Best colleges in Virginia

Stuck Between An Education and An Experience

Known as the Mother of States, this may just be the Mother of All Education

You may think Mid-Atlantic beaches when you imagine Virginia, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But Virginia also has more than 100 colleges and universities with any major you could ever want. Some universities are especially known for their technology and innovation. With this many higher education options, Virginia is very educated - 36.1% of the population hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.* With a 5.5% unemployment rate and growing markets in food processing, aerospace, data centers, IT, life sciences, and more, you’ll be in the right place for a job after graduation. And with an average weekly wage of $1,050, higher than the national average, you’ll be able to start that savings account or live bigger in Old Dominion.

And positioned as the gateway to the South,* Virginia is also in an ideal place geographically for fun. When you go to college in this state, you can put your books down to enjoy any outdoor activity in any of the four seasons. You can visit caverns, beaches, national & state parks, see the beginnings of America in museums, and enjoy a scenic view of the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains. There are no gaps between rocks and hard places here.

*yesvirginia.org *Bureau of Labor Statistics *schev.edu

Best Four Year Universities in Virginia

Washington and Lee University offers 38 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a faraway town. In 2019, 544 students graduated with students earning 434 Bachelor's degrees, and 110 Doctoral degrees.

The University of Virginia (UVA) is a public university founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson in the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia. The university is known for its beautiful and iconic Jeffersonian architecture rooted in Roman and Greek techniques, and sprawling central lawn which is used to host graduations, school events, and local festivals. Charlottesville is located near Monticello, where Thomas Jefferson lived and worked during the school’s early years. Since its inception, the school has expanded to include a medical school, law school, and massive athletics department that competes in the ACC, represented by the school’s mascot, the Cavalier.  

UVA is one of the wealthiest public universities in the world with an endowment exceeding $7 billion, and an annual budget of over $1.9 billion. The current enrollment at UVA is 25,000 students, and most class sizes are under 20 students, making it an intimate and competitive learning environment. Due to its proximity to Washington D.C., UVA has cultivated ties with some of the nation’s top governmental programs like the FBI and CIA, as depicted in the film The Silence of the Lambs. 

UVA students have plenty to do while on-campus with over 100 academic and social clubs to choose from, along with a popular Greek system that is situated a few miles from the central lawn. Some well-known colleges at UVA include the Darden School of Business, Curry School of Education, and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. It is one of the top public universities in the United States and is highly competitive for both undergraduate and graduate applicants. Notable alumni include poet Edgar Allen Poe, artist Georgia O'Keeffe, and actress Tina Fey.

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William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA

William & Mary offers 72 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, four-year university in a small suburb. In 2019, 2,718 students graduated with students earning 1,653 Bachelor's degrees, 734 Master's degrees, 315 Doctoral degrees, and 16 Certificates.

University of Richmond
University of Richmond, VA

University of Richmond offers 85 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 1,125 students graduated with students earning 825 Bachelor's degrees, 122 Doctoral degrees, 115 Master's degrees, and 63 Certificates.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University offers 262 degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 8,872 students graduated with students earning 6,482 Bachelor's degrees, 1,495 Master's degrees, 628 Doctoral degrees, 213 Certificates, and 54 Associate's degrees.

Virginia Military Institute offers 14 degree programs. It's a small, public, four-year university in a faraway town. In 2019, 351 students graduated with students earning 351 Bachelor's degrees.

Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney, VA

Hampden-Sydney College offers 27 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a faraway rural area. In 2019, 206 students graduated with students earning 206 Bachelor's degrees.

Hollins University
Roanoke, VA

Hollins University offers 46 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize suburb. In 2019, 224 students graduated with students earning 141 Bachelor's degrees, and 83 Master's degrees.

Hampton University
Hampton, VA

Hampton University offers 138 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 882 students graduated with students earning 640 Bachelor's degrees, 141 Master's degrees, 96 Doctoral degrees, and 5 Certificates.

Randolph-Macon College offers 40 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 332 students graduated with students earning 332 Bachelor's degrees.

Best Community Colleges in Virginia

Standard Healthcare Services-College of Nursing offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 209 students graduated with students earning 170 Certificates, and 39 Associate's degrees.

Eastern Virginia Career College
Fredericksburg, VA

Eastern Virginia Career College offers 16 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a midsize suburb. In 2019, 186 students graduated with students earning 94 Certificates, and 92 Associate's degrees.

Advanced Technology Institute
Virginia Beach, VA

Advanced Technology Institute offers 11 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 287 students graduated with students earning 261 Certificates, and 26 Associate's degrees.

Riverside College of Health Careers offers 6 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 167 students graduated with students earning 137 Associate's degrees, and 30 Certificates.

Saint Michael College of Allied Health offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 25 students graduated with students earning 15 Certificates, and 10 Associate's degrees.

Columbia College
Centreville, VA

Columbia College offers 5 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 154 students graduated with students earning 154 Certificates.

Centura College-Norfolk offers 7 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 134 students graduated with students earning 75 Certificates, and 59 Associate's degrees.

Columbia College
Vienna, VA

Columbia College offers 14 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 110 students graduated with students earning 79 Certificates, and 31 Associate's degrees.

Richard Bland College
South Prince George, VA

Richard Bland College offers 10 degree programs. It's a small, public, two-year college in a outlying rural area. In 2019, 253 students graduated with students earning 231 Associate's degrees, and 22 Certificates.

Centura College-Newport News
Newport News, VA

Centura College-Newport News offers 10 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 103 students graduated with students earning 65 Associate's degrees, and 38 Certificates.

List of all colleges in Virginia

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Washington and Lee University Logo Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA
5/5
9 : 1 2,264
University of Virginia-Main Campus Logo University of Virginia-Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
4/5
16 : 1 25,012
William & Mary Logo William & Mary Williamsburg, VA
4/5
12 : 1 8,773
University of Richmond Logo University of Richmond University of Richmond, VA
5/5
9 : 1 3,914
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Logo Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA
3/5
18 : 1 36,383
Virginia Military Institute Logo Virginia Military Institute Lexington, VA
4/5
12 : 1 1,698
Standard Healthcare Services-College of Nursing Logo Standard Healthcare Services-College of Nursing Falls Church, VA   60 : 1 417
Hampden-Sydney College Logo Hampden-Sydney College Hampden-Sydney, VA
5/5
10 : 1 993
Hollins University Logo Hollins University Roanoke, VA
5/5
9 : 1 798
Hampton University Logo Hampton University Hampton, VA
5/5
16 : 1 4,293
Randolph-Macon College Logo Randolph-Macon College Ashland, VA
5/5
14 : 1 1,543
James Madison University Logo James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
3/5
20 : 1 21,820
Eastern Virginia Career College Logo Eastern Virginia Career College Fredericksburg, VA   52 : 1 261
Christopher Newport University Logo Christopher Newport University Newport News, VA
3/5
17 : 1 4,919
Advanced Technology Institute Logo Advanced Technology Institute Virginia Beach, VA
3/5
22 : 1 504
Roanoke College Logo Roanoke College Salem, VA
5/5
12 : 1 2,003
University of Mary Washington Logo University of Mary Washington Fredericksburg, VA
3/5
18 : 1 4,488
George Mason University Logo George Mason University Fairfax, VA
3/5
27 : 1 37,863
Eastern Mennonite University Logo Eastern Mennonite University Harrisonburg, VA
5/5
15 : 1 1,358
Virginia Commonwealth University Logo Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
3/5
23 : 1 29,757

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