Explore Smith’s diverse programs for high school girls on our beautiful campus. Choose from Writing Workshop, Women’s History, Environmental Sustainability, or Engineering. Scholarships available!
Smith precollege programs offer diverse programs for high school girls, who want to pursue their academic interests in and out of the classroom, strengthen their college applications and meet other motivated and ambitious college-bound young women.
Designed by Smith's own professors and staff, the engaging curricula will give you a taste of Smith's outstanding programs. Along with incorporating interactive components and challenging materials, your learning experience will earn you a recommendation from a Smith professor to use in your college application process.
Young Women's Writing Workshop is a varied writing workshop for high school girls that focuses on the following topic areas: poetry, creative fiction, and graphic novel, just to name a few. Participants are given the chance to work with published authors, lay the groundwork for a strong writing portfolio, and learn the steps involved in becoming a published writer. Smith produces great writers! Check out the student testimonials to learn how this past summer's students improved their craft at Smith!
The English Language Learning Program is a new program being offered for international students. It provides a great opportunity for language and cultural immersion in English and American culture at Smith College. Participating students have an opportunity to experience American college life in Northampton, Mass, one of the top ten college towns in the United States, and interact with Smith staff and students, while strengthening their English language skills.
The Smith College Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP) for high school girls is a twenty-three-year-old program for young women interested in science—both biomedical and public health—and engineering. These young women, 40 percent of which are girls of color, are given the opportunity to live on campus at Smith College for four weeks in the summer and engage in hands-on, experiential learning with top-notch instructors.
Field Studies for Sustainable Futures is a program for the environmentally conscious woman. Participants in this program are given the opportunity to learn about sustainable living, environmental science and environmental policy in a hands-on, interactive, project-based manner.
Hidden Lives: Discovering Women's History is a training ground for future women's history buffs. This program allows high-school-aged girls to explore 19th- and 20th-century women's history topics such as equal rights, abolitionist history, and research the papers of Sylvia Plath, Julia Child, and Gloria Steinem – all Smithies – in Smith’s world famous archive, considered to be the most comprehensive archive in the world the for women’s history!
Q&A with Smith Pre-College Programs
Q: How is our program unique?
A: Our programs are unique because they are exclusively for young women, and our programs are developed and managed by Smith faculty and staff. This means that when you come to Smith in the summer, you are getting to know Smith, and Smith is getting to know you. We also focus on kinesthetic learning, so you won't be sitting in a classroom, in a lecture. You will be working with award-winning authors, or combing through the archives, or testing your blood to analyze your own DNA! We want you to learn as much as you can, and have FUN doing it!
Q: Describe a typical day
A: Classes begin at 8:30 or 9 am, depending on program, with the morning session ending at 11:30 or noon. During the morning session, students are in small classes - no more than 16, and all classes have a "Smithie" for an intern, as well as a faculty member. You may find yourself writing poetry by the pond, discussing character development, or reading Virginia Woolf's papers in the archives! It is also possible to be wading in the river that runs through campus and taking water samples, or spending the day at our premier environmentally sustainable facility, the MacLeish Field Station. Lunch is served from 11:30-1 pm, and it is always good! Afternoon classes are just as fun and interesting as the morning classes, then free time! Students often use our athletics facility, take a walk by the river, go into Northampton, which is just steps away from campus, or relax with friends. After dinner, we always have movie nights, guest speakers and performances, game nights and talent shows. "Smithies" live with you in your houses, so you learn what is it like to be a "Smithie!"
Q: What type of teenager attends?
A: We attract high-performing young women who want to learn more about about the topics they are passionate about. Many students who attend comment that they didn't know there were so many girls just like them, meaning, focused, passionate, and hungry to learn - and think being smart is cool!
Q: Where do the participant come from?
A: Everywhere! We have students from almost every state, Greece, Turkey, China, Singapore, Belgium, Ghana...the list goes on!
Q: What is the housing like?
A: Smith's campus houses, which have been called "palaces" by the Princeton Review, and going to breakfast, where you can choose from fresh fruit, eggs, cereal, homemade danish - just to name a few options! Lunch offers many choices from hot and cold options like soups and sandwiches, salad bar, pastas, and grilled options. For dinner, every Thursday night is an outdoor barbecue, and sometimes we have live music! Our food has been consistently rated as some of the best college campus food in the country, so don't worry! We can also accommodate students with allergies, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian diets. We cannot guarantee kosher meals.
Q: What do the students have to say?
A: "My daughter attended the Young Women's Writing Workshop in Summer 2012. As a rising sophomore, it was her first residential camp experience, far away from her home in Wisconsin, and it was truly a transformative experience for her. While I didn't hear from her much during her two weeks at Smith, since she was completely immersed in writing, making new friends, and getting a taste of college life (including the freedom to explore Northampton, which is the perfect small town), afterwards she gushed about how wonderful it was to be surrounded by other young women who shared so many interests, with writing at the top of the list! From a parent perspective, I sensed that the expectations and quality of programming/teaching were high, with unmatched opportunities to learn from respected, published authors who related well to her age group. It was very exciting to have a full day workshop with Ransom Riggs, however, she enjoyed all of her sessions; her poetry instructor especially sparked interest that wasn't there before the workshop. She would love to return." Parent of Meena N.
"My experience at Summer at Smith was amazing. Not only did I learn more about writing, my writing, and myself but I became a part of the summer at Smith community. The relationships I formed with girls from all over the country, and several other nations, who all shared a love of writing are my favorite part of my Smith experience. The amazing TAs and the teachers helped to create a comfortable, safe atmosphere and made the classes enjoyable and interesting. I have gained many friends from this experience and a renewed confidence in my writing abilities." -Simona Z.
"We chose this program because Megan is interested in creative forms of expression of all kinds. We also thought this kind of program would be a great way to give her a sense of the college experience that would give her more confidence when she actually attends college this fall. Megan was able to recieve high quality feedback on her writing while also discovering that she can not only adapt but thrive in a new envronment. We would absolutely recommend the program to other young women." -Parent of Megan R.
"My experience attending Summer at Smith 2012 was inspiring. I've never been surrounded by such driven, caring, hard-working women. Without being exposed to such an environment, I wouldn't have been encouraged to follow my passion with writing and later found and lead a club, back home, dedicated to its progress. It was a priceless journey I'd recommend to any young woman striving to become the best she can be." - Tatiana T.
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