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William & Mary

PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, USA

William & Mary award
William & Mary award
US ranking
position: 113
Tuition & fees per year: $23,970
Acceptance rate: 37.00%
Median alumni salary: $45,090
Avg. SAT and ACT: 1440 SAT, 33 ACT
Entrance difficulty: Very hard

What is the history of William & Mary?

Established in 1693 by King William III and Queen Mary II of England, William & Mary is the second-oldest higher education institution in the United States, following Harvard University. Initially known as the College of William and Mary in Virginia, it was created as a universal place of study, primarily for the clergy and the sons of affluent planters in the Virginia Colony. The college's first permanent structure, the Wren Building, was completed in 1700 and remains the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States.

Throughout the colonial era, William & Mary was a hub of intellectual and political activity in Virginia. Many of its alumni, including Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler, played significant roles in the American Revolution. The college also contributed to the formation of the United States Constitution, with several of its graduates serving as delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

The 19th century was a challenging period for William & Mary, marked by financial struggles that led to its closure on several occasions. However, the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a revival, largely due to the efforts of its president, Lyon G. Tyler, son of President John Tyler. The college's fortunes further improved after World War II, when it participated in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, providing training for naval officers. This period also saw a significant expansion in terms of infrastructure and academic programs.

Today, William & Mary is recognized for its robust liberal arts curriculum and dedication to research and scholarship. It offers a diverse range of academic programs, including undergraduate majors in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate programs in business, education, law, and public policy. The college also prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, demonstrated by initiatives such as the installation of solar panels on campus buildings and the establishment of a campus-wide composting program.

The history of William & Mary is a rich tapestry woven over more than three centuries of American history. From its modest beginnings as a colonial college to its current standing as a leading research university, William & Mary has significantly influenced the intellectual and political fabric of the United States. Its alumni have emerged as leaders in various fields, and the college continues to be a beacon of innovation and excellence in higher education.

What are the faculties and departments at William & Mary?

William & Mary, a liberal arts research university, offers a broad spectrum of faculties and departments. The university is composed of four schools: Arts & Sciences, the Raymond A. Mason School of Business, the School of Education, and the William & Mary Law School.

The Arts & Sciences school is the largest academic division on the campus, encompassing over 40 undergraduate departments and interdisciplinary programs, as well as 11 graduate programs. This school provides a liberal arts education, fostering an environment where faculty and students delve into both ancient and contemporary questions.

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business serves as a professional training hub and an introductory platform to the business world for undergraduates. The school provides guidance from highly-ranked faculty, allowing students to design an Individual Program of Study (IPS) and explore diverse career paths based on their interests, strengths, and future goals. The school also offers several specialized master's programs, which are delivered both in-person and online.

The School of Education is dedicated to preparing transformative leaders for a rapidly evolving world and academic landscape. It offers undergraduate teacher preparation and advanced degrees in various areas such as curriculum and instruction, counseling, school psychology, and educational leadership.

The William & Mary Law School is home to the Center for Legal and Court Technology, which is recognized as the most technologically advanced educational trial and appellate courtroom worldwide. The school also hosts several innovative research centers and institutes, including the Institute of Bill of Rights Law, a nationally recognized think tank on constitutional law.

In addition to these schools, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is a significant part of William & Mary. It accommodates graduate students from the School of Marine Science and collaborates with the Arts & Sciences school to offer a minor for undergraduates with an interest in marine science.

What is the location of William & Mary?

William & Mary is situated in the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, a location that is strategically positioned midway between Richmond and Norfolk on interstate 64. This southern city is known for its rich history and modern, collegiate atmosphere, making it an ideal environment for students. The campus of William & Mary is nestled next to Colonial Williamsburg, a part of the Historic Triangle that also includes Jamestown and Yorktown.

The area around the university is a popular route for student joggers, particularly along the Duke of Gloucester Street. This proximity to historical sites and a vibrant student life adds to the appeal of the university's location.

What is the mission and vision of William & Mary?

William & Mary, a public research university, has been rooted in the liberal arts and sciences since its establishment in 1693. The institution's mission is to be a leading university, fostering lifelong learning, generating new knowledge, and broadening understanding through close mentoring and collaboration. The university's goal is to nurture creative thinkers, ethical leaders, and compassionate global citizens, preparing them for lives of significance and distinction. It seeks to bring together great minds and hearts to address the most urgent needs of our time.

The vision of William & Mary extends beyond its mission, emphasizing the university's commitment to blurring the lines between research and teaching, teaching and learning, and learning and living. This vision underscores the university's dedication to understanding and changing the world through collaboration and inclusivity.

The core values of William & Mary are belonging, curiosity, excellence, flourishing, integrity, respect, and service. These values mirror the university's commitment to building a dynamic and inclusive community that encourages lifelong learning and personal development.

In essence, the mission, vision, and values of William & Mary demonstrate the university's commitment to delivering a high-quality education that equips students for success in their personal and professional lives. The university's dedication to inclusivity, collaboration, and lifelong learning ensures that students are provided with the necessary skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on the world.

What is the accreditation of William & Mary?

The College of William & Mary in Virginia has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This accreditation allows the institution to confer a variety of degrees, including baccalaureate, master's, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees.

In addition to the overall institutional accreditation, several individual schools within the College of William & Mary have also been recognized by various accrediting bodies. For instance, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has accredited the business programs, while the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the American Bar Association (ABA) have accredited the education and law programs respectively.

Moreover, the School of Education at the College of William & Mary has received accreditation from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

In summary, the College of William & Mary holds numerous accreditations from a range of reputable organizations. This demonstrates the institution's commitment to providing high-quality education across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Prospective students can be assured of the academic rigor and quality of the programs offered at the College of William & Mary.

William & Mary Rankings

See where this school lands in our other Rankings to get a bigger picture of the institution's offerings.

28 Most Affordable Colleges in 2023-2024

29 Best Colleges in the South in 2023-2024 US

31 Best Public Colleges in 2023-2024

41 Most Popular Colleges in the South in 2023-2024 US

113 Best Colleges in 2023-2024

130 Best Value Colleges in the South in 2023-2024 US

130 Most Popular Colleges in 2023-2024

356 Best Value Colleges in 2023-2024


William & Mary Profile - Basic Information

Name of the institution

William & Mary

Level of institution

Four or more years

Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)


School type


Setting type

Suburb: Small

Calendar system


Foundation year


Institution size category

5,000 - 9,999

Main student body


Institutional Category

Degree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above

William & Mary Programs and Degrees

iconMaster's degree
iconBachelor's degree
iconPostbaccalaureate certificate
iconPost-master's certificate
iconDoctor's degree - research/scholarship
iconDoctor's degree - professional practice
iconOther degree
iconCertificate of at least 2 years, but less than 4 years
iconAssociate's degree
iconCertificate of less than 1 year
iconCertificate of at least 1 year, but less than 2 years
iconDoctor's degree - other

Alumni Salary for William & Mary Degrees


Avg. salary

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies


Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services


Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services


English Language and Literature/Letters


Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics




Mathematics and Statistics


Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies


Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology


Physical Sciences




Public Administration and Social Service Professions


Social Sciences