If you want to get a master's degree in Virginia, there are quite a few public and private institutions for you to consider. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) can help you identify a school that meets your educational needs.
Virginia Graduate Schools Near Large Cities
The two largest cities in Virginia--Virginia Beach and Norfolk--are located adjacent to each other near the state's southeastern coast. Northern Virginia is also home to several large cities, including Fairfax and Arlington, that are close to Washington, DC. Graduate schools are available in all of these cities, including the following universities:
- Regent University (Virginia Beach)
- Norfolk State University (Norfolk)
- Old Dominion University (Norfolk)
- George Mason University (Fairfax)
- Marymount University (Arlington)
Largest Graduate Schools in Virginia
If you want to pursue your master's degree at a school with a large student population, there are several options in Virginia for you to consider. There is one private school in the state with over eighty thousand students, and six public universities that have over twenty thousand. Here are the combined undergraduate and graduate student populations of the five largest graduate institutions in the state.
- Liberty University (80,494 students)
- George Mason University (33,929 students)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (32,663 students)
- Virginia Commonwealth University (30,918 students)
- Old Dominion University (24,672 students)
Lowest Average Graduate Tuition
Many aspiring master's students pay close attention to expenses when deciding which school to attend. For the schools in Virginia, the NCES calculates the average graduate tuition so that students can get a better idea of how much a master's degree will cost. As of the 2015-2016 school year, these four schools reported the lowest annual tuition costs for in-state graduate students.
- Virginia University of Lynchburg ($5,400 per year)
- Emory & Henry College ($6,030 per year)
- Norfolk State University ($6,302 per year)
- University of Mary Washington ($6,390 per year)
Highest Graduation Rate
According to the NCES, a school's graduation rate is the percentage of full-time undergraduate students who complete their chosen programs within 150% of the normal time. This statistic can provide insight into the quality of the academic atmosphere at a school, for both undergraduate and graduate students. NCES data from students who started their studies in fall 2009 indicates that the five non-specialty graduate schools with the highest graduation rates all reported rates of more than eighty percent.
- University of Virginia-Main Campus (93%)
- Washington and Lee University (91%)
- College of William and Mary (90%)
- University of Richmond (88%)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (83%)
In summary, statistics on the locations, student bodies, costs, and graduation rates of the graduate schools in Virginia can help you find the best place to get your master's degree.