About Us

    Do You. Do it All. Do it Here.

    Founded in 1782, Washington College was the first college chartered in the sovereign United States of America. General George Washington lent us his name, donated 50 guineas to our founding, and served on our first Board of Visitors and Governors. Our goal back then was to cultivate responsible citizen-leaders. Nowadays, we’re committed to giving our students the chance to succeed on their own terms through purposeful choices, enabling a healthy and regenerative global community.

    Hands-On Learning

    Washington College students work closely with exceptional faculty on projects they are passionate about. With independent research facilitated by programs like the Cater Society and Toll Fellows and hands-on learning experiences, our students have access to amazing opportunities no matter what they’re studying. Print a chapbook on the antique letterpresses in the Rose O’Neill Literary House, scan the Chester River from aboard one of the Center for Environment & Society’s research vessels, or study American history in our colonial town with the Starr Center.

    Customize Your Education

    There is no one-size-fits-all at Washington College: from double-majoring to internships to study abroad and semester-long interdisciplinary programs, you can shape your ideal education. Our student body draws roughly 1,400 students from 23 countries, and with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1 and an average class size of 12, you’ll never feel lost in the crowd.

    Our Beautiful Place

    Chestertown, a charming location on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is heaven for the adventurous spirit who loves the outdoors (and also for those who enjoy a vibrant, close-knit community full of fun shops and activities) — and where else would we be able to fit a 4,700-acre living lab like our River and Field Campus? Plus, with Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. within day-tripping distance, there are plenty of solutions for the occasional urban craving.

    The Washington College Standard

    Five pillars provide the foundation of a Washington College education. They create well-rounded students, form the unparalleled WC experience, and inspire successful graduates.


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    1. Learning Without Limits
    Our students and alumni follow their passions and are always finding new ways to synthesize the things they love. Whether it’s landing the perfect internship, traveling the world on Chesapeake Semester, or doing field research right here on the River and Field Campus, your education is never confined to the classroom. By providing hands-on learning and meaningful job experiences alongside traditional instruction, we encourage students to craft the education that’s right for them.


    2. The Written Word
    No matter the major, all Washington College students graduate with the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. The Senior Capstone Experience required of all graduating seniors is evidence of that. From our inclusive first-year writing seminars to the extensive literary lecture series offered by the Rose O’Neill Literary House, and even to applications for our Sophie Kerr Prize, opportunities for student writers are never restricted to the English department.


    3. Environmental Action
    With guidance from the Center for Environment & Society, we work hard to keep Washington College a sustainable, environmentally friendly campus. Sustainability initiatives like our Back to Tap program, Bike Share, and Food Recovery Network give our whole campus community the chance to pitch in and make the world a better place. On top of that, our Campus Garden and student "bee ambassadors" in our Beekeeping 101 course helped us become the first certified Bee Campus USA in Maryland.


    4. History Informing the Future
    Washington College has provided a solid liberal arts and sciences education since 1782, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck in the past. From the work done by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience on preserving and updating oral histories to the state-of-the-art equipment in our laboratories and MakerSpace, WC learns from history but never stops looking ahead.

    chat bubbles5. Meaningful Connections
    At Washington College, you’ll never feel like a number. With a close-knit student body and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, your professors won’t just know your name, they’ll run into you in town or share a coffee with you in the mornings. Whether it’s students, staff, faculty, or alumni, Washington College is a family. Everyone who comes to WC is a part of our family for life.