Academics

Location
Williamsburg, VA
Undergrads
6,097
Tuition (in-state)
$37,344 ($13,570)
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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5 College Senior

Academics: Hardworking school with hard classes and excellent professors.

4 College Senior

Academics: English and History majors have endless utility and professors are challenging.

5 College Senior

Academics: I think that the academic opportunities at this school are great. I always see plenty of good class options.

4 College Senior

Academics: Being a history major can be a lot of work but it is worth it! The classes are great!

5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Rigorous curriculum. Tough but helpful and caring teachers. Quality education you can't get anywhere else. Encourages students to do and learn for themselves. Plenty of opportunities.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 4th
    Smartest Professors
  • 20th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 108th
    Most Caring Professors
  • 110th
    Best Course Variety
  • 244th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Gabriela Rivera-Morales
Hometown
Vienna, VA
Major
English
Grad Year
2012
View all previous student authors

Though William & Mary tends to get a lot of flack for being academically demanding and difficult, students have nothing but praise for its committed professors, relatively small class sizes, and diverse opportunities regarding academic majors. Depending on the type of class (introductory-level courses tend to attract many students), class size can vary, though most classes tend to accommodate about 30 students. Professors also tend to become very involved with their students and provide various means of easy communication between teacher and student. Though, unfortunately, there are some professors that are relatively cut-and-dry, most professors that students encounter are very knowledgeable and passionate, which makes for an inspiring and positive classroom experience at William & Mary. In this same vein, the small class sizes make group work and collaborating with fellow students exceedingly possible. 

While most students ascertain that some majors are less demanding than others, all students agree that William & Mary is very demanding academically, and that regardless of the class, it is important to understand how to allot enough time toward each subject. The workload has been described as "enormous", and the grading has been heralded as somewhat severe, but as long as you put forth the work and communicate with a professor when you have difficulty with the curriculum, your grades should reflect the effort made. Also, through the career center and well-rounded and experienced professors, students can get well acquainted with internships and programs that help lead them into the workforce. With dedicated professors, small class sizes, and top-ranked academic programs, William & Mary academics are essential to success, even if the workload and hard grading can become overwhelming at times.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
12:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
616
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
184
Total FT Faculty
666
Faculty with Terminal Degree
93%
Average Faculty Salary
$90,452
Full-Time Retention Rate
96%
Part-Time Retention Rate
100%
Transfer-Out Rate
8%
Graduation Rate
90%
Programs/Majors Offered
41
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 47%
  • 20 to 49 students: 45%
  • 50 or more students: 8%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Education
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 8%
  • History, General: 3%
  • Law: 4%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 3%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Computer literacy
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Joint degree program with University of St. Andrews
  • Student-designed major
Best Places to Study
  • The Daily Grind
  • Miller Hall
  • Sadler Center terrace
  • Sunken Gardens
  • Swem Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Don't freak out if you don't get the classes you planned on during registration-no one does, and you may end up loving or majoring in a subject you never intended to take.
  • Don't stress out-find ways to balance out the tough academic workload with relaxing activities.
  • Don't take a huge course load-classes here are very demanding, and 14-15 credits is plenty.
  • Don't write papers the night before they're due.
  • Find a special place to study-whether it's your room, that corner of Swem, or the patch of grass under a tree. Find a place where you can concentrate and get work done.
  • Find an extracurricular niche, and explore the campus and its numerous opportunities. Classes are important, but they aren't everything.
  • Go to all of your classes every day and actually pay attention.
  • Go to your professor's office hours and ask for help.
  • Use the Writing Resource Center (WRC).
Did You Know?
  • At the time of its foundation, the College was contained in just one building-the Wren Building. Today, the Wren Building is the oldest building in America that is still in continual use on a college campus.
  • William & Mary contributed to the education of three U.S. presidents: Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler.
  • William & Mary is the birthplace of the national Phi Beta Kappa honor society. William & Mary had the first honor code in the United States.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 47 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 11 responses

  • 31% Jon Stewart - "The Daily Show" host, comedian
  • 22% Thomas Jefferson
  • 11% Glenn Close - actress
  • 8% John Tyler - member of Virginia House of Delegates
  • 8% Mike Tomlin - NFL head coach, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 6% George Washington
  • 6% James Monroe
  • 3% Perry Ellis - fashion designer
  • 3% Bill Lawrence - TV writer
  • 3% B.W. Webb- NFL cornerback, Dallas Cowboys

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 44 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

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