Sewanee The University of the South - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Sewanee The University of the South
"Students at Sewanee are surrounded by a rich heritage and tradition of intellectual achievement...

Sewanee The University of the South

Sewanee, Tennessee

Discover the Mountain

“A place of academic adventure rooted in Southern tradition, Sewanee challenges students to explore the world within and beyond the classroom.” The Mountain at Sewanee is much more than another pretty campus. It’s a place for adventures of the mind, body, and spirit. It’s a place where wilderness and culture intersect to provide answers. It’s a place of deep peace, where you can seek what’s true, real, and beautiful. Most of all, it’s a place of transformation and a home away from home.

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
1,631 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
48% male — 52% female
72% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
155 full-time faculty
27 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Highly residential: 92% of students live on campus. Options include coed, single-sex, and foreign language housing.

School Location

Sewanee, Tennessee; 50 miles west of Chattanooga and 90 miles southeast of Nashville.

Retention Fall 2014

88% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2014

79% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 3%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 5%
White 82%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 0%


NCAA Division III, Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.  21 varsity sports (11 men‘s, 10 women‘s), 12 club sports and 15 intramurals.

Activity/Club/Organization Types

Academic honors, activism, music (choral, instrumental),  Greek life (national), health and fitness, hobbies,  media (newspaper, yearbook), minority/ethnic, outdoors/environmental, professional interest/academic subject, performance (theater/dance), professional interest/academic subject, politics, religious/spiritual, service, student events/campus programming, student government.

Other Information

Sewanee University is a four-year liberal arts university affiliated with the Independent Episcopal Church and founded in 1857.

Academic Programs

American Studies, Anthropology, Art, Art History, Asian Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Classics, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, Economics, English, Environmental Science, European Studies, Forestry, French, Geology, German, Greek, History, International Relations, Latin, Literature, Mathematics, Medieval Studies, Music, Music History, Natural Resources Management, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Russian, Russian Studies, Spanish, Theatre Arts/Drama

More Distinctions

  • Ranked 12th among the liberal arts best buys by U.S. News & World Report.

  • Faculty rated 4th in the nation by the Princeton Review’s "The Best 345 Colleges"

  • Selected for "Kaplan’s Unofficial, Unbiased, Insider’s Guide to the 320 Most Interesting Colleges"

  • Rated among the top 35 liberal-arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News & World Report

  • Included in Jay Matthews "Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That Is Best for You"

Engaged Students

Sewanee instills a love of adventure, both physical and mental, in its students. It’s 10,000 acre campus is filled with activity and excitement, as students pursue their interests and investigate new problems…

The Challenge You’ve Been Waiting For

  • Sewanee’s First Year Program (FYP) allows new students to take an interdisciplinary seminar their first very first semester.  Designed to ease the transition to college life, FYP seminars are intended to introduce you to and involve you in building communities of learning at Sewanee both inside and outside of the classroom.  All courses are capped at 14 students, so students get to know their professor and classmates while engaging in lively discussion.  Past seminars include Good and Evil: Fairy Tales in Literature and Music; Sex and Gender Around the World: Common Issues and Diverse Perspectives; and Philosophy through Film: Jesus, Socrates, and Cowboys.
  • Sewanee students strive to expand their horizons and see the world from new perspectives.  Foreign study is a popular method; over 40% of Sewanee students study abroad in over 30 different countries. The University offers a full selection of programs that are directly affiliated with Sewanee, including some that are operated by the school’s very own language departments, in addition to programs through affiliated universities.  Some programs even offer interdisciplinary courses with a special emphasis in a Sewanee major.  England, Kenya, Japan, Senegal, Australia, and Italy are just a few of the possible destinations for your study abroad experience.
  • Sewanee’s Honor Code, a pledge to lead a life of integrity and truthfulness, provides the basis for everything on campus.  Stating simply that students will not commit acts of dishonesty, the Code creates a campus atmosphere characterized by trust and mutual respect.

Great Teaching

At Sewanee, learning is exploration. You are encouraged to think for yourself with interested professors as your guides. You’ll learn study a variety of disciplinary perspectives on their own and explore how they relate to each other…

An Interdisciplinary Worldview

  • Sewanee provides an intense curriculum filled with opportunities. The University believes that a broad education is the best preparation for life, so all students take at least 19 courses outside of their majors, including literature, language, math and natural sciences, art, and social science classes.  You’ll sharpen your communication skills through oral presentations and writing-intensive courses.  Class discussion will challenge you to think critically, and argue persuasively.  But breadth of knowledge is useless without deep, technical expertise in your field.  That’s why each student has an individually shaped, coherent plan of study in his or her field, leading up to a comprehensive exam their final year.
  • Sewanee offers a number of unique degree programs for interested students.  Chief among them are their interdisciplinary majors.  These allow you to study a subject from a wide cross-section of disciplines.  A small sample includes, American studies, Asian studies, environmentalism, French studies, and biochemistry.  If that weren’t enough, students also have the chance to design their own majors.  Past examples include wildlife conservation, integrative environmental solutions, and early modern studies.
  • Sewanee’s professors are scholars at the top of their fields, as educators and researchers. Faculty include Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellows, Rhodes Scholars, novelists and poets, former foreign service officers, United Nations consultants, ordained ministers, National Science Foundation award winners, and recorded musicians.  All of Sewanee’s professors are here for you; every semester, dozens of students conduct independent research, travel to professional conferences, and publish papers in academic journals with the help of Sewanee’s faculty.


American studies, anthropology, art, art history, Asian studies, biology, chemistry, classics, comparative literature, computer science, economics, English, environmental science, European studies, forestry, French, geology, German, Greek, history, international relations, Latin, literature, mathematics, medieval studies, music, music history, natural resources management, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religious studies, Russian, Russian studies, Spanish, theatre arts/drama.

Vibrant Communities

In a community the size of Sewanee, no one remains anonymous; everyone’s contributions are meaningful, needed, and valued…

Involvement, Leadership, and Teamwork

  • At Sewanee, getting involved is a way of life.  Sewanee plays in the highly competitive NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, fielding 21 teams in 13 sports.  There are also 27 different club sports and intramural activities, ranging from basketball and football to Tae Kwon Do and fencing.  For those who interested in calmer activities, Sewanee provides over 130 student clubs and organizations, including social, activist, professional interest, and hobby groups.  The Office of Student Activities, Office of Minority Affairs, Organization for Cross Cultural Understanding (OCCU), and other groups sponsor musical acts, comedians, speakers, and other events throughout the year. Recent guests include Jump Little Children, Jupiter Coyote, From Good Homes, David Wilcox, the Spelman Jazz Ensemble, improv troupe Second City, North Mississippi All Stars, Nickel Creek, Robert Earl Keen, and Gillian Welch.  Whatever your interests,  you’ll find plenty to do at Sewanee.
  • Interested in making 100 new friends in a single night?  Go Greek!  Nearly 70% of Sewanee students pledge to one of 19 national fraternity and sorority, providing a firm base for service, socializing, and leadership.   Despite their strong presence, there’s no division between Greek and non-Greek students.  Fraternity and sorority houses are nonresidential, so all students live together in the residence halls.  All Greek-sponsored parties and events are open to everyone on campus, regardless of pledge status.
  • A Sewanee education provides much more than just technical training; it also prepares you to make a positive impact in the world.  To encourage the connection between mind and heart, provides numerous service opportunities for the campus.  The All Saints’ Chapel and the student-run Community Service Council coordinate and supervise several service programs, including adult literacy work, AIDS awareness, alcohol education, mentoring and tutoring, staffing at homeless shelters, recycling, and providing companionship for senior citizens.

Successful Outcomes

Sewanee will give you more than just knowledge and career preparation; we also help you develop an ethical compass to guide you through all of life’s obstacles…

Finding your way

  • Sewanee provides an excellent foundation for pre-professional students.  The university’s pre-law program encourages strong oral and written communication skills, a critical understanding of societal institutions and values, and a logical approach to problem solving.  The results speak for themselves: 95% admission of pre-law grads are accepted into law school.  Pre-health professions are also extremely successful, with acceptance rates to medical, dental and veterinary rates well above the national average.
  • Sewanee graduates reap the lion’s share of post-graduate awards.  We have produced 24 Rhodes Scholars, 34 Watson Fellows, and 24 NCAA Post-graduate scholars, in addition to a number of other award-recipients.
  • Sewanee’s rigorous academics are the perfect foundation for advanced study, and graduate programs are impressed by our alumni.  70% of our students pursue post-graduate studies at institutions like Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Georgia, Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Tennessee, Stanford University, and many more.


The major employers of our graduates are:
Bank of America
Credit Suisse First Boston
Merrill Lynch
Morgan Keegan
Morgan Stanley
Smith Barney
Vanderbilt University


Admissions Fall 2014

2,977 Total Applicants
1,926 Total Admissions
466 Total Freshmen Enrollment

64.70% of applicants admitted

The following coursework is recommended for competitive applicants.

Four Years of English
Two or more years of a foreign language
Three or more years of math including algebra I and II and geometry
Two or more years of laboratory science
Two or more years of social science, including history

The following items should be included with all applications for admissions:
Completed, Two-part Application for Admission
Non-refundable $45 application fee
Merit essay (for those who are applying for a merit scholarship)
Official Transcripts of all completed high school coursework
Mid-Year grade report
Standardized Test Scores from the SAT I and/or ACT tests.
Recommendation letter to be completed by your high school guidance counselor
Recommendation letter to be completed by a teacher

Admission Application Deadline

Early Decision Plan I
Apply by November 15, notification by December 15.  Deposit due by January 15

Early Decision Plan II
Apply by January 2, notification by February 1.  Deposit due by February 15

Regular Decision Deadline February 1.


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $ 34,930
Fees $ 272
Total $ 35,202
Room and Board (on campus) $ 10,600
Room Only $ 5,500
Board Only $ 5,100
Estimated Total On Campus $ 45,802


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

78% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
35% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aid

$22,556 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid received
$5,083 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates

Sewanee was ranked 12th among the 2003 best buys for a liberal arts education in U.S. News & World Report. It is consistently ranked in other publications as well, includingMoney Magazine’s list of top higher education values. Generous support from our alumni and the university’s $200 million endowment keep Sewanee’s tuition lower than many other private liberal-arts schools‘. 

Scholarships and Awards

In addition to need-based aid, Sewanee provides the following competitive, merit-based scholarships to deserving students:

Benedict Scholars — full cost

Wilkins Scholars — half tuition regardless of need, more is awarded if need exists

Regents’ Scholars — for students of color only, half tuition regardless of need, more is awarded if need exists

Freeman Scholars — half tuition for students interested in Asian studies

President’s Awards — range from $3,000 to $6,000

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