Washington and Lee University

Lexington, VA

Get to know Washington and Lee University

School Profile

College Town campus setting

1,861 undergraduate students

374 graduate students

504 first-year students

Students hail from 44 U.S. states and 26 countries


17% applicants admitted 

12% first-generation college students

Middle 50% SAT: 1430-1510

Middle 50% ACT: 32-35

View this page for class profile details


37 majors and 41 minors

Student-to-faculty ratio 8:1

Average class size is 15

Introduction to Washington and Lee University

Think freely, creatively, and humanely. That’s the crux of the academic mission at Washington and Lee University. W&L will empower you to own your unique perspective. Enjoy the flexibility in the majors and minors you choose to pursue, and be surprised by the connections you’ll draw between subjects. W&L includes an undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences and the only fully-accredited business school among the nation’s top-tier liberal arts colleges, Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics, as well as a graduate school of law. Undergraduate applicants simply apply to W&L for admission to all undergraduate programs.

Students can pursue undergraduate degrees in Engineering, including specialization tracks in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, or Geology. Notable interdisciplinary programs explore the intersections of the arts, sciences, business, and law through a multitude of perspectives. Programs include Africana Studies; Data Science; Entrepreneurship; Ethics; Law, Justice and Society; Poverty Studies; Southern Race Relations, Culture and Politics; and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. A four-week Spring Term at the conclusion of the academic year allows students to take a single, immersive course, providing unique opportunities for experiential learning, research, and travel domestically and abroad.

You’ll have multiple opportunities to deepen your knowledge through research with a professor or expand your worldview while studying abroad. As a W&L student, you’ll seek out the big problems and learn to analyze them from all sides, with an eye toward real-world applications and solutions.

 Conduct yourself with honor, integrity, and civility. The W&L community thrives under an honor system that will impact your life every day in small but significant ways. You’ll be trusted to take exams and complete assignments on your schedule, pledging that your work is your own. Treat every individual and idea you encounter with an open mind, endeavoring to understand a perspective informed by experiences as unique as yours.

Prepare for lifelong learning and personal achievement. Liberal arts students learn ways of thinking that are more important than memorizing discrete facts or theories. How you analyze a problem, draw conclusions, test your hypothesis, and communicate your findings are skills you can and will use continuously as you progress in your career. Keep in mind, given the rate of technological evolution, the job title you may hold someday may be in a role or industry that simply doesn’t exist today. W&L will help you acquire the skills to be a natural investigator and problem-solver so that you can seize the opportunity in the challenges the evolving world will present. 

Practice responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship. Washington and Lee University seeks to understand its place in an increasingly global and diverse society. They examine the past and use it to inform their future plans. They invest in resources and support services that allow their students to thrive. They actively seek to increase access to their distinctive education for students and families underrepresented in higher education today. W&L endeavors to make its education affordable to every admitted student through financial aid that does not include loans. They care about sustainability and relationships with the town of Lexington and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia they call home. They take care of each other, and that extends to their 28,000 alumni who — in addition to embodying W&L's mission as business leaders, policymakers, healthcare providers, educators, artists, and everything in between — are eager to be mentors to the newest members of the W&L community.

Learn more about W&L. W&L hopes you’ll take the time while researching the amazing QuestBridge Partner Colleges to find the places that will challenge you, support you, and propel you forward to the career you desire and deserve.

If you want to know more about W&L, you can DIVE deeper by applying to W&L's fly-in program or by contacting their campus QuestBridge Admissions Coordinator.

Fun Fact: W&L’s special four-week Spring Term allows students to participate in a single immersive course exploring a topic of diverse interest. For example, recent classes have taken students to Paris to relive the excitement of expatriate African American authors like Josephine Baker and Richard Wright. Other classes have had students examining flowing lava on the big island of Hawaii, tracking buffalo migration in the American West, and studying the culture of Japan through anime in Tokyo. The goal of the Spring Term is for students to proclaim: “This course changed my life,” which is to say that many students find their true passion in these deeply engaging courses.

In 2023, a W&L graduate received a Rhodes Scholarship. With three winners in the last eight years, W&L is the only liberal arts college with more than one winner in the past decade. W&L has been named a “Top-Producer” of Fulbright Scholars for five years running. Students receive professional support if they plan to apply for fellowships or research opportunities.

93 %

of graduates are employed or in graduate school six months after graduation. 

Explore Washington and Lee University through photos

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