Personalized, engaged learning characterizes Washington College. Set in historic Chestertown, Maryland, this homey campus comprised of mostly low-rise brick buildings is charming and unassuming. Similarly, the students we met were neither flashy nor introverted—they were a mix of athletes and scholars who seemed relaxed, confident, and interested in their education.
Academics. We visited Washington College as part of an International Relations/Studies focused tour of Washington, DC area colleges. We started our visit with a student panel. Kelsey, an IS major, Economics and French minor, studied abroad in Morocco her junior year and participated in Model UN international conferences. She shared that she was encouraged to “go out and enrich what she was learning in the classroom.” Katie, an IS major with a Middle-East concentration, studied in Cairo, competed in MUN conferences in Brussels, Turkey, and the Philippines, traveled to Cuba with the anthropology department, and also fit in time to travel on her own. She interned at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in NYC and with an artisan community as part of an NGO. “I learn something every single day from someone who travelled to some other country…it’s ingrained in the culture.” Relationships with professors who really care about her is what stands out for her at Washington College. The deep connection with faculty stood out for us too as the professor on the panel seemed as excited and proud of his students’ accomplishments as they were.
The IS program is interdisciplinary, a cohesive program requiring literacy in anthropology, economics, history, and political science. Foreign language is required as is a senior thesis. In addition to the major, students can do regional concentrations in African / Asian / European / Latin American / Near Eastern Studies, and functional concentrations in Global Business/Peace and Conflict Studies.
They have an endowment plus an ongoing source of funds that helps pay for all the extras (travel to conferences) so students can participate regardless of ability to pay.
Other notable programs include the writing program including the Literary House, which sponsors renowned visiting writers and scholars, Environmental Science and Studies, which takes advantage of their Chesapeake Bay location, and Psychology where students are involved in high level research. 100% of WC students participate in undergraduate research of some sort. Writing is infused in the curriculum and students benefit from close relationships with professors in all departments.
Student body The 1450 students on campus come from 35 different states and 41 countries. 40 percent are from Maryland.
Student life Student life is focused on campus with 25 percent of students participating in Greek life and 30 percent playing a varsity sport. Downtown Chestertown with charming shops and restaurants is within walking distance as is the waterfront area of the Chester River. The area is relatively quiet by midnight.
Admissions Washington College offers EA, ED and RD admission options. Overall accepts approximately 56 percent of applicants. Average ACT is 26, average SAT 584 CR, 577 M, average GPA 3.45. They look for students with diversity of thought and diversity of interests.
Summary: Washington College is a great school for students who want a personalized education, strong relationships with professors, and the ability to do undergraduate research within a small close-knit community. The Creative Writing program is especially interesting.
300 Washington Avenue
Chestertown, Maryland 21620
410-778-2800 | 800-422-1782