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Washington and Lee University

Located in Lexington, Va., Washington and Lee University can trace its roots back to a classical school founded in 1749. In 1796, George Washington rescued the school from insolvency with a $20,000 endowment in stock. At the time, this was the largest gift to an educational institution in U.S. history. The same year, the school’s trustees changed the name to Washington Academy, before it became Washington College in 1813, when it chartered. Former Confederate general Robert E. Lee became president of the school after the Civil War in 1865 and remained so until his death in 1870, after which the school changed its name to Washington and Lee University. Today, Washington and Lee consists of three schools: The College, the Williams School, and the Washington and Lee School of Law. Combined, the university has more than 1,780 undergraduate students, with about 400 students enrolled in the School of Law. The school is ranked 12th among national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

Programs Offered

Washington and Lee University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1, and more than 70% of its classes have fewer than 20 students. According to U.S. News & World Report, the most popular majors at the school include business administration, accounting, economics, political science, and English language and literature. The College, Washington and Lee’s undergraduate liberal arts college, offers more than 40 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, both in-person, and online. Areas of study include art, chemistry, computer science, journalism, and more. The Williams School contains all of William and Lee’s undergraduate programs in accounting, business administration, economics, and politics. The School of Law at William and Lee offers both Juris Doctor and Master of Laws programs exclusively in-person.


Washington and Lee University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school is also accredited by the Association for Management Education International, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and the American Chemical Society. The School of Law is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is approved by the American Bar Association.


Students applying to Washington and Lee University must submit their applications by January 15 to enroll the following fall, or by November 15 for the early decision deadline. For first-year students, scores from either the SAT or ACT are due February 15. The application fee is $50. Washington and Lee is also highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 19%.

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