Skip to Content

### Vision 2026’s Career Initiative Shines in Rankings

As the realm of national rankings evolves, William & Mary remains unwavering in its values-driven approach.

William & Mary is recognized as a quintessential ‘Public Ivy’ due to its outstanding undergraduate instruction, internships, career guidance, small class sizes, and dedication to accessibility and affordability. Recent rankings highlight these rigorous standards and underscore the importance of core strategic initiatives like careers and internships in shaping external perceptions of William & Mary.

Pioneering Career Development

William & Mary was recently commended for its career readiness programs, securing top 20 placements among public universities for lucrative roles in finance, management consulting, and technology. This emphasis on careers is a fundamental pillar of W&M’s Vision 2026 strategic plan, alongside democracy, data, and water.

Provost Peggy Agouris emphasized, “The sustained success of our students in their careers underscores the enduring value of a liberal arts and sciences education that prioritizes practical experience. This longstanding tradition at William & Mary has emerged as a defining feature in recent years, garnering national acclaim.”

William & Mary provides a wealth of opportunities to foster lifelong career achievements. From initial internships to eventual employment, W&M ensures that students are well-equipped to thrive in their chosen professions.

  • W&M consistently ranks among the top 20 public universities for alumni networks and has been recognized by the Princeton Review as the premier public institution for internships. The Princeton Review’s 2024 internship rankings will be released later this spring.
  • The median salary of a W&M graduate surpasses that of a Virginia public university bachelor’s degree holder by 29% fifteen years post-graduation.
  • Within six months of graduation, 92% of W&M graduates secure employment or enroll in graduate/professional programs.

Kathleen Powell, W&M’s Chief Career Officer, remarked, “William & Mary has cultivated an environment that nurtures career readiness for long-term success. Our commitment is to serve as a lifelong career partner, empowering students not only academically but also professionally. These recent rankings validate our dedication to fostering career triumphs, recognizing that our excellence is truly measured by the accomplishments of our alumni outside academic realms.”

Students at the Cohen Career Center.The Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement at William & Mary provides a range of career development initiatives, services, connections, and resources to guide students and alumni through evolving career landscapes. (Photo by Stephen Salpukas.)

Ascending Graduate School Rankings

William & Mary’s graduate schools stand out as among the finest in the nation, as per [University News & Media].

The university witnessed significant advancements in its graduate school rankings. It climbed to 36th for law schools, 40th for business schools, and 58th for education schools.

Following a notable shift in the U.S. News law rankings the previous year, the saw a nine-spot rise from its 2023 ranking. A substantial portion of the ranking criteria focused on graduates’ successful placements and bar exam pass rates, aligning well with W&M’s career-centric approach. Additionally, legal professionals’ assessment of program quality accounted for over 12% of the evaluation, highlighting the caliber of W&M Law graduates entering the legal field.

Dean of William & Mary Law School A. Benjamin Spencer expressed, “We are thrilled to maintain our standing as one of the nation’s premier law schools. Our daily emphasis on student outcomes is reflected in our 12th national ranking for first-time bar passage, boasting a 95.5% total employment rate. Furthermore, our 17th position in faculty scholarly impact underscores our dedication to excellence. These rankings underscore the collective efforts of our faculty, students, and staff, emphasizing our commitment to nurturing a community of conscientious legal professionals making tangible contributions.”

W&M ascended five places from its 2023 U.S. News & World Report rating. Job placements and earnings outcomes for graduates constituted half of the evaluation. The school’s performance was also assessed based on metrics related to incoming student achievements, alongside feedback from business school deans, corporate recruiters, and employers regarding program quality.

The Mason School of Business has been recognized for excellence in Learning by Bloomberg Businessweek rankings on four occasions in the last five years.

Todd A. Mooradian, Dean of the Mason School of Business, stated, “These rankings underscore our dedication to academic excellence and student triumph, reinforcing our university’s reputation as a trailblazer in providing transformative educational experiences. These accolades reflect the impact of our teacher-scholar-practitioner model. The commitment and expertise of our faculty in delivering top-notch education, experiential learning opportunities, and mentorship to students set our graduates apart in the competitive landscape.”

The surged 12 spots from the 2023 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Evaluation criteria for education schools included research activity, academic caliber of incoming students, faculty resources, and assessments of program quality by education school deans and hiring professionals. Stakeholders consistently commend the quality of W&M graduates as they enter the education sector.

The school of education also recently earned recognition for its online master’s in mental health counseling programs.

Robert C. Knoeppel, Dean of W&M School of Education, remarked, “These rankings underscore our commitment to impactful research and scholarship, reflecting one of our core values. Our research investments have surged by 72% compared to the previous year, driven by ongoing community-engaged projects that directly benefit children, communities, and families across the Commonwealth and beyond. These initiatives encompass critical areas such as addressing learning setbacks due to COVID, leadership training, tackling the teacher shortage, and promoting accessible mental health services. This is a moment of immense pride, with full credit to our faculty and center staff.”

Emphasis on Distinctive Qualities

Given the fluctuating nature of rankings, W&M President Katherine A. Rowe established a task force last autumn to advocate for a values-centered ranking approach.

Jeremy P. Martin, Vice President for Strategy & Innovation, who led the working group comprising students, faculty, staff, and alumni, shared, “External evaluations, including rankings, play a role in acknowledging our excellence in bridging research and teaching, learning and living. William & Mary’s mission statement underscores the university’s commitment to being a premier public research institution rooted in the liberal arts and sciences since 1693. Achieving this mission necessitates surpassing others in key aspects of excellence. Ranking in these areas validates the university’s preeminence.”

The working group deliberated extensively during the fall semester to endorse a ranking strategy that reinforces the university’s core mission.

“In all circumstances, William & Mary must continue to excel in and enhance its distinctive attributes,” concluded the working group.

[University News & Media]