Leadership Core

Sweet Briar has been educating women of consequence, confidence and grit for more than a century. Today, our commitment to leadership and the liberal arts go hand in hand. Effective leaders benefit from the foundation of a liberal arts education, which teaches them to be successful communicators, ethical decision-makers and empathetic problem-solvers.


The general education system common in higher education is one way to experience a wide variety of disciplines, but it isn’t the only way. Our core curriculum will give you the opportunity to get a broad, multifaceted education while also teaching you how the disciplines interact — and how they relate to your own specific interests. Life is interdisciplinary. No matter your professional path, you’ll need scientific, civic and business literacy to be successful in both your work and home life. Sweet Briar’s core curriculum will teach you those skills.

More than that, our core will encourage you to ask challenging questions about the nature of leadership. How does gender impact leadership? What differentiates women leaders? How does our culture impact women’s leadership? At Sweet Briar, we’re not afraid to ask these questions — and more — and we encourage you to reach your own conclusions about how you, as a 21st-century woman, can lead in your home, workplace and community. And we’ll give you plenty of opportunities to put those conclusions into practice through research with faculty, internships and leadership roles in student organizations.

Our core curriculum will teach you to harness your natural leadership abilities — whether your life path takes you to Wall Street or Main Street, to graduate study or to the workplace.

Throughout the core, you’ll develop communications skills, learn to sift through evidence and gain an understanding of diverse cultural and disciplinary perspectives. You’ll look squarely upon the problems our world faces and get empowered to craft solutions. And, because our core curriculum spans four years of study, you will have plenty of time to craft an academic program that lets you explore what truly excites you.

CORE 110 — Design Thinking (3)


CORE 120 — The Mindful Writer (3)


CORE 130 — Women and Gender in the World (3)


CORE 140 — Sustainable Systems (3)


CORE 150 — Creative Thinking and Practice (3)


CORE 160 — STEM and Society (3)


CORE 170 — Decisions in a Data-driven World (3)


CORE 180 — Dollars and Sense (3)


CORE 210 — Contemporary Ethical Questions (3)


CORE 300 — The Consequential Citizen (3)