William & Mary
William & Mary was founded in 1693 by King William III and Queen Mary II of England. It is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. William and Mary is a remarkable institution that has been at the forefront of American higher education for over three centuries. The university is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum and excellent graduate programs in business, law, education, and public policy. William and Mary is a top-ranked university that has produced numerous accomplished alumni, including three U.S. presidents, Nobel laureates, and many other distinguished individuals. The university has a strong commitment to research and scholarship, and its faculty are internationally recognized experts in a wide range of fields. William and Mary is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, which comprises the top research universities in North America.
The College of William & Mary is a public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. William & Mary boasts a historic campus setting. The campus is situated in a beautiful, small-town setting, which adds to its charm and appeal. The Sir Christopher Wren Building at William & Mary is the oldest college building still standing in the United States. The Wren Building was constructed between 1695 and 1700, before Williamsburg was founded, when the capital of the colony of Virginia was still located at Jamestown. Along with The Brafferton and the President’s House, the Wren Building is the soul of William & Mary’s colonial campus.
Student Cohort Size
William & Mary has a diverse student body of around 8,600 undergraduate and graduate students, who come from all 50 states and over 70 countries. 44% of students are male and 56% of students are female. 60% of students are Virginia residents and 40% are out-of-state. William & Mary has 4% international students.
Four-Year Completion Rate
The graduation rate is among the most important factors when selecting a college. William & Mary’s first-year retention rate is 95%. This means that 95% of first-year students continue their education for their sophomore year and beyond. The 4-year graduation rate is 87%. This implies that 87% of students were able to graduate after 4 years. The 6-year graduation rate is 91%. This implies that 91% of students were able to graduate after 6 years. The extra semesters or years you take to graduate increases the cost of your degree.
William & Mary’s is one of the few top public universities with a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. This portrays W&M’s traditional commitment to teaching. Eighty-five percent of William & Mary’s classes have fewer than 40 students and nearly half of the classes have fewer than 20 students.
William & Mary has an acceptance rate of 33%. William & Mary received more than 17, 500 applications and enrolled 1,643 students. The in-state admission rate was 42% and the out-of-state admission rate was 28%.
The students admitted to William & Mary have an average high school GPA of more than 3.9. 77% of admitted students are top 10% of their high school class.
Types of Admission
The students can apply through the Early Decision and Regular Decision cycle. Early Decision I and Early Decision II is an opportunity for students to show that William & Mary is their number one choice. Early Decision is a binding process, implying that the students should attend William & Mary if accepted. In 2023, William & Mary received 1,460 Early Decision applications and admitted 664 students.
The students also have the option to apply through the Regular Decision process. Regular Decision may be right for you if you need more time to get your application ready. Many more students apply for Regular Decision than Early Decision.
Complete the Common Application
High School Transcript: Submit the transcript and include the senior year grades. The Midyear School Report form should be submitted to the admission office with an updated transcript as soon as first-semester grades are available.
Secondary School Report Form
Counselor Letter of Recommendation
The following components are optional but highly recommended:
A Teacher Evaluation Form: This form will include a teacher’s letter of recommendation.
On-Campus Interview: Interviews are offered in the summer for rising seniors. 20% of the applicants got an opportunity to have an interview.
Standardized Test Scores: The test scores are completely optional. 34% of the class of 2026 applied test-optional. The average SAT score for the class of 2026 was more than 1380. The average ACT score for the class of 2026 was more than 32.
Essay: Optional: Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful? We know nobody fits neatly into 500 words or less, but you can provide us with some suggestions of the type of person you are. Anything goes! Inspire us, impress us, or just make us laugh. Think of this optional opportunity as show and tell by proxy and with an attitude (650 words).
William & Mary offers a challenging, engaging, and inspiring curriculum for students. The students can also make several interdisciplinary choices to achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals.
Undergraduate Program: The students enrolled in the undergraduate program at William & Mary engage themselves across departments and programs. They can take a variety of courses from neuroscience to Elizabethan poetry to algorithms. The students can choose from programs in Arts & Sciences as well as majors in the Raymond A. Mason School of Business and the William & Mary School of Education, or design their own major. Some other interdisciplinary majors include Global Studies, Environment & Sustainability, Film & Media Studies, and Africana Studies.
Most Popular Majors
Political Science and Government
Liberal Arts and Humanities
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching
St Andrews Joint Degree Majors
Classical Studies, Ancient History & Archaeology, BA (International Honours) and Classical Studies, Greek & Latin, BA (International Honours): Classical Studies majors in the joint degree programs is the integration of the breadth offered by William & Mary liberal arts education and the depth offered from a St Andrews degree. The departments have complementary strengths in ancient languages, ancient history, and archaeology. In combination, students are able to craft a flexible program that allows them to investigate the cultures of the Mediterranean world in great depth, from the Bronze Age through the Late Antiquity.
Economics: The students taking economics majors get the opportunity to plan their studies under the two departments. The Economics Department at St Andrews has particular strengths in the areas of dynamic macroeconomics, finance, household economics, climate change, and competition and innovation. St Andrews also supports two research centers – the Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis and the Centre for Research in Industry, Enterprise, Finance, and the Firm. On the other hand, The Department of Economics at William & Mary has particular strengths in the area of health, experimental, and international economics. In addition, William & Mary economics faculty are active members of The Schroeder Center for Health Policy, the Program in Public Policy, and the Reves Center for International Studies.
English: The Joint Degree Programme offers an International Honours B.A. degree in English. This degree provides distinctive opportunities for the development of writing skills, increased sensitivity to language, awareness of the aesthetic and intellectual enjoyments of literature, and an understanding of the cultural values reflected in literature.
Film Studies: The Joint Degree program offers an International Honours B.A. in Film Studies. The students get an in-depth knowledge of the theoretical approaches that can be applied to film. They also learn about the history of various national cinema movements and the international film industry.
History: The Joint Degree program offers an International Honours B.A. in History. St. Andrews focuses on the study of medieval and early modern Europe, the history of Scotland, England, the British Empire, and Middle Eastern studies. William & Mary focuses on the history of early America, and nineteenth and twentieth-century America and Europe. The program also focuses on early Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The students get the advantage of learning the curriculum in different styles. William & Mary’s courses are lecture and discussion based and the courses at St Andrews are seminar-based honours courses.
International Relations: The Joint Degree program offers an International Honours B.A. in International Relations. During the study of International Relations, students master theoretical approaches to the study of world politics through a range of disciplines in politics, economics, and history. The students get a diverse experience through the two universities. William & Mary has a scientific approach, while St Andrews has a philosophical approach to the program. Some of the topics include international security, world trade and finance, environmental politics, human rights, terrorism, regional and ethnic conflict, and the impact of globalization.
Pre-Professional Programs: Many professional programs require post-graduate study. The students need to complete a set of required coursework at the undergraduate level to achieve their professional goals. The students at William & Mary would be able to complete their required coursework along with the subjects they are passionate about under the guidance of an advisor. For instance, a student who is an English major at the undergraduate level can take the required pre-med courses to achieve their goal. The students have the option of preparing for the following Pre-Professional Programs:
Cost of Attendance
In-State Direct Costs
Total Direct Costs $39,072
In-State Indirect Costs
Books and Supplies $1,080
Total Estimated Costs $42,512
Out-of-State Direct Costs
Total Direct Costs $63,443
Out-of-State Indirect Costs
Books and Supplies $1,080
Total Indirect Costs $3,686
Total Estimated Costs $67,129
Fraternity & Sorority Life: William & Mary is considered the “Birthplace of the American College Fraternity”. Five students at William and Mary founded Phi Beta Kappa, the first organization to call itself a fraternity in 1776. This tradition of fraternities and sororities is still strong in the campus community and they remain committed to similar principles and values, such as scholarship, service, brotherhood/sisterhood, and leadership.
Clubs & Organizations: William & Mary students have a choice of more than 450 campus clubs and organizations. The diverse range of clubs & organizations allow the students to explore leadership and community engagement in a supportive environment.
Public Ivy: William & Mary is one of only eight U.S. universities designated a “Public Ivy.” A public Ivy is a state-assisted institution that offers a superior education at a cost far below that of Ivy League schools.
Harvard may have opened first, but William & Mary was already planned. Original 1619 plans for W&M called for a campus at Henrico. William & Mary is the only American institution of higher education to receive its charter from the Crown under the Seal of the Privy Council in 1693. It was known as “their majesties” Royal College of William & Mary.
Overall, William and Mary is a highly respected institution of higher education, known for its academic excellence, historic significance, and strong sense of community. The university’s beautiful campus, steeped in history, adds to its unique character and appeal. William & Mary’s faculty are among the best in the world. William and Mary remains a vital institution in the 21st century with a focus on academic excellence, innovation, and service. William & Mary is shaping the future of education and society for generations to come.
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