Courses at Sweet Briar emphasize experiential learning and close faculty-student relationships.

Hands-on learning

Fingers on our keyboards, eyes on our datasets, hands in our soil, we learn by doing. We engineer hydroponic systems, learn from the artists and writers across the street at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, conduct research on our environment, and market honey from our apiary. And we offer funding for students to design their own experiences based on their own goals.

Grants for Engaged Learning

Agricultural Sustainability

Agricultural Sustainability

Engineering Senior Capstone

Engineering Senior Capstone

Student in drawing class

Student in drawing class

Areas of focus: 

  • Human and Environmental Sustainability
  • Creativity, Design and the Arts
  • Engineering, Science and Technology in Society


majors and minors

Academic Calendar: Tradition, Meet Innovation

Fall Semester: 3 weeks + 12 weeks

Spring Semester: 12 weeks + 3 weeks


3 weeks Apprentice, travel, make, explore, experiment. Take one three week course that’s experiential and hands-on.


12 weeks Delve deep in our small classes. Take several twelve-week courses.



Learn to lead, step by step

In our nationally recognized Women’s Leadership Core Curriculum, we look squarely upon the problems our world faces and craft solutions. Here are two examples:

CORE 130 — Women and Gender in the World
This course prepares young women for entrance into the real world by looking at issues related to women’s leadership and women’s empowerment.

CORE 170 — Decisions in a Data-driven World
This course evaluate, organize and interpret data to make good decisions. We focus on real world problems from disparate fields, from health to political science, to learn to reason and work with data, and to understand and present arguments supported by quantitative evidence.

Learn more about our Women’s Leadership Core

Riding Internship

100% acceptance to veterinary school

80% of students complete internships


Recent Stories

Academic Success

Sweet Briar College Student Olivia Heffernan studies in the library.

Unraveling Ancient Mystery Cults

Olivia Heffernan’s summer research project investigated the influence of the mystery cults of Aphrodite, Isis, and Hecate.

Student June Alomari working in the science lab.

Protein Suppression in Ovarian Cancer

Two Sweet Briar students have been conducting summer honors research on how suppressing a certain protein may affect cancer cells.

Ana Patino in the engineering lab.

Testing the Insulating Properties of 3D Printing Materials

International student Ana Patino is analyzing the insulating properties of various 3D printing materials under different environmental conditions.