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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
Current Operating Mode: GREEN

Advising & Registration


Each first-year student is assigned a liberal arts adviser to help you plan a course program until you declare a major—at which point you will choose a major adviser. All advisers are faculty members who are familiar with the Smith curriculum and are interested in helping you plan a program that both reflects your interests and introduces you to new challenges and unfamiliar fields of study.

Liberal Arts Advising

The dean of the first-year class will assign you a liberal arts adviser who will you help you select and register for courses that will satisfy the broad expectations of the college and will further your personal goals and aspirations. This faculty member will continue to advise you until you choose a major.

Your liberal arts adviser plays a central role in helping you decide which courses to take and how you might best prepare for your academic course of study. You will have guidance available at every step of your college career, particularly given the combination of the open curriculum (where the key requirements are a writing intensive [WI] course and those of the major) and the variety of courses offered.

Seek out advice from faculty members (whether or not they are your own instructors), department chairs, student department liaisons, deans, support staff, student academic advisers (SAAs) and other undergraduates. You can  turn to returning students, department liaisons and other faculty for help. Just remember that no one person can answer all your questions or tell you what is appropriate to meet your needs and interests. Formulating your questions and finding the right people to ask is an important part of your education and often opens up new opportunities. We are all here to help one another in a community of learners.

Advanced Placement & Placement Exams

Students who receive a score of 4 or 5 on most Advanced Placement examinations will be notified by the registrar’s office regarding the credits recorded and ways they can be used. These scores can be used to aid you and your liberal arts adviser in placing you at a course level appropriate to your background. The registrar’s office also evaluates International Baccalaureate, A-levels and college credit earned before matriculation at Smith. For further details, please visit the registrar’s website.

Students should follow instructions carefully and work out their own schedules of examinations. They are requested to start and finish as early as possible. At least one hour should be allowed for each written examination. Students who cannot take all the examinations they wish because of conflicts in the schedule should consult the registrar.

Placement tests at Smith College are conducted under the academic honor system. It is understood that these examinations will not be discussed in any way, even among students who have already taken them, until the close of the testing period.

There is no placement examination in art history.

Portfolio Reviews - Remote Review August 17

Those wishing a portfolio review on August 17 for possible exemption from ARS163 Drawing I should contact Rebecca Davis, to make a 10 minute appointment. Please express your preference for the morning (9-10 a.m. EDT) or afternoon (4-5 p.m. EDT) time. Students should prepare a diverse sampling of 12-15 pieces. This review will be conducted remotely, please assemble portfolio images as either a Powerpoint or Google slides pdf with a maximum file size of 20MB, and email to by August 12. We will attempt to make an informed evaluation however this should be seen as an advising session. Students should note that very few exceptions from Drawing I are given.

Students with AP or IB credit in biology should discuss their options, including the possibility of opting out of BIO 130 or 132 with Professor Virginia Hayssen at, or Professor Robert Dorit at

For returning students who have already declared a biology major, please consult with your biology adviser.

Complete online exam before 5 p.m. on August 21, 2020

Students planning to take Chemistry should complete the online placement exam, which is new this year. Students who scored a 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam, or who have a similarly strong preparation in chemistry (IB experience, etc.), have the option to place directly into CHM 222 in the Spring, though we recommend CHM 114/114L for those who anticipate taking more Chemistry beyond the first semester.

Placement tests for Japanese, Chinese and Korean: A written test and brief oral interview are mandatory for all entering students who have had some informal or formal training in any of these languages before coming to Smith.

Chinese: Complete online exam between August 1 and August 21, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The online placement exam for Chinese has three parts, which can be completed at different times: a multiple-choice exam, a short essay, and a brief virtual oral interview. You may take the multiple-choice and essay portions at anytime between August 1 and 5 p.m. on August 21. Virtual interviews will take place on August 19, you can sign up for a time slot beginning on August 1 through the link on the exam website.

Questions about the Chinese placement exam should be sent to


Japanese: Complete online exam by August 14, 2020
                  Interviews will be held August 17-20, 2020


Korean: Complete online exam by August 14, 2020
              Interviews will be held the week of August 17, 2020

The Korean Language Placement Test consists of four parts. Please complete Parts I, II, and III by August 14, 2020. Your oral interview will be scheduled for the week of August 17. If you have questions about your Korean placement test, please send an email to


Complete online exam before 5 p.m. on August 21, 2020

The Department of Economics offers two online Placement Examinations to determine whether it is appropriate for entering students who have taken one or more economics courses before entering college to place out of Introductory Microeconomics, Introductory Macroeconomics, or both. In order to be prepared for fall registration, the exam(s) should be completed before 5:00 p.m. on August 21, 2020.

Students who have been given AP, IB or A-level credit for microeconomics and/or macroeconomics on their transcripts do not need to take the Placement Examinations in order to place out of the introductory course(s). However, we strongly recommend that those students still take the appropriate placement examinations to ensure that their pre-college courses have adequately prepared them to move immediately beyond the introductory level. Click on the link below for detailed instructions.

Complete online exam before 12:00pm (Noon) August 21, 2020

The Department of French Studies offers an online placement examination to test students' proficiency in understanding spoken French as well as in reading and writing. The online placement examination is accessible on Moodle.

Students who have taken at least one year of French should take this exam. Students who have taken the ETS Achievement and/or Advanced Placement tests will find among the materials provided to their advisers recommended placement in language or literature courses based on their scores.

*Even if you have taken these tests, we encourage all students to take our placement test, as it will help the department to advise students about course selection. Click on the link below for detailed instructions.

Complete online exam before 5 p.m. August 21, 2020

The Department of German Studies offers an online placement examination to determine an appropriate German course for entering students. The online placement examination is accessible on Moodle from August 1 to August 21, 2020.

This test is open to all students who have had any preparatory training in the language. Students who took the German AP exam need to take the placement as well, no matter what their AP score.

Students who have studied Hebrew prior to coming to Smith should contact Joanna Caravita for advice on placement in the correct course level. Students with no previous knowledge of Hebrew may enroll in JUD 101, Elementary Modern Hebrew I.

Complete online exam before 5 p.m., Friday, August 21, 2020

This test is open to all students who have had preparatory training in the language. Students who took the Italian AP exam need to take the placement as well, no matter what their AP score. The online placement examination is currently open and should be completed by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 21, 2020. To take the exam after the deadline contact our Langugae Coordinator: Maria Succi-Hempseated

The Classics Department does not have a designated placement exam for Latin. We urge you to chat with members of the Department during Orientation, who will help you determine what course would be most suitable for you.

The Math department does not have a designated placement test for math and statistics courses. Descriptions of common starting courses, advice on how to decide between them and information about AP and IB credit is available on the Introductory Mathematics Courses website.


Complete online exam before 5 p.m. August 21, 2020

Incoming students considering Music 110 should take the music theory placement test. Please note that incoming students cannot register for Music 110 without taking this test. It will assess familiarity with key and time signatures, standard pitch and rhythmic notation, and intervals. The online placement exam is available on Moodle from August 3 to August 21, 2020.

Placement auditions for instrument or voice lessons are held during orientation and the first days of the semester. Information will be posted later in the summer regarding auditions.


Students who have not had a calculus-based introductory physics course should enroll in PHY117 as soon as they meet the prerequisite of one semester of calculus (or the AP equivalent). Students who have taken a full year (or more) of high school physics are encouraged to consider taking PHY119, and those with a 4 or 5 on the AP Physics C mechanics exam may be eligible to place out of PHY117. Students in either of these categories should consult a member of the Department. 


Students who have studied Russian before coming to Smith College should contact Ilona Sotnikova ( for advice on placement in the correct Russian language course. Students with no prior experience studying Russian may enroll in RES 100Y, Elementary Russian.

Complete online exam by August 15, 2020

An online placement examination to test the student's command of the language. All students who have had previous training in the language or have lived in a Spanish-speaking country and wish to continue the study of Spanish language and literature are required to take it.