Smith College is a liberal arts college in Northampton, Massachusetts. Sophia Smith, the daughter of a wealthy local man, set aside funds to build a new school in the area for women. Though founded in 1871, it took four years before the college opened and held its first classes. Just 14 students enrolled in that first year, but enrollment hit more than 1,000 students by the 1910s. That rapid growth led to the college setting aside funds for new buildings and increasing the number of programs it offered. Unlike other colleges for women that later admitted men, Smith College is still only open to female students. It is a member of the Seven Sisters and one of the largest women’s college in the country.

With an acceptance rate of around 35%, Smith College is a highly selective school. U.S. News & World Report ranked Smith as the country’s 12th best liberal arts college, and Washington Monthly ranked it within the top 40 of American liberal arts schools. Forbes ranked it within the top 60 of all colleges in the United States. The university also offers the Ada Comstock Scholars Program for worthy students older than the average college age that helps those women afford to go back to school.

Smith College Accreditation Details

Smith is one of just a few women’s colleges in the United States to have an engineering science program, and its program has accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET). It also offers an accredited social work program that prepares students for working in government agencies. This program has accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation.

Many students will want to know more about regional or institutional accreditation because they want to transfer in some credits when they enroll. The regional accreditation that Smith College has comes from the New England Association of Colleges and Schools. Also called the NEACS, this type of accreditation also allows the college to grant degrees at all levels to students who complete the program requirements. Students attending a regionally accredited college can also apply for and use federal and state financial aid.

Smith College Application Requirements

As Smith College is so selective, many students will want to check out the application requirements before they apply. The college offers two different types of early acceptance as well as standard acceptance. Early acceptance is best for those who want to apply early in the year and find out if they got in ahead of time. The application for early acceptance is due by November 15, and its second early acceptance deadline is January 15. Smith College uses the Common Application, which allows students to create one account and automatically fill out applications to Smith and other colleges.

In addition to the Common Application basic requirements, student must complete a writing supplement that the college asks for, which lets them show their writing skills. The college asks for both a secondary school report and an official high school transcript as well as a letter of recommendation written by the student’s guidance counselor. All students will submit a mid-year report too, and the college can reject a previously accepted student because her grades slipped. Students will need to supply two evaluation forms completed by their high school teachers too. Smith College recommends that students meet with an admissions counselor and go through an interview also.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The total cost of attending Smith College is more than $66,000 a year. This includes nearly $47,000 for tuition alone. While the college charges students for health insurance, it will waive this cost for students who present proof that they already have health insurance or have coverage under a parent’s policy. This figure also includes around $16,000 for room and board. Room and board fees can increase or decrease based on the type of meal plan a student chooses and the type of room she gets. It does not include any personal expenses or the cost of school supplies.

Though Smith College will determine a student’s aid as the cost of attendance minus her family’s contribution, it also has merit-based scholarships available for qualifying students. Its Dora Windes Zollman Scholarship awards students up to $25,000 a year for all four years they remain enrolled in the college. Smith College grants and grants from the college that go to students from Massachusetts, Vermont and Pennsylvania that can bridge the gap between what they have and what they need for school. Students may also qualify for traditional government grants as well as loans. Incoming freshmen can borrow up to $5,500 their first year and $6,500 during their second year. Smith has some jobs on campus open to current and future students too.

Degree Programs

Students attending Smith College can major in one of almost 50 fields of study. The college introduced a major in film and media studies in October of 2016 to help students learn more about the connection between modern media outlets and film. This program asks that students complete all general education requirements and then take a minimum of 10 courses in the field, including an introduction to film and media studies. They’ll also take classes on media history and methods and theories of film and media studies.

Those with an interest in medieval history can choose a major in medieval studies. Students have the option of spending a semester abroad in Dublin as they study and work in the Irish Archaeology Field School. Medieval studies students must demonstrate proficiency in Latin before starting the program, but they can also take eight credits of Latin through the college. This program includes courses on medieval art history, religion and philosophy.

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The college also offers a major in architecture that includes courses on urban planning and design. All students take an introduction to architectural studies that gives them an idea of what the program expects from them. This program includes some unique courses like media in the built environment, intermediate arch design, ecological design, age of cathedrals and visual exploration. Smith College requires that all architectural studies majors take classes on drawing as well as courses that teach them how to use new computer programs to design residential and commercial buildings.