10 Coolest Courses at Smith College

At Smith College, many students have the opportunity to enroll in exciting classes. The classes balance education and interest for each student’s liking. There are a bunch of class options that could fit into anyone’s schedule. There’s a wide range of topics where any student can find a class they are interested in. Here are 10 coolest courses to take at Smith College.

1. HIS 204 – The Roman Republic

A man creating Law and Order in a courtroom during the Roman Republic era.

This is a 4 credit class. Students will trace Rome’s early rise through mythology and archaeology and follow developments from Monarchy to the end of the Republic. Topics include the Struggle of the Orders, conquests and citizenship, wars with Carthage, encounters with local cultures in North Africa, Gaul and the Greek East. There will be emphasis on family, slavery, traditional and new religions, and other aspects of Roman culture and society.

2. GEO 221 – Mineralogy

A pile of different kinds of minerals in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

This is a 5 credit course. This course is a project-oriented study of minerals and the information they contain about planetary processes. The theme of the course focuses on theory and application to mineralogic problems of crystallography, crystal chemistry, crystal optics, x-ray diffraction, quantitative x-ray spectroscopy and other spectroscopic techniques. The course includes a weekend field trip to observe and study minerals in the field.

3. FYS 151 – Our Mill River

Mill River in the fall with colorful trees surrounding the river.

This is a 4 credit course. The Mill River flows is located on campus and connects the landscapes upstream and downstream of Smith. The Mill River defines a region of communities that are all here as a result of its waters. Students will explore and reflect on the natural and cultural landscape of the Mill River. The course includes weekly field experiences along with readings, map work, historical collections, a sampling of local delicacies, guest experts, and class discussions.

4. AMS 241 – Disability in Popular Culture

A statue of Former President FDR in a wheelchair.

This is a 4 credit class. Though the years in literary genres, people have long framed disability as tragic or pitiable, disabled writers have successfully appropriated popular, commercial styles to leverage critiques against dominant conceptions of disability. Students will learn about how people with disabilities, such as FDR, have shaped the discourse of American popular culture. The objective of this course is to investigate what arguments these popular texts make.

5. SOC 218 – Urban Sociology

A homeless person sitting on a city sidewalk with a bag around their body.

This is a 4 credit course. This course shows the study of the sociological dimensions of urban life. Main topics in this course include the processes of urban change, urban poverty and social conflict; homelessness; and strategies for urban revitalization. There will be emphasis on the city as a locus of various social relationships and cultural forms.

6. THE 141 – Acting I- Fundamentals of Acting

A woman on a stage reading her lines in front of an empty audience.

This is a 4 credit course. This course is an introduction to physical, vocal and interpretative aspects of performance. Students will learn different ways to show off creativity on and off stage. They will focus strongly on the concepts of concentration and depth of expression.

7. ECO 224 – Environmental Economics

The Earth in the sky with trees growing from the top.

This is a 4 credit course. The course will focus on the economic causes of environmental degradation. Topics include the role that markets can play in both causing and solving pollution and resource allocation problems. There will be more emphasis on resource allocation and sustainability, cost-benefit analysis, pollution standards, taxes, and permits, public goods and common property resources.

8. PYX 300 – Poetry Concentration Capstone 

A sign that says "poetry" with three poetry books in the middle of the word.

This is a 4 credit course. This course features topics in creative generation and revision. Student poets will complete a project beyond the scope of prior coursework in their area with advice from staff and faculty. The course is run as a seminar. Students will discuss the weekly readings, conduct presentations, and critique their peers’ work.

9. BUS 120 – The Study of Buddhism

A statue of Buddha sitting surrounded by a pool of water.

This is a 2 credit course. The course introduces students to the academic study of Buddhism through readings, lectures, guest speakers, and trips to local Buddhist centers. Students will examine the history of Buddhist studies within the context of numerous disciplines. Topics will focus on anthropology, art, cultural studies, gender studies, government, literature, philosophy and religion. There will be emphasis on regional, sectarian and historical differences.

10. CLS 190 – The Trojan War

The Trojan War with a big wooden horse in the middle of the city.

This is a 4 credit course. The Trojan War is considered “the war to start all wars.” Students will learn about Homer and try to answer questions such as “What justifies going to war? What is the cost of combat and the price of glory? How does war affect men, women and children, winners and losers?” Students will focus on Troy from the archaeological record and imaginary Troy as represented by Homer, Aeschylus, Euripides, Virgil, Ovid and Seneca.

10 Hardest Courses at Smith College

Smith College is a private, independent women’s liberal arts college. The graduate and certificate programs are coed. The college is located in Northampton, Massachusetts. Smith is the largest member of the Seven Sisters. It is also ranked 11th best National Liberal Art Colleges. Some notable alumni from Smith College are Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, and Sylvia Plath.

1) BCH 353 – Biochemistry II Lab

Picture of a typical college biochem lab

Biochemistry II Lab is a two credit course with a prerequisite of BCH 352. The course is an investigation of biochemical systms using experimental techniques in current biochemical research.

2) BIO 204 – Microbiology

Molecules in biology

Microbiology is a three credit course that is normally offered in the Spring. The course examines bacterial morphology, growth, biochemistry, genetics and methods of controlling bacterial activities. There is an emphasis on bacterial physiology and the role of prokaryotes in their natural habitat.

3) CHM 222 – Organic Chemistry

This picture depicts a molecule in organic chem

This course is five credits and generally offered in the spring. It is an introduction to the theory and practice of organic chemistry. The focus of the course is on structure, nomenclature, physical and chemical properties of organic compounds as well as infared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for structural analysis.

4) CSC 252 – Algorithms

This image shows the steps in creating an algorithm

This course is offered in alternating years and is four credits. The course covers algorithm design techniques, analysis techniques, useful data structures, efficient algorithms for a variety of problems, and NP-completeness.

5) ECO 250 – Intermediate Microeconomics

The above image shows a picture of a graph

Intermediate microeconomics is a four credit course that is offered in both spring and fall semesters. It focuses on the economic analysis of resource allocation in a market economy and on the economics impact of various government interactions. It also covers the theories of consumer choice and decision making by the firm.

6) ECO 296 – International Finance

Cover for an international finance slide deck

This course is normally only offered in the spring semester and is four credits. Students will be taught an examination of international monetary theory and institutions and their relevance to national and international economic policy.

7) EDC 338 – Children Learning to Read

Picture of a father teaching kids to read

The course is four credits and is only open to senior and graduate students. The course will examine teaching and learning issues that are related to the reading process in the elementary classroom. Students also will develop a theoretical knowledge base for the teaching of reading to guide their instructional decisions and practices in the classroom setting.

8) EGR 270 – Engineering Mechanics

cover of one of the engineering mechanics textbooks

The course is five credits with one lab per week, only 20 students, and is offered in both fall and spring semesters. The course is an intro to the basic theoretical concepts, procedures and methodologies needed to understand the mechanical behavior of objects in static equilibrium. Students also will develop competence in applying standard problem-solving procedures, students will also apply their understanding in real world contexts.

9) MTH 254 – Combinatorics

A picture representing combinatorics

This course is four credits and is only offered in alternating years. Students will learn enumeration, including recurrence relations and generating functions. Special attention is paid to binomial coefficients, Fibonacci numbers, Catalan numbers, and Stirling numbers.

10) NSC 328 – Research in Systems Neurobiology

A visual graphic representing the brain

This course is worth three credits and offered in alternating years. The course will help students understand how organisms sense the external world, how they move around in their environment, and why they exhibit complex behaviors.

Top 10 Residences at Smith College

Smith College is a private, liberal arts women’s college in Northampton, Massachusetts. Even though the undergraduate population is entirely female, the school does have a co-ed graduate program. Smith College also has on-campus accommodation for its students. Here are the top ten residences at Smith College.

1. Chapin House

Chapin House residence exterior

Address: Green Street, Northampton, MA 01063

Chapin House is a residence at Smith College on Green Street. Chapin House is close to the main buildings on-campus. Chapin House provides a tight-knit community for its residents. Chapin House overlooks many scenic gardens.

2. Hubbard House

Hubbard House residence exterior

Address: Green Street, Northampton, MA 01063

Hubbard House is another house on Green Street and Smith College. Hubbard House is the only house on-campus without a TV. Hubbard House was built in 1879 which makes it one of the oldest houses on-campus. The house is also unique with its many house anniversary celebrations.

3. Freidman Apartments

Freidman Apartments housing complex with lawns, bicycles, and students

Address: Center Campus, Northampton, MA 01063

Freidman Apartments is an apartment complex located in the center of Smith College. The apartments are newer and are great for students that want to live someplace new. There are twenty suites each with four single rooms.

4. Park Complex

Park Complex exterior building

Address: Center Campus, Northampton, MA 01063

Park Complex is another apartment complex located in the center of Smith College. The apartments are close to academic buildings which is great for students. Park Complex are also old homes which are linked to the history of Northampton.

5. Jordan House

Jordan House residence exterior

Address: East Quad, Northampton, MA 01063

Jordan House is one of the houses that are part of the East Quad residential community. Jordan House is a little far from the main campus but it is also close to the historic downtown. There are single, double and triple dorm rooms available at Jordan House.

6. Comstock House

Comstock House residence exterior

Address: West Quad, Northampton, MA 01063

Comstock House is another house located on the West Quad residential community. Comstock House was built in stages until completed in 1928. Comstock House is also rumored to have a friendly ghost named Gloria. Apart from this, Comstock House also hosts room-warming parties for its residents before breaks.

7. Capen House

Capen House residence exterior

Address: Upper Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063

Capen House is a residence on Upper Elm Street near Smith College. The residence is one of the oldest and built in 1825. It originally was a law school then became a private school until finally being converted into a college residence. It is known for its historical beauty and architecture.

8. Northrop House

Northrop House residence exterior

Address: Upper Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063

Northrop House is another residence hall located on Upper Elm Street. The residence is close to both campus and downtown Northampton which makes it an accessible location for students. The house has a spacious living room, fireplace, and lounge and has mostly single rooms.

9. Baldwin House

Baldwin House residence exterior

Address: Lower Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063

Baldwin House is a residence located on Lower Elm Street. The residence is close to both the campus, a pharmacy and grocery store. Baldwin House is also newly renovated with a new living space. The living room has a TV, a piano, and a fireplace.

10. 150 Elm Street

Elm Street residence exterior

Address: 150 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063

150 Elm Street is another residence located on Lower Elm Street. The building was built when the school was first founded. The house was first used as a residence when there was an overflow of freshman students and is in use during the summer and winter breaks.

Here’s Your Move-in Day Packing List at Smith College

1. Room Basics

Dorm room interior with beds, wallpaper, lights, and decor

– Bedding
– Curtains
– Pictures
– School Supplies
– Room decor
– Storage

2. Food and Snacks

Mini fridge with drinks

– Canned food
– Groceries
– Mini-fridge
– Plates
– Cups
– Utensils

3. Tech and Entertainment

Laptop to represent technology you should bring

– Laptop
– Cellphone
– Television
– Chargers
– TV

4. School Supplies

Variety of school supplies

– Pencils
– Pens
– Binder Paper
– Notebook
– Sticky notes

5. Cleaning Up and Organizing

Broom which is an important cleaning supply

– Mop
– Broom
– Dishwashing Soap
– Laundry detergent
– Soap
– Dishwasher detergent

6. Campus Gears

Smith College T-shirt

– Smith College t-shirt
– Backpack
– Water bottle
– Snow gear
– Summer clothes
– Sunscreen
– Comfortable walking shoes

7. Items you should ask first before bringing

Electric blanket to represent things you should not bring

– Electric blanket
– Hoverboard
– Pets
– Microwave
– Halogen lights
– Anything that is a fire hazard!

Top 10 Clubs at Smith College

Smith College, in beautiful Northampton, Massachusetts, is full of amazing opportunities for its students. Obtaining Liberal Arts education is more than just in class learning; taking part in clubs, organizations, and events will enhance your education. Below are ten clubs that students should certainly look into.

1. Glee Club

Smith College has an excellent glee club for musical students, regardless of experience. The glee club meets twice a week and they practice for performances both at on campus and off campus events. If you love singing and want to meet students who love to sing, glee club is for you!

glee cast picture

2. Best Buddies

Smith College takes part in the Buddy program, which gives students an opportunity to partner with a special needs student and spend quality time together. This club is a way to give back, but it is also a way to develop life long friendships with both your buddy and fellow club members. This club teaches compassion and love in a fun way.

Best Buddies Logo

3. Marine Science Club

Though this club is tailored towards marine science majors, but it is welcoming to anyone who is interested in marine conservation. The club hosts lectures about marine conservation, but the best part of the trip is the field trips to aquariums or marine centers in the surrounding area.

Exploring the ocean

4. Smith Debate Society

This club educates its members on proper debate, and allows for intellectual discussion on topics that are prominent in today’s society. The debate club will inform you on current events, and this knew knowledge will certainly apply to your classes as well as your personal life.

A cartoon of debating students

5. Smith College TV

“Smith College News, giving you the mic so you can tell your story.” Smith College TV allows for students to take action in telling the stories of fellow students, as well as current events. This is an excellent club for students who want to enter into the journalism or news field, or for students who want to be highly involved in the day to day life of Smith College.

Smith College TV Logo

6. Smith Ukulele

Smith Ukulele Club was designed to gather all students who are interested in music. The club teaches ukulele chords and songs, and always includes a bunch of ukulele jam sessions. The ukulele is one of the easiest instrument to learn, and is a blast to play. Feel free to join if you have never played the ukulele or if you have played for years!

A picture of a ukulele

7. Student Ambassador Program

The Ambassador program is one of the best student leadership programs on campus. If you are passionate about Smith College, this is the club for you. This club is composed of diverse students who are interested in speaking to potential students about their experiences at Smith.

Student Ambassadors at work

8. Futsal Club

Futsal, or indoor soccer, is a great way to stay fit all year round! Rain or shine, this indoor sport will give you a great opportunity to stay active with close friends. Futsal is open to all levels, but is also an excellent way to improve your skills. The club begins Spring semester.

Students playing Futsal.

9. Green Team

The Green Team is for the environmentally conscious student. The club works to educate students on environmental issues through professor and guest speaker talks. They also work to make the campus more sustainable.

An image of an ecosystem

10. Mindful Meditation

There is nothing more important than your mental health. Stress can prevent you from pursuing your passions and can hinder your educational experience. The Meditation club will give you time each week to take care of yourself, and you will certainly see the benefits of living a mindful life.

A picture of meditation by a lake.

Smith College offers not only clubs, but events for the students as well. Below are five of the must visit events for students. Be sure to stop by one of these events during your time at Smith.

Top Events at Smith College

1. Fall Concert

The student organization group at Smith puts together a fall concert each year. The artists change, but this is always a good way to spend time with friends and enjoy music.

Smith College Campus

2. Zumba

Smith offers Zumba classes for students. The times and dates vary, but students can check the event calendar to find out when the next class is. Zumba is a fun study break, so grab your friends and get dancing!

A Zumba Class

3. Voter Registration

Not registered to vote? Stop by the voter registration event! Before elections, Smith has an event to allow students to register to vote. The event will educate you on how to vote and how to become informed as well.

Voter registration logo

4. IS Day

This is a favorite for students. Smith has venders come to prepare foods from all over the world for students. Tickets are $1, and meals can cost between 1-4 tickets. $4 for an excellent meal is certainly worth it, especially when you are sick of dining hall food!

Picture of food from around the world

5. Smith in the World

Smith in the World is an event that discusses in class learning and how it intersects with learning that happens in the real world. This is a great way to see how what you are studying will apply to your life beyond college.

Learning outside of the classroom

Be sure to make the most out of your college experience at Smith College by taking part in events or clubs that interest you. Check out the Smith website to discover more clubs and events as well, the possibilities are endless.

10 Easiest Classes at Smith College

Nearly every student in college can agree: balancing classes, clubs, sports, and a social life can be challenging. There are going to be semesters when classes can become overwhelming, and make the best years of your life also the most stressful. Luckily for you at Smith College, there are easy classes to take that will help your stress levels stay low, and your GPA high.

1. THE 100- The Art of Theater Design

The art of theater design is a course open to any student at the university. It was created with students who may not have a lot of experience with theater in mind so it can be enjoyed by students who come from many backgrounds and fields of study. Through the course, students will learn about the different elements of set, costume, lighting, and sound design.  This is done through learning from very experienced designers and writers past works.

2. IDP 107 – Digital Media Literacy 

This course is particularly exciting because of the constantly developing technology that surrounds us in today;s world. Digital Media Literacy is a course that will teach students how to better communicate and make use of new technologies. This course is accelerated into a short two week session, which makes it even more convenient for the rest of the semester. This course discovers ways to increase the productivity in digital technology use for students.

3. FRN 365- Francophone Literature and Culture 

Don’t let the daunting name fool you, this french class is everything but the grammar and language. Francophone literature and culture is a topics course, meaning you will learn about a variety of topics that involve francophone culture. The class adds a special focus on Caribbean culture through common cultural elements like food and music.

4. AMS 201- Intro to American Society and Culture 

This course is offered every semester, which is twice as frequently as the even more basic introductory class offered on the topic of American Society. This course gives a general overview of American Society through broad aspects of American life. Materials that are covered in this course include architecture, paintings, pop culture, and much more. Considering that many students are very familiar with American life, this class is a breeze.

Course_Smith College

 

5. ANT 135- Intro to Archaeology 

This introductory course is only offered to students during their first two years at school, considering its low caliber of coursework. This course studies cultures through history and societies through their
material remains. This is also how archaeologists use different field methods,analytical thinking and theoretical approaches to learn from the past.

6. ARH 100- Art and It’s Histories 

This introductory art course is recommended for any student who wishes to explore the art field. Through this course, students will grow to understand how art and architecture have change the world. This course will reflect history through different styles of art and artifact that have helped shape our understanding of history. To further explain this pint there are several different time periods and case studies that students can focus on.

7. AST 111- Introduction to Astronomy 

For students who wish to major in science or math, this class is recommended by the university. While this course is only recommended for certain majors, it has proven to be an easy course with many variations that are open to other majors. Introduction to astronomy is a comprehensive introduction to the study of modern day astronomy, which will cover the planets in depth. The course will discuss how planets came to be, their orbits, surfaces, and even atmospheres.

8. DAN 151- Elementary Dance Composition

While priority for this course is given to juniors and seniors, and student who wishes to enroll in this course can, so long as there are spaces still available. There is limited enrollment in this class to ensure that every student’s needs are met through the duration of the course. Dance composition will cover the basics in phrasing, space,
energy, motion, rhythm, musical forms, character development and personal imagery.

9. EDC 110- Introduction to American Education

Assuming that any student attending a university located in the united states would understand the core concepts of an american education, this course is an easy one.  The course has been created to introduce students to the basic structure, function and history of American
education. This foundation will give them perspective on important issues in the education field.

Course_Smith

10. ENG 135 – Introduction to Writing Creative 

This course gives students great foundation skills in the field of creative writing, Through looking at past works and several authors in particular, students will learn how to develop their skills as writers.

If you find yourself taking any of these classes at some point in your college education, your GPA will thank you later. Each of these classes was designed to provide great foundation and understanding that will be built upon in later classes throughout your education, which can help you no matter what your major is!