Sweet Briar College welcomes applications for admission from students of varied backgrounds, talents, interests and experience who want to pursue an education in the liberal arts and sciences. Admissions selects applicants who present evidence of a strong academic foundation, scholastic ability and motivation, and strength of character.
Admission to the First-year Class
Sweet Briar seeks talented women who are motivated, enthusiastic about learning and want to take an active part in their education. Admissions looks for evidence of qualities such as independent thinking, ethical principles, leadership, community service and an appreciation of diversity. Requirements normally include a minimum of:
- Four units in English;
- Three in mathematics;
- Three in social studies;
- Two sequential years in a foreign language; and
- Three units in science, as well as additional units in these subjects to total 16.
Most candidates have 20 such academic units. Special attention is given to the difficulty of the applicant’s curriculum (including the number of Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses), her performance in academic courses and the school attended. Sweet Briar is test-optional for candidates who have a 3.0 GPA or higher, but we will consider scores from the SAT or the ACT if submitted.
Sweet Briar College accepts the General Education Diploma (GED) in lieu of a high school diploma for first-year, transfer and Turning Point students (women who are at least 23 years of age or who have been out of formal education for at least four years) who have met the course requirements for admission.
Admissions begins evaluating completed applications for admission as early as Aug. 1. The Early Action (non-binding) deadline for Fall 2020 enrollment is Oct. 1, 2019. After that date, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and notifications will be mailed as they become complete and decisions are made. All offers of admission are contingent upon the candidate successfully graduating from high school (or achieving the GED), and a final high school transcript that includes a date of graduation must be submitted prior to enrollment.
Suggested College Preparatory Curriculum for High School Students
- Foreign Language
- Mathematics: Algebra I/Geometry (Students who can take Algebra I in the 8th grade are encouraged to proceed through to Calculus in the 12th grade)
- Science: Earth Science, Introduction to Physical Science or Biology
- Social Studies: Geography or World History
- Foreign Language
- Mathematics: Geometry/Algebra II
- Science: Biology or Chemistry
- Social Studies: World History
- Foreign Language
- Mathematics: Algebra II, Pre-Calculus
- Science: Chemistry or Biology II
- Social Studies: U.S. History
- Foreign Language
- Mathematics: Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, Functions, Analytical Geometry, or Calculus
- Science: Physics or Chemistry II
- Social Studies: Government or European History
Note: Students are encouraged to take Advanced Placement, Honors or International Baccalaureate courses where appropriate.
Application for admission should be made on an application supplied by Sweet Briar College and found on our website at sbc.edu/admissions/apply-now. The College also accepts the Common Application and/or the application from the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success.
Application requirements for prospective first-year students:
- Completed application
- Transcripts of all academic work completed to date. Sweet Briar accepts the General Education Diploma (GED) in lieu of a high school diploma. Depending on your circumstances, you will need to provide a final transcript with proof of high school graduation prior to the start of your first academic year at Sweet Briar.
- If applicable, a list of current (senior year) grades
- SAT (code is 5634) or ACT (code is 4406) scores - optional with GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Letter of recommendation from counselor, teacher or alumna, or an interview with an alumna encouraged
- Essay (written or video), writing/art sample, portfolio or interview (live or online) encouraged
In addition to the requirements listed above for all first-year applicants, international students are required to submit the following:
- An official copy of either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 85 or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 7.0
- A full credential evaluation from World Education Services (WES) of all non-U.S. high school and college transcripts
- College Board’s International Student Certification of Finances; an I-20 cannot be obtained until a student’s International Student Certification of Finances has been verified.
Sweet Briar welcomes applications from qualified students who wish to enter with advanced standing from other colleges or universities. Candidates who have earned fewer than 24 credit hours of college work should fulfill the requirements for admission of the first-year class students. It is recommended that they have completed at least one full year of successful college work. In addition to the application for admission, students wishing to apply as a transfer student should present the following credentials:
- Completed application
- Official transcript and proof of good standing from each college attended
Admission decisions are made for transfer applicants on a rolling basis and notification of the decision is sent to the applicant shortly after all credentials are complete.
Students who transfer to Sweet Briar from colleges accredited by their regional associations will receive tentative credit for courses in which a grade of “C-” or better has been obtained and which satisfy the aims of liberal arts courses as interpreted at Sweet Briar College. The registrar must approve all transfer credits. Not more than 60 credit hours from another institution will be allowed toward the 120 credit hours required for the Sweet Briar degree. Courses offered to satisfy general education requirements must conform in content to courses given at Sweet Briar.
An associate degree from a regionally accredited community college replaces Sweet Briar’s required leadership core curriculum - the College’s version of traditional general education requirements. Eligible students may move directly into coursework that fulfills the requirements for their major of choice.
Eligible degrees under this agreement are the Associate of Arts, the Associate of Science, and the Associate of Arts and Sciences. The qualifying associate degree must have required a minimum of 30 credits for its general education requirement and the student must have earned credit at least one 3-credit course in each of the following:
- humanities/fine arts
- social/behavioral sciences
- natural sciences/mathematics
Credit awarded by the community college for AP or IB examination scores will be re-evaluated by Sweet Briar College. If all of the AP and IB examination scores meet SBC criteria, the associate degree qualifies for this agreement. If there is AP or IB credit that does not meet SBC criteria, the student’s associate degree credit will be evaluated and applied to Sweet Briar’s Leadership Core requirements as appropriate.
Neither academic credit nor placement is awarded for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), experiential learning, or armed services experience. A student using any of these types of credit to satisfy any associate degree requirement would not be eligible for this agreement. Instead the associate degree credit will be evaluated and applied to Sweet Briar’s Leadership Core requirements as appropriate.
Students earning an associate degree concurrent with high school graduation (sometimes referenced as dual enrollment or Early College) are not eligible for admission under the above terms. These students should complete the undergraduate application process for first-year students. Community college credit earned by these students will be evaluated and accepted on a course-by-course basis.
Sweet Briar College adheres to the National Candidates’ Reply Date Agreement, which allows students at least until May 1 to indicate their intention to enroll. Sweet Briar requires a deposit of $250, which is applied to the student’s account.
Appealing an Admission Decision
Students who wish to appeal an admission decision may do so by submitting to the dean of admissions and financial aid a written letter of appeal that includes additional documentation not available at the time of the original decision (updated grades, new standardized test score results, additional recommendations, etc.). The dean will work with the Admissions Committee to review the validity of the appeal and to review the original admission decision with the new information before notifying the student about the decisions made by the Admissions Committee.
Sweet Briar values the enhanced educational experience that living on campus provides for students to live and learn together. All full-time undergraduate students under age 23 are required to live on campus. If students meet one of the following criteria, they may apply for an exception:
- Living with a parent, guardian, spouse or domestic partner with a home address within the following areas: Albemarle County, Amherst County, Appomattox County, Bedford City, Bedford County, Buckingham County, Buena Vista City, Campbell County, Charlottesville City, Lexington City, Lynchburg City, Nelson County, and Rockbridge County
- Transfer student currently living off campus alone or with others
Early Admission: Candidates who wish to graduate early from secondary school will be considered for admission as long as they have completed the minimum course requirements for admission to the first-year class. They should present evidence of exceptional academic performance and social maturity, and must interview with an admissions counselor, the dean of the College and the dean of student life.
Part-time Students: Part-time students are welcomed at Sweet Briar. The fee for a course taken for academic credit, and for which the College will provide a record and grade report, is per credit hour based on the tuition to full-time students. For information on course offerings and fees, contact the registrar’s office.
The Turning Point Program: The Turning Point Program is a flexible, non-residential program established for the mature returning student. Women who are at least 23 years of age or who have been out of formal education for at least four years are considered Turning Point students and may elect to enroll in the program either full- or part-time. The application process is the same as for first-year or transfer students, whichever applies.
Students with Disabilities
Sweet Briar College complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act and accepts students with documented disabilities who can successfully pursue the College’s academic program. Sweet Briar recognizes its responsibility to provide individuals with disabilities with equivalent access while maintaining the standards that are essential to the academic program. Reasonable accommodations are assessed and made on an individual basis.
Admission to Sweet Briar College is based on the requirements outlined in this catalog. Sweet Briar does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admissions process. If an applicant believes that an accommodated admission review is warranted, the applicant must initiate the process (by law, the admissions office cannot address a disability unless the applicant is self-identified). The applicant must submit a written request for an accommodated admissions review to the dean of admissions and financial aid and enclose the appropriate documentation. The request will be evaluated by the dean of the College and the director of the Academic Resource Center, or other College official as appropriate, who will make a recommendation to the dean of admissions and financial aid.