Washington and Lee University

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Washington and Lee University (locally referred to as W&L or more commonly Washington and Lee) is a four-year, privately owned and operated, liberal arts school located in the city of Lexington, in the state of Virginia. Although the university offers graduate degree programs in law, it is considered primarily an undergraduate education institution. The university’s 320-acre campus is situated between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, in the Shenandoah Valley.

Established in 1749 by the Presbyterians, Washington and Lee is the second oldest higher education institutions in state of Virginia and the ninth oldest in continental United States. The school in named after George Washington, one its initial contributors, and Robert E. Lee, one of the college’s first presidents.

Washington and Lee is made up of three academic schools and colleges: the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics; the School of Law; and The College. Undergraduates begin their education in The College, which offers an array of liberal arts, humanities and science courses. The Williams School of Commerce offers degrees in business, politics, accounting/finance, and economics. Students interested in earning a Master of Law or Juris Doctor will attend the School of Law. Through its three academic schools, the university offers over 1,100 courses and 42 undergraduate majors. Fields of study include science, area studies, cultural studies, gender studies, history, math, public policy, social sciences, and psychology, among others.

Total annual enrollment at Washington and Lee University is roughly 2,500, which includes 2,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate (law) students. All classes are taught by instructors/professors, as opposed to graduate students and assistants. The admission rate for entering freshman is about 18 percent and the average SAT and ACT scores are 1,415 and 31, respectively.

U.S. News and World Report has ranked Washington and Lee among the top national liberal arts colleges in America. It ranked the School of Law 26th in the nation.

General Information

Admission Office

204 West Washington Street

Lexington, VA 24450-2116

(540) 458-8710

Fax: (540) 458-8062

Contact: William Hartog

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
Main Address

204 West Washington Street

Lexington, VA 24450-2116

(540) 458-8400


Total undergrads: 1,752

First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 454

Degree-seeking undergrads: 1,749

Graduate enrollment: 403


Rural setting

Small town (2,500 – 9,999)

Residential campus

Degrees offered:
First Professional

Admissions Information

Application Fee

College has an application fee: Yes

Regular application fee: $50

Online application fee: $50
Enrollment Rates

Percent applicants admitted: 17%

Percent of students who return for sophomore year: 94%

College Majors

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, & Gender Studies

East Asian Studies B
Russian/Slavic Area Studies B

Arts, Visual & Performing

Art History/Criticism/Conservation B
Drama/Theater Arts B
Fine/Studio Arts B
Music – General B

Biological & Biomedical Sciences

Biochemistry B
Biology B

Business, Management, & Marketing

Accounting B
Business Administration/Management B

Communications & Journalism

Journalism B

Computer & Information Sciences

Computer/Information Sciences – General B


Chemical Engineering B
Engineering Physics B

English Language & Literature

English Language & Literature – General B

Foreign Language & Literature

Classics B
East Asian B
Foreign Language & Literature – General B
French B
German B
Romance Languages B
Spanish B


History – General B


Mathematics – General B

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

Medieval/Renaissance Studies B
Neuroscience B

Natural Resources & Conservation

Environmental Science B

Philosophy & Religion

Philosophy B
Religion/Religious Studies B

Physical Sciences

Chemistry B
Geology B
Physics B


Psychology – General B

Public Administration & Services

Public Policy Analysis B

Social Sciences

Anthropology B
Archaeology B
Economics B
Political Science/Government B
Sociology B

Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:

    A = Associate degree
    B = Bachelor’s degree
    C = Certificate or diploma

*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

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