University of Mary Washington
The University of Mary Washington is home to about 4,400 undergraduate students in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This coeducational public university has three colleges—arts and sciences, business, and education—all of which feature small, highly interactive classes taught by accessible professors. UMW produces critical thinkers and lifelong learners who communicate effectively and engage meaningfully.
Located midway between two capitals—Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA—this residential university offers myriad beyond-the-classroom experiences, such as internships, research opportunities, recreation, and service-learning.
UMW’s world-ready and socially conscious graduates are attractive to employers and graduate schools.
Get to know University of Mary Washington
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Concert band
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Literary magazine
- Model UN
- Music ensembles
- Musical theatre
- Radio station
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Student-run film society
- Symphony orchestra
The Common Read, the first college reading assignment for UMW students, is also the first opportunity for freshmen to connect in meaningful academic conversations. Every incoming student reads the same book, which is carefully selected by a committee of faculty, staff, and students. As part of new student arrival in August, all first-year students join their classmates, upperclass students, faculty, and staff in an engaging discussion of the book. Throughout the year, various programs and events carry through themes emerging from the reading, ultimately concluding with and campus visit by the author themselves.
2018–2019 Common Read | Dear Evan Hansen by Steven Levenson; Soundtrack by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Dear Evan Hansen is a critically acclaimed 2015 stage musical with a very popular soundtrack that features a high school student, Evan Hansen, who has severe social anxiety and struggles to make friends. One particularly exciting event for the Class of 2022 includes a trip to New York City to see this musical on Broadway.
Other recent Common Read books include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot; Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly; and Something Must be Done About Prince Edward County, an award-winning book by UMW alum Kristen Green.
CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
UMW students can study abroad through independent or faculty-led trips for a full semester or academic year, over the summer, or during the spring and winter breaks, all while earning academic credits toward their graduation requirements. Recent trips involve scientific investigations in Panama, Bonaire, and the Galapagos Islands; cultural explorations in England, France, and Italy,; and life-changing experiences as far away as India and Australia. The Center for International Education helps students reach their desired destinations.
The Honors Program is a university-wide undergraduate program designed to offer approximately 100 highly motivated and advanced students in each class the opportunity to enhance their intellectual growth through rigorous honors-designated coursework, interdisciplinary seminars, strong internship experiences, extended research and creative projects, and community service. The program offers courses that are small in size and designed to develop the intellectual potential of students in a variety of ways. Most students entering the Honors program will do so upon admission to the university. Consideration includes high school GPA, standardized test scores, and rigor of high school curriculum.
How many undergraduate students have the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research while working side-by-side with one of their professors? That’s at least a common occurrence at UMW, which not only offers a course in how to conduct research, but also offers undergraduate research grants that provide support for research-related supplies, services, and materials costs as well as travel to professional meetings and conferences where students present the results of their research.
For students interested in the sciences, UMW offers a Summer Science Institute. This on-campus, 10-week program allows a student to work directly with faculty on a research project targeted to the student’s academic and personal interests. Students in the program are housed on campus at no cost and earn a small stipend.
“The research experience at UMW was critical in my being a competitive applicant for graduate school. I gained valuable experience doing complete research projects in my classes. Now that I am a psychologist I realize how much I took that experience for granted. Without [it]…I would have no idea how to get published or give a professional presentation. I have lived in four different states since I graduated and was surprised at the name recognition such a small school has.” – Dixie Turner, Class of 2006
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 97 | 10-19: 338 | 20-29: 357
30-39: 64 | 40-49: 18 | 50-99: 32 | 100+: 5
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 1%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 8%
White, non-Hispanic: 69%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 4%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 6%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 3%
It can be daunting to leave home and establish a new one on a college campus. And the bar is raised even higher when rigorous classes are thrown into the mix. Enter University of Mary Washington’s First-Year Experience (FYE), which is designed precisely to help students transition to college life. Entering students enrolled in the same first-year seminar even live in the same residential facility—what better way to integrate living and learning and help form strong bonds?
Each seminar, capped at 15 students, is taught by a faculty member who also serves as their students’ academic advisor for their first year. Not only does each seminar focusing on a fascinating topic—examples of which include cryptology, race and revolution, game theory, and climate change—but it also helps students develop three core skills for future success: research, writing, and speaking.
“Living around students who are taking the same class as you creates an excellent peer support network because you can easily meet together to further the discussion of the topic in the class. You can also provide advice to your peers on how you handle an issue regarding an assignment. This was certainly a positive part of my first semester here at UMW.” – First-Year UMW Student
WRITING- AND SPEAKING-INTENSIVE COURSES
Students are required to complete four writing-intensive courses and two speaking-intensive courses during their career at UMW. These courses are all designed to inspire students to become better writers and speakers through, among other things, an exposure to writing as an iterative process with editing, revision, and effective oral presentation strategies. Students complete these requirements through a variety of courses, including those related to their major.
At UMW, career and professional development is a four-year proposition. First-year students have the opportunity to enroll in the “Roadmap Program,” which involves intensive career coaching designed specifically for freshmen. Beyond the Roadmap Program, All UMW students also have many opportunities to take for-credit career development courses, including “Liberal Arts and the World of Work,” “Personal and Professional Development,” and “Life and Career after UMW.”
The University’s Career Center, located in the University Center, coordinates individual coaching on all aspects of career development, hosts a variety of programs, and brings in many recruiters seeking to hire UMW graduates.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Teacher certification program
Community involvement is a hallmark of a UMW education. Whether they build houses, live on $2 a day, or clean up the surrounding neighborhood, students at Mary Washington are imbued with a service mentality. And it starts at the top: in his recent Strategic Vision for the University of Mary Washington, President Troy Paino highlighted the school’s commitment to service and civic engagement, drawn from Mary Washington’s long history as a public liberal arts and sciences institution.
President Paino argued passionately about the institution’s ability to “provide an increasingly diverse population with the opportunity to improve their lives, their communities, and the world around them” and to equip students to “address society’s demands, to challenge injustices, and to embrace the world’s possibilities.”
UMW is currently transitioning to a full-service Center for Community Engagement, a clear sign that it is taking action to get more students involved in the local Fredericksburg community. Through this center, students can find credit-based and non-credit ways to reach out to the community through service.
Students at the University of Mary Washington become involved in myriad co-curricular opportunities both on and off campus. UMW has over 150 student organizations, from gaming clubs and political and multicultural groups to student philanthropies.
The student-run Campus Programming Board goes further to engage students with their peers by hosting movies, concerts, trivia, bingo, and more. Students also benefit from leadership development through the Student Government Association, Class Council, Multicultural Leadership Council, and other organizations.
Traditions thrive at UMW, marking the student experience through events like Eagle Gathering (the candlelight ceremony to welcome new students) and the Grad Ball for seniors.
The University of Mary Washington is located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, about an hour’s drive from both Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia. This unique location offers students opportunities in the big cities that are close to campus.
The University of Mary Washington Eagles, proudly wearing blue and gray, are Division III members of the Capital Athletic Conference. There are 23 varsity teams, including lacrosse, riding, field hockey, softball, baseball, basketball, track and field, cross country, swimming, golf, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. UMW has team sports in rowing and rugby. UMW student-athletes regularly advance to both conference and NCAA postseason competitions.
In addition, the UMW Campus Recreation Department boasts 21 sports clubs, intramural teams, and group fitness classes as well as an outdoor recreation program that offers hiking, rock climbing, and other adventures in Fredericksburg and throughout the region.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 86%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
Special housing for disabled students
Special housing for international students
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
All UMW students fulfill an experiential learning requirement, which can take the form of an internship, individualized learning experience, or research project. Some majors, like psychology, even support an experiential project with a community-engagement-focused capstone. Many science students complete a research project alongside faculty, while others satisfy this requirement through independent research or the creation of original work.
Six months after graduation, more than 92% of the UMW graduates are employed, attending graduate school, or engaged in a program of service (e.g. the Peace Corps). Common destinations for the University’s liberal arts and sciences graduates include such fields as information technology, health care, government, education, and the nonprofit sector. And while most find high-quality jobs in the competitive D.C.-Maryland-Virginia market, many plant themselves throughout the country and around the globe.
“[UMW] helped me craft my future career plan bit by bit over my four years. Now, I am very happily working at a nonprofit that works with universities across the globe (including UMW!) to analyze data provided by students to help enrich their own experiences on campus.” – William Hurley, Class of 2014
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA | Standardized test scores
Class rank | Application Essay | Recommendation(s)
Interview | Extracurricular activities | Talent/ability | Character/personal qualities
First generation | Alumni/ae relation | Geographical residence | State residency
Racial/ethnic status | Volunteer work | Work experience | Level of applicant’s interest
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 550 | 75th Percentile: 650
25th Percentile: 530 | 75th Percentile: 610
25th Percentile: 22 | 75th Percentile: 27
25th Percentile: 21 | 75th Percentile: 28
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 26
Tuition & Cost
Tuition (in-state): $6,032
Tuition (out-of-state): $21,278
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