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Gathering of International Studies Diploma Students

Since January of 2018, our long-standing and venerable American Studies Diploma Program has been broadened and reshaped in response to changes in the academy, both in the U.S. and around the world. Newly titled the Interdisciplinary Studies Diploma Program, the program is now housed in the Lewis Global Studies Center at Smith, located in Wright Hall, where students and faculty can draw on a wider range of resources and support. The Interdisciplinary Studies Diploma Program retains much of its original mission and structure, but it has been expanded to welcome post-graduate (as well as some advanced undergraduate) students representing a wider array of disciplines, from the arts, humanities, social sciences and STEM fields. As always, diploma students will have access to the full range of Smith offerings, as well as those from the college’s Five College partners: Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  

News & Announcements

Flavien Collet, American Studies Diploma ’02, was honored by the French government with the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms), which is a national order given by the French Republic. The award recognizes Collet for his outstanding achievements in promoting French language and culture. 


How to Apply

The program welcomes students from schools with whom Smith has formal international affiliations as well as from many other institutions around the world. The goal of the newly designed program is to welcome young scholars with more diverse backgrounds and to encourage cross-disciplinary thinking, while still requiring both a core seminar in American politics and culture and the expectation of independent research by each student in an area of special interest and expertise. Diploma students represent an extraordinarily vibrant and creative community at Smith College, and often come away from their year having made lifelong friendships.

Candidates for the Diploma Program Must:

  • be foreign born
  • have completed three years of study or the equivalent in an approved foreign institution of higher learning by the time of entry
  • present evidence of English language proficiency in the form of TOEFL and TSE scores, or a certification of fluency and an essay in English on any chosen theme

How to Apply

This is a highly competitive one-year program open only to international men and women students of advanced undergraduate or graduate standing. Learn more about applying to the program.

The Interdisciplinary Studies Diploma Program at Smith College admits students of any age, sex, race, color, creed, handicap and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to diploma program students at the college. Learn more.


Interdisciplinary Studies Diploma students take a full course load—at least six courses—throughout the academic year. One course is required: IDP 555-Seminar in American Society and Culture. The Diploma Research Project, completed during the spring semester, counts as one of the courses. See the Smith Course Catalog for more information.

In addition to classes at Smith, students have the opportunity to study at the other Five College institutions.

Students prepare a diploma research proposal (subject to approval) in their fall semester and complete this project or equivalent research in the spring.

Our Students

More than 450 men and women from around the world have come to Smith College to participate in the Diploma Program. After completing the program, many graduates have continued their studies and research, started teaching, begun careers in journalism, or found work either in international commerce or with nongovernmental agencies.

Colleges and universities in many countries—China, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom—count our alumni among their ranks. Among our former students are a Smith professor, two university presidents, a Fulbright program director, several distinguished print journalists, radio and television anchors, and editors, publishers, civil servants and diplomats.

For students from the University of Florence, please see the following announcement.

Contact Interdisciplinary Studies Diploma Program

Lewis Global Studies Center

Wright Hall 122

Smith College

Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-7598 Email:

Program Director: Lane Hall-Witt

Graduate Study Program Coordinator:

Ruth Morgan