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Four Precollege students on the front porch of a Smith house.

High school students in Precollege Programs join a community of scholars to pursue their academic and extracurricular passions at Smith College. What sets us apart from other programs is Smith’s commitment to helping students build college connections—with each other, faculty, staff and undergrads. Through daily and intentional after-class activities, the precollege team creates an environment to support growth and community.

A Typical Day

During your time here, you can expect in-person classes to go from 9 a.m.–4 p.m, Monday–Friday, with a lunch break at our dining hall. After class, we provide activities in our houses, or you can choose to unwind. Precollege students have access to the following on-campus amenities: two indoor gyms, outdoor track and field, botanic gardens, a new bookstore, Smith’s distinguished art museum and the state-of-the-art Neilson Library. Academic lectures and office hours are also hosted throughout each week, and dedicated Smith students serve as classroom assistants and residential counselors throughout your precollege journey.

Time

Activity

7–8:30 a.m.

Breakfast

9 a.m.–noon

Morning class

noon–1 p.m.

Lunch

1–4 p.m.

Afternoon class

5:30–7 p.m.

Dinner

7–10 p.m.

Fun house activities that change daily

11 p.m.

Quiet hours

Group of students having tea in a house living room

Where Students Will Be Living

Life on campus is an integral part of the Smith experience. Here, students don’t live in traditional dorms, but a house community. Each house has living rooms, communal bathrooms, free washer and dryers, a communal TV, piano, and a unique selection of books to borrow. Students are provided with linens (sheets, towels, lightweight blanket, and pillow). There are weekly house meetings and optional nightly activities, as well as orientation groups to help students acclimate to the Smith Precollege community.

Learn About Smith Houses

Get Outside

There are plenty of outdoor spaces, gardens, patios and lawns adjacent to all houses across campus for students to enjoy.

Capen garden with the flowers in bloom

Your Smith Support

Each house has a live-in professional House Manager, as well as Residential Counselors who are current Smith students.

Paradise City

Explore downtown shops and cafes in the vibrant city of Northampton—only a five-minute walk from campus.

“WGR helped me grow my confidence giving me the ability to not only stand up for what I believe in but also the ability to articulate and argue with evidence and reasoning.”
Allison, 2023 participant

A high school student who participated in the WGR class of 2023.

“Academically and personally, SSEP turned my anxieties about college into hopes for the future and has set me up successfully for my junior year in my sciences.”
—Nyasa, 2023 participant

A precollege student holding up a Smith shirt.

“SSEP aided me with my independence and reliance on myself, while also teaching me to not be afraid to ask for help at times when needed. Smith also did a great job of providing me with an idea of what I'm looking for in a university/college.”
Aimee, 2023 participant

A precollege student who participated in the SSEP class of 2023.

“I now see everything in a different perspective and keep looking more into all the topics I learned about in WGR.”
—Bethzabeth, 2023 participant

Precollege participant in WGR.

Food & Entertainment

Dining

Three meals a day are provided in an assigned Smith dining hall, buffet-style. Students can eat any time during the windows provided. Smith chefs accommodate many diets including vegan and gluten-free. We cannot accommodate kosher or halal diets during the summer. Check out the sample menus below to get a feel for meals at Smith.

Breakfast
(7:30–9 a.m.)
Lunch
(noon–1:30 p.m.)
Dinner
(5:30–7 p.m.)
Blueberry pancakes
Hot oatmeal
Fresh fruit salad
Fresh strawberries
Hard boiled eggs
Applewood smoked bacon
Cereal
Bagels and toast
Maple-glazed acorn squash
Steamed peas
Pulled pork sandwiches
Curly fries
BBQ jackfruit
Pickled red onions
Coleslaw
Tossed salad
Salad bar with fruit and protein options
Linguine
Whole wheat penne
Steamed broccoli
Kale and white beans
Smoked turkey sausage
Marinara sauce
Caesar salad
Salad bar with fruit and protein options

Enjoying Downtime

Your time at Smith won’t be all about classes. We have fun downtime activities for you, including (but not limited to!): 

  • capture the flag
  • zine making
  • a café crawl downtown
  • a Paradise Pond walk
  • DIY fairy crowns
  • vision boards
  • Museum self-guided tours
  • a talent show
  • spa night
  • yoga

Snapshots at Smith

From fun house events to quiet moments outside with friends, life at Smith has something to offer everyone.

Being Away from Home

Smith Precollege has a robust residential and academic team with several trained staff on duty at all times. Our staff is here to help create a welcoming and safe environment for participants to experience a college campus during their high school career.

Our program and staff offer a precollege experience where participants are expected to step into living more independently and take responsibility for their daily lives and schedules. Precollege is a different experience than most high schools and summer camps.  We are not a high school or a summer camp, we are Precollege!

If participants do not feel they can meet the basic expectations with some support from our staff, they may want to wait a year to apply. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our administrative team to discuss whether or not Smith Precollege is the right fit for you or your student.

This list provides a short overview of basic expectations for participants.

  • Transporting oneself to different locations on- and off-campus, including class and the dining halls
  • Managing self-administration of prescribed and over-the-counter medications
  • Managing one's own diet within a dining hall setting, unless a reasonable accommodation is requested and granted
  • Sleeping and living in a dorm room with or without a roommate
  • Waking and preparing for the day
  • Participating in optional recreational activities
  • Attending class, studying, and completing assignments

Frequently Asked Questions

If you withdraw from any of our programs you are not refunded the application fee or the enrollment deposit.

Smith precollege programs are residential, and there are no commuters. Living away from home with your friends in the program is a great learning experience (plus a lot of fun).

Possibly. We have single and double rooms. If you need special accommodations you will be able to indicate that on an accepted student form after you have enrolled in the program.

Yes, but not inside of the houses where you will live. This is subject to change given COVID safety protocol and the Culture of Care on campus. Houses are open only to Smith College precollege students and staff—no off-campus visitors are allowed under any circumstances. Information will be provided to accepted students prior to your arrival detailing the check-in and check-out protocols.

We expect some participants to feel homesick. When you arrive at Smith on that first Sunday, you’ll see that our staff is prepared to help you. We’ll greet you, assist you in settling into your room, give you a campus tour, sit with you during dinner and introduce you to new friends. The next morning, we will escort you to your first class, and you’ll be on your way. The Summer at Smith staff is here for you. Our professional and college student staff members know what it’s like to be away from home for the first time and are here to listen and support you through your journey in our program.

New England weather is unpredictable. We recommend that you bring clothes suitable for cool nights and hot days, and prepare for rain.

Yes. It will be delivered to the houses as we receive it. Precollege Programs is not responsible for any lost mail nor the tracking of mail. We will not assist in sending mail or returning packages. Please keep in mind that all mail is delivered first to a central processing center, which adds an extra few days to your expected delivery time.

People may send mail to:
Student's Name
Smith Precollege Program / "Program Name" (i.e SSEP or WGR)
100 Elm St.
Northampton, MA 01063