Our Mission

Sweet Briar College empowers and educates young women to build and reshape their world however their passions lead them.

Sweet Briar College prepares women (and at the graduate level, men as well) to be productive, responsible members of a world community. It focuses on personal and professional achievement through a customized educational program that combines the liberal arts, preparation for careers, and individual development. The faculty and staff guide students to become active learners, to reason clearly, to speak and write persuasively, and to lead with integrity. They do so by creating an educational environment that is both intense and supportive and where learning occurs in many different venues, including the classroom, the community, and the world.

Approved by the Board of Directors, May 2004

Statement of purpose in support of the mission

Sweet Briar's curriculum is organized on the premise that a foundation in the liberal arts enhances the development of critical and creative abilities, develops the ability to synthesize disparate information, equips the student for graduate and professional education, and encourages her to continue to learn long after leaving Sweet Briar.

A broadly based academic program teaches the student to view her experience within wide contexts, to appreciate the achievements of the past, to understand the methods and major theories of science, to gain an appreciation of the arts, and to communicate with precision and cogency. At Sweet Briar this study takes place within a residential environment that encourages physical well-being, ethical awareness, sensitivity to others, responsibility for one's actions, personal initiative and the assumption of leadership.

A highly qualified faculty committed to the highest standards of teaching engages individuals on a human scale. In small classes, students receive the attention that encourages self-confidence and the improvement of skills for life and livelihood.

Sweet Briar continues its commitment as an independent undergraduate women's college in order to devote its resources to the education of women in the full range of the liberal arts, including those subjects that have been traditionally considered as male domains. It welcomes men as well as women in selected graduate programs. The College continues to seek a diverse student body, which is drawn from a national and international pool of applicants.