Preface- I have mentioned a few times that I’ve been trying to get perspectives on different colleges that I did not have the opportunity to visit. The following is written by a friend of mine who visited Sarah Lawrence:
Getting to Sarah Lawrence from Manhattan was pretty easy. I took a half hour train ride to Bronxville, a small New York suburb, and a taxi from the train station to the campus, which is in the actual town. Sarah Lawrence has a fairly small but very pretty campus. The buildings are mostly traditional with only one or two more modern buildings. While it is small, I did not feel as though the campuses were crowded. In fact, it feels very spacious when you’re actually there.
This liberal arts college is recognized as being a creative school, having a very strong writing program in particular. The teachers have a high reputation; the Princeton Review gave Sarah Lawrence the distinction of having the number one faculty in the country this year. What is probably the school’s distinguishing characteristic, however, is its unique curriculum setup. There are no majors. Instead, the school encourages students to examine a variety of academic and artistic topics. There are four major areas of study: math/science, humanities, literature, and the arts. Students are required to take courses in three of these areas but may take courses in all four if they choose.
Each student takes three courses each year. The classes are small and almost all seminar style. Apart from classes, students meet with the professor of each class every week to create a project relating to the course. Classes emphasize real world application and interdisciplinary education.
This unique setup makes Sarah Lawrence incredibly appealing to some but not ideal for others. As someone who is highly interested in theater and creative writing, the school’s emphasis on creativity and a strong writing program seems a good fit for me. However, someone who wants to major in the math or science area might not be as pleased. Similarly, its unique feature of not using majors won’t be a good fit for someone who wants to focus on one area of study. Sarah Lawrence is very liberal, with most of its students coming from coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles. It offers a rigorous education and would be a great school for anyone who is creative and wants to explore a variety of topics in college.