private women's liberal arts college in Massachusetts
Smith College is a private liberal arts women's college in Northampton, Massachusetts. It was chartered in 1871 by Sophia Smith and opened in 1875. It is the largest member of the historic Seven Sisters colleges, a group of elite women's colleges in the Northeastern United States. Smith is also a member of the Five College Consortium, along with four other nearby institutions in the Pioneer Valley: Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst; students of each college are allowed attend classes at any other member institution. On campus are Smith's Museum of Art and Botanic Garden, the latter designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
Smith has 41 academic departments and programs and is structured around an open curriculum, lacking course requirements and scheduled final exams. It is known for its progressive, politically active student body and rigorous academics. Undergraduate admissions is exclusively restricted to women; Smith announced a trans inclusive admissions policy in 2015, however, after criticism from the college community. Smith offers several graduate degrees, all of which accept applicants regardless of gender, and co-administers programs leading to Ph.D.s alongside other Five College members. The college was the first historically women's college to offer an undergraduate engineering degree. Admissions is considered highly selective. It was the first women's college to join the NCAA, and its sports teams are known as the Pioneers.
Smith alumnae include notable authors, journalists, activists, feminists, politicians, philanthropists, actresses, filmmakers, academics, CEOs, two first ladies of the United States, and recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, Rhodes Scholarship, Academy Award, Emmy Award, MacArthur Grant, Peabody Award, and Tony Award.
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