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4 College Sophomore

Academics: Your education at SLC is what you make it. Professors are great, they want to help and you learn a lot if you work hard and are invested in your education.

5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics at SLC are incredible. You have to be very self-motivated, and if you're not you'll basically just flounder and leave with nothing to offer, but if you're looking to truly learn as much as you can about a variety of topics that you couldn't study anywhere else, this is the place. Professors, with only a few exceptions, are incredibly passionate and dedicated. Almost all classes are small seminars. There is a lecture requirement, but even lectures are typically only around 50 students and include biweekly smaller group meetings with the professor. For seminars, you complete a conference project for each course, which involves meeting with the professor every other week and developing an intensive research project related to the course but incorporating other interests. This typically culminates in a big research paper, but I've also seen projects range from an interpretive dance about plants to the design of a full anti-bullying course for elementary schoolers. Long story short, you really get to know and develop relationships with professors, and can explore pretty much anything you want to academically.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: The professors are amazing. They really want to talk to you and make sure you get what you need out of your classes.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: The academics here are amazing. Each professor is dedicated to your learning. It all depends on whether or not you can handle a non traditional style of learning. We only take 3 classes a semester, unless you're a third, but these 3 classes require a lot, yet manageable, of work. Each class is a concentration in that field, except most sciences, so you're taking "English 101" you're taking "Latin American Literature in the 20th Century".

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: My major, writing, is pretty common. Being at Sarah Lawrence every class is pretty writing intensive. But the writing classes definitely challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and learn who you are as a writer.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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What’s vital to understanding SLC academics is its emphasis on the individual. With a small student-to-teacher ratio and no teaching assistants, seminars are all about you. Classes consist of roundtable discussions in which speaking your mind is practically mandatory. Professors will push you to your intellectual limit—and then they’ll push you some more. For this reason, skipping readings or homework assignments can be disastrous. While the grading system is flexible at SLC, your professors will write candid, detailed evaluations of your performance each semester, and they’ll come down hard on you if you’ve been slacking. And while a professor may become your friend, the opposite scenario does occur: SLC students and faculty tend to be eccentric characters, and the intimacy of the seminar system can lead to personality clashes.

Class registration is a week-long rush of paperwork and nail-biting stress as students scramble to interview professors of prospective classes. Freshmen may feel ill-equipped to compete for a class against juniors or seniors. The best advice is to come to each interview with a few specific questions, relax (deep breaths!), and just be yourself. Everyone has an equal opportunity to get into the desired course—you just have to sell yourself and your interest. The faculty thrives on a love of learning just as much as the students and seeks to actively shape its undergraduates as individual thinkers in a rewarding give-and-take atmosphere. Professors look for hardworking students to place on their priority lists, but ultimately it’s up to the computer in the registrar’s office. Professors range from well-published old-timers to teachers fresh out of graduate school. Yet, what truly unites the faculty is an overall approachability, a love of learning, and high standards for the students.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Transfer-Out Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 93%
  • 20 to 49 students: 6%
  • 50 or more students: 1%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Creative and Performing Arts
  • History and the Social Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Science and Mathematics
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Creative Writing: 8%
  • Genetic Counseling/Counselor: 3%
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: 34%
  • Public Health Education: 2%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Humanities
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Double major
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Best Places to Study
  • Heimbold Visual Arts Center
  • Library
  • MacCracken study lounge
  • North Lawn
Tips to Succeed
  • Ace the class interview process by going to as many interviews as possible, taking copious notes, asking honest questions, and, most importantly, being yourself!
  • Ask questions in class, even if it means slowing down the discussion.
  • Check your email every day, and always read the daily announcements.
  • Discuss your ambitions-professors like it when students have an all-or-nothing approach to their work.
  • Never miss a class without notifying the professor beforehand.
  • No matter how sick, tired, hungover, or otherwise preoccupied you are, never, ever, ever, ever, ever miss a conference with a professor.
Did You Know?
  • Grades? What grades? Chances are, you'll never see a number or letter grade for the work you do in class. Instead, you'll receive detailed written evaluations which underline what you did right and suggest what you need to improve. But at the end of each semester, professors do assign you a letter grade for the sake of records. You can find out what it is at the Registrar's Office in Westlands.
  • During the registration period, you interview professors whose classes you're interested in taking. In each interview, you and the professor exchange questions. The catch? You decide if this course is right for you, and the professor decides if you're right for his or her course.
  • Have an idea for a project but can't find a course to accommodate it? Juniors and seniors can apply for the independent study program, which replaces one course (five credits) on your semester schedule. In an independent study, you work with one or more professors on a project that interests you-whether it is researching Long Island tadpoles, writing your first novella, building an installation piece from retired boat sails, or putting together a chapbook of romantic poetry. This is strictly an opportunity for self-motivated students; while you will set your own schedule, deadlines, and standards, the amount of credit you will receive is still up to your professors.
  • Undergraduate students interested in childhood education may take graduate classes in the Art of Teaching program during their senior year. Good academic standing, requisite courses, and field experiences are required to begin this program. If accepted, you will then be able to finish graduate requirements for a master of science in education degree after one additional year and a summer of study.
  • Why is the average course load three rather than the typical four? At SLC, long-term projects and in-depth research require free time and space between classes. Students are encouraged to take a maximum of three courses per semester, equaling 15 credits.
  • Students must take coursework in three of the four areas: Creative and Performing Arts, History and the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Natural Sciences/Mathematics.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 31 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 16 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 16 responses

  • 50% This was my dream school.
  • 44% This was one of my top choices.
  • 6% This was a school I settled for (safety school).
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