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Gender Identity & Expression

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Gender Identity and Gender Expression at Smith

Transgender students looking at colleges often have specific questions about gender diversity on campus. There are special considerations for transgender students in applying to a women’s college.

Does Smith have transgender students?

Like nearly every college, university and school today, Smith College has a diverse and dynamic student body that includes individuals who identify as transgender. Students at Smith, whatever their gender identity or gender expression are diverse, accomplished, and various in their views.

Is Smith still a women’s college?

Absolutely. In its mission and legal status, Smith is a women’s college. And, like other women's colleges, Smith is a place where students are able to explore who they are in an open and respectful environment.

How does Smith decide who is a woman?

It doesn’t. With regard to admission, Smith relies upon the information provided by each student applicant. In other contexts, different definitions and requirements may apply. For example, the definition of a woman for NCAA competition may differ from the definition of a woman for purposes of admission to Smith or other single-sex colleges.

How does Smith consider applications from transgender students?

An application from a transgender student is treated no differently from other applications: every application Smith receives is considered on a case-by-case basis. Like most women’s colleges, Smith expects that, to be eligible for review, a student’s application and supporting documentation (transcripts, recommendations, etc.) will reflect her identity as a woman.

What documents are part of Smith’s admission process?

Similar to hundreds of colleges and universities, Smith uses the Common Application, an official copy of the high school transcript, a midyear academic report, and recommendations from two teachers and one counselor. An admission interview is optional, as are standardized test scores (for U.S. students). Smith does not ask for a birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, nor any state-issued official document.

How are transgender students supported at Smith?

The college provides many kinds of support through its student life programs to every Smith student, no matter her race, social class, country of origin, religion, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. All of the offices in Student Life and Student Engagement strive to provide such support. There are a number of student organizations for transgender students and allies. The college’s Resource Center for Sexuality and Gender provides information and resources.

Can a transgender student receive a Smith degree?

Once admitted, any student who completes the college’s graduation requirements — regardless of gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation — will be awarded a Smith degree.