Sweet Briar College is a small, liberal arts women’s college located in the central Virginia village of Sweet Briar, about 12 miles north of Lynchburg. The institution was founded in 1901 on the site of the former Sweet Briar plantation, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Student living at SBC has become notable for the college’s small class sizes, individualized academic attention, a popular horseback riding program and memorable architecture. Most of the college’s on campus buildings, including student housing were designed by Ralph Adams Cram, who also designed much of the Princeton University and West Point campuses. Twenty one buildings on the Sweet Briar College campus have been designated as the “Sweet Briar College Historic District” by the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the school enrolls about 725 undergraduates and a handful of postgraduates, and students may opt to live on campus or in a college apartment in the tranquil community that surrounds the school.
SBC offers 50 undergraduate programs, and pre-professional concentrations in law, medicine and veterinary medicine. The college also confers Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Education degrees. Sweet Briar was on the the second women’s college to offer engineering degrees, and its academic programs have expanded to specialties including Molecular Biology, Arts Management, Journalism, Leadership Studies and Equine Studies. The horseback riding program, which encompasses the school’s 7 riding teams, culminates with a certificate in either equine training or management.
Student living in the village of Sweet Briar provides a unique experience, as the town inhabits fewer than 900 residents, and is dominated by the college. Consequently, only about 30 males live in Sweet Briar, according to recent demographic data, and the average age is 20.3. Off campus housing gives students both convenience and flexibility as they explore their new home, which is located just north of the city of Lynchburg and its 75,000 residents.
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