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A limited number of students may participate in the 12-College Exchange Program in their junior year. 

The deadline for the application is February 1 each academic year.

The following colleges participate in the exchange. Not all institutions will offer places every year.

You may apply to only one college for the full year; the National Theater Institute and Williams-Mystic are semester-only programs.

You can apply to a different college for each semester in one academic year, but there is no guarantee that you will get into both of your choices.

In order to participate you must:

  • have a cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • have declared a major before submitting the 12-College Exchange application form
  • have no credit shortages
  • be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States
  • international students may apply to The National Theater Institute (NTI) or Williams-Mystic Seaport Program only

While you are on the exchange, you must abide by the academic policies and deadlines set by the host institution. You cannot be considered for transfer to the other college after participating in the exchange.

Use the 12-College Exchange Application (Google Form) to apply. You will need two letters of recommendation from faculty. Faculty can submit the recommendation to the class deans office directly.

Note: If you are applying to the National Theater Institute (NTI) or Williams-Mystic Seaport Program, there is a two-step application process. In addition to completing and submitting the 12-College Exchange Application to the Class Deans office, you must also apply directly to NTI and Williams Mystic. Smith cannot guarantee their acceptance of your application. If you are accepted by either of these programs, your financial aid will travel with you only if you are approved and selected by Smith College to participate in the exchange program. If you are not selected to participate in the 12-College exchange, you may be able to still attend. Speak to Dean Andrea Rossi-Reder for additional information.

Connecticut College–National Theatre Institute

Students must apply directly to the institute at 305 Great Neck Road, Waterford, CT 06385, and file the 12-College Exchange Application (PDF) at Smith by the deadline.

Williams–Mystic Seaport Program

Students who wish to go for a semester must apply directly to Williams-Mystic, PO Box 6000, 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT 06355, and file the 12-College Exchange Application (PDF) at Smith by the deadline.

Dartmouth College

Study at Dartmouth is for an entire academic year only (three Dartmouth quarters are equal to two Smith semesters) and cannot be combined with a semester at Smith within the same academic year.  Dartmouth requires that a student study for three out of four quarters, including a summer quarter. You can choose from the following sequences:

  • summer/winter/spring quarters
  • winter/spring/summer quarters

You may not enroll at both Dartmouth and Smith during the same academic year. You may not enroll in two Dartmouth summer terms during your year away. The 12-credit limit to summer school transfer credit also applies to Dartmouth summer school. The normal course load at Dartmouth is three courses in each of three quarters, which equals eight courses at Smith.

You must apply by February 1 for either semester for the followimg academic year. Late applications are not accepted.

Late March: You will receive notification of your application directly from the host college.

April: If you are accepted, you will be asked to sign a 12-College Exchange Confirmation form. This confirms to Smith College and the host school that you intend to study there the next year.

May 1: Submit an Approved Off-Campus Study form (see Leaves of Absence).

After you confirm that you intend to study on the exchange, all further arrangements are handled by you and the host college directly. You may be required to put down a nonrefundable deposit at the host college before May 1.  It is the student’s responsibility to make sure they receive their host college email address, account and billing information, along with any health insurance waiver or enrollment instructions.

You will list a tentative course program on the application form. If you change your course program at a later point, you must notify your Smith faculty adviser and your class dean.

All courses you want to use for major, minor or concentration requirements must be approved by your adviser. All the rules for transfer credit apply on the exchange. You cannot transfer in more than 40 credits for a year of study on the exchange.

After you have accepted a place on the 12-College Exchange, you will handle all financial arrangements directly with the host college. The regular tuition and fees are billed by the host college and paid to that college.  

Financial Aid

There is a limited amount of financial aid available for the 12-College Exchange. If you are a financial aid recipient at Smith and are approved by the college and the host program to participate in the 12-College Exchange Program, consult with Smith Financial Services. You may use federal grants and loans on the 12-College Exchange. International students are only eligible to use their Smith aid for the National Theatre Institute and Williams Mystic Programs. Contact Student Financial Services for more information.


It may not be possible for you to arrange for work-study on the 12-College Exchange. If you have difficulty arranging a work-study position, consult the Student Employment Office.

You cannot transfer credit for study abroad earned through the 12-College Exchange, even if one of the host schools runs a study abroad program.

If you decide not to accept an offer from a host college on the exchange, you must notify the host college and Smith in writing.

If you decide to study on the exchange and then change your mind after signing the confirmation form, you can only return to Smith to earn credit or take a personal leave of absence. You may not study elsewhere and transfer credit.

The grades you earn at any of the 12 colleges are recorded on your Smith record with a single bracket next to them. They do not count in your GPA. They can be counted toward the Latin honors distribution requirements. If S/U or pass/fail courses are allowed at the host college, students are allowed to choose those grading options.

It is your responsibility to request the host college to send your official transcript to the Smith registrar to record your studies.

Unsatisfactory Grades

The same academic standards that apply to grades earned at Smith apply to grades earned on the exchange. If your record at a 12-College Exchange school is unsatisfactory, it will be reviewed by the Administrative Board and you may be placed on probation upon your return.

See Leaves of Absence for information about housing and registration when you return to Smith.