Unveiling the Prestige: An Insight Into the William and Mary’s Ranking

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of William and Mary main building.

Unveiling the Prestige: An Insight Into the William and Mary’s Ranking

In higher education, the College of William and Mary is an institution that commands respect, both for its historical significance and academic prowess. William and Mary’s ranking isn’t just a numerical position on a list; it’s a testament to its enduring legacy of academic excellence, its vibrant campus culture, and the groundbreaking research that continues to take place within its hallowed halls. As the second oldest university in the United States, established in 1693, the institution has carved out an enviable reputation as an epicenter of intellect and innovation.

To delve into William and Mary’s ranking is to uncover a story of consistent commitment to top-tier education and a high-quality student experience. Whether it’s the high-caliber faculty, competitive academic programs, or its strong commitment to sustainability and inclusivity, each element contributes to the college’s esteemed position. Notably, the College doesn’t rest on its historical laurels but continues to thrive in contemporary evaluations, maintaining its standing as a premier institution in the global educational landscape.

The College of William and Mary: An Overview

The College of William and Mary, located in Williamsburg, Virginia, is a distinguished institution recognized for its rigorous academic programs and rich historical legacy. Established in 1693 by a royal charter issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, it’s the second oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The campus, with its historic buildings and beautiful setting, echoes the institution’s longevity and prestige.

William and Mary offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs across a wide range of disciplines, with a strong emphasis on liberal arts, sciences, business, education, and law. The College is organized into several schools: the Arts & Sciences, the Raymond A. Mason School of Business, the William & Mary School of Education, the William & Mary Law School, and the William & Mary School of Marine Science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

View of College of William and Mary

High-quality teaching is a hallmark of William and Mary, with a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio facilitating personalized attention and an engaging learning environment. Furthermore, the College fosters an atmosphere of research and innovation, being classified as a “High Research Activity” institution by the Carnegie Foundation.

Student life at William and Mary is dynamic and diverse. It offers over 450 student clubs and organizations, providing opportunities for student leadership, community service, and personal development. Moreover, the College is deeply committed to sustainability, with ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental impact and instill eco-conscious values in its students.

Boasting an impressive list of alumni, including U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler, as well as numerous other public figures, the College has left its mark on history. Its strong network of alumni testifies to the excellent education and opportunities provided by the institution.

The College of William and Mary is, thus, a perfect blend of historical tradition and modern academia, embodying an enduring commitment to excellence in education. With its robust academic programs, dedicated faculty, vibrant campus life, and track record of producing successful graduates, it is indeed a prestigious pillar of American higher education.

What is the Ranking of William and Mary?

What is the ranking of William and Mary? The College of William & Mary, often simply referred to as William & Mary, has a rich history of academic excellence that has consistently positioned it among the top-tier institutions both nationally and globally.

U.S. News & World Report

The College of William and Mary consistently ranks as a top national university in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. In the 2022-2023 edition, it placed within the top 41 national universities in the United States and the top 13 among public schools.

U.S. News & World Report ranks universities based on several indicators of academic quality. These include factors like graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance, and alumni giving rate. The high ranking of the College of William and Mary underscores its commitment to academic excellence and overall student success.

The College of William and Mary is recognized for its robust academic programs, particularly in the areas of liberal arts, sciences, and business. Its undergraduate business program, through the Raymond A. Mason School of Business, has particularly earned high marks in the U.S. News rankings.

The university’s commitment to faculty resources is another notable aspect of its ranking. With a low student-faculty ratio, William and Mary is able to offer an engaging and personalized educational experience. This focus on the student experience is reflected in its high rankings for undergraduate teaching.

Moreover, William and Mary has made a concerted effort to foster a dynamic and inclusive campus culture, which contributes to a high level of student satisfaction. The university also shows a strong commitment to sustainability, further enhancing its campus environment and contributing to its overall ranking.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed the College of William and Mary in the 401–500th position for 2023 and 78th in the US College Rankings 2022. Times Higher Education is a UK-based provider of higher education data that ranks universities worldwide based on several performance indicators across core areas like teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook.

The College of William and Mary is an institution that emphasizes both teaching and research, with a strong faculty committed to mentorship and an institutional commitment to high-quality research across a variety of disciplines. These attributes are valued in Times Higher Education’s ranking system.

The university’s robust academic programs and commitment to scholarship, particularly in the areas of liberal arts and sciences, are representative of the qualities assessed in these rankings. Additionally, the international aspect of the university, with a diverse student body and faculty from various parts of the globe, also resonates with the criteria used by Times Higher Education.

QS World University Rankings

QS ranked the College of William and Mary #801-1000 in QS World University Rankings 2023. The QS World University Rankings is a well-regarded international university ranking system that evaluates universities based on several indicators, including academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio, and international student ratio.

The College of William and Mary, with its strong academic programs, emphasis on research, and vibrant campus community, aligns with many of the criteria considered in the QS rankings. For instance, the university’s commitment to academic rigor, as evidenced by its robust liberal arts, science, and business programs, speaks to the “academic reputation” factor in the QS rankings.

Moreover, the college’s strong faculty-to-student ratio allows for an engaging and intimate educational environment, potentially contributing positively to its QS ranking. William and Mary’s commitment to research, demonstrated by its Carnegie Classification as a “High Research Activity” institution, can also factor into its performance in rankings that consider citations per faculty as a key indicator.

William and Mary has a diverse and inclusive campus environment, attracting students and faculty from around the globe. This international focus is another key consideration in the QS rankings, which assess both international faculty and student ratios.

It’s important to remember, however, that while rankings can offer insight into a university’s general standing, they are not the only measure of an institution’s worth or fit for a particular student. The College of William and Mary’s commitment to providing a well-rounded education, nurturing critical thinking, and fostering a supportive community extends beyond numerical rankings.

Why Do College Rankings Matter?

Why do college rankings matter? College rankings provide an evaluative snapshot of universities across multiple dimensions of performance, serving as a beneficial tool for students, educators, and other stakeholders in higher education. William and Mary’s ranking matter for several reasons, ranging from admissions and recruitment to reputation building and strategic development.

Firstly, rankings can greatly influence a prospective student’s choice of institution. They often form the initial basis for comparing colleges, enabling students and their families to make informed decisions about where to apply and ultimately enroll. In this respect, high rankings can enhance William and Mary’s ability to attract a high caliber of students from across the country and around the world.

Secondly, the prestige associated with high rankings can bolster William and Mary’s reputation among peer institutions, employers, and the public at large. This increased visibility can lead to enhanced opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with other universities and organizations, as well as improved job prospects for graduates. Moreover, a strong reputation can also attract top faculty and researchers, further strengthening the college’s academic and research capabilities.

Rankings also provide useful benchmarks for William and Mary to evaluate and improve its performance in various areas. By comparing itself to other institutions and identifying areas of strength and potential improvement, the college can use rankings to inform strategic planning and target resources effectively. This can, in turn, help to ensure that the college continues to offer a high-quality education and enriching experience to its students.

Additionally, rankings can also have implications for William and Mary’s fundraising efforts. Alumni and other potential donors often consider an institution’s ranking when deciding where to make a contribution. Higher rankings can therefore boost the college’s ability to secure financial resources and support its mission and goals.

However, while rankings are important, they should not be viewed as the sole measure of a university’s worth or success. It is crucial to remember that they are a tool, one of many, that can aid in the assessment of higher education institutions. The College of William and Mary’s enduring commitment to providing a comprehensive educational experience, fostering a vibrant and inclusive community, and nurturing service and leadership extends beyond numerical rankings.

Rankings do matter for William and Mary, serving as an influential factor in student recruitment, reputation building, strategic planning, and fundraising. Nonetheless, the true value of an education at William and Mary lies in its holistic approach to education, its rich historical legacy, and its steadfast dedication to nurturing the intellectual and personal growth of its students.

What is the Benefit of William and Mary’s Ranking in College Application?

What is the benefit of William and Mary’s ranking in college application? The College of William and Mary’s ranking has several implications that can significantly influence the college application process. From enhancing the perceived value of an education at the institution to helping students make an informed choice about their academic future, rankings can serve as a powerful tool in the college application process.

View of William and Mary sign

Prestige and Reputation: High rankings reflect positively on an institution’s reputation, which can subsequently impact a student’s application decision. As one of the top-ranked universities, William and Mary hold a prestigious standing in both national and international contexts.

An offer of admission from a highly-ranked institution like William and Mary can be seen as a testament to a student’s academic and personal accomplishments. William and Mary’s ranking can enhance the perceived value of their college application, whether applying for further studies, internships, or job opportunities post-graduation.

Attractiveness to Prospective Students: The ranking of a university often serves as a starting point for prospective students when considering their higher education options. High rankings signal a quality education, exceptional faculty, vibrant campus life, and a plethora of resources and opportunities.

Three students using a laptop in a table.

William and Mary’s ranking can attract a diverse and talented pool of applicants, fostering a dynamic and intellectually stimulating academic community.

Informed Decision Making: College rankings can provide useful insights into the strengths and weaknesses of an institution. They offer an objective assessment of various aspects such as faculty quality, student satisfaction, financial resources, and more. This information can aid students in making an informed decision about whether the institution aligns with their academic and career aspirations.

Competitive Edge: Acceptance into a high-ranking college like William and Mary can give students a competitive edge when it comes to future opportunities. Employers, graduate schools, and professional networks often recognize the value of a degree from a highly-ranked institution. As a result, students from these universities might have more access to opportunities and networks that can propel their future career growth.

Financial Aid Opportunities: High-ranking institutions often have extensive financial aid programs to attract and support talented students. At William and Mary, prospective students might find a range of scholarships and financial aid packages that can make this top-tier education more accessible.

Group of students signing up for internship.

However, while William and Mary’s ranking is undoubtedly influential, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only factor to consider when applying to college. Prospective students should also take into account factors such as the availability of preferred majors, the campus culture, location, and other personal preferences. After all, the goal is to find an institution that offers not just a high-quality education but also a supportive environment that aligns with one’s personal and academic goals.


As the College of William and Mary continues to uphold its tradition of academic excellence, its ranking is not just a number but a testament to the College’s ongoing commitment to its students. Whether it’s in academics, faculty, research, student satisfaction, alumni success, or financial aid and affordability, William and Mary consistently perform at a high level. It’s the synergy of these facets that cements the College’s position as a prestigious and desirable institution.

William and Mary’s ranking reflects the culmination of its steadfast dedication to providing quality education, enriching campus life, and fostering success beyond the classroom. Its consistent performance is a beacon for prospective students, drawing them towards a fulfilling educational journey and beyond. As we look towards the future, it is clear that the College of William and Mary will continue to hold a high rank in the world of higher education.

Want to learn more about your chances of getting into the College of William and Mary? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.


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