University of Virginia and Georgetown: A Closer Look

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

smiling woman inside university

University of Virginia and Georgetown: A Closer Look

Choosing the right college can be a daunting task, especially when you have to decide between renowned institutions like the University of Virginia and Georgetown. Both universities have their unique features and strengths that are attractive to prospective students, but which one is better? In this article, we will compare and contrast the University of Virginia and Georgetown to help you on your higher education journey.

Location and Campus

One of the most significant differences between the University of Virginia and Georgetown is their location. The University of Virginia is located in Charlottesville, Virginia, a small town that is known for its historical significance and scenic beauty.

It is situated on 1,682 acres of sprawling land, comprising 11 schools and a medical center. On the other hand, Georgetown is located in the heart of Washington DC, the political and cultural hub of the United States. It is a smaller campus, but it boasts a rich history and beautiful architecture that blends with its urban surroundings.

College students walking in the campus.

Despite being located in a small town, the University of Virginia offers a vibrant campus life with numerous student organizations and events. The university also has a strong athletic program, with its football and basketball teams being particularly popular among students and alumni.

Georgetown, on the other hand, offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the political and cultural scene of Washington DC. The campus is located in close proximity to numerous museums, theaters, and government buildings, providing students with a unique learning experience outside of the classroom.

History and Legacy

Both universities have a rich history and a legacy of academic excellence and innovation that dates back to the early 19th century. The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, and it is known for its unique educational philosophy that combines the liberal arts with professional studies.

Georgetown was established in 1789, making it the oldest Catholic and Jesuit-affiliated institution in the country. It has a reputation for academic rigor and diversity, with a focus on social justice and ethical leadership.

Over the years, both universities have produced numerous notable alumni who have made significant contributions to their respective fields. The University of Virginia has produced several U.S. presidents, including Woodrow Wilson and James Monroe, as well as notable figures such as Edgar Allan Poe and Tina Fey. Georgetown has also produced several U.S. presidents, including Bill Clinton and Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as notable figures such as Bradley Cooper and Antonin Scalia.

Today, both universities continue to uphold their legacies of academic excellence and innovation. The University of Virginia has been consistently ranked as one of the top public universities in the country, and it is home to several prestigious research centers and institutes. Georgetown has also been consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the country, and it is known for its strong programs in international relations, law, and business.

Academic Offerings and Programs

The University of Virginia offers over 100 degrees across its 11 schools, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Its top-ranked schools include the School of Law, School of Medicine, and Darden School of Business.

View of computer engineers working on a project.

Georgetown, on the other hand, has nine schools offering over 150 degree programs, ranging from undergraduate to doctoral. Its highly-ranked schools include the School of Foreign Service, McDonough School of Business, and Georgetown Law School.

In addition to its degree programs, the University of Virginia also offers a wide range of academic resources and opportunities for students. These include research centers, study abroad programs, and interdisciplinary initiatives that allow students to explore multiple fields of study. The university also has a strong commitment to undergraduate education, with small class sizes and opportunities for hands-on learning.

Admission and Acceptance Rates

Academically, both universities are highly selective. The University of Virginia has an acceptance rate of around 23%, while Georgetown’s acceptance rate is approximately 14%. It is worth noting that these figures vary depending on the school and program, as some schools within each university are more competitive than others.

Aside from academic qualifications, both universities also consider extracurricular activities and community involvement in their admission process. The University of Virginia values leadership and service, while Georgetown places a strong emphasis on social justice and global citizenship.

It is important to note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to either university. Both schools receive a high volume of applications each year, and the selection process is highly competitive. Prospective students are encouraged to showcase their unique qualities and experiences in their application to increase their chances of acceptance.

Student Life and Culture

At the University of Virginia, student life is centered around the concept of “cavalier culture,” which emphasizes a strong sense of community, tradition, and excellence. Sports, especially football and basketball, play a significant role in campus life, with students rallying behind the Cavaliers’ teams.

Group of students working together and talking.

Georgetown, on the other hand, has a thriving social and cultural scene, with numerous student organizations and clubs catering to a wide range of interests. The Georgetown student body is diverse, with a strong commitment to service and social justice.

One of the unique aspects of student life at the University of Virginia is the Honor System, which is a student-run system that promotes academic integrity and honesty. Under this system, students pledge not to lie, cheat, or steal and are responsible for reporting any violations they witness. This creates a culture of trust and respect among students and faculty.

At Georgetown, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of study abroad programs, which allow them to immerse themselves in different cultures and gain a global perspective. The university also has a strong commitment to sustainability, with initiatives such as a campus-wide recycling program and a focus on reducing energy consumption. Students can get involved in sustainability efforts through clubs and organizations like the Georgetown Energy and Environment Club.

Athletics and Sports Teams

The University of Virginia is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and it has a strong athletic program that includes 27 varsity sports teams. The Cavaliers’ basketball team has won NCAA championships in 1984, 2019, and 2021, and its football team has also had several successful seasons.

Georgetown competes in the Big East Conference and has a storied history in basketball, winning the NCAA championship in 1984. It also has successful programs in soccer, cross country, and track and field.

In addition to its varsity sports teams, the University of Virginia also offers a wide range of club and intramural sports for students to participate in. These include ultimate frisbee, rugby, and even Quidditch.

The university also has state-of-the-art athletic facilities, including the John Paul Jones Arena and the Scott Stadium, which can seat over 60,000 spectators. Students can attend games and events for free or at a discounted rate, making it easy to support their fellow Cavaliers.

Faculty and Research Opportunities

The University of Virginia has a world-class faculty, with numerous Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, and Guggenheim fellows among its ranks. Its faculty is known for its innovative and impactful research, covering a wide range of disciplines, including science, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.

Close-up of serious student holding ampoule in front of eyes and examines contents.

Georgetown also has a distinguished faculty, with a focus on interdisciplinary research on global issues. Its research centers on topics such as global health, international relations, and social justice.

Both universities offer a variety of research opportunities for students. At the University of Virginia, undergraduate students can participate in research through programs such as the Merck Scholars Program and the Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards.

Graduate students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and can work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. Georgetown also offers research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, with programs such as the Global Health Initiative and the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Students can gain hands-on experience and contribute to important research in their fields of interest.

Alumni Network and Career Outcomes

Both universities have a vast network of alumni who are successful leaders in various fields, including politics, business, law, and academia. The University of Virginia has alumni such as Robert Mueller, Katie Couric, and Edgar Allan Poe, while Georgetown boasts notable alumni such as Bill Clinton, Antonin Scalia, and Bradley Cooper. Both universities have robust career services programs that offer internships, job fairs, and alumni networking opportunities to help students launch their careers.

Furthermore, the alumni networks of both universities extend beyond the United States, with graduates holding prominent positions in international organizations and companies. For instance, Georgetown alumni can be found in leadership roles in organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations, and the International Monetary Fund. Similarly, University of Virginia alumni have made significant contributions to global companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs.

In addition to career services, both universities offer a range of resources to support alumni throughout their professional lives. These resources include continuing education programs, mentorship opportunities, and access to exclusive job postings. By leveraging these resources, alumni are able to stay connected to their alma mater and continue to grow and develop in their careers.

Campus Resources and Services

Both universities have excellent campus resources and services that support students’ academic and personal growth. The University of Virginia offers numerous resources, including academic advising, counseling services, and career services.

The university also has a state-of-the-art health system that includes a hospital, clinics, and wellness centers. Georgetown provides similar resources, along with a renowned language center, writing center, and campus ministry center.

Additionally, the University of Virginia has a robust student activities program that offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations. These activities provide students with opportunities to explore their interests, develop leadership skills, and build relationships with other students. Georgetown also has a vibrant student life, with a variety of clubs and organizations that cater to different interests and passions.

Campus Sustainability Initiatives

Both universities are committed to sustainability and have implemented several initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and promote environmental awareness. The University of Virginia has a sustainability office that oversees programs such as recycling, renewable energy, and green transportation. Georgetown has a similar office that manages initiatives such as energy conservation, green building, and eco-friendly dining options.

In addition to these initiatives, both universities have also implemented programs to promote sustainable behavior among students and staff. The University of Virginia has a “Green Game Day” program, which encourages fans to reduce waste and recycle during football games.

Georgetown has a “Sustainable Move-Out” program, where students can donate or recycle unwanted items during the move-out season instead of throwing them away. These programs not only promote sustainability but also foster a sense of community and responsibility among the campus population.

Campus Diversity at the University of Virginia and Georgetown

Both universities prioritize diversity and inclusivity in their campus culture and policies. The University of Virginia has several diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the creation of a Chief Diversity Officer position and the establishment of a Center for Diversity in Engineering. Georgetown has numerous programs that promote diversity and equity, including a student-led diversity and inclusion committee and a bias reporting system.

At the University of Virginia, the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offers a variety of resources and support for underrepresented students, including mentorship programs and scholarships. Additionally, the university hosts events and workshops throughout the year to promote cultural awareness and understanding.

Georgetown University also has a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity. The university’s LGBTQ Resource Center provides support and advocacy for LGBTQ students, while the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access offers resources and programming for students from diverse backgrounds. Georgetown also has a partnership with the Posse Foundation, which provides full-tuition scholarships to students from underrepresented communities.

Tuition Fees at the University of Virginia and Georgetown

Understandably, the cost of tuition is a crucial consideration for many students and families. The University of Virginia’s tuition and fees for in-state students are approximately $17,798 per year, while out-of-state students pay $49,032 per year.

Georgetown’s tuition and fees are higher, with an average cost of $57,928 per year. However, both universities offer financial aid and scholarships to eligible students to help offset the cost of attendance.

At the University of Virginia, financial aid is awarded based on a student’s demonstrated financial need, academic merit, and other factors. The university offers a variety of grants, loans, and work-study programs to help students pay for their education.

Similarly, Georgetown University provides need-based financial aid to eligible students, as well as merit-based scholarships for exceptional academic achievement. Both universities also offer resources and support for students to explore external scholarship opportunities.

Class Sizes of the University of Virginia and Georgetown

Class sizes, student-to-faculty ratios, and teaching quality are essential factors in determining the quality of education and the student experience. The University of Virginia has an average class size of 27 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1.

Georgetown has an average class size of 16 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1, indicating a more personalized learning experience. Both universities have highly qualified faculty who are committed to teaching excellence and student success.

However, it is important to note that class sizes and student-to-faculty ratios are not the only factors that contribute to teaching quality. The teaching methods and strategies used by faculty members also play a crucial role in enhancing the learning experience of students.

At the University of Virginia, faculty members are encouraged to incorporate innovative teaching techniques such as flipped classrooms and project-based learning to engage students and promote critical thinking skills.

Similarly, at Georgetown, faculty members are known for their expertise in their respective fields and their ability to bring real-world experiences into the classroom. This not only enhances the learning experience of students but also prepares them for their future careers.

Study Abroad Programs at the University of Virginia and Georgetown

Study abroad programs are increasingly popular among students who wish to broaden their horizons and gain international experience. The University of Virginia has over 100 study abroad programs in over 30 countries, offering students the chance to immerse themselves in diverse cultures and explore new perspectives. Georgetown has over 60 study abroad programs in over 30 countries, emphasizing language acquisition and cross-cultural immersion.

Students walking on the streets.

Participating in a study abroad program can also enhance a student’s resume and career prospects. Employers often value candidates who have international experience and are able to adapt to different environments. Additionally, studying abroad can improve language skills and provide opportunities for networking with professionals in different parts of the world.

It is important for students to carefully research and consider their options when choosing a study abroad program. Factors such as cost, location, and academic requirements should be taken into account. Many universities offer resources and support for students who are interested in studying abroad, including scholarships, language courses, and cultural orientation programs.

Community Engagement Initiatives at the University of Virginia and Georgetown

Both universities are committed to giving back to their communities by engaging in various service initiatives and partnerships with local organizations. The University of Virginia has a service-learning center that connects students with community partners to address social and environmental issues.

Georgetown has a Center for Social Justice that oversees several service programs, including a tutoring and mentoring program for local youth and an alternative spring break program that focuses on social justice issues.

In addition to these programs, both universities also have partnerships with local businesses and non-profit organizations to provide internships and job opportunities for students. The University of Virginia has a program called “Hoos Internship Partners” that connects students with local employers for internships in a variety of fields. Georgetown has a similar program called “Hoyas for Others” that provides students with opportunities to work with non-profit organizations in the DC area.


Both the University of Virginia and Georgetown offer unique and comprehensive academic programs, distinctive campus cultures, and a range of student opportunities and resources. Ultimately, the decision of which university to attend depends on your personal preferences, individual goals, and educational priorities. We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the similarities and differences between these two excellent institutions.

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Don’t let your future hinge on uncertainty. Reach out to AdmissionSight today to arrange a complimentary consultation and embark on the journey toward realizing your dreams. With our expert mentorship and steadfast support, the sky’s the limit.


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