Why Paul Smith’s?


Here’s the formula: Our academics + our faculty + our location = a college experience you can’t get anywhere else.

With approximately 750 students Paul Smith’s is a tight-knit, supportive, and conscientiously “green” college community. We offer 20+ Bachelor’s and 5 Associate’s degree programs, along with our new Master’s degree program in Natural Resource Conservation.

From Campus to Career

Nine out of ten Smitties — that’s what we call Paul Smith’s alumni — land a job or go to grad school within six months of graduation. Our graduates include environmental policymakers, food truck entrepreneurs, park rangers, resort managers, and Fortune 500 CEOs.

Life in the Adirondacks

They don’t call us the College of the Adirondacks for nothing. Our campus is located inside the six-million-acre Adirondack Park – and when you live here, you become an Adirondacker. We have a Woodsmen Team and a championship snowshoeing team. And every February, you’ll gather with thousands of fellow Adirondackers at Saranac Lake to celebrate the East Coast’s longest-running Winter Carnival. In warm weather, borrow one of the college’s canoes, hike miles of trails at your doorstep, or tackle the campus high ropes course. In winter, you can hit the indoor campus climbing wall and the Olympic ski runs at Whiteface Mountain only 30 minutes up the road.

What Can the Paul Smith’s Experience Do for You?

Come see for yourself. Schedule a campus visit or talk to an admissions officer by calling (800) 421-2605 or emailing us at admissions@paulsmiths.edu.

It’s noon, the lunch rush is in full swing at The Ganzi, and you’re in the kitchen prepping roasted eggplant and goat cheese crostini for the day’s salad course. Or, you’re prepping for the mid-morning bakery rush in our A.P. Smith’s Bakery while students walk from class to class.

This isn’t an off-campus job: you’re earning credit while working at a restaurant alongside fellow Paul Smith’s culinary arts students and faculty.

This is the Paul Smith’s experience.

You’ve got a handheld GPS unit, you’re surrounded by 1,500 acres of privately owned forest, and you’re plotting waypoints to build a map. But this isn’t a summer internship: your ecological forest management class has been hired by the landowner to develop a 10-year sustainable forestry plan. This is homework.

This is the Paul Smith’s experience.

Paul_Smith,_Sr._(Apollos_Smith)_ALDThe name Paul Smith has been synonymous with the best of the Adirondacks — outdoor adventure, nature conservation and experiential education — since 1859. That was the year Apollos A. “Paul” Smith and his wife Lydia built the stately Paul Smith’s Hotel on the shores of Lower St. Regis Lake.

The hotel was the Adirondacks’ first wilderness resort, growing to include 255 guest rooms, housing for 60 wilderness guides, a boathouse, a casino and a bowling alley. In its heyday, the resort drew high-profile guests including three U.S. presidents and 19th-century luminaries like P.T. Barnum.

Adirondack Pioneer

Born in 1825 in Milton, Vermont, Paul Smith fell in love with the Adirondacks at an early age and purchased 50,000 acres of pristine wilderness in 1858 on which to build his dream hotel, a “primitive” lakeside resort serving outdoor enthusiasts. Smith was not only owner and proprietor of the hotel, but its chief wilderness guide and educator.

When Smith died in 1912, his son Phelps continued to operate the hotel until it was destroyed by a fire in 1930. By that time, the Paul Smith name adorned a railroad, a telephone company and a regional electric company. Even the village that sprang up around the hotel was called Paul Smiths.WAC training

Founding of Paul Smith’s College

Phelps Smith died a wealthy man and bequeathed the bulk of his estate to the foundation of a college in his father’s name. Paul Smith’s College was established in 1937 and the original campus was built on the very same site as the former hotel. The first class entered in 1946, largely composed of WWII veterans and local high school graduates. Seventy years later, Paul Smith’s remains the only baccalaureate-degree-granting institution in the six-million-acre Adirondack Park.