Mission, Vision & Value

Our Mission

At Sarah Lawrence College our mission is to graduate world citizens who are diverse in every definition of the word, who take intellectual and creative risks, who cross disciplinary boundaries, and who are able to sustain exceptional academic discipline within a framework of humanistic values and concern for community. Our unique educational practices provide our students with the opportunity to study intensively in small classes, to engage in independent research, and to spend unparalleled amounts of time working one-on-one with an exceptional faculty of scholars and artists, creating a tailored academic program of students' own design. Our goal is to instill a lifelong intellectual curiosity and nimbleness, as well as the confidence and entrepreneurial spirit to embrace a broad range of personal, professional, and creative pursuits. We thus prepare students to think and act independently so that they will tackle the problems of, and thrive in, a complex and rapidly evolving world.

Our Value

For creative and intellectually motivated students who want to make their mark on the world, Sarah Lawrence offers a unique approach to learning and teaching designed to produce capable, confident, creative 21st century citizens with the imagination, drive, and skills to make a difference in their own and others' lives.

Sarah Lawrence's approach inculcates the entrepreneurial habits of exploration, risk-taking, and invention that graduates will need to find solutions for which no models currently exist. A Sarah Lawrence education imparts the skills—as well as the courage—to think both creatively and analytically; work both independently and collaboratively; and act with both confidence and sensitivity in a complex and ever-evolving world.


Students are able…

And as a result…

We cross disciplinary boundaries, give equal priority to the arts, sciences and humanities, and integrate theory and practice

To explore topics in a deeper and more expansive way, incorporating creative and expressive modes into their learning, and developing deeper insights into the complex connections between the subjects they are studying

Students become creative problem-solvers in the world, outside-of-the-box thinkers who approach problems in innovative and substantive ways

Students design their own course of study and choose which classes to take with guidance from their Dons

To feel more personally invested in an education they can link to their interests, experiences, and capacities. Students become independent learners.

Students graduate with the capacity to be accountable for their own development

We require that students design a personalized study project for each seminar

To more deeply explore an area that most interests them and take intellectual and creative risks

Students develop skills in envisioning an endeavor and managing their time and resources to produce results, allowing them to become practical and effective agents in the world

They become skilled at crafting and managing complex projects that produce rich results

Our model is built around small seminars, studios, and workshops

To work more intensively and interactively with their professors and fellow students; engage more deeply and personally with the material

Students become persuasive presenters, and skilled collaborators

Our model is built upon direct faculty participation with students

To have more profound and rewarding faculty interactions

Faculty enjoy a continuously challenging and changing teaching environment, and the rewards of playing a primary role in student development

Faculty put teaching and student development on equal footing with their scholarship and creative work

To study with faculty who value working with students and devote their considerable professional skills to teaching

Students have a vital personal model for intellectual inquiry and growth

Faculty teach the subjects of greatest interest to them while assuring a dynamic and varied curriculum for students

We embrace the importance of diversity in all dimensions of college life

To study with faculty who are highly engaged with their scholarly and creative work and energized by what they are teaching

To encounter peers from different backgrounds and gain the ability to work constructively with and learn from diverse colleagues

Students leave with a fresh, continuously renewable sense of the value of critical thinking and creative inquiry

Students are prepared to be engaged citizens and vital contributors in the highly mobile context of contemporary global society

Our graduate programs are embedded in, and take full advantage of, our distinctive interdisciplinary pedagogy

To pursue specialized training while enjoying broader intellectual growth

Students acquire professional skills while assimilating, if they so chose, an enriched liberal arts education

We go beyond the traditional liberal arts model of majors and minors, instead guiding students while they construct rigorous, hand-tailored interdisciplinary programs

To graduate confident in their ability to adapt to, and thrive within, a world requiring new and fluid combinations of skills

Students have the capacity to achieve success in a continuously evolving post-college environment

Our Vision

Build on our strengths to ensure Sarah Lawrence College’s leadership as a unique and influential model for 21st century education:

  • The college of choice for a diverse group of intellectually ambitious, passionate, and creative students, undergraduate and graduate, who are engaged in their communities and want to make a mark on their world.
  • Whose proud, affiliated alumni participate in a supportive network that contributes value to one another, and to their communities, locally and around the world.
  • The professional gold standard for outstanding scholars and artists who are committed to teaching, learning, and the development of their students.
  • Internationally known and admired for its unique educational approach that produces graduates whose creative problem-solving abilities and enterprising spirit make an impact that is vastly greater than their numbers.
  • Financially sustainable, with the depth of resources and professional staff to sustain its mission and expand its impact