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Advising & Registration

Each entering new student is assigned an academic adviser to help you plan a course program until you formally declare a major—at which point you will either choose a major adviser, or be assigned a particular adviser depending upon the major of your choice. 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.

Dates & Details for Fall 2023 Advising

For All New Students

Before you arrive on campus for Orientation in September, your adviser will contact you remotely (by email or phone) to arrange for an initial Zoom “meet and greet,” during which time you will discuss academic your goals and interests. Your adviser will also help you prepare for your online registration when you arrive. Announcements about your adviser will come to you via email through the class deans office closer to the end of our summer, typically around the week of August 7.

New students may register for courses only after meeting with their adviser. Registration for new students will be announced on the registrar’s website, and happens after the orientation period, and before classes begin (Thursday, September 7).

Liberal Arts Advising

Liberal Arts Adviser

The liberal arts advising process is often abbreviated as LAA. Your liberal arts adviser is assigned by your class dean and will be your primary resource for academic advice. Prior to, and during Orientation, your adviser will meet with you individually to talk about your goals and to help you prepare for your online registration for courses.

Liberal arts advisers are members of the faculty who have been assigned to work with incoming students and explain the college’s resources. Their role is to advise and guide you during your first two years at Smith. They can help you assess your skills in those areas the faculty considers basic to college study so that you can make full use of the courses and programs here. They will help you select courses based on your expressed needs and interests and authorize your course selection.

Liberal arts advisers can offer advice on courses in their own departments and suggest references for you in other departments. They can guide you in placing you in appropriate levels of courses and know of resources for other assistance, both academic and personal. Additionally, they may offer their own vision of a liberal arts program.

Class Dean

Your first-year class dean assists you with academic progress during your first year and works closely with academic advisers to ensure that you are progressing appropriately. Ada Comstock and transfer students are assigned advisers in their intended major fields. The class dean is responsible for your overall academic program. Each entering student class will meet with their respective dean during Orientation. You are encouraged to see your dean privately throughout the year regarding any issue, whether academic or personal. Your class dean is available to assist with course registration, academic options and general advice on such matters as study abroad, summer school and leaves of absence.

Student Academic Adviser

Student academic advisers (SAAs) are returning students who work with the class dean and faculty advisers to help you choose courses and register. They also work in the houses to help all students understand the Honor Code, the curriculum and how academic regulations work. SAAs can also help first-years with informal academic advising throughout the year. They will remind you about procedures and deadlines, and may direct you to appropriate sources and point out specific courses you might have overlooked. Your SAAs are a great first stop in-house resource for your advising questions.

Important Links

Writing Intensive Requirement

Each first-year student is required to complete at least one Writing Intensive (WI) course during their first or second semester.

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Students with Disabilities

Students requiring academic accommodations due to a documented disability should contact the Accessibility Resouce Center.

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Our Approach to Learning

With no core classes apart from a writing intensive course in your first year, your academic journey is yours to chart from start to finish.

Smith College Painting Class

Placement Exams

AP Scores & 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 see the Transfer Credit page. 

Full information regarding placement exams can be found on individual program pages.

Contact Office of the Class Deans

College Hall 101

Smith College

Northampton, MA 01063