Sweet Briar College welcomes record number of honors students

Honors-group-topSweet Briar’s Honors Program continues to inspire students. A record 48 percent of first-year students were invited to enroll in the rigorous interdisciplinary program in 2016-17, and 75 percent of them chose to join the special academic community. Engaging all departments, the program provides research opportunities across disciplines for distinguished students who want to explore a specific topic — and for those interested in honors courses and extracurricular activities.

“The Class of 2020 is really exceptional,” said Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Pam DeWeese. “Not only did they exceed previous classes in their average GPA, they also impressed us with tremendously thoughtful and innovative admission essays.”

A full 26 percent of Sweet Briar’s overall student body are part of the Honors Program this year. That’s within average range, says the program’s associate administrator Julie Hemstreet. Thirteen or 14 Honors Program graduates are expected in spring 2017.

Students in the Honors Program may pursue a comprehensive Honors Degree or Departmental Honors. From first-year honors seminars to advanced honors courses, the curriculum also includes special research opportunities such as the Pannell Honors Scholarship for sophomores and the annual Honors Summer Research Program. Last summer’s honors students delved into topics ranging from the military role of women during the Renaissance to an invasive plant in Sweet Briar’s Lower Lake. Two Honors Halls offer students the opportunity to live and work among peers.

Sweet Briar’s annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship, or MARCUS, draws students from area colleges and nearby states to campus to present their original research. This year’s conference will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Any Sweet Briar student may enrich her course of study with occasional honors classes or apply for special travel and research grants provided by the Honors Program.

For more information about the Honors Program, visit sbc.edu/honors.