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University of Mary Washington

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Innovative, Interactive Liberal Arts Education at UMW

The University of Mary Washington appears in our ranking of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South.

Ranked the U.S. News & World Report’s 64th best regional value, the University of Mary Washington is a public, coeducational COPLAC member in Fredericksburg that grants 42 bachelor’s and five master’s degrees, including three online, at a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. For example, the BS in Biology plots a 120-credit, four-year sequence under Dr. Lynn Lewis where undergrads can conduct Rappahannock River research, earn the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship, take the Pre-Health Track, join Tri-Beta, and visit the Galapagos Islands. Since 1981, the 120-credit BA in Historic Preservation headed by Dr. Christine Henry has offered opportunities to intern with the Virginia Historical Society, contribute to the Pope-Leighey House Project, and access the Digital Archiving Lab.

Online on Canvas, the College of Arts & Sciences delivers a Nursing (BSN) Program led by Dr. Janet Atarthi-Dugan where already registered nurses complete 30-60 credits of CCNE-accredited courses like Genomics and Patient Safety Management in as little as 12 months with 88.6 percent retention. Chaired by Dr. Lynne Richardson, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) develops a 36-credit, 1.5-year curriculum online or in Stafford for attaining leadership positions at Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics, JPMorgan Chase, Intuit, and more.

Other Mary Washington degrees include the BA in Political Science, BA in Latin, BS in Computer Science, BA in Philosophy, BS in Mathematics, BA in Studio Art, BA in American Studies, MS in Geospatial Analysis, and MEd in Gifted Education.

About the University of Mary Washington

The University of Mary Washington originated on March 14, 1908, when Governor Claude Swanson signed legislation to create the Fredericksburg Teachers College for women. In 1938, it was renamed to honor George Washington’s mother Mary Ball. In 1944, President Morgan Combs made it the female division of the University of Virginia. In 1971, Mary Washington launched a prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society chapter. The next year, the Virginia General Assembly gave Mary Washington independence and coeducational status. During President William Anderson’s 1990s tenure, Mary Washington started master’s programs. On March 19, 2004, the University of Mary Washington name was adopted. In 2007, UMW had its first academic hall certified by the Green Building Council. In 2009, UMW notably won third place at the National Debate Tournament. In 2010, the University of Mary Washington added a College of Business.

Endowed for $48.0 million, the University of Mary Washington now employs 386 faculty teaching 4,808 Eagles from 34 states and 38 nations online, at the 176-acre Fredericksburg headquarters, or on the Stafford campus with 150+ clubs like Feminists United. In 2019, UMW won the Capital Athletic Conference’s Richard C. Cook All-Sports Award. In 2017, Mary Washington accepted an NSF Science, Engineering & Education Innovation Grant. The State Department named UMW a 2018 Top Fulbright Scholar Producer too. Forbes named the University of Mary Washington 205th overall with the 64th top public education. On Niche, UMW boasts America’s 121st best history degrees, 226th top English program, and 333rd best location. Washington Monthly ranked Mary Washington the 21st best master’s institution. WalletHub noticed UMW for the 156th safest campus and 222nd top education outcomes.

University of Mary Washington Accreditation Details

On March 1, 2019, the University of Mary Washington satisfactorily submitted its Fifth-Year Interim Report to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to continue the Level III accreditation through 2024 under the 10th president, Dr. Troy Paino, who received the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award of Excellence. Located 583 miles down Interstate 85 in Decatur, this big 11-state Blue Ridge Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Education Department and State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The Academic Affairs Office also lists the following current accreditations:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training
  • Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission

University of Mary Washington Application Requirements

Enrollment at the University of Mary Washington is classified “very selective” by Peterson’s though 4,393 of the 5,977 Fall 2018 applicants were okayed for 73 percent acceptance. First-year Eagles are a diverse, well-rounded group of high school and GED graduates chosen holistically. The Class of 2022 achieved an average secondary GPA of 3.66. The middle 50th percentile had SAT scores of 1100-1280. Mid-range admitted ACT scores were 23-29. The Honors Program requires a minimum 3.2 GPA and 1350 SAT score. Virginia Community College System transfers are guaranteed admission with GPAs above 3.25. The Bachelor of Liberal Studies requires 30+ accredited college credits and GPAs of 2.5 or higher. Online Nursing (BSN) Program entrants need passing NCLEX-RN scores and active state licensure. Graduate degrees only consider four-year bachelor’s completers with 3.0 GPAs in the last 60 credits. M.Ed. cohorts are reserved for current K-12 teachers seeking certification endorsements. Online MBA students must verify two years of relevant work experience.

The University of Mary Washington has freshman deadlines of November 1st for Early Decision, November 15th for Early Action, and February 1st for Regular Decision. Transfers can file until April 1st for Fall, October 15th for Spring, or March 1st for Summer. Master of Business Administration students should file before August 1st, November 15th, or April 1st. The MS in Geospatial Analysis closes on March 1st. Master of Education cohorts are welcome until April 15th, September 15th, and February 15th. Accordingly, complete the UMW or Common Application online for $50. Mail official transcripts to 1301 College Avenue in Fredericksburg, VA 22401. Forward standardized test reports to SAT/GRE code 5398 or ACT code 4414. Add attachments, such as the ZeeMee profile, counselor recommendation, teacher evaluation, signed Early Decision Agreement, essay, and resume. Contact (540) 654-1000 or admit@umw.edu with questions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, the University of Mary Washington is charging full-time Virginia undergrads $8,678 annually. Non-resident bachelor’s tuition is $25,104 each year. Auxiliary fees of $4,532 are mandatory. Living at the Fredericksburg campus’ dorms like Arrington Hall adds $7,382 for yearly housing. Standard meal plans for the Eagle’s Nest are $4,118 extra. UMW budgets $1,200 for books, $,1460 for personal expenses, and $1,739 for transport. Annual undergrad attendance equals $29,169 in-state and $46,000 out-of-state. Nontraditional adult education courses are $335 to $1,016 per credit. Graduate tuition typically bills Virginians $482 and non-residents $1,022 per credit. The MS in Geospatial Analysis requires a $100 lab equipment fee.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid on Lee Hall’s 2nd Floor connects 66 percent of full-time UMW Eagles to tuition assistance averaging $6,148 apiece for $17.81 million combined. University funds include the Adam Smith Economics Scholarship, Amelia Elizabeth Davis Scholarship, Betty Woods Nutting Scholarship, Christopher Edward Morawetz Scholarship, Eileen Kramer Dodd Scholarship, Grace Cutler Hamilton Scholarship, Irene Piscopo Rodgers Scholarship, Jesse Bennett Scholarship, Mary Siegrist Hinz Leadership Award, Richard Palmieri Memorial Scholarship, and Thomas Somma Scholarship. The Dorsey Scholars Program gifts $4,000 to $8,000 annually to students with minimum 2.5 GPAs. The Alvey Scholars Program covers full out-of-state tuition for undergrads maintaining GPAs above 3.25. File FAFSA applications coded 003746 for federal resources like the Pell Grant and Work-Study Program. Virginia residents could also claim the Commonwealth Award, Tuition Assistance Grant, Horatio Alger Scholarship, Granville Meade Scholarship, and more.

Explore the three Washington DC Metro colleges with 45+ liberal arts degrees placed 306th nationally by Money magazine at the University of Mary Washington website.