About the Program

Studying philosophy at Sweet Briar enables you to sharpen your powers of thinking (skills of critical analysis, argumentation, conceptual exploration, and in-depth discussion) while taking a leading role in shaping your own educational experience.

What is distinctive about studying philosophy at Sweet Briar?

  • The philosophy program at Sweet Briar is distinctive in several regards. First, the learning experience between students and faculty is highly interactive and collaborative: students can pursue a program of study that is tailored to their specific areas of intellectual interest. This is true both at the level of course topics, which are designed and developed in response to active student interest, and with regard to particular paper and research project opportunities.
  • Second, philosophy courses at Sweet Briar are strongly interdisciplinary, linking philosophical topics to other areas of scholarly interest and thereby promoting a holistic, integrated liberal arts educational experience. For example, philosophy students can study philosophy of art, philosophy of literature, environmental philosophy, philosophical psychology, philosophy of science, social and political theory, ancient philosophy, and philosophy of history, all of which enable cross-fertilization between students of different disciplinary backgrounds from all across campus.
  • Third, the three-week term at Sweet Briar allows philosophy students to gain immersive, experiential learning opportunities, including travel courses. Philosophy students in philosophy of art get the opportunity to attend artistic performances and visit world-class museums. Students in feminist philosophy will get to travel to Vienna in spring to 2023 to immersively study the intersection of feminist and gender theory, psychoanalysis, music, and cultural studies.
  • Fourth, philosophy students have the benefit of small class sizes, receiving personalized attention supporting their research and scholarly interests while also enjoying in-depth discussion of challenging ideas in a nurturing academic environment.