She holds a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA, a Master of Arts in English and a Ph.D. in American Studies from The College of William and Mary. She received her B.A. from Liberty University. She has been a member of the English faculty at William and Mary since 1993.
She is the author of The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, a guide to reading the great books published by W. W. Norton (2003); a four-volume world history series for children, The Story of the World, published by Peace Hill Press; an elementary writing curriculum (Writing With Ease) and a pre-rhetoric program (Writing With Skill); and the first three volumes of an ongoing world history series for W. W. Norton. She co-authored, with her mother, Jessie Wise, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, published by W. W. Norton in 1999 and revised and updated it in 2004 and 2009. This text established Bauer as a central figure in the modern classical education and home education movements.
Susan Wise Bauer is also a contributing editor for the journal Books & Culture. Her essays on literature and American religion have been cited by such diverse authors as Randall Balmer  and Jennifer Harris, and have also appeared in a number of anthologies.
She learned Latin at age 10 and also studied Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Korean. Her works have been translated and published in Korea by Theory & Praxis and Goldenbough/Minums; in the Netherlands by Uitgeverij Mozaiek (Zoetermeer); in Spain by Paidos; in China by Peking University Press; in Indonesia by Elex Media Komputindo; in Russia by AST Publishing Group; and in Bulgaria by Prozorets.
Her literary agent is Michael Carlisle of Inkwell Literary Management.
- Bauer, Susan Wise (1999/2005/2009). The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home. W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-06708-8.
- Bauer, Susan Wise (2003). The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-05094-7.
- Bauer, Susan Wise (2007). The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome. W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-05974-8.
- Bauer, Susan Wise (2010). The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade. W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-05975-5.
- Bauer, Susan Wise (2013). The History of the Renaissance World: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople. W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-05976-2.
- "City Journal" (The Manhattan Institute), Summer 2000; "Homeschooling for Dummies," by Jennifer Kaufeld (John Wiley, 2001), p. 129; "Wisdom and Eloquence," by Robert Littlejohn and Charles Evans (Crossway Books, 2006), p. ; "Homeschooling 101: The Essential Handbook," by Mark and Christine Field (Broadman & Holman, 2007), p. 28; "The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling," by Debra Bell (Thomas Nelson, 2000), p. 148.
- "Protestantism in America," by Randall Balmer (Columbia University Press, 2002), p. 163
- "The Oprah Phenomenon," ed. Jennifer Harris (University of Kentucky Press, 2007), p. 195.
- "Wonderful Words of Life: Hymns in American Protestant History and Theology," ed. Richard J. Mouw and Mark A. Noll (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004), pp. 205-233; "The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing," by Leland Ryken (Shaw, rev. and exp. ed., 2002), p. 229-312; "Racism: Current Controversies," ed. Mary E. Williams (Greenhaven Press/The Gale Group, 2004), pp. 146-155); "The Best Christian Writing 2000," ed. John Wilson (HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), pp. 46-59.
- Olasky, Marvin. "Writers on Writing. Part two: Writing with children". WORLD Magazine. July 3, 2010: 57, 59.