William & Mary is unlike any other university in America. We’re the second oldest college in the nation, but also a cutting-edge research university. We’re a “Public Ivy” — one of only eight in the nation — offering a world-class education at an exceptional value.

Who We Are

The College of William & Mary in Virginia is America’s second-oldest college and the first college to become a university, having received its charter in 1693 from King William III and Queen Mary II of England. It is one of only eight U.S. institutions of higher education designated a “Public Ivy."

William & Mary has been called “the Alma Mater of a Nation” because of its close ties to America’s founding fathers. A 17-year-old George Washington received his surveyor's license through the University and would return as its first American chancellor. Thomas Jefferson received his undergraduate education here, as did presidents John Tyler and James Monroe.

Located in historic downtown Williamsburg, the 1,200-acre campus is just miles from the birthplace of American democracy in Jamestown. The University is home to over 6,000 undergraduates and offers a liberal arts education with over 40 undergraduate programs. William & Mary's 12-to-1 student-faculty ratio is the lowest among the top public universities, a factor that helps strengthen the University's traditional commitment to teaching.

Small, Smart & Historic

William & Mary is famous for out rigorous liberal arts curriculum and dedicated, engaged professors. Our students are nothing short of exceptional; they're scholars, athletes, activists, musicians, world travelers and generous volunteers. Our campus, adjoining Colonial Williamsburg, is a masterwork of preservation and innovation.

Our History

  • Chartered on February 8, 1693, by King William III and Queen Mary II of England
  • The second oldest college in America, and the first to become a university
  • Severed formal ties with Britain in 1776
  • Became state-supported in 1906 and coeducational in 1918
  • Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's first academic Greek society, was founded here in 1776
  • We also have the nation's first Honor Code

Outstanding, Diverse Students

  • From 49 states and the District of Columbia and 68 foreign countries
  • 6,301 undergraduates and 2,183 graduate students
  • 32 percent are students of color
  • 81 percent of freshmen who are ranked graduated in the top ten percent of their class (and 96 percent in the top twenty-five)
  • Mid-50th percentile on SAT: 1260-1460, higher than any other public university in Virginia
  • Earn doctorates at a higher rate than any other public university in the nation
  • Over 400 student clubs and organizations
  • Each year, 6,000 students participate in community service projects
  • More than 45 percent of students study abroad at some point in their undergraduate career, in more than 45 countries each year.

Professors Who Teach

  • 12:1 student-faculty ratio
  • 84 percent of courses have fewer than 40 students
  • 635 full-time faculty members across all undergraduate, graduate and professional programs
  • W&M has more recipients of the Commonwealth of Virginia's Outstanding Faculty Award than any other college or university


  • Programs in Arts & Sciences and our four graduate/professional schools: Business, Education, Law and Marine Science
  • More than 40 undergraduate programs and more than 20 graduate and professional degree programs
  • Degrees conferred: B.A., B.B.A., B.S., Ed.D., J.D., LL.M., M.A., M.A.C., M.B.A., M.Ed., M.P.P., M.S., Ph.D., Psy.D.

Our Alumni

  • 95,916 and counting
  • Three U.S. presidents—Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler—were educated at William & Mary (four if we include George Washington's surveyor's license).
  • Some of our graduates have included award-winning poets, the head of the FBI, NASA's chief scientist, a performer in the Blue Man Group, an international banker, a crazy number of Peace Corps volunteers and Fulbright scholars, and some dude named Jon Stewart.


  • Earl Gregg Swem Library houses more than 2 million books, journals, films and e-resources, and its Special Collections Research Center is home to rare books, manuscripts and artifacts.
  • Swem Library's Reeder Media Center boasts two innovative classrooms, a screening room, collaboration lab and eight acoustically isolating studios for media recording, production and mastering.
  • The Muscarelle Museum of Art has a permanent collection of nearly 5,000 paintings, sculptures and works on paper.
  • The Integrated Science Center (ISC) is a massive collaborative research and teaching facility for applied science, chemistry, biology and psychology undergrads, graduate students and faculty.
  • Throughout campus, W&M dining offers access to our two all-you-care-to-eat facilities, five specialty coffee houses, four convenience stores, a bake shop, a food court and national franchises.
  • The Mason School of Business is housed in Alan B. Miller Hall which provides 160,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities for instruction, student activities, faculty offices, visiting scholars and research.
  • The School of Education is in a 112,000-square-foot modern facility that brings together all of the school's programs, classrooms and offices under one roof (with room to grow).
  • Learn more about our historic and innovative campus spaces, as well as housing and dining.

Our Campuses

Williamsburg (William & Mary main campus)

  • 1,200-acres — including the Briggs Amphitheatre, Lake Matoaka and College Woods — located in historic downtown Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Sir Christopher Wren Building (1700) is the oldest university building still in use in the U.S.
  • Historic Campus section is restored to 18th-century appearance
  • Improvements to building efficiency and new LEED certified facilities mean we've expanded campus while reducing our energy use

Washington, DC (Dupont Circle)

  • A suite of offices and meeting spaces in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Building, located steps from the Dupont Circle Metro station
  • Runs four academic programs for undergrads that enable W&M students to live, study and work in Washington, DC
  • Leased housing allows students to live in safe, affordable Arlington apartments, close to Downtown Washington.
  • Provides W&M students, alumni and administrators the opportunity to connect with the 16,000+ W&M alums in the DC area

Gloucester Point (Virginia Institute of Marine Science)

  • 42-acre campus at the mouth of the York River, a major tributary and passageway to Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean
  • Chartered in 1940, VIMS is one of the leading marine research and education centers in the U.S.
  • VIMS is both an independent state agency and home to W&M's graduate School of Marine Science
  • Two satellite campuses on the Eastern Shore and Rappahannock River
  • Positioned across the York River from Yorktown, site of the decisive battle of the Revolutionary War