Sewanee--University of the South

2014 Quick Stats
735 University Avenue

Sewanee, TN 37383

Phone: (931) 598-1000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Feb. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#38 Overall Score: 74 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Sewanee--University of the South is a private institution that was founded in 1857. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,478, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 13,000 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Sewanee--University of the South's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 38. Its tuition and fees are $35,756 (2013-14).

Among its many unique traditions, one that most distinguishes Sewanee students is their clothing. Unlike most other schools, wearing pajama-like clothing or jeans is not a rite of college passage at the southern Tennessee college of Sewanee—University of the South. In fact, it’s not even allowed. Sewanee students dress up for every class, a tradition meant to honor the sanctity of education. After class, students may need to change clothes if they want to explore all of the campus’ surrounding wilderness. Known as the Domain, the southern Tennessee campus has nearby opportunities to rock climb, mountain bike and cave. All students are required to live on campus unless they are granted an exception. The campus is also home to about 100 student clubs and organizations, including more than 20 very popular fraternities and sororities. The Sewanee Tigers mostly compete in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association. The football team plays on the oldest field in the South. Sewanee has 36 majors, and writing as a skill is stressed in all of them. Each summer, the school hosts the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a congregation of esteemed authors and journalists. Nearly half the student body studies abroad doing their college tenure. For shorter trips within Tennessee, the campus is a 45-minute drive from Chattanooga and 90 minutes from Nashville.

The university was founded and is still governed by dioceses of the Episcopal Church, and is the only school in the country to bear this distinction. Sewanee has a School of Theology, and is open to all faiths. Students with high GPAs are inducted into the Order of the Gownsmen and receive priority selection for dorm rooms and classes. Notable alumni of Sewanee include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham, National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez and dozens of esteemed clergymen such as former Presiding Bishops of the Episcopal Church The Most Rev. Edmond Browning and The Most Rev. John Maury Allin.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

The University of the South, known familiarly as Sewanee, offers an unmatched educational experience characterized by serious intellectual engagement between faculty and students. Relationships that begin in the classroom extend to all facets of life here, and it is not unusual for students and faculty members to work shoulder to shoulder on research projects and journal articles, to meet for dinner or coffee at a local eatery, or to serve together as members of the University orchestra or volunteer fire department. The College of Arts and Sciences at the University has graduated 26 Rhodes Scholars (a record unmatched by all but a handful of institutions), 43 Watson Fellows, and 29 NCAA Postgraduate Scholars. Sewanee's School of Theology has added to its alumni ranks countless bishops, including three of the last four presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church. The University is located atop the Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sewanee's physical environment, which includes a 13,000-acre campus, provides an outstanding place for study, reflection, and recreation--and an unparalleled outdoor laboratory for environmental and other science classes. Over its history, Sewanee has become a meeting place for some of America's most respected literary figures. It is home to the Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Review (the nation's oldest continuously published literary quarterly), and holds the copyrights to Tennessee Williams' body of work, which were left to the school by the playwright.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1857
Religious affiliation Episcopal
Academic calendar semester
Setting rural
2012 Endowment $318,951,183


When applying to Sewanee--University of the South, it's important to note the application deadline is February 1, and the early action deadline and the early decision deadline are December 1 and November 15, respectively. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due March 1. The application fee at Sewanee--University of the South is $45. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 58.8 percent and an early acceptance rate of 78.2 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity more selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 58.8%
Application deadline February 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by March 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Sewanee--University of the South is 10:1, and the school has 71.7 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Sewanee--University of the South include: Social Sciences; English Language and Literature/Letters; History; Visual and Performing Arts; and Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 87.8 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 10:1
4-year graduation rate 74%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Social Sciences 22%
English Language and Literature/Letters 13%
History 9%
Visual and Performing Arts 9%
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 8%

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Student Life

Sewanee--University of the South has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,478, with a gender distribution of 48.1 percent male students and 51.9 percent female students. At this school, 96 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 4 percent of students live off campus. Sewanee--University of the South is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 1,557
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Sewanee--University of the South offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, day care, health service, and health insurance. Sewanee--University of the South also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Sewanee--University of the South, 75 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Sewanee--University of the South.

Students who have cars on campus 75%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Sewanee--University of the South, 58.6 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $20,795.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $35,756 (2013-14)
Room and board $10,214 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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