Students of the Sarah Lawrence Program participate in two intensive academic tutorials during each term. Tutorials in Oxford are structured similarly to conferences within the Sarah Lawrence system, in that they are unique opportunities for students to work one-on-one with experts in students' field of study. Sarah Lawrence students are therefore well prepared for the rigors of the tutorial system. However, it is important to note that tutorials are not conferences. Conferences lead to the production of a single project defined by the student. Tutorials require students to choose a broadly defined course, and to study a separate topic within it, and produce a paper, each week. Through concentrated reading and writing, students of the Sarah Lawrence Program are able to engage in a selected course of study that both takes advantage of Oxford's wealth of academic resources and furthers the interdisciplinary aspects of a Sarah Lawrence education.
Before beginning their time at Oxford, Sarah Lawrence Program students work with the program director to select a course of study that will allow them to further their academic goals and interests. Many of the tutors who teach with the program are familiar with the specifics of the Sarah Lawrence approach, and are engaged with the particular demands of a liberal arts education as pursued through the Oxford system. Tutors work with each student to produce a course of study that relates closely to the student’s interests and maintains a breadth of perspective and the highest intellectual standards. The courses will be comparable to those offered to Oxford undergraduates, and tutors will suggest ways in which the student’s learning might be enhanced by attending lectures or visiting relevant sites of interest. Students studying British history c.300-1087, might, for instance, find themselves attending a lecture on Viking invasions, viewing the Alfred jewel in the Ashmolean, and writing a paper on the ideological construction of Englishness.
The tutorial system provides a home for American students within the rich Oxford tradition. By combining the personalized approach of a liberal arts education with the resources of Oxford, the Sarah Lawrence Program offers a one-of-a-kind experience to its students.