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2023 Fiske Guide to Colleges recognizes UMW

From UMW

The University of Mary Washington has once again been recognized in the annual Fiske Guide to Colleges, one of the leading guides for nearly 40 years. The 2023 edition features more than 300 of the “best and most interesting” public and private four-year colleges and universities in the nation as well as Canada, Great Britain and Ireland. Details come directly from the students.

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The Fiske Guide to Colleges has once again recognized UMW in its “best and most interesting” listing.

“Tradition is at the heart of UMW and is one of the many things that instills a sense of community here,” says a junior quoted in the publication.

“Students are self-motivated by the excitement of learning something new,” comments another student.

Citing Mary Washington’s reputation as one of the premier public liberal arts and sciences colleges in the country, the Fiske Guide highlights the innovative core curriculum, including the “Beyond the Classroom” component and “After UMW” initiative, focused on professional and career development. The University’s Honor Code and First-Year Seminar (FSEM) earn additional praise, and the guide notes how the “close ties between students and faculty are a great source of pride at Mary Washington.”

“I never imagined that I would find such a highly engaged and compassionate set of professors my first year of college,” says a student.

Research projects and grant-funded work abroad stand out, as do the Division III Eagles sports teams along with club sports and intramurals, and more than 150 campus clubs. University spirit shines through the student favorites of Eagle Gathering, the annual Multicultural Fair, highly anticipated Junior Ring Week, and collegial competition of Devil-Goat Day.

In addition, the University’s historic hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the campus itself, play a leading role. Highlights include recent renovations to Seacobeck Hall, which now houses the College of Education; the expanded Jepson Science Center; and newly reopened first-year residence halls Willard and Virginia. The campus’ centralized location – roughly an hour from both Washington, D.C., and the state capital of Richmond – also gets a callout, particularly for internships. Students emphasize volunteer opportunities as well.

As the Fiske Guide summarizes, “At Mary Washington, an unusually strong sense of community characterizes everything from academics to campus life.”

To learn more about how Mary Wash can feel like home, visit the Office of Admissions – University of Mary Washington (

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