Location: Sewanee, TN
Funding: Private University
Tuition (one year): $47,700
Popular Majors: English, Biology, Economics
Greek Life: Yes!
Acceptance Rate: 61%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit Sewanee’s website at http://admission.sewanee.edu/.
Why Choose Sewanee?
"Sewanee has something for everyone!"
"Whether you're into Greek life and having a great time, the great outdoors, or you're a book worm, Sewanee has a place for you!"
"The unofficial motto is 'Work hard, play hard,' which usually seems to incorporate everyone. We have a huge Greek system and all of our parties are open."
"We also have really strong Outreach and Outing programs! Sewanee is a perfect balance for anyone who wants to have a great time, but also be serious about their academics."
"Sewanee students and alumni alike are incredibly proud of their school for a reason! Yea Sewanee's Right!"
Tradition: "Sewanee is steeped in tradition. The Passing Hello is a great tradition that only adds to Sewanee's small-town feel!"
The Domain: "Sewanee has over 13,000 acres, lots of hiking trails, and a vibrant Outing Program."
Step-by-Step: "Sewanee is a primarily a walking or biking campus."
Liberal Arts: "Sewanee lets you explore options before declaring a major late into the Sophomore year."
Greek Life: "We're over 80% Greek, and there is an organization for everyone!"
The Gowns: "I love how all the faculty and some students where gowns to class. It's one of my favorite Sewanee tradtions."
The People: "Everyone including students, faculty, employees, and community members are incredibly friendly and interesting to talk to. Sewanee is not just a University; it's a town."
The Views: "There are so many beautiful views around campus that you can walk to. You're missing out if you don't take the time every once in a while to watch the sunset."
While Sewanee's A+ far outweight the bad ones, we do have some issues on campus:
"Parking, especially in the University's recent expansion of class size, is often difficult, but most students walk or bike to class."
"Course Registration leaves something to be desired. A new waitlist system has been put into place, which alleviates some of the issues, but it still is a Hunger Games style dash to get the most desired courses."
"According to some, the Greek scene is an area that needs improvement, since much of the student body is Greek. Your Greek affiliation, however, does not define you or your friend group."
New Collegiate On Campus
Sewanee welcomed approximately 500 students to campus this fall, and the activities began weeks before classes did. As far as pre-college events are concerned, we offer Finding Your Place (affectionately referred to as FYP) and PRE Orientation.
"FYP is a time when the accepted students who choose to participate come to the mountain during early August to become better acquainted with campus, their classmates, professors, and class setups."
"PRE is a 3-day excursion around the Domain prior to Orientation."
"As the rest of the new students arrive on campus, Orientation begins. During this time, there are several events you are expected to attend in order to again acquaint yourself with campus, find your classes, and move into your room."
"First-year students live on central campus."
"As far as getting to know upperclassmen is concerned, it is almost harder not to. Since our campus is so small, you are around (and interacting with) upperclassmen on a daily basis. The upperclassmen all understand how difficult the first year can be, and are more than willing to help you find your niche."
All About Academics
"Academics are very unique and special to Sewanee's students. It is common knowledge that your academics come before anything else, and the number of gowned students on campus prove this to be true."
"The gown is awarded to a student who, after their freshman year, has maintained a 3.4 GPA. This tradition denotes academic excellence."
"The class sizes are small, and allow you to become close to both your professors and classmates."
"During your sophomore year, you will declare a major. Popular majors on campus include English, History, Politics, and languages."
"To complete your major, you must pass your comprehensive exams, or comps. These exams vary depending on your major, as do the careers students choose to pursue."
"Advising works in a similar way. During your freshman year, you are assigned an advisor who teaches in the department you chose as your biggest interest. As you choose your major, you choose a new advisor within that department, and they will assist you in your class decisions for the rest of your time at Sewanee."
"Class registration is complicated, as every student is expected to register for classes during a specific time, which is prioritized by your class year and being a gownsmen. If you are not lucky enough to get into your first-choice class, you are put on a waitlist. Sometimes, you may have to wait to take a class until another semester."
"As far as studying is concerned, Dupont Library and Spencer Hall are popular. Spencer, the science building, has a quite open floor plan and a lot of natural light. Dupont is open until 1 a.m., but the Academic Technology Center in the library stays open 24/7 for all of your procrastination needs."
Learn from the Best
"Sewanee's professors are all extremely educated and have pursued their education (usually) to the highest level."
"Many of our professors have published books, are nationally and internationally accredited, and one of our professors is even a licensed stunt pilot."
"Our professors open their doors to us during certain times of the week - their office hours - and are entirely happy to welcome you in at other times by appointment."
"You will often find your professors enjoying lunch in McClurg, where they will be delighted to have you join them. Our professors are known for getting to know their students more personally than at other universities, and they are duly thanked for their kindness and academic merit."
Interests & Involvement
"During the fall semester, there is an activities fair that takes place in the Quad. This fair includes booths set up by all the different organizations on campus where you can meet those involved and learn how to become involved yourself."
"The most popular organizations on campus include Spectrum, Perpetual Motion, the University Choir, the University Orchestra, HOLA, AAA, SYDS, etc."
"If you have a specific interest that is not represented by an organization already in place, there is a committee that hears suggestions for new clubs and organizations that can supply you with a semesterly stipend. This process is generally simple if you have enough people interested."
"Don't be scared to start an organization that seems out of place or unpopular - people are attracted to diversity."
"A third of students are student-athletes, so there is definitely a big sports culture at Sewanee."
"We are Division 3, so we're not exactly well-known in terms of the bigger college sports programs, but our teams do really well! Especially our tennis, swimming, lacrosse, and soccer teams!"
"Football games are really fun. A lot of students show up to those. The biggest rivalry in all of football is between Sewanee and Rhodes. We also have a huge rivalry with Washington and Lee."
"Sports aren't the biggest deal at Sewanee, mainly because it's D3 and we tend to place more of an emphasis on academics. Still, a lot of people play sports, and a lot of people like to support their friends at sporting events. Nearly every weekend there's something going on!"
"Sewanee has a super active Women's Center, nicknamed The Wick. A bunch of cool girls live there and put on a lot of really awesome events - for example, one of the most talked-about events on campus this past year was the Female Orgasm event, which was basically a huge program on exactly what it sounds like."
"The thing that I've noticed that's different about being a woman here as opposed to when I'm in other places is that I feel much safer. I know no place is immune to crime, and anything could happen. But Sewanee is a very safe place, with low crime rates. I feel comfortable walking home by myself at night, or walking into parties by myself."
"Sexual assault does happen on campus, and the administration has taken steps to really start preventing those. They used to not be very good about acknowledging the epidemic, but recently they have paid a lot of attention, and as a result being a woman on campus is much safer."
"One of the funniest things about being a girl at Sewanee is how we dress. We dress up for class and dress down for going out. Sewanee has class dress tradition, which means that you have to dress up when you go to class - girls wear dresses or skirts in the summer, nice pants and boots in the winter, and boys wear coat and tie. But at night it's totally different. Most girls don't wear heels, because that's basically feet suicide - as much walking as we do! Chacos and cowboy boots are the footwear of choice. And simple dresses, or jeans and a cute top (flannel definitely falls under the definition of cute tops), funky sweaters...really, anything goes."
Food & Drink
"There's only one dining hall at Sewanee, McClurg, but it has several different options to choose from - the home line, vegan line, pizza line, pasta line, the salad line, the Wok line, and the dessert line! And Chef Rick, the head chef, is really receptive to student input, as he constantly updates the menu to accomodate student preferences."
"That's one of the fallbacks of Sewanee - the food choices. It's not like big Universities where there's tons of places to go out to dinner. You pretty much only have McClurg, the Globe (which has burritos and hamburgers), the Pub (which has "drunk food"), and Stirling's (coffee and sandwiches) on campus, and for everything else you have to go into Monteagle."
"There's not a whole lot of options when it comes to dining at Sewanee -- you have the one dining hall, a couple of restaurants that accept Flex Dollars, and only a handful of other restaurants on campus that are within walking distance."
"There is one nice restaurant in Sewanee, called Ivy Wild, and two nice restaurants in Monteagle, called High Point and Papa Ron's. That's where we go when it's parents' weekend or when we just are so desperate for something different. There's also a Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and Sonic in Monteagle, but other than that you're just stuck with McClurg."
"The Globe is awesome - it uses all local ingredients, all home-grown beef and stuff, and you can use Flex Dollars. And the Pub makes a killer Granger. There's not a lot of variety at Sewanee compared to other schools but it's really not that big of a deal, all things considered."
"The Sewanee social scene is definitely a lot different than other Universitites. We don't go out to bars and clubs, because there aren't any. We go out to the fraternity and sorority houses."
"A lot of people don't understand the social scene at Sewanee, and I was a little hesitant at first. What kind of a college town doesn't have any bars? But once you come here, you just get it. All the parties are open - meaning there's no invite lists or anything, all the doors are always open. You can go from house to house and automatically know 15 people there. Everyone goes to the same parties, and all the parties coordinate with each other so there's no overlapping and everyone gets to go to all the parties."
"Most of Sewanee is Greek, so the social life mainly centers around Greek life. There are frat parties every weekend, and a big night to go out is Tuesday. But mostly Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are big nights to go out."
"I think there's just the same amount to drink and party at Sewanee as there is anywhere else. I mean, it's college, and to be honest there's not a whole lot else to do on the weekends. Most parties involve alcohol, and most people drink, but the people that don't drink don't really feel left out."
"I felt awkward at first because I don't drink, and when I got to Sewanee it seems like that's all anyone did. Which is still kind of true, but I managed to find a group of friends who don't drink every weekend but do other things like go to Chattanooga or Nashville or play board games or watch movies and stuff, and I am happy here."
"I was definitely a little nervous at first when I found out that roommates for freshman year are decided by the University. You have to fill out a 'match.com'-ish questionairre, and hope that the ResLife people match you up with someone that is like you. And you don't find out who your roomate is until the beginning of August usually, which is nerve-wracking."
"You need to be really specific when you fill out the rooming questionairre for your freshman year roomate! The ResLife people take those answers really seriously, and they spend a lot of time making sure that you will room with someone who you will get along with. I would say like 95% of freshmen are assigned a roomate they really like. I was really lucky - the girl I got assigned to ended up turning out to be my best friend, and we have roomed together every year since!"
"Some of the dorms don't have air conditioning, which sucks, but because the Mountain is generally a good 15 degrees cooler than everywhere else, it's really not as bad as it seems."
"You live in dorms all 4 years at Sewanee, unless you opt to live in a theme house or Greek house your sophomore, junior, or senior year. All dorms are on campus, so you never have to drive to class or anything like that, which is really nice!"
"Dorm life is probably one of my favorite parts about Sewanee. Because everyone lives in such close proximity to each other, there's a really strong sense of community. And there's an unofficial open-door policy, basically nobody locks their rooms. People are always walking in and out of each others' rooms to hang out, study, chill...and because people take the Honor Code so seriously, you don't have to worry about theft or anything like that."
"Instead of RAs like you find at most Universities, Sewanee has Assistant Proctors and Proctors, who are students who live in the dorms (usually 2 APs and 1-2 Proctors, depending on the size of the dorm) who keep order. But it's so chill compared to other places - I have friends at other schools who have to have guests sign-in, who have to keep a log of when they can and can't have people over, who aren't allowed to have members of the opposite sex in their rooms - that is totally not the case at Sewanee. Sewanee treats us as adults, and gives us the responsibility and freedom to live as we please in our dorms. There are rules, like no open containers in common areas and no loud music after quiet hours, but for the most part it's super chill."
"Freshmen get the best dorms! I don't know exactly why Sewanee does that, maybe so that freshmen will have such a great residential experience their first year so they can really get acclamated to Sewanee, but as a freshman you have a really good chance of getting one of the better dorms - Humphreys, Saint Luke's, Johnson, Elliot, Hunter, Tuckaway, Canon, Smith, and Cleveland are all central campus and really considered the best dorms, and freshmen always get assigned those dorms. But there aren't any freshman-specific dorms - freshmen live with upperclassmen in the same dorms. Which is great because it doesn't create some weird divide between freshmen and upperclass!"
Hint hint - ResLife has an awesome Pinterest accounts, with lots of boards with pictures of dorms and dorm rooms! Check it out here!
"Sewanee has an incredible 13,000 acre campus, and so many resources available to help you explore it. I started doing some things with the SOP (Sewanee Outing Program), which hosts tons of events like everything from rock climbing to hiking to caving to kayaking to skydiving! You don't have to be a seasoned outdoorsman to do SOP stuff. They have all the equipment you can rent, and the SOP leaders are super nice and love teaching new people how to enjoy the outdoors!"
"Sewanee the town is super small - it's basically comprised of just the student population, professors, and retired people who live in the houses on the Domain. So in terms of shopping/nightlife/restaurants, there isn't much to offer."
"Monteagle is the town next to Sewanee, and it's a little bit bigger. It has Mountain Outfitters, which is a really cool store that offers brand name things like Patagonia, Chacos, Camelbaks, Kavus, North Face, and all that fun mountain fashion stuff. Oh and they have killer sales and student discounts. There are a few cute indie shops that cell organic soaps and stuff, and there's a Dunkin Donuts at the truck stop. But if you're looking for a town with lots of cute boutiques and awesome shopping, you have to drive down to Chattanooga or Nashville. (Bright side - you don't spend any money on clothes. Like ever.) For formals and stuff most girls just order dresses online, or raid each others' closets!"
"A lot of people are kind of turned off when they hear that Sewanee is basically a town on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere - which it is - but that's actually what the students who go here like most about it. All we have is each other, and 13,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau to play on. The sense of community is just incredible. Because there isn't 15 different bars, 20 different restaurants, and all kinds of places for people to split up and go to around town, everyone hangs out at the same few places with the same people. You form incredible friendships that way, and you learn how to survive without constantly being connected to technology! It's very refreshing."
"Okay it may suck that we don't have a lot of bars and boutiques and stuff, but that also means we don't spend tons of money on drinks and outfits. I spend around $300 a month on social things, like purchasing alcohol, going out to get pizza, etc. Friends at other schools tell me they go broke in like a month!"
HC's Complete College Guide: Sewanee: The University of the South
Do you have a way with words? Apply to write for Her Campus!