Division I colleges and universities have larger budgets and bigger student bodies than most Division II schools, though some Division I schools can actually be smaller than a Division II institution. These schools are given exposure to potential students through weekly television football games and it is Division I schools that go to those popular bowl games. Virginia is home to several Division I colleges and universities, including some of the oldest schools in the country.
College of William and Mary
The College of William and Mary was founded in 1693 in Williamsburg, Va. Enrollment here is lower than at most Division I colleges. The undergraduate student body is usually below 6,000 with females making up slightly more of that student body and minorities representing less than 20 percent. According to The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges, the most popular majors at William and Mary are in the fields of business, political science and psychology. Students need 120 credits for graduation.
College of William and Mary P.O. Box 8795 Williamsburg, VA 23187 (757) 221-4000 wm.edu
James Madison University
James Madison University was founded in 1908 in Harrisonburg, Va. Undergraduate enrollment hovers around the 15,000 mark, with female students outnumbering males six to four. Only about 10 percent of the student body at this Virginia Division I school qualify as minorities. The most popular majors are in business, social sciences and health. The women’s lacrosse team has made James Madison quite notable in the arena of Division I sports.
James Madison University 800 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22807 (540) 568-6211 jmu.edu
University of Richmond
The University of Richmond was founded in 1830. This is a very small Division I school with an undergraduate student body of less than 3,000. The gender division is split equally between males and females and minorities make up only about 10 percent of the student body. The most popular majors are in the fields of business, social sciences and English.
University of Richmond 28 Westhampton Way University of Richmond, VA 23173 (800) 700-1662 richmond.edu
George Mason University
George Mason University represents a relatively new addition to the list of Division I schools in Virginia as it was founded in 1957 in Fairfax, Va. Undergraduate enrollment is around 13,000 with females outnumbering males roughly 55 to 45 percent; minorities are about a third of the student body. The most popular majors at George Mason are in marketing, psychology and communications. To receive a degree, you must complete 120 credits.
George Mason University 4400 University Dr. Fairfax, VA 22030 (703) 993-1000 gmu.edu
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Va., and alumni ranges from Edgar Allan Poe to Woodrow Wilson. Enrollments averages around 13,000 with slightly more females than males. Minorities represent about a fourth of the student body. The most popular majors are in the fields of commerce, economics and psychology.
University of Virginia 1215 Lee St. Charlottesville, VA 22908 (434) 243-6333 virginia.edu
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a very large Virginia Division I school with an undergraduate enrollment topping 20,000. This is another Virginia school that has been around for more than a century. It was founded in 872 in Blacksburg, Va., and males outnumber females by nearly six to four; minorities represent less than 20 percent of the student body. The most popular majors are in business, engineering and biology.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 250 Student Services Building Blacksburg, VA 24061 (540) 231-6000 vt.edu