Washington and Lee University, located in Lexington, Virginia, was founded in 1749. The school was originally known as Augusta Academy, but has its name changed in 1776 to Liberty Hall, later Liberty Hall Academy, in response to the revolutionary fervor that had become part of the American identity. In 1796 the school was given $20,000 dollars in stocks as an endowment from President George Washington, preventing the school's closure. The school was renamed Washington Academy, later Washington College, in appreciation of the endowment. In 1865 General Robert E. Lee became president of the institution, and remained so until his death five years later. The school was then renamed to Washington and Lee University.
W&L has two separate schools for academic programs, with the College focusing on the liberal arts and humanities and the Ernest Williams II School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics covering fields within the scope of the school. In total there are 41 academic programs available to graduates, though all freshman students begin their education at the College. Students may throughout their four years take elective courses offered at both schools. The law school provides juris doctor and master of law degrees through its programs.
Programs offered include:
Admissions and Financial Aid
Students interested in enrollment must submit an application along with all pertinent transcripts and test scores as well as two teacher recommendations and one counselor recommendation. The submitted application will be reviewed and students notified if they have been admitted into the school.
Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, work study programs and scholarships. Students in need of financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it along with their most recent tax information in order to determine eligibility and awards. Scholarships may be awarded by the school, through federal programs, or by private scholarship granting committees and organizations.
Admission Requirements & Details
The admissions information below may provide a better idea of the students Washington and Lee accepts. The details may include admissions application requirements and recommendations, as well as any AP credits that may be transferred.
College Credits Accepted
- Dual Credits
- AP Course Credits
Washington and Lee University has a total student population of about 2,200, with undergraduate students making up about 85% of the total student population and graduate students making up the rest.
Estimated Costs & Financial Aid
The items listed below are for informational purposes only and may not represent current tuition, fees, and expenses.
Tuition & Fees Information
- Tuition is estimated to be around $50,000 per year for in-state and nonresident students
- Part time students pay in the range of $1,600 to $1,900 per unit
Financial Aid Details
The financial aid table below details the types of financial aid, along with the percent of students receiving aid, and on average the amount of aid per student per year.
|Percent of Students||Average Amount|
|Any Financial Aid||63%||-|
|Receiving Grants & Scholarships||55%||$39,931|
|Receiving Student Loans||22%||$7,283|
Academics & Student Services
Student ServicesTo help students and recent graduates, Washington and Lee University may offer services to students including:
- Counseling assistance
Washington and Lee University has a very high graduation rate when compared to other similar schools in the area.
|Number of Year to Graduate||Percent of Entering Class|
|Students Graduating in 4 Years||86%|
|Graduating in 5 Years||3%|
|Graduating in 6 Years||1%|
Specialized Programs & Accreditations
- Teacher Education (Bachelor's) Program
- * Accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee (since 2012)
- Law Program
- * Accredited by the American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (since 1923)
Washington and Lee University is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports being in the NCAA Division III (with football) classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:
- Baseball (Old Dominion Athletic Conference)
- Basketball (Old Dominion Athletic Conference)
- Field Hockey
- Football (Old Dominion Athletic Conference)
- Track and Field, Indoor
- Track and Field, Outdoor
- Track and Field, X-Country
The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.
Get more information about the programs offered by Washington and Lee University by clicking the request information to the right.
(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Business and Marketing Studies
Communications and Journalism
Computer and Information Sciences
English Language and Literature
Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies
Foreign Languages and Literature
Legal Professions and Studies
Mathematics and Statistics
Natural Resources and Conservation
Philosophy and Religious Studies
Visual and Performing Arts
Other 4-Year Private Colleges
The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to Washington and Lee University.
- Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA (4 miles away)
- Longwood University in Farmville, VA (67 miles away)
- Concord University in Athens, WV (90 miles away)
- University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA (113 miles away)
- Fairmont State University in Fairmont, WV (123 miles away)
See a list of all the colleges and universities by clicking on one of the links below:
- Browse through our complete list of colleges in Virginia
- See all private colleges in Virginia
- Find other great liberal arts colleges in Virginia
Information displayed on this page has been obtained from Institution, State, and Federal data sources, including the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Survey 2010-2016. Information should be solely used for informational purposes only and may not be accurate for the current year. Contact Washington and Lee University for official up-to-date information.