William & Mary is the second-oldest university in the US after Harvard University. The “public Ivy” was founded in 1693 with the granting of a royal charter by King William III and Queen Mary II. The institution can claim many “firsts” including the US’ first Greek letter society, Phi Beta Kappa in 1776, and the country’s first law school.
Today the university acts as a with strong traditions and diverse cultures. The College is organized into one faculty and four schools:
Its main 1,200-acre historic campus in Williamsburg, Virginia, is home to the oldest university structure in the country, the Sir Christopher Wren Building, which was completed in 1700. The Williamsburg campus includes man-made Lake Matoaka, with the Briggs Amphitheatre on its shores, and College Woods.
The College of William and Mary, one of the nation's premier state-assisted liberal arts universities, believes that excellence in teaching is the key to unlocking intellectual and personal possibilities for students. Dedicated to this philosophy and committed to limited enrollment, the College provides high-quality undergraduate, graduate and professional education that prepares students to make significant contributions to the nation and the world.
The university has high national and world positions. U.S. News National University Rankings 2016 placed it the 32th. Forbes America's Top Colleges ranking 2016 placed it the 38th.
College of William and Mary is a renowned institution for training leaders and best of various industries. Four US presidents studied at William & Mary: Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Tyler and George Washington. Other famous alumni include Jon Stewart, the comedian and former host of The Daily Show, Ellen Stofan, the chief scientist of Nasa, James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the actor Glenn Close.
The College has a strong undergraduate arts & sciences focus, with a select number of graduate programs in diverse fields ranging from American colonial history to marine science. The most popular majors by the number of registered students are business administration and management, political science and government, liberal arts and humanities, economics, psychology, biology.
William & Mary's graduate program in U.S. colonial history was ranked the 3rd by U.S. News & World Report in its rankings for 2016.
William & Mary Law School was ranked the 29th among all schools in the 2016 edition of the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings.
The College of William & Mary Computer Science Department was ranked the 70th among all schools in the 2016 edition of the U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings.
The College of William & Mary Physics Graduate program was ranked the 77th among all schools in the 2016 edition of the U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings.
William & Mary's graduate business program (Mason School of Business) ranked the 37th by The Business Week in 2015.