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The Sweet Briar Degree

General Requirements

The purpose of the General Education Program at Sweet Briar College is to provide all students with a common pattern of skills, experiences and knowledge, which prepares them to be informed, active members of the world community. The program goals include:

  • To help students develop strong skills in communication and quantitative reasoning
  • To provide experiences that enhance the academic program
  • To clarify the basis for a broad liberal arts background
  • To encourage students to reflect upon their goals and progress
  • To integrate the various aspects of a Sweet Briar education in a comprehensive program

Students benefit more from the college experience if they understand the value of a liberal arts curriculum and actively cultivate, in and out of the classroom, their intellectual, cultural, physical, social and creative potential to prepare for a life of continual growth, responsibility and fulfillment. Students will be more confident of their ability to express their ideas, more competent to make decisions based on their enhanced knowledge of themselves and the world, and thus better able to derive the maximum benefits from their Sweet Briar education.

Students begin the General Education Program during their first year and follow it throughout their college career. The program is designed so that every student progresses beyond the skills, experiences and knowledge with which she entered Sweet Briar. The requirements are not completely separate — in many cases these areas will overlap and will coincide with the major and minor requirements.

The General Education Program has four components:

Faculty are encouraged to emphasize whenever possible the relationships between the different aspects of the General Education Program and their application across the curriculum, especially in the requirements for the respective majors. In this way the General Education Program and the major programs form a coherent, integrated educational experience.