Challenging Our Top Scholars

During Orientation at Chicago, older students subjected us to tales of sleepless nights spent working through problem sets on electrodynamics and writing essays about Herodotus. I always completed my work and was able to creatively meet assignment requirements. All of the skills that helped me at Chicago I learned at SAS. ~ Andrew Hard '06

(Andrew earned his BA in Physics with Honors from the University of Chicago in 2010 and became a researcher for CERN where he studied dark matter and helped to discover the Higgs boson. In 2016, he recieved his PhD in Elementary Particle Physics from the University of Wisconsin. He is currently a software engineer for Google.)

Advanced Courses

SAS offers advanced courses in physics, chemistry, and biology as well as allowing juniors and seniors to choose from an array of English courses and history electives.

College Courses

Outstanding juniors and seniors are encouraged to take college courses for credit (and for free) at the University of the South, one of the country's top liberal arts colleges. SAS students learn to hold their own and excel in a college setting with college-aged classmates. Students learn to balance a college course workload and to communicate with college professors before getting to college. Twenty percent of the Class of 2017 will graduate with college credit.

The Value of Heterogenous Classes

One of the greatest challenges students of exceptional drive or talent face when they leave the academic world is learning to work with people who may not be as fast or as dedicated learners. Our heterogeneous classrooms encourage these students to hone the skills necessary to work in a heterogeneous world – humility and patience – and give them the skills to guide their colleagues in group work.

Varied Ability Recognized

Our small school size gives us the opportunity to recognize the special skills and needs of each of our students. Standardized tests are not used to make blanket judgments of a student's ability. An outstanding math student will be challenged to work at a higher level in that subject while also having access to academic support in English, if needed.

We ♥ Nerds

Perhaps the best news for outstanding students is that at SAS victories in the classroom are as celebrated as victories on the playing fields. Your classmates will take pride in your academic ability and achievements

Why We Don't Offer AP

At SAS, courses are designed based on the strengths, needs, and interests of our students and the qualifications and passions of our faculty. The concept of teaching to specific tests, particularly multiple choice tests, is not in keeping with the SAS educational philosophy. In fact, SAS is a founding member of the Independent Curriculum Group, a group of schools that have declared independence from standardized tests that dictate curriculum.

Rigorous courses within our own curriculum and the option for our students to take advanced courses at the University make Advanced Placement courses unnecessary. Although they do not take Advanced Placement courses, SAS students do have the option to take the AP exams and frequently score high enough to receive course credit.

Michael Rudolph '12 discovered two asteroids during observations for his university astronomy class.


Courses at the University of the South

In recent years, SAS students have received college credit for courses in the following disciplines at Sewanee:

  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • English
  • French
  • Geology
  • German
  • Greek
  • History
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Math
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Theatre
  • Women's Studies
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