Located in Northampton, Massachusetts, Smith College is the largest women’s college in the United States and an independent, nondenominational, liberal arts institution. Established in 1871, Smith first opened its doors in 1875 beginning with just fourteen students. Smith College is the largest member of the Seven Sisters, a loose association of seven liberal arts colleges in the Northeast that are historically women’s colleges and founded in the mid to late nineteenth century. Members include Barnard College; Bryn Mawr College; Mount Holyoke College; Radcliffe College; Smith College; Vassar College; and Wellesley College. The association was named the “Seven Sisters” because of their parallel to the Ivy League men’s colleges in 1927. While both men and women are admitted into the Smith’s graduate and certificate program, the college’s primary commitment and focus is the education of women at the undergraduate level.
Smith College offers an amazing 1,000 course options in approximately 50 areas of study in the social sciences and history, arts, languages, literature, mathematics, and natural sciences. Course offerings include Anthropology; Art (History and Studio); Biochemistry; Classical Studies; Computer Science; Economics; English Language and Literature; Environmental Science and Policy; Film Studies; Government; History; Latin; Medieval Studies; Music; Philosophy; Sociology; Theatre; and Women and Gender Studies. Nearly half of Smith’s junior students study abroad and participate in one of Smith’s programs in Florence, Geneva, Hamburg, and Paris or in programs in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and other English speaking countries in both hemispheres.
Each year, over 100 men and women pursue advanced degrees at Smith which offers degrees including a Master of Arts in Teaching; Master of Fine Arts in Dance; Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting; Master of Science in Biological Sciences; and a Master of Science in Exercise & Sport Studies.
Smith has a total enrollment figure of nearly 3,000 students, most of whom are undergraduates. Nearly all 50 States and over 65 foreign nations are represented in Smith’s student body. In an effort to cultivate an atmosphere of camaraderie and social cohesion, all of Smith’s undergraduates are required to live on campus with the exception of students who reside locally with their families. Smith’s resident housing is made up of 32 self-governing houses which are able to accommodate between 12 – 100 students; most houses include women from all four classes. Over fifteen dining rooms exist on campus and dining at Smith includes many unique traditions within a relaxed, accommodating atmosphere. All meals are prepared onsite by experienced culinary staff and all residential students are on a full board plan, entitling them to three meals a day, 7 days a week. A traditional tea is also provided weekly in each house and is a popular and homey way to end the week and socialize with fellow house-members.