I was admitted to Sewanee with a scholarship. Could y’all answer some of my questions??

  1. I am super interested in Biology/Environmental Science/ecology. Are the science programs at Sewanee good? Also, how do they set you up for attending good graduate schools?

  2. I am not a big fan of Greek/preppy culture. It seems like these have strong ties at Sewanee and I am wondering if I will be excluded/have a bad experience because of these aspects of myself.

  3. I am looking for a strong academic mindset where learning is promoted for the sake of learning. Will I find that at Sewanee? Are academics a big focus?

  4. I’m not a big party guy. What’s the party culture like at Sewanee?

Thanks so much for any help you can offer!

Hi @kohsus12! I can offer a few thoughts as a parent whose D21 is considering applying to Sewanee. So, I’ve done a lot of research and we toured in November. However, have you read all the threads here? There are some fairly recent ones that address the party culture and greek life. Also, the Sewanee website has many different ways to virtually tour right now- quite a few student panels.

First, I can’t imagine a better place to study the environment and ecology. The Domaine is vast and gorgeous. The school is very proud of all that they offer to study nature or just enjoy it as a part of life. Check out their course catalog (you can access it from their website). I was looking at it last night and I was surprised at the wide variety of courses they offer for a school of that size.

Secondly, the impression that I got when we toured was not a heavy preppy vibe- nothing like a Southern frat boy or sorority girl vibe. There was definitely a fair amount of quirkiness and any wealth was subdued- definitely present but you’d have to know what you were looking for - if that makes sense. Imagine taking a very nice summer camp and turning it into a college.

Hopefully that is helpful, but seriously if you have real specific questions- reach out to the school. They are very helpful- that is a benefit of a small school- a strong desire to help their community.

Hi @kohsus12 ! I’m a current student and can try to answer your questions sufficiently! As stated on here though, reach out to admissions! There are a lot of students offering virtual panels right now.

  1. The science programs, specifically the ones you mentioned, are excellent. There are opportunities for research beginning in your first year, which helps with grad school admission, and, depending on what kind of grad degree you’re looking to pursue, there are a few pre-professional organizations in these areas that are aimed at helping with grad school admissions. We also have a wonderful summer internship program with plenty of options in these areas.

  2. Greek life is definitely present on campus, but the percentage of students involved has been slowly decreasing over the past few semesters. We’re somewhere in the 60%-ish range right now. It’s not like a state school at all though, and it’s a relaxed presence on campus. We also have a mix of local and national Greek organizations, which is where most of the Greek culture enthusiasm comes from, but, again, it’s not like typical Greek life because of the local/national mix. There are plenty of people who choose not to associate with Greek organizations but still have friends in and out of them. There are also other options, like theme houses, that a lot of people not in Greek life hang out. There’s a Green House option geared towards sustainability and environmental science that you may be interested in. While I obviously can’t say for sure, I think you would have no problem finding a niche and not feeling excluded.

  3. Yes. Inevitably, there will be people who prefer the “work hard/play hard” mentality over the “learning for the sake of learning” mentality, but learning and academics are definitely a valued priority. And our professors are absolutely phenomenal.

  4. Party culture is definitely present. However, it’s present on every college campus, and sometimes it seems more prevalent at Sewanee because of the remote location. Like I said in #2 though, there are a lot of options outside of Greek life/party culture for social activities.

Hopefully this helped, and feel free to ask any other questions you may have!

@OriginalSmother we were there in February with my '21 and said the exact same thing - seems like a really nice summer camp as a college. Too funny.