The College

The College is the heart of the W&L liberal arts education. It is the home of twenty-one departments, four interdepartmental majors, and seven interdepartmental programs. Students may earn either the B.A. or B.S. degree in thirty-seven different majors, and may also pursue one or more of twenty-nine minors, including Creative Writing, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Museum Studies, Film and Visual Culture, Poverty Studies, or one of five new minors in Biology (Animal Biology, Ecology, Molecular Cell Biology, Physiology, and Quantitative Biology).

The more than 140 faculty members in the College, in departments ranging from Music to Geology to Religion, are dedicated to nurturing the intellectual capacity and curiosity of our students in an environment of collaborative inquiry. All first-year students are members of the College, and typically take a range of courses in the liberal arts in preparation for selecting a major course of study.

As expressed in the College's Mission Statement, the hallmarks of a person educated in the College include:

  • A resourceful intellect and talent for independent thinking
  • The capacity to evaluate information critically and to convey it effectively
  • Competence in many methods of defining, approaching and solving problems
  • A lively curiosity about and mature respect for varied cultures and intellectual perspectives
  • A lifelong commitment to learning, to health and well-being, and to the values that inform a W&L education.

Please explore these pages to see the full range of academic opportunities available to current and prospective W&L students. Parents, alumni, faculty, and staff will also find a wealth of information about College programs, policies and resources. All of us in the Office of the Dean of the College are always ready to assist you.

About the College

The College departments and programs represent the liberal arts core of the University, ranging from the fine arts, the humanities, certain social sciences, journalism and mass communications, the natural and physical sciences, computer science, and mathematics.

Office of the Dean

Visit the Office of the Dean of the College in the Simpson House, located next to Holekamp Hall. Students are welcome to consult any of the deans.

Departments and Areas of Study

The College is the home of twenty-one departments, ranging from the fine arts and humanities to the social and natural sciences. Students may choose from 37 different majors and 29 minor programs.

Interdisciplinary Programs

An interdisciplinary program draws upon multiple departments and programs to constitute its area of study and its curriculum. Most interdisciplinary programs offer only a minor, but a few offer a major. Each interdisciplinary program has a program head and both core and affiliate faculty from multiple disciplines who teach and advise in that program. Currently Washington and Lee has 12 interdisciplinary programs.