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Gender Identity & Expression

Student riding a bicycle past spring blooms

Transgender students, staff and faculty often have specific questions about gender diversity on campus, some of which are addressed below.

Is Smith still a women’s college?

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

Does Smith have transgender students?

Absolutely. Smith has students, faculty, and staff who are trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming. Smith students are here to engage with each other socially and academically in respectful ways, and our community values the range of identities that the student body represents.

How are transgender students supported at Smith?

Smith is actively working to expand support for transgender students. Some of the resources currently available include:

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 transgender and nonbinary 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?

Yes. We welcome applicants who identify as women, including those who were assigned male at birth. No specific documentation is required to verify an applicant’s gender. Please note that in other contexts, different definitions of gender beyond Smith’s control 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.

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, including those assigned female at birth. Our community does include and value male students who transitioned after their admission to Smith.

Are applicants who identify as nonbinary or gender nonconforming eligible for admission?

Only people who self-identify as women are eligible for admission to Smith. Nonbinary or gender nonconforming individuals who also identify as women are welcome to apply. Our community does include and value nonbinary and gender nonconforming students who do not identify as women, who came into their identities after their admission to Smith.

Can a transgender student receive a Smith degree?

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