At Sweet Briar College, we believe that the best way for students to learn science is to do science. That simple idea is at the heart of our philosophy of “progressive independence.” In biology, chemistry, environmental science, mathematics, physics, psychology and engineering, our students embark upon a path of progressive independence as they pursue intensive coursework and conduct laboratory exercises, complete individual assignments and group projects, work one-on-one with mentors, and complete challenging and exciting internships.

While at Sweet Briar, students in STEM begin with introductory laboratory courses that include open-ended, discovery-based modules. They then progress to working on student-designed research questions with direct faculty mentoring. STEM majors complete an independent research project, and nearly a third choose to pursue an honors thesis, which allows a student to spend three semesters pursuing independent research or scholarship.

As a small four-year liberal arts college for women, Sweet Briar stands at the forefront of women’s education, particularly in STEM fields. We are one of only two women’s colleges to offer an ABET-accredited engineering program supported by a comprehensive STEM curriculum within a liberal arts curriculum. More than 35 percent of Sweet Briar graduates receive their degree in a STEM field.