Dartmouth and Smith: A Look at the Differences and Similarities

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of a man using a laptop.

Dartmouth and Smith: A Look at the Differences and Similarities

Dartmouth and Smith are two of the most prestigious colleges in the US. While the same, they also share differences that set them apart. In this article, we will compare and contrast the location and campus features, admissions and acceptance rates, academic programs offered, and future prospects for both institutions.

Location and Campus Features

Dartmouth is located in the quaint town of Hanover, New Hampshire, while Smith is located in Northampton, Massachusetts. Hanover is a small college town with a charming Main Street, while Northampton is a bustling city with a vibrant arts scene.

Dartmouth’s campus is known for its natural beauty, with the Dartmouth Green at the center of campus and the Connecticut River nearby. Smith’s campus is sprawling, with several gardens and green spaces, and is within walking distance of Northampton’s downtown area.

In addition to its natural beauty, Dartmouth’s campus also boasts impressive facilities, including state-of-the-art research labs, a performing arts center, and a top-ranked medical center. The campus is also home to several museums and galleries, showcasing a range of art and artifacts.

Smith College is known for its commitment to sustainability, with several LEED-certified buildings and a focus on reducing its carbon footprint. The campus also features a variety of unique architectural styles, from the historic buildings of the original campus to the modern design of the new science and engineering center.

Admissions and Acceptance Rates

Both colleges are highly selective, with Smith admitting around 31% of applicants and Dartmouth admitting around 8% of applicants. Both colleges have holistic admissions processes and take into account factors such as extracurricular activities and essays in addition to test scores and grades. Dartmouth has a slightly higher average SAT score for admitted students than Smith.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

It is important to note that both colleges have different acceptance rates for different programs and majors. For example, Dartmouth’s engineering program may have a lower acceptance rate than its liberal arts program. Similarly, Smith’s acceptance rate for its computer science program may be lower than its acceptance rate for its art history program.

In addition, both colleges offer early decision and early action options for applicants. Early decision is a binding agreement, meaning that if a student is accepted, they must attend college. Early action is non-binding, meaning that students can apply to multiple colleges and have until May 1st to make a decision. However, both colleges caution that applying early does not necessarily increase an applicant’s chances of acceptance.

Academic Programs Offered

Dartmouth and Smith both offer a strong liberal arts curriculum with a focus on undergraduate education. Dartmouth has around 40 undergraduate majors and offers degrees in the arts, humanities, sciences, and engineering. Smith offers over 50 undergraduate majors and also has a strong emphasis on the arts and humanities. Both colleges offer opportunities for independent research and study abroad.

In addition to their undergraduate programs, both Dartmouth and Smith offer graduate programs in various fields. Dartmouth offers graduate degrees in business, engineering, and the arts and sciences, while Smith offers graduate degrees in education, social work, and the arts and sciences. These graduate programs provide students with the opportunity to further their education and specialize in their chosen field.

Faculty and Student Body Demographics

Dartmouth and Smith both have small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio. Both colleges have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, with a diverse student body and faculty. Dartmouth’s faculty is slightly more male-dominated, while Smith’s faculty is slightly more female-dominated. Both colleges have a focus on undergraduate education, with professors who are dedicated to teaching and mentoring their students.

Female teacher talking to her students.

Additionally, Dartmouth and Smith have unique demographics within their student bodies. Dartmouth has a higher percentage of students who come from families with incomes over $250,000, while Smith has a higher percentage of students who receive need-based financial aid. Both colleges have a significant international student population, with students from over 60 countries represented at Dartmouth and over 70 countries represented at Smith.

Furthermore, both colleges have a strong commitment to research and scholarship. Dartmouth is a member of the Ivy League and has a strong reputation for its research in the sciences, particularly in the fields of neuroscience and biomedical engineering.

Smith is a member of the Five Colleges Consortium and has a strong focus on interdisciplinary studies, with opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty and students from other colleges in the consortium.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid Options

Dartmouth and Smith are both private colleges and have a similar cost of attendance, with tuition, room, and board averaging around $70,000 per year. Both colleges offer generous financial aid packages to students who demonstrate need, with Dartmouth meeting 100% of demonstrated need and Smith meeting close to 100% of demonstrated need. Both colleges also offer merit-based scholarships to a select number of students.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Smith have work-study programs available for students who wish to earn money while attending college. These programs provide part-time employment opportunities on campus or in the local community, allowing students to gain valuable work experience and contribute to their educational expenses. Furthermore, both colleges have financial aid counselors available to assist students and their families in navigating the financial aid process and finding the best options for their individual needs.

Campus Life and Extracurricular Activities

Dartmouth and Smith both have a strong focus on campus life and extracurricular activities, with a wide range of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in. Dartmouth has a strong Greek life presence, with around 60% of students participating in a fraternity or sorority. Smith has a strong emphasis on women’s leadership and has several organizations dedicated to women’s empowerment and advocacy.

Multiracial students talking while walking.

Additionally, both schools offer a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Dartmouth is located in the beautiful Upper Valley region of New Hampshire, providing students with access to hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. Smith is located in the charming town of Northampton, Massachusetts, which offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring the nearby Pioneer Valley.

Furthermore, both schools have a vibrant arts scene. Dartmouth has a renowned Hopkins Center for the Arts, which hosts a variety of performances and exhibitions throughout the year. Smith has a strong focus on the arts, with a variety of student-run theater productions, dance performances, and art exhibitions on campus.

Career Services and Alumni Networks

Dartmouth and Smith both have strong career services offices and alumni networks. Dartmouth’s Center for Professional Development offers a wide range of resources for students, including career counseling, job and internship listings, and networking events.

Smith’s Lazarus Center for Career Development offers similar services, with a focus on women’s leadership and professional development. Both colleges also have active alumni networks that provide networking and mentorship opportunities for students and recent graduates.

In addition to the career services and alumni networks, both Dartmouth and Smith offer various programs and initiatives to support students’ professional development. Dartmouth’s Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences provides opportunities for students to engage in research, internships, and public policy discussions.

Smith’s Women in Science and Engineering program offers mentorship, research opportunities, and networking events for women pursuing careers in STEM fields. These programs, along with the career services and alumni networks, contribute to the strong post-graduation outcomes for students at both colleges.

Research Opportunities and Resources

Dartmouth and Smith both offer opportunities for independent research and scholarship, with several research centers and institutes on campus. Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering is known for its research in areas such as renewable energy and biomedical engineering, while Smith’s Smith College Museum of Art has a strong focus on scholarly research and exhibition partnerships. Both colleges also have resources such as the Dartmouth Library and the Smith College Libraries, which provide extensive collections and services for research and study.

Happy students walking together.

In addition to the research centers and institutes on campus, both Dartmouth and Smith offer opportunities for students to conduct research off-campus. Dartmouth’s Dickey Center for International Understanding provides funding for students to conduct research abroad, while Smith’s Lewis Global Studies Center offers similar opportunities for international research. These programs allow students to gain valuable experience conducting research in different cultural contexts and to develop a global perspective on their chosen field of study.

Furthermore, both colleges have partnerships with local organizations and businesses that provide research opportunities for students. Dartmouth’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer connects students with local startups and businesses to work on research projects, while Smith’s Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability partners with local organizations to provide research opportunities in environmental science and sustainability. These partnerships allow students to gain real-world experience and make meaningful contributions to their communities through their research.

Graduation Rates and Post-Graduate Outcomes

Both Dartmouth and Smith have strong graduation rates and excellent post-graduate outcomes. In the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings, Dartmouth had a graduation rate of 95%, while Smith had a graduation rate of 87%. Both colleges have graduates who go on to successful careers in a wide range of industries, with strong networks of alumni.

Three students talking over something on the table.

Furthermore, Dartmouth and Smith have implemented various programs and initiatives to support their students’ career development. Dartmouth’s Center for Professional Development offers career counseling, job search assistance, and networking opportunities for students and alumni. Smith’s Lazarus Center for Career Development provides similar services, as well as internship and job shadowing programs.

In addition, both colleges have strong research programs that provide opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in their fields of study. Dartmouth’s undergraduate research program allows students to work closely with faculty members on research projects, while Smith’s STRIDE program provides funding for students to conduct independent research during the summer.

Notable Alumni from Both Institutions

Dartmouth and Smith both have produced many notable alumni who have gone on to success in areas such as business, politics, and the arts. Notable Dartmouth alumni include Robert Frost, Fred Rogers, and Mindy Kaling. Notable Smith alumni include Gloria Steinem, Sylvia Plath, and Julia Child.

In addition to these well-known alumni, both Dartmouth and Smith have also produced many successful entrepreneurs. Dartmouth alumni include Shonda Rhimes, the creator of hit TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, as well as Jeff Immelt, the former CEO of General Electric. Smith alumni include Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, and Ursula Burns, the former CEO of Xerox.

Furthermore, both institutions have also produced many notable figures in the field of science. Dartmouth alumni include Dr. Seuss, the beloved children’s author, as well as Dr. Eric Topol, a renowned cardiologist and digital health expert. Smith alumni include Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space, and Dr. Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist who co-invented the CRISPR gene-editing technology.

Future Prospects for Both Institutions

Dartmouth and Smith both have a strong future ahead, with a continued focus on providing excellent undergraduate education and opportunities for research and scholarship. As the world of higher education continues to evolve, both colleges are well-positioned to continue their legacies of academic excellence and student success.

In addition, both institutions are actively working to increase diversity and inclusion on their campuses. Dartmouth has implemented a number of initiatives to recruit and support underrepresented students, including the creation of a new Office of Pluralism and Leadership and the expansion of its First-Year Student Enrichment Program.

Similarly, Smith has launched a comprehensive plan to increase diversity among its faculty, staff, and student body, and has established a new Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity to oversee these efforts.

By prioritizing diversity and inclusion, both Dartmouth and Smith are ensuring that their communities are reflective of the world around them and are better preparing their students to be global citizens.

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