Skip to:Main Content

Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University Campus Image

Curriculum & Calendar


We like doing things a little differently here at W&L. One example of this is our academic calendar, which features a 12-week fall term, a 12-week winter term and a 4-week spring term.

What is Spring Term, you ask? It is certainly a time for students to enjoy the beautiful weather in the Shenandoah Valley during April and May. But primarily it is an opportunity to take advantage of a wide range of non-traditional academic experiences. Students take only one class during Spring Term and enjoy focused study in an area of personal interest without the full course load of a regular 12-week term.

Visit the Spring Term site for more information

With a course catalog that more closely resembles the thickness of the Yellow Pages, Washington and Lee University is a small school with big academic opportunities. Our 1,000+ course catalog was called the “envy of many larger institutions” by The Washington Post and last year alone we launched 119 brand new Spring Term courses for our students to choose from! W&L finds much of its strength in its foundation and distribution requirements, the core curriculum that each student must complete prior to graduation. But there’s no one English class every student must take- the breadth and depth of our course offerings allow students to choose classes within these requirements that are of the greatest interest. For example, a science laboratory class that’s heavy on the writing. Or a politics class where you analyze the meaning of the latest Dave Matthews Band song.

Beyond the typical scope of a liberal arts college, Washington and Lee offers programs that are unique. Did you know that our campus is home to the oldest journalism program in the country? Or that we offer two different sequences in engineering? Interested in business? We have a fully accredited business program on our campus. Maybe you’d like to give back to your community. Then try out the Shepherd Poverty Program. Take advantage of the School of Law or test the laws of physics over summer break with the R.E. Lee Research Program. With so much to see and do it’s a shame that college only lasts four years!