4.5 out of 5 Stars
Low student to professor ratio
Generally supportive, non-competitive environmentDowners
No entrepreneurial spirit
Overshadowed by big state schools and Ivy league schoolsComments
Go to William and Mary for a small college, liberal arts experience. Don't go here if you want have a crazy college experience.Would You Recommend
there are 7 GER categories that total to about 36-40 of your 120 credits required to graduate. They are in the areas of math, biological/natural science, social science, history inside and outside of the western and european tradition, cross cultural perspectives, literature, performing/fine arts,
Major requirements are from 33-40 credits
excellent advising resources, consistently small class sizes, accessible professors, excellent research opportunities and study abroad office/opportunities
academics are competitive but not the point where you feel inferior or like you are constantly competing with other students, you are mostly competing with yourself
grading is fair more often then not, you usually get a grade relative to how much work you put in
faculty is absolutely amazing
workload is manageableQuality of Life
house is great on and off campus
cost of living is expensive in the dorms
house and dining facilities are fine
library is excellent
the neighborhood is great but quiet
community relations are average
crime is low and safety is ensured
overall happiness is greatAdmissions
early decision an regular decision
unique application with an extra supplement that lets the student showcase their creativity
average financial aid options and scarce scholarship opportunitiesLevel
Liberal arts education, requiring general education in seven different sectors, with over 30 different majors. Class sizes are routinely under 30, with professors that are absolutely passionate about teaching undergraduates while still being committed to cutting-edge research.Admissions
Supplemental essay to the Common Application, optional supplemental "project," optional interviews, early decision, merit-based and need-based scholarships.Level
General Education Requirements must be fulfilled in seven different areas from natural sciences to philosophical/social thought to creative and performing arts.
Class sizes are only large in introductory courses where GER's are generally being fulfilled.
Profs are extremely accessible and there are many research opportunities in all subjects if that is what you're passionate about.
People generally aren't inter-competitive, but strive for excellence.
Grades are not inflated and in any given year of about 1,5000 less than a handful have 4.0's. Professors make you work for your grade, but the learning experience is worthwhile.
The faculty are exceptional most of the time. Most all classes are taught with professors with terminating degrees, and only labs are taught by TA's, although overseen with a faculty member.
The school encourages all students to study abroad and there is a lot of funding available for this.Quality of Life
Housing, in my opinion, is too expensive, and there are not a lot of single rooms available. About 80% of students live on campus.
Dining services is good and there are plenty of options each day, whether you are vegetarian or adhere to certain religious practices.
Williamsburg can be a bit of an oppressive town towards its college students, however I like the size, and although the school is public, it has a very private feel.
I would say there is very low crime on campus, while safety is stressed. Very safe feel.
The students are generally very happy, although there are students who often complain about the school. I argue that they are unhappy because they have not found their niche or taken advantage of the opportunities given them.Admissions
Comman Application. I'm an international student who is covered with scholarships from back home so I don't know much about financial aid or scholarship opportunities.Level
W&M gives their students an education centered around a liberal arts education - so no matter what major you're in you will definitely get a well-rounded education and experience many different subjects. We do have a reputation for being academically intense, and I can't say anything to change that reputation - except that school is only as difficult as you make it. We have a very accessible administration here, who are always willing to help alleviate stress, whether it be academic or personal. The workload is typically pretty big, but I have never found it to be overwhelming. I've found that I have received a very challenging and extremely rewarding education here. I wouldn't change it for anything in the world!Quality of Life
The only reason that I gave "overall quality of life" at W&M a 9 out 10 is because we aren't located in the middle of a city like New York. Yes, Williamsburg is sort of boring. But, the people aren't! William and Mary is one big family, and there is always something to do here on any given weekend. Facilities are generally pretty good, dining is so-so, safety is fabulous (the one pro to being in a small city!), and of course sometimes people are unhappy (is there anywhere where everyone is happy?) but the overall quality of the school is really defined by the people in it, and everyone here, from the faculty to the freshmen, are extraordinarily great people.Admissions
The admissions process is just about the same as any other admissions process. I came in as a transfer student and found the application to be very similar to everywhere I had applied as an undergrad! They do use the common application, which was convenient. They also ask for an "optional" essay, but everyone I know that was accepted here completed that essay!Level
Common Application with an optional supplement, Financial Aid and Scholarship opportunities availableLevel
7 different General Education Requirements in various departments, 30% of students double major, all students must take freshman seminar (capped at 15 students, intimate discussion-based class on variety of topics in every department), 120 credits to graduate overall, workload is tough but definitely doable if you manage your time well, professors all hold office hours and are very accessible by email, TAs do not teach classes (only assist professors), average class size is 30-35 students, all freshmen assigned advisor based on interests they seleQuality of Life
Housing is pretty good, lots of options but the housing lottery can leave some students out in the cold till the summer. If they're patient though they will get a spot...Residence Life has never had a year where they were unable to reinstate everyone. Cost of living is appropriate, although with tuition increases it can feel a bit steep. Classroom facilities are in good condition and clean for the most part and there's a lot of renovating and new construction going on around campus to make things even better. the library is ranked 8th best in the nation and is truly remarkable. I have never been disappointed by its services or its offerings. Dining is pretty good for college food, some of the best I tasted when looking at schools. The neighborhood is actually a lot of fun although you need a car to fully enjoy all of it...the bus is free but just doesn't cut it sometimes. Living next to Colonial Williamsburg is a unique experience that makes the College different from every other school in the country, and students try to take advantage of it. Crime is very low in Williamsburg and the campus is covered by three police departments, one of which only covers campus. We also have a blue-light phone system. Students are generally happy...we work hard but we play hard too. It's all about time management.Admissions
Common application w/supplement, optional submission = "show and tell by proxy and with an attitude," one required letter of recommendation, optional fine arts submission, optional summer interview, essay = "tell us something interesting about yourself"
Early decision and regular, early decision is binding, no early action
All students automatically considered for all merit-based aid, school does best (in my opinion) to meet demonstrated financial needLevel
general education requirements (1/3 of classes)
major degree requirements (1/3 of classes)
classes of interest (or a possible second major or minor) (1/3 of classes)
academic advising is readily available
class sizes average between 25-35
professors are highly accessible
students receive research opportunities beginning their freshman year
student are less competitive and more willing to help and support one another in and out of the classroom
workload is manageable
study abroad opportunities are available as well as scholarships to fund them. the plan is to boost participation to 100%Admissions
regular decision, Common Application and supplemental essay questionsLevel
General requirements in 7 subject areas, majors each have specific requirements, academic advisors per major, class size around 30 on average often times smaller, discussion based classes, fair grading, prestigious faculty, many study abroad opportunities, heavy but manageable workloadQuality of Life
75% of students live on campus, many housing options, many facilities and resources for student use, great library and smaller departmental libraries, 3 dining halls, safe location, happy students, great communityAdmissions
Essays, interview, Common Application, Early Decision, scholarship opportunitiesLevel
Academics are extremely stimulating here. They can be difficult and challenging but very rewarding. You can learn so much at this institution but it requires putting in a great deal of effort and work. We have 7 General Education Requirement categories (but you have to take approximately 11 classes plus a lab to fulfill them) which help give you the liberal arts education. However within those you get to pick and choose the classes that are right for you within each discipline. Courses taken to fulfill the requirements vary for each student. Degree requirements are laid out in your course catalogue as well as online and faculty also know the requirements and are willing to go through them with you. You have to have an academic major faculty advisor which puts you on a one to one basis with a professor in the department which is useful. Some departments assign you your advisor where other departments allow you to approach professors yourself and ask them to advise you. There is a lot of opportunity for undergraduate research with professors starting freshman year so you don't have to wait to be an upperclassman or until graduate student to get involved in research projects or independent studies. Class sizes are very comfortable and professors make a diligent effort to learn names, no matter what size the class. Average class size is between 20-40 students. Most of mine are 30 kids and that is a very comfortable size and the professors still give you individual attention. Professors are EXTREMELY accessible outside of class and they all have to hold office hours so you can go and talk to them if you need to. They really want you to succeed and will do what they can to help you in that process. Also, ALL classes are taught BY professors. The only time a TA will be in charge is if it is a discussion section or lab which supplements a class. The professors here are AMAZING and do so much more than research. They get involved on campus and in the community and really enjoy getting to know students and working with them. Many faculties also have department get-togethers whether they are dinners or movie nights and many students have had dinner at a professor's house or at a local restaurant at least once in their college career.Quality of Life
Amazing. The balance of academics and extracurriculars is extremely doable. You have to live on campus your freshman year but if you really want to it is very possible to live on campus all four years. Not everyone can live on campus because we don't have enough space. Within dorms we have great senses of community and a policy of self-determination which allows students to decided their own rules (to an extent) within their residence hall. Our library is FANTASTIC and off campus dining can be expensive because we live in a tourist area but it is delicious. We have free access to everything in Colonial Williamsburg with our student IDs which is pretty cool, especially if you like history. Again, things can get expensive off campus because we are right next to Colonial Williamsburg but there is so much that goes on and is provided on campus that you don't need that much money to get by.
Our campus is very safe. If there ever is an incident we hear about it from the administration. We have security lights with the big red emergency buttons and we also have Campus escort that will give you a ride from place to place between the hours of 9pm and 1 am on weekdays and until 2 am on weekends as well as Steer Clear that will drive you to/pick you up from anywhere within 5 miles of campus (especially good if you are intoxicated) on the weekends until 3am.
I am extremely happy, as is a lot of the student body. Yes, things can get stressful but we have amazing resources (like a counseling center and the Dean of Student's Office) to help you if things become too much.Admissions
William and Mary uses the Common Application process but also offers an optional, supplemental portion of the application. Their rule of thumb is give them anything that will fit on an eight and a half by eleven piece of paper. Some people interpret this as an additional essay but for others it can mean so much more. I have heard of people doing everything from making collages to decorating shoes and beyond. I think it provides a nice opportunity for kids to step out the box so the school can get more of a flavor of who they are.
We have regular and early decision (which is binding). WM is pretty good about need based financial aid but there is hardly any scholarship money and virtually none for out of state students. There is a lot of research funding once you are in the school but paying for school is mostly up to you. In state tuition is a steal for an institution of this caliber, out of state, even though it is expensive, is still less than some of the other institutions out there. But William and Mary is state funded to money can be tight in the school too.Level