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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of November 23, 2020,
for the spring 2021 semester.

Our Programs

Two students working together in a robotics class

Designed by Smith’s professors and staff, our programs give you an inspiring learning experience and you can request a recommendation from Smith faculty to use in your college applications. We intentionally do not offer or give grades in our classes. Students report that they can fully dive into learning without the pressure of grades and competition with peers. You will be able to explore what interests you in a risk-free environment. Inside the classroom, a hands-on, collaborative learning environment lets you directly engage with world-class scholars who help you pursue your passions and develop new skills. Outside the classroom, enjoy Smith’s beautiful setting, live in a house on campus, make new friends, talk to current college students and engage in after class activities and outings.

Accepting young women entering grades 9, 10, 11, 12 in fall 2020.

Important COVID-19 Information

Smith College announced that on-campus summer programs will not be running in 2020. Smith Precollege Programs are canceled for summer 2020. We will not be offering a digital program. For more information, please visit Smith’s “Culture of Care” website.

November 2020–April 2021

Image of Rachel Pietrow working on a laptop outside

We are excited to announce Smith Precollege Online! This multifaceted program opportunity allows students to engage digitally.

The first program we are launching is Precollege Community, a non-academic group that will meet monthly for students in grades 9–12 or those who have deferred from college this academic year. We’re also excited to launch Precollege Crash Courses.

July 19–25, 2020

Students sitting in class, participating in the College Admission Workshop

As you start thinking about applying to college, there are clear ways to make your applications—and yourself—stand out. Learn the latest insights and insider expertise from admission professionals about how to succeed in the application process. This one-week College Admission Workshop is designed to give promising young women like you the best practices, guidance and top tips for successfully navigating the college application process. Your instructors are Smith’s professional admission staff, as well as visiting admission officers from other top-ranked colleges and universities. Accepting young women who will be rising 11th and 12th graders in 2020.

July 19–August 1, 2020

Students at a farmer's market

Learn from farmers, activists, artists and naturalists in this two-week residential program. We will analyze contributing factors to the climate crisis, engage in socially and environmentally focused work and develop skills to cultivate human-nature relationships. You will be inspired and educated to act within your own community toward a sustainable future Accepting young women entering grades 9, 10, 11, 12 in fall 2020.

July 19–August 1, 2020

Students studying Sylvia Plath in class

Formerly known as the Discovering Women’s History program, this newly expanded two-week residential program offers you the chance to explore your interests in women in politics and history, gender and race in film, intersectional feminism and queer movements. Accepting young women entering grades 9, 10, 11, 12 in fall 2020.

July 5–August 1, 2020

A student working in a lab

Now in its 31st year, the Smith Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP) is a four-week residential program for exceptional young women with strong interests in science and engineering. You will engage in hands-on research with Smith faculty in life and physical sciences and in engineering. Accepting young women entering grades 9, 10, 11, 12 in fall 2020.

July 5–18, 2020

Students in the Young Women's Writing Workshop

With so few writing programs that cater exclusively to young women in high school, Smith’s Creative Writing Workshop allows you to explore your writing in a creative and supportive environment. This two-week residential program will foster your love of writing in a variety of mediums. Accepting young women entering grades 9, 10, 11, 12 in fall 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who will be teaching the classes?

Smith College faculty, staff, and experts throughout the Five College area will teach the classes. Smith students will act as classroom assistants.

Do we have homework?

Sometimes. You may have a small writing assignment some evenings, or up to two hours of homework for our science and engineering courses.

Do we have tests?

No tests are given in any classes.

Will I receive credit for summer programs?

No—and you don't get grades, either. Students learn more in an environment where there are no pressures; they learn because they are interested.

How much background do I need?

The critical factor in attending a precollege program at Smith is that the student is motivated and interested in learning about the subject. There is a place for everybody—from the beginner to the very advanced.

I'm interested in applying to Smith; what can I do while I'm there?

Students are encouraged to set up an interview with our Office of Admission. Students who are interested in applying to Smith are encouraged to chat with their teaching assistants about their Smith experiences. At the student's request, faculty can complete an evaluation for each student.


We are grateful to the following for their generous support of financial aid for SSEP participants: Dusenbury Family Foundation; Jack Kent Cooke Foundation; Joyce Ivy Foundation; Minds Matter; Passport Scholars Foundation; Schuler Family Foundation; Young Women's Leadership Foundation.

For information about how your organization might support Smith College's outreach efforts, please contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

Compliance & Licensing

This program complies with the summer camp regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and is licensed by the local board of health.

At the time of the student application, parents and/or guardians may request copies of background check procedures, health care and discipline policies, as well as procedures for filing grievances.