Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: March 30, 2021

Please Note: Because the answers to many common questions will change depending on the college’s operating mode, please refer to the Status & Operating Mode page for additional information. If you have further questions, contact sswdean@smith.edu.

Will SSW offer a Coronavirus screening program for local students and adjuncts? 

Only 85 students and faculty indicated that they are living or plan to live within commuting distance and would like to access campus. Unfortunately, with these low numbers, it would not make sense for us to offer a testing program for local students and faculty. We feel that this is the most equitable decision for all given the sizable expense and infrastructure required to support a COVID testing site and provide a COVID testing for such a small number of students and faculty. This means that students and faculty can come onto the campus and use the outdoor spaces following our Culture of Care commitment and campus protocols but will not be able to enter campus buildings.

If all students are vaccinated at the start of the term will that impact decision making about campus protocols?

This will be determined by the state. Smith SSW will follow the guidelines of the state and the local health departments. As of March 2021 there is no indication that vaccination status will impact the protocols on campus. We anticipate that masking and social distancing will remain in place throughout the summer. While many returning students may be vaccinated at the start of term 1 because of their status as healthcare workers  it is less likely that most of the entering class students, staff (at Lilly and across campus) and faculty will be vaccinated.

 

Will SSW host students and adjunct faculty on campus? 

In total, just 15 out of a possible 426 students and faculty indicated a wish to live on campus. Unfortunately, with these low numbers, it would not make sense for us to host any students or faculty on campus this summer. We feel that this is the most equitable decision for all given the sizable expense and infrastructure required to open up housing and dining and provide a COVID testing, quarantine and isolation program for such a small number of students and faculty. This means that students and faculty can come onto the campus and use the outdoor spaces following the college's Culture of Care commitment and campus protocols but will not be able to enter campus buildings. 

 

What structures might be in place to build community this summer? 

Last summer we learned that the most useful mechanisms to build community were created by our community members in a more grassroots way. It is our hope to build/support the building of a set of events this summer based on your ideas and feedback.

If I live locally can I still access campus?

Students and faculty who wish to  move to the Northampton area may access outdoor spaces on campus following the college's Culture of Care commitment. Library materials from Hillyer and Josten Libraries, as well as Five College libraries, continue to be available through contactless pickup.

Below is a list of FAQs from entering students. We recommend that you also be sure to remain updated by reviewing the Admitted Student page, the COVID-19 response plan and the Smith College Culture of Care commitment

Will classes be held on campus this year?

All instruction for Summer 2021 will be remote and primarily synchronous (live). Students and faculty can come onto the campus and use the outdoor spaces following our Culture of Care commitment and campus protocols but will not be able to enter campus buildings. This was not an easy decision to come to and we are looking forward to resuming campus life in summer of 2022.  (For details on how this decision was made, we encourage you to review our ongoing communications regarding our COVID-19 response plan.)

Is on-campus housing available this summer?

No. While students and faculty can come onto the campus and use the outdoor spaces following our Culture of Care commitment and campus protocols they are not able to enter campus buildings including housing. Please review our ongoing communications regarding our COVID-19 response plan.

When do classes begin? 

Classes begin on Monday, June 7. You can find a  calendar listing of key summer dates on our website.  

Is there an orientation before classes begin?

Yes. Orientation for entering M.S.W. and Ph.D. students will begin on Friday, June 4 with the posting of a number of videos by faculty members about various aspects of the program. There will be a live component of Orientation on Saturday, June 5 (tentatively set for 3 - 4 p.m. ET) and a live Welcome and Convocation on Sunday, June 6, from 3 - 5 p.m. ET.  Watch for updates coming soon.

When will M.S.W. students know where they are placed?

If you were admitted in Early Decision, you are likely (or will soon be) interviewing with the agency selected for your internship. If you were admitted through Regular Decision, soon after accepting your offer, the Field Department will reach out to you to set up an interview. The vast majority of field Internship settings will be confirmed by the end of May; refer to (or watch for) this email which will provide you with additional details.

Will field internships be held in person or remotely this fall?

As vaccines become more widely available we’re finding that students currently in the field are increasing the person-to-person contact they are having with clients. Currently, our conversations with agencies have all focused on in-person client contact. At this point, we anticipate that fall 2021 field internships will be in-person, or at least hybrid at the beginning and eventually all in-person.

Will I be registering for my classes this summer?

Courses for first year M.S.W. and all Ph.D. students are required courses and as such you will be pre-registered into these classes by the Registrar’s Office. First year M.S.W. students entering with Advanced Standing will be contacted by the Registrar’s Office when schedules are completed (typically the end of April/beginning of May). The schedule for first-summer Doctoral students will be Monday - Thursday between 11 a.m. - 6:40 p.m. ET.

M.S.W. students can anticipate that their classes will fall between 11 a.m. ET - 5:40 p.m. ET, Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday (Wednesdays are a reading day for M.S.W. students.) Here is a mock schedule of the first summer M.S.W. classes.

How many classes will I be taking this summer?

First summer M.S.W. students will take five courses each term; here is a complete listing of courses you will be taking each summer.  Ph.D. students will take five courses each term; for a listing of courses doctoral students take you can click here.

When will I know if I received financial aid?

The deadline to apply for financial aid was March 1, 2021. Early Admission M.S.W. students received their financial aid awards with their admission decisions. Regular Admission M.S.W. students should receive their financial aid award within two weeks of receiving their admission offer. Doctoral applicants will receive their financial aid award with their admission offer.

How do I apply for merit scholarships?

All financial support provided by the School for Social Work is predicated on qualifying for need-based aid, qualifying through FAFSA application due March 1. Each student that qualifies for need-based aid will be reviewed for any of the various merit scholarships for which they qualify. You can see a complete listing of merit scholarships on our website. Normally notifications about merit awards and need-based awards are simultaneous.

Do M.S.W. field internships offer pay or stipends?

The vast majority of field internship sites do not offer pay or stipends. There are a few field awards made available by alumni that are geographically restricted. You can see a listing of our Endowed Field Awards in the Merit Scholarship section of our website.

How do I get support if I have a disability?

Students needing support due to a disability and or learning disorder should register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as soon as possible. The ODS will work with you to ensure you get the support you need to be successful at Smith and at your field internship. You can find a Disability Registration Form on the Admitted Student page.

Can I get health insurance from Smith?

Smith College requires that all students carry health insurance. Students will automatically be enrolled and billed for the School’s health insurance plan in order to ensure compliance with Massachusetts’ mandate on health insurance coverage for all full-time students. If you have equivalent coverage, please complete the following steps to waive summer coverage (effective June 1, 2021 - August 31, 2021):

  1. Create an account
  2. Once your account has been created, click the “I want to waive” button. 
  3. Complete the waiver form (you will need your current health insurance information).
  4. Save your confirmation number.

In July, students will receive plan information and be auto-enrolled with the option to waive annual coverage (effective September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022).