes for one very special experience.


Smith has recently undergone a lot of changes since I got here. Traditions in my house have had to be reworked in light of the consolidation of dining. However, we've done our best to work past it, and the complaining about it has decreased as we get more students who don't remember how it used to be. One of my favorite offices is computer technical services because whenever my computer acts up, I can give it to them to fix and it is usually done the same day.


Smith is more than a college where you learn stuff. Smith is a launchpad to find who you are the the life you will live and love to live. Smith is an open environment where anyone can feel welcome and accepted.


Smith's website proclaims: "I am Smith" and boy are they right. Smith is made up of Smithies who are more powerful than the administration or faculty in determining the mood, focus, and energy on campus. Each person has a fire to them, whether it be their volunteer work in Africa, expression through art, vocal political opinions, or insightful interpretations of literature. It may not be immediately apparent what is Smithie about each Smithie, but the admissions people know what to look for and sooner or later you see a glimmer about what makes each student special.


The housing system is really awesome. In my house at least, there is a huge sense of community and I've made some of my best friendships with the people I live with. It has become my home away from home and everyone is very supportive.


My favorite thing about Smith is my house community. I feel Smith is just the right size and is a great college town. I feel the administration could improve some what, but i'm not really involved with the administration. I would say the biggest recent controversy on campus would be the "black face" incident. I dont feel there is a lot of school pride but there is a lot of house pride within Smith


The best thing about Smith is the communities. Smith is a collection of communities, students, queer students, students of color, trans students, traditional age students, Ada Comstock Scholars, etc. Multiple communities that are internally cohesive (and crazy) and that attempt to communicate with each other (because many of us exist in several of them).


Smith is the perfect size-- small enough so you get to know your professors, but large enough so you do not feel constricted to a specific social circle. The teachers are wonderful. The students are wonderful. The administrations stinks. President Christ is almost universally disliked on campus. We have a huge endowment, but transparency is rather awful (I think we got an F on our last report card from some evaluation team). She is also incredibly snooty, and calls supposed all-college meetings to discuss important issues during dinner. The administration in general exudes a attitude of not listening to the students. Sure, they will schedule events to "listen," but they respond only with pat answers, and you know they are not going to change anything. This can be frustrating.


The best part about Smith is that it's a small, beautiful campus right next to an awesome town with a Main Street that caters to college students. Northampton has turned into a very liberal, fun area with lots to do, and though it can be costly, it's close enough to Boston. Smith does have its great reputation for smart women, but its reputation for lesbians can be a little overwhelming at times. Its traditions can also be very fun, but there are a lot of people who really dislike Smith. The worst part about Smith is the Smith bubble! It can feel very isolated, both the campus and you as the student. At times it's hard to get your friends to go out and have fun, or even leave their room and stop doing work. It's even harder to get them to go off campus, to Boston or anywhere.


Smith is a very open and welcoming environment. You will meet people from all over the world and people who are incredibly different from anyone you've ever met. It's a good size where you make close friends and see them in passing, but not so small that you know everyone and feel like you're back in high school. Northampton is a great place to go to college with lots of artsy stores and good restaurants. It has good bars too for when you're over 21.


Best thing: The campus is gorgeous. One thing I'd change: Food can be a bit...lacking at times. Certain departments are underfunded. Size: Just right! Reaction: People usually sort of roll their eyes and you can see them applying all of the stereotypes and assumptions to you. Sometimes, they don't know where it is ("out near UMass). But, when I've been to interviews, people have definitely perked up when I tell them I go to Smith. I spend most of my time in my dorm or hanging out with friends.


The best thing about Smith is the unique opportunities it provides. Where else can students see Gloria Steinam or the Dalai Lama speak in person? It is also great that the classes are small enough and the professors available enough for the students and professors to get to know each other rather well. It is not uncommon for professors to get coffee with their students or to have classes over for dinner.


I wish they would accept more people who are similar to me. I think my school is the correct size. I wish people would stop associating Smith with being a lesbian. I spend most of my time in my room or in the library


Smith is located in a great area. Northampton is a great college town filled with interesting stores and restaurants. As well, there are many of the larger box stores close by for the college needs. The five college system is a great asset. You can take classes and use the resources from the other colleges, as well as participate in sports or go to parties when you need to escape the all-women atmosphere. The free bus system between the five colleges is also a great advantage for those who won't have cars or don't want to deal with the pain of parking in Northampton, which is limited and a major pain.


I would change the lack of ethnicity on campus. I would also change the standards for receiving financial aid. Some students do not live with their parents. However, since they cannot be declared "independent" because they do not make a certain amount of money a year, Smith does not give them enough financial aid. Students, like myself, have numerous amounts of loans. I will be paying off my loans for the rest of my life. I am only a junior and already have at least 60,000 dollars in loans. The college is in a small artsy, liberal, town. There isn't much to do here unless you are 21+. When I tell people back home that I go to Smith College, they do not really know where or what it is. The people who do know about Smith College are amazed. I guess that is what I get for living below the Mason-Dixon line, nobody knows where to find a good education. As for school pride, most people love the school and have school attire and wear it off campus. As for athletics, a majority of the school does not attend athletics unless one is part of a team, or has friends on a team. The one thing I enjoy the most about Smith College is its traditions. I do not enjoy Smith having the right to observe whatever holidays it chooses because it is a private school.


I find Smith to be extremely stressful and lacking a social atmosphere. In terms of size, I find it just right. People are impressed when I tell them I go to Smith. Student complaints: Dinning and too much work Recent controversy: Blackface (racism), eliminating faculty positions in very important academic departments administration: Selectively involved on campus Spend time: I would say everywhere. I still involved on campus and so I find it hard to choose one place College Town:As a New Yorker, I find Northampton to be small. There is definitely a creative vibe to it, but I don't think it caters to a college lifestyle (late night dinning etc)


I am so glad I am at Smith. It is the perfect college environment, amazing academics and campus, an accepting enviroment, good food, eager and engaged students and professors. Northampton is an amazing town and is so easy to walk to in only a few minutes. Smith is the perfect size- day to day I recognize people around campus but I also always see new people. Smith has a great reputation for academics and I am always proud to say I go to Smith (not just because of the academics but because of the school as a whole). I think most people are really happy to be here and want to be here.


Smith has a lot of traditions, some are fun and some are annoying, but you don't have to participate in them if you don't want to. Alums are always willing to help other Smithies with looking for jobs, internships, housing or just to show them around a new town. It is amazing how Smith can connect you to other Smithies, even the ones you have never met.


I love Northampton. I have found some good friends here, which I think I will always have. There is not too much school pride, which I think is good, because I find that whole idea stupid.


Smith College is a lot different from other, bigger colleges that students might look at. It's a small school relative to universities, but also the largest women's college in the country. I think its population of about 2500 is really nice, because its not so big that you feel you only know 1/6 of the people, but not so small that everyone knows you and what you've been up to. I personally love its location (though I might be biased, since I live only a half hour away); Northampton is such a great town with so many neat places to go, like Herrells (AMAZING ice cream) and Faces, a really cool store that you can really funny things in. And if Northampton or the many activities on campus aren't good enough for you, you can always go to the other colleges of the Five College Consortium; Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Umass-Amherst.


Smith is chill - with an academic edge. You don't have to know where you're going in life to do well here, so you have the freedom to choose what you want to do. Everyone here is determined, but can also just roll with life. The campus is great - a perfect mix of everything, and the town is right there, literally. Just take a quick walk and there's everything you need.


I love the house system at Smith. Living in a house is so much different than any other dorm I've visited at other schools. There's the comfort of having common spaces that are actually used by the students. There's the comfort of having the freedom that comes with space, we can arrange the furniture in our rooms (and throughout the house) however we want. I visited a friend at school in Quincy, MA and all of their furniture was built in, bolted to the floor and walls. I love being able to define my space how I want it.


It's a very open environment that fosters personal growth. There are a lot of diverse people here in terms of ethnicity and who are from different regions of the world that have a lot to share about where they come from and their views on things. This is a great place to gain perspective about how complicated the world is and that there isn't always one right answer to a problem because the problem is generally multidimensional. When I tell people that I go to Smith, they are like, oh...that's nice. Most of them don't know what this place is, or if the do, they already have preconceptions about what an all-girls college is like.


I have found that coming to an all girl's school, though very different from the co-ed public school system I grew up in, was that I have really learned what a sisterhood can be. I have never felt so close to my fellow women before I came here. It is not necessarily an intimate romantic relationship, but a true friendship, an understanding, a level of trust that I have never had with any friends in high school. The people I have met here have changed my life for the better and this place and the people in it have entirely encouraged me, to find the real me. I believe I have and I have never felt more comfortable.


i really like smith, but if i could change one thing... well, several. see, we used to have dining halls in all the houses, until carol christ came around. she decided that this made the houses too clique-y, and got rid of a bunch of dining halls. there are still a good number of them, with varying menus at every meal. however, i know that when my house goes to eat across the street, we all sit together anyway. this goes for most other houses, to my knowledge. the clique-y-ness has hardly been avoided. for that matter, it's less cost-effective, believe it or not. that money could be put into something else, such as scholarships and financial aid, or library acquisitions. the other thing i'd like to change is laundry. i like to be clean, so it should be free. smith can sometimes feel too small. it's way bigger than my high school -- there were about 100 graduating people in my class -- but at the same time i feel like there's only about two or three degrees of separation between people. i mean, when you think about how many people you've indirectly made out with... anyway. the other amazing thing about smith is the town of northampton. your perfect college town, with great food and shops. you can get pretty much everything you need, and if not, hampshire mall is a 20 minute bus ride away, and it has a target. i've also mentioned the houses. we don't have dorms. the houses vary in size. for instance, i live in PARSONS complex, which is really composed of parsons house and parsons annex. there are 40-something people in the house, and 20-something in the annex. a lot of the time, i feel as though house-pride is way stronger than college pride. the house communities are generally pretty good, and it actually feels like home. i love my house, which is, by the way, PARSONS HOUSE.


I love that Smith is a small campus, so I always see friendly faces around campus. Being so close to Northampton and all it has to offer is also a great thing.


Smith is pretty cool. The campus is beautiful; it was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the same guy who designed Central Park in New York City. The campus is also an officially recognized botanical garden, so all of the plants on campus are incredibly well-selected and many are remarkably old and/or rare. The size is just right: small enough that you're sure to bump into friends walking around campus, but big enough that there are still new people to meet and that it is possible to avoid someone if the need arises. I spend most of my time on campus lying outside on the lawn if it's a nice day out, or in my house or the Campus Center if it's not. The one thing I would change about Smith is the Administration's strict, reactionary outlook on partying. Where under-aged drinking is involved, they are completely unrealistic and unforgiving, even if a student is forced to turn herself in to get help for a friend whose life may be in danger. This is an outrage, but despite the administrative doucheyness, we still manage to have a good time.


I love Smith, and I'm so glad I came here, because I have been inspired to become someone I couldn't have become at another school. I was terrified of math and science, but at Smith I had the courage to become a pre-med math major. I never took a leadership position before here, but I had the confidence to take on several huge roles at Smith. I have really developed my outlook on the world because at Smith I'm comfortable to stand up for myself. And I think about 90{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of these accomplishments come from the fact that Smith students are all women, specifically independent, smart women. Now that being said, Smith is far from perfect. The administration and the dominant campus culture are geared toward rich white women. Recruitment of non-white and non-wealthy students is strong, so we have a diverse student body, but the administration leaves it up to the students to educate each other about differences, and so we have a lot of really ignorant girls around. Just about every semester there is some "incident" and things get a little better, or at least more talked about, and then it's forgotten. I think this could be an issue at many schools, and in a way it's good that people are getting educated to an extent, it's just that administration needs to do a lot more.


I like the size of Smith - you can recognize people and get to know your department well, but always be running into new people - especially with 4 other colleges (and three cities) so close. The best part: the amazing opportunities and resources for Smithies (and faculty). It costs a lot to attend, but you can also get a lot of money from Smith to attend conferences, get an unpaid summer internship, buy a suit for an interview, fly home for family emergencies, go on a field trip.... Also the Alum Association works really hard to network between current Smithies and alums. It's a big family: you dont always talk, but you always help each other out. As a transfer student (and I was coming from a pretty bad school, so Smith is amazing in comparison) I love what Smith offers me. BUT - like any institution there's red tape and stupid liability rules. And Smith tends to hold your hand through a lot of the college processes - this isnt' necessarily bad, but just unnecessary for some students that are more put together/have been independent before etc. It's a good way to help out first years though.


The best thing about Smith is that you feel that you have the final say when it comes to your education. Your opinion on what classes you want to take is much more important than your advisors and because of the lack of strict requirements it is more about what do you want to learn about then it is about what should you learn about. One thing I would change is the dining system. The food is low quality most of the time and there is not enough variety. I think that the size of Smith is perfect, not too small and not too big. Northampton is on of the things that most annoys me about Smith. There is nothing in this town. It can't be considered a college town because it definitely does not have anything in it for the college students who reside here.