DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Essential Capacities for Smith Students

In the course of their educations, Smith students are expected to become acquainted with—to master, as far as they are able—certain bodies of knowledge, but they are also expected to learn the intellectual skills necessary for using and extending that knowledge. The list below summarizes those expectations. While acknowledging that education can never be defined by a listing of subjects or skills, the faculty believes that such a listing may usefully contribute to the planning of an education, and it offers the list below in that spirit, as an aid to students as they choose their courses and assess their individual progress, and to advisers as they assist in that process.


In order to put their knowledge to use, to lay a foundation for further study, and to make effective contributions to the work of their communities, students should, by the time they graduate:


I. Develop the ability to think critically and analytically and to convey knowledge and understanding, which require

•writing clearly •speaking articulately •reading closely •evaluating and presenting evidence accurately •knowing and using quantitative skills •applying scientific reasoning •engaging with artistic creation and expression •working both independently and collaboratively

II. Develop an historical and comparative perspective, which requires

•learning foreign languages •studying the historical development of societies, cultures, and philosophies •understanding multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches

III. Become an informed global citizen, which requires

•engaging with communities beyond Smith •valuing tolerance and appreciating diversity •applying moral reasoning to ethical problems •understanding environmental challenges

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.