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Gender Identity & Expression

Student riding a bicycle past spring blooms


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.

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.

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.

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. There are more than 200 gender-neutral restrooms at Smith, in student residences and academic and administrative buildings.

The college’s Resource Center for Sexuality and Gender provides more information and resources.

How do recent federal actions affect transgender students, staff and faculty?

The October, 2017 reversal of federal protections for gender identity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in no way affects Massachusetts law or Smith’s commitments to protecting its employees and students from discrimination and harassment. The college stands by and affirms all aspects of its Notice of Nondiscimination, and Smith will continue to consider any instance of gender-identity-based discrimination as a violation of our policies and principles.

Admission to Smith

Are trans women eligible for admission to Smith?

Applicants who were assigned male at birth but identify as women are eligible for admission.

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.

What is required of trans women applicants to be considered for admission?

Smith’s policy is one of self-identification. The college considers for admission any applicant whose birth certificate reflects their gender as female, or who identifies as female.

Are trans men eligible for admission?

Smith does not accept applications from men. Those assigned female at birth but who now identify as male are not eligible for admission.

Are applicants who identify as genderqueer or gender non-binary eligible for admission?

Our focus on women’s education means that we consider for admission applicants who identify as women and who seek entrance into a community dedicated to women’s education.

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.