2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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.

Campus Visits

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the College for interviews and campus tours at any time during the year. While the College is in session, class visitation, appointments with faculty members and coaches, tours of campus and an overnight stay in a residence hall with a current student may be arranged. The admissions office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the year and on Saturday mornings (by appointment) from opening week in September until commencement in May.

Special open house weekends for prospective students are held several times during the year. For information about visiting campus, contact the admissions office at 434-381-6142, 800-381-6142 or admissions@sbc.edu. A listing of open house dates is available on the admissions website.

In addition, admission counselors visit high schools and attend college fair programs around the country. Young women interested in Sweet Briar may make arrangements through their high school guidance office or college counselor to talk with a Sweet Briar representative in their areas. Opportunities to meet alumnae of the College can also be arranged by contacting the admissions office.

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 qualities such as independent thinking, ethical principles, assertiveness, initiative and an appreciation of diversity. Requirements normally include a minimum of 4 units in English, 3 in mathematics, 3 in social studies, 2 sequential years in a foreign language, and 3 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 that have a 3.0 GPS or above, but we will consider scores from the SAT I or the ACT if they are submitted to us.

A suggested curriculum is provided below to aid candidates for admission to Sweet Briar and other selective colleges.

The admissions office is glad to advise prospective students about their high school or community college programs, especially if they have questions about course choices.

Sweet Briar College accepts the General Education Diploma (GED) in lieu of a high school diploma for first-year, transfer and Turning Point students who have met the course requirements for admission. Individuals with a GED are urged to contact the admissions office early in their application process.

Admissions begins evaluating completed applications for admission as early as Aug. 1. For 2018-19, the College will implement Early Action (non-binding) then move to Rolling Admission. Completed applications for Early Action consideration are due Nov. 1, 2018, and notifications will be mailed on Dec. 14, 2018. After that, 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 students who have paid an enrollment deposit are required to submit a final high school transcript that includes a date of graduation.

Sweet Briar College adheres to the National Candidates’ Reply Date Agreement, which allows students until May 1 to indicate their intention to enroll. Sweet Briar requires a deposit of $250 which is applied to the student’s account.

Suggested College Preparatory Curriculum for High School Students

9th Grade
  • English
  • 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
10th Grade
  • English
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics: Geometry/Algebra II
  • Science: Biology or Chemistry
  • Social Studies: World History
11th Grade
  • English
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics: Algebra II, Pre-Calculus
  • Science: Chemistry or Biology II
  • Social Studies: U.S. History
12th Grade
  • English
  • 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 opt for Advanced Placement, Honors or International Baccalaureate courses where appropriate.

Application Credentials

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.

The following credentials are required of first-year students:

  1. Completed application
  2. Official 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.
  3. If applicable, a list of current (senior year) grades
  4. Test optional with GPA of 3.0 or higher - Sweet Briar accepts either the SAT or ACT. Official scores must be submitted directly to the College. Sweet Briar’s SAT code is 5634, and the ACT code is 4406.
  5. Letter of recommendation from counselor, teacher or alumna, or an interview with an alumna encouraged
  6. Essay (written or video), writing/art sample, portfolio or interview (live or online) encouraged

Homeschooled Students

Homeschooled students applying for admission to Sweet Briar need to submit the application for admission with all required credentials. A campus visit and/or interview is strongly recommended.

Transfer Students

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:

  1. Application, including a required application essay
  2. An official transcript of secondary school records. Sweet Briar College accepts the General Education Diploma (GED) in lieu of a high school diploma (see Other Admissions below).
  3. An official transcript of record from each college attended
  4. Proof of good standing from each college attended

A campus visit is strongly encouraged. 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.

Neither academic credit nor placement are awarded for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), experiential learning or armed services experience.

International Students

Sweet Briar is committed to the recruitment of international students who are interested in obtaining a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the United States.

International students are required to submit the following credentials:

  1. Completed application
  2. 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
  3. A standardized test is optional. Sweet Briar accepts either the SAT or ACT. Official scores must be submitted directly to the College. Sweet Briar’s SAT and TOEFL code is 5634, and the ACT code is 4406.
  4. Official copies of high school (or equivalent) transcripts
  5. Official copies of all college course transcripts
  6. A full credential evaluation from World Education Services (WES) of all non-U.S. high school and college transcripts
  7. College Board’s International Student Certification of Finances

After a student has been accepted to the College, advanced-standing credit will be determined through an evaluation coordinated through the registrar’s office. There is a fee for this service.

Please note that Sweet Briar College does not offer need-based financial aid to international students. A limited number of academic scholarships are available to qualified first-year students.

I-20 forms will not be mailed until a student’s International Student Certification of Finances has been verified.


Students who are accepted to Sweet Briar should reply to the College by May 1. An enrollment deposit of $250 is required at that time for those who intend to matriculate at Sweet Briar College.

Appealing an Admission Decision

Students who wish to appeal an admission decision may do so by submitting to the vice president for communications and enrollment 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 vice president will work with the Admissions Committee to review the validity of the appeal and to review the original admission decision with the new information. The student will be notified of all decisions made by the Admissions Committee.

Non-residential Students

Sweet Briar values the enhanced educational experience that living on campus provides for students to live and learn together. Only students who are under the age of 24 and living with a parent or guardian with a home address within the following areas may live off-campus and still participate fully in the College as non-residential students: 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.

Those who are at least 23 years of age are considered Turning Point students and are not required to reside on campus, with a parent or guardian or within any of the counties noted above.

Other Admissions

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 admission 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, will be based on the tuition charge to full-time students. For information on course offerings and fees, contact the registrar’s office.

The Turning Point Program: Sweet Briar is committed to helping women of nontraditional college age begin or continue their college educations. 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 eligible for admission. A student may elect to enroll in the program either full- or part-time. Credits previously earned at an accredited institution may be transferred (see Transfer Students). For an application, as well as for information on fees, scholarships and financial aid, contact the admissions office.

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 vice president for communications and enrollment and enclose the appropriate documentation. The request will be evaluated by the dean of the College or other College official as appropriate, who will forward a recommendation to the dean of admissions for inclusion in the admissions review process.

Admissions Ambassadors (AAs)

Hundreds of Sweet Briar alumnae across the country serve as Admissions Ambassadors (AAs). They help staff college fairs, write communications to prospective students and refer prospective students to the admissions office. The program is overseen jointly by the Office of Admissions and the Office of Alumnae Relations and Development.