There is no such thing as an “easy” class at Smith—the challenging and invigorating academic environment is what this College is best known for. Some students even say they settled for a less-attractive social scene in order to take advantage of Smith’s academic resources and opportunities. The academics here are Ivy League caliber and all-nighters are common, but the all-female environment often provides a supportive atmosphere that can ease the pain of a massive syllabus. The College’s open curriculum allows students to explore focused topics that pique their interest, which is the point of a liberal arts college. Many students' most rewarding academic experiences have come from classes outside of their major, and having the freedom to discover the class offerings from the Five Colleges consortium is a major perk of Smith.
The College’s professors are consistently regarded as one of the school’s best attributes. Smith has a tradition of hiring intelligent professors who are dedicated to their fields, and many go out of their ways to make the material exciting and relevant. Professors are accessible to all students, even those not in their classes. They will meet with students after class or respond to e-mails—sometimes with an almost frightening speed. However, not all students foster close relationships with their professors, mostly because the relationships are largely based on the amount of effort put in by the student. Some students complain that, much like the student body, the professors are too outspokenly political, causing discomfort to anyone who doesn’t agree with the views they express. However, in reality, while many professors express their views freely, very few are closed to hearing dissenting opinions. Smith professors are dedicated to the academic material and make sure students get the full picture—they rarely use class for merely preaching their personal opinions.