Fast Facts

UMW at a Glance:

In addition to rigorous academics and small, highly interactive classes, the University of Mary Washington offers a supportive campus community that values and instills honor and integrity. Our civically, socially, and intellectually engaged community produces graduates who are articulate critical thinkers who have the confidence to explore challenges as opportunities.

Type of Institution

The University of Mary Washington is a coeducational, public institution that offers graduate and undergraduate degrees. In addition to its primary location in the heart of historic Fredericksburg, UMW has two other campuses – one in Stafford, which caters to working professionals, and another in Dahlgren, which offers graduate science and engineering programs. There are three colleges – arts and sciences, business, and education – all of which produce graduates who are critical thinkers prepared to succeed. UMW also recently developed a Center for Economic Development, which connects faculty and students with regional initiatives and businesses seeking their assistance.


Founded in 1908 and named for the mother of our country’s founding father, the University of Mary Washington has built a rich history of traditions and academic excellence. The institution has evolved from its beginnings as Fredericksburg’s State Normal and Industrial School for Women to one of the nation’s premier, selective public liberal arts and sciences universities today.

From 1944 to 1972, Mary Washington functioned as the women’s college of the University of Virginia. Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary academic organization, established a Mary Washington chapter in 1971. Shortly after Mary Washington became coed in the early 1970s, it was reorganized as an independent college. Having added a limited number of graduate and professional programs beyond the central undergraduate curriculum, and having established more than one campus, the General Assembly of Virginia in 2004 renamed the institution University of Mary Washington.

The university continued to evolve with the creation of two new colleges in the summer of 2010, when the College of Business and the College of Education joined the College of Arts and Sciences in fulfilling the University’s mission of providing rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs.


The university is within an hour’s drive of both Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va., providing students with unique internships, research excursions, or recreational opportunities. Students also can head west to see Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, or east to visit the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. In addition, the City of Fredericksburg offers an exciting mix of history, culture, and recreational activities.

Student Body

There are approximately 4,000 undergraduate students enrolled at the Fredericksburg campus from 40 states and many foreign countries. About 20 percent identify themselves as members of a minority group. About 60 percent of students live on campus in one of 17 residence halls or campus apartments.

More than 1,000 students are enrolled in degree completion and graduate programs and other credit-bearing courses, primarily at the Stafford Campus.


Students at Mary Washington learn from master teachers, about 90 percent of whom have earned a doctorate or other terminal degree in their field. The university has no graduate teaching assistants. Since 2006, UMW has had six faculty members receive Fulbright Awards to teach abroad.

Class Size

The average undergraduate class size is 22 students. Upper-level classes are smaller, typically with about 15 students.

Academic Programs

UMW provides a strong undergraduate education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences with more than 40 majors and programs of study. Students may double-major or design their own interdisciplinary majors. Many students also conduct independent research, hold internships, and study abroad.

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Liberal Studies, Master of Science in Elementary Education, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Science in Geospatial Analysis

The First-Year Experience

The UMW First-Year Experience focuses on providing incoming Mary Washington students the resources and support needed to successfully transition to college. The program provides special events and activities to help students excel academically, make friends, adjust to college life, and balance their academic and social schedules. The year-long experience promotes connections through intentional programming and academic resources.

Study Abroad

About 300 University of Mary Washington students, faculty, and staff studied abroad last year on either year-long, semester, or summer programs. The university offers 20 of its own faculty-led programs and 90 exchange or direct-enroll opportunities with universities abroad in a variety of locations.

Information Resources

The University of Mary Washington offers technically advanced access to the world of information, both for rigorous scholarship and for the life of the mind beyond formal research and learning. Its two primary libraries (one each on the Fredericksburg and Stafford campuses) offer sophisticated traditional collections across the range of academic disciplines, while also providing guided gateways to myriad on-line resources. The university’s technical infrastructure, featuring high-capacity networking throughout and wireless network access in all academic buildings (plus many residence hall “common” areas), brings the range of resources to each person’s fingertips.

Student Life

There are more than 100 student clubs and organizations oriented around academic themes, the arts, sports and recreation, student government, cultural diversity, and other interests.

Retention Rates

The most recent graduation rate for UMW students is 74 percent.

Intercollegiate and Recreational Athletics

UMW’s 22 teams for men and women compete in the NCAA Division III Capital Athletic Conference (CAC), with impressive results. The Eagles have captured the CAC All-Sports Award – given to the overall best athletics program – 12 times. Nearly 250 Eagles have been named to All-American teams. The University also offers 17 club sports and outstanding facilities for sports and recreation, including an indoor tennis center and a new gymnasium/convocation hall, The Anderson Center.

The Fredericksburg campus also boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center.

School Colors

The school’s colors are gray and blue.


For the 2014-15 academic year, undergraduate tuition and fees for Virginia residents total $10,252; for non-residents, $23,538. Room and board for all undergraduates is $9,500.

Each year, UMW administers more than $32 million in financial assistance, including educational loans totaling $19 million, for students at both the Fredericksburg and Stafford campuses.

The cost of graduate school for in-state residents is $473 per credit hour.