Jul 24, 2021  
2012 - 2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012 - 2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The College: About

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Mission Statement

The College of William and Mary, a public university in Williamsburg, Virginia, is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Established in 1693 by British royal charter, William and Mary is proud of its role as the Alma Mater of generations of American patriots, leaders and public servants. Now, in its fourth century, it continues this tradition of excellence by combining the best features of an undergraduate college with the opportunities offered by a modern research university. Its moderate size, dedicated faculty, and distinctive history give William and Mary a unique character among public institutions, and create a learning environment that fosters close interaction among students and teachers.

The university’s predominantly residential undergraduate program provides a broad liberal education in a stimulating academic environment enhanced by a talented and diverse student body. This nationally acclaimed undergraduate program is integrated with selected graduate and professional programs in five faculties - Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Law, and Marine Science. Masters and doctoral programs in the humanities, the sciences, the social sciences, business, education, and law provide a wide variety of intellectual opportunities for students at both graduate and undergraduate levels.

At William and Mary, teaching, research, and public service are linked through programs designed to preserve, transmit, and expand knowledge. Effective teaching imparts knowledge and encourages the intellectual development of both student and teacher. Quality research supports the educational program by introducing students to the challenge and excitement of original discovery, and is a source of the knowledge and understanding needed for a better society. The university recognizes its special responsibility to the citizens of Virginia through public and community service to the Commonwealth as well as to national and international communities. Teaching, research, and public service are all integral parts of the mission of William and Mary.


In fulfilling its mission, William and Mary adopts the following specific goals:

  • to attract outstanding students from diverse backgrounds;
  • to develop a diverse faculty which is nationally and internationally recognized for excellence in both teaching and research;
  • to provide a challenging undergraduate program with a liberal arts and sciences curriculum that encourages creativity, independent thought, and intellectual depth, breadth, and curiosity;
  • to offer high quality graduate and professional programs that prepare students for intellectual, professional, and public leadership;
  • to instill in its students an appreciation for the human condition, a concern for the public well-being, and a life-long commitment to learning; and
  • to use the scholarship and skills of its faculty and students to further human knowledge and understanding, and to address specific problems confronting the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world.

Code of Ethics

Integrity is one of the core values of the College of William & Mary. Thus, we are committed to lawful and ethical behavior in all of the university’s activities. At William & Mary, we insist that all members of the university community – our board members, employees, students, and volunteers – comply with all laws, regulations, policies and ethical norms applicable to them. More generally, we are to be honest, fair, and trustworthy ourselves and to take care that other members of the university community are also.

We, as members of the William & Mary community, will:

  1. Obey the laws, regulations, and policies applicable to our university activities.
  2. Protect and preserve university resources and ensure their proper use.
  3. Avoid both conflicts of interest and the appearance of such conflicts.
  4. Safeguard confidential information.
  5. Make procurement decisions impartially and objectively.
  6. Maintain effective internal controls to safeguard the regularity and integrity of our activities.
  7. Treat other people with dignity and respect, ensuring there is no discrimination or harassment at William & Mary.
  8. Report any illegal or unethical action that comes to our attention, so the university can investigate and take corrective steps.

The College of William and Mary Diversity Statement

The College of William and Mary in Virginia is a community of teachers, students, and staff who share our national ideals of human equality, democracy, pluralism, and advancement based on merit. We give life to these principles and prepare young women and men to be citizens of the wider world when we value diverse backgrounds, talents, and points of view.

As a community, William and Mary believes that cultural pluralism and intellectual diversity introduce us to new experiences, stimulate original ideas, enrich critical thinking, and give our work a broader reach. We cannot accomplish our mission of teaching, learning, discovery, and service without such diversity.

William and Mary belongs to all Virginians, to the nation, and to the world. Yet our College, like our country, failed for many years to open the door of opportunity to all people. In recent decades, William and Mary has made itself a more diverse community, and thus a better one. Structures and habits that create injustices, however, have yet to be fully banished from American society. We are committed to eliminate those injustices at the College and beyond.

The College of William and Mary, a university on a human scale, strives to be a place where people of all backgrounds feel at home, where diversity is actively embraced, and where each individual takes responsibility for upholding the dignity of all members of the community.

-Approved by the William and Mary Board of Visitors on November 17, 2006

The Campus

William and Mary is a university community, small enough to provide for relationships that allow collaborative teaching and learning, large enough to have the resources to achieve excellence. An important aspect of this community is its location in the beautiful and historic city of Williamsburg, where it constitutes an integral part of the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. The partnership of the College, the City, and the Restoration, and the educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities afforded to all students by this partnership, add to the quality of life and the quality of education at William and Mary.

The campus, comprising approximately 1,200 acres of land, extends from the western edge of the restored area of Colonial Williamsburg to Lake Matoaka and its surrounding wooded land. Within its boundaries are three contiguous sections known today as the Historic Campus, the Old Campus, and the New Campus, and, a short walk to the southeast, the William and Mary School of Law.

The Historic Campus is the site of three restored pre-Revolutionary buildings. The Sir Christopher Wren Building (1695, restored 1928-31), still in daily classroom use, is the oldest academic building in the United States. The Brafferton (1723, restored 1932), originally a school for Indians established with a bequest from the English scientist Robert Boyle, today contains administrative offices. The third building, the President’s House (1732, restored 1931), has served as home for each of the twenty-five presidents of the College.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Within the limits of its facilities and obligations as a state university, The College of William and Mary extends the possibility of admission to all qualified students without regard to sex, race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. The facilities and services of the College are open to all enrolled students on the same basis, and all standards and policies of the institution, including those governing employment, are applied accordingly.

The College of William and Mary does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability or age in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action:

Director of EO/AA
Hornsby House
The College of William and Mary
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
(757) 221-2615 (Voice), (757) 221-2613 (TDD)
(757) 221-2614 (FAX), (800) 343-6866 (Toll Free)

Being an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, The College of William and Mary strongly encourages admission applications from members of underrepresented groups, including people of color, people with disabilities, Vietnam veterans, and women.

Student Right to Know

Persons interested in statistics involving campus crime may contact the office of Campus Police at (757) 221-4596 - nonemergency phone line.