The University of the South offers a challenging program in the liberal arts. Emphasizing the mastery of fundamental disciplines, the academic life of the College of Arts and Sciences develops the intellect and character of its students to prepare them for lives of service, achievement, and personal fulfillment in a rapidly changing world. While growth in competencies and knowledge extends throughout every student's four-year career, with the aim of initiating Sewanee graduates to a life of independent learning, first- and second-year students begin much of their studies focused on a general learning program meant to guide their curricular choices and to encourage them to become broadly educated. Combining this broad, foundational training with deeper exploration of selected disciplines in subsequent years of study, a Sewanee aims to develop in all graduates the ability to
- Communicate effectively in writing.
- Read critically and interpret literary works in English.
- Use the methods of the physical or life sciences to examine the natural world.
- Understand the nature of mathematical inquiry.
- Create, perform, or analyze works of visual or performing art.
- Think analytically about the past using the sources and methods of historical inquiry.
- Understand concepts and methods of studying human behavior, culture, and society.
- Use a foreign or classical language to apprehend another cultural world.
- Examine philosophical texts or religious texts and practices.
The distribution requirements that students must complete before senior year aim to develop these nine academic competencies and, in addition, two required non-credit courses in physical education recognize the importance of fitness and physical health in the development of the whole person.
The academic year is officially defined as Advent and Easter semesters. For those who enroll in summer school, the academic credit is associated with the preceding terms as part of the same academic year.