Best Grad Schools in Virginia 2024

Badge for BEST IN VIRGINIA GRADUATE SCHOOLS

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Virginia offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

10 Best Grad Schools in Virginia

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  1. University of Virginia
  2. George Mason University
  3. Virginia Tech
  4. William & Mary
  5. Virginia Commonwealth University
  6. Old Dominion University
  7. Liberty University
  8. James Madison University
  9. Hampton University
  10. Radford University
  1. University of Virginia
  2. George Mason University
  3. William & Mary
  4. Virginia Tech
  5. Virginia Commonwealth University
  6. Old Dominion University
  7. Hampton University
  8. Liberty University
  9. James Madison University
  10. Virginia State University
  1. Liberty University 99%
  2. University of Lynchburg 96%
  3. Old Dominion University 95%
  4. Radford University 93%
  5. Virginia Commonwealth University 91%
  6. Virginia State University 90%
  7. George Mason University 90%
  8. Norfolk State University 89%
  9. Marymount University 81%
  10. Shenandoah University 80%
  1. Regent University 21 to 1
  2. Liberty University 18 to 1
  3. Norfolk State University 18 to 1
  4. Virginia Tech 17 to 1
  5. James Madison University 17 to 1
  6. Virginia Commonwealth University 16 to 1
  7. Old Dominion University 16 to 1
  8. George Mason University 16 to 1
  9. University of Virginia 15 to 1
  10. Marymount University 13 to 1
  1. Marymount University $37,600
  2. Shenandoah University $35,170
  3. University of Lynchburg $34,500
  4. Hampton University $29,162
  5. Liberty University $22,511
  6. Regent University $19,680
  7. University of Virginia $18,059
  8. William & Mary $17,434
  9. Virginia Commonwealth University $12,472
  10. Virginia Tech $12,104
  1. Shenandoah University $22,680
  2. Marymount University $21,420
  3. University of Virginia $18,382
  4. Regent University $16,028
  5. Virginia Tech $14,521
  6. George Mason University $13,426
  7. Hampton University $13,099
  8. Virginia Commonwealth University $12,618
  9. James Madison University $11,520
  10. Old Dominion University $10,519
  1. University of Lynchburg
  2. Shenandoah University
  3. Marymount University
  4. Norfolk State University
  5. Regent University
  6. Virginia State University
  7. Radford University
  8. Hampton University
  9. James Madison University
  10. Liberty University
  1. University of Lynchburg
  2. Shenandoah University
  3. Marymount University
  4. Norfolk State University
  5. Regent University
  6. Radford University
  7. Virginia State University
  8. James Madison University
  9. Liberty University
  10. Hampton University
  1. University of Virginia 19%
  2. Regent University 32%
  3. William & Mary 33%
  4. Virginia Tech 57%
  5. Hampton University 74%
  6. James Madison University 78%
  7. Shenandoah University 80%
  8. Marymount University 81%
  9. Norfolk State University 89%
  10. George Mason University 90%
  1. University of Lynchburg 10 to 1
  2. Shenandoah University 11 to 1
  3. Virginia State University 12 to 1
  4. William & Mary 12 to 1
  5. Radford University 12 to 1
  6. Marymount University 13 to 1
  7. Hampton University 13 to 1
  8. University of Virginia 15 to 1
  9. Virginia Commonwealth University 16 to 1
  10. Old Dominion University 16 to 1
  1. Virginia State University $5,540
  2. Norfolk State University $5,752
  3. Old Dominion University $7,239
  4. James Madison University $7,684
  5. Radford University $8,156
  6. George Mason University $9,795
  7. Virginia Tech $12,104
  8. Virginia Commonwealth University $12,472
  9. William & Mary $17,434
  10. University of Virginia $18,059
  1. Liberty University $7,893
  2. Virginia State University $8,375
  3. Norfolk State University $8,820
  4. Radford University $9,182
  5. University of Lynchburg $10,485
  6. William & Mary $10,516
  7. Old Dominion University $10,519
  8. James Madison University $11,520
  9. Virginia Commonwealth University $12,618
  10. Hampton University $13,099

Colleges and Universities in Virginia

Liberty University, a private Christian school in Lynchburg, is the largest school in Virginia, serving over 60,000 students. The largest public university, Virginia Tech, has a student population of about half that but offers many in-person degree programs as well as eight master’s programs and 19 certificate programs online. Students who attend Virginia Tech can pursue fields like engineering, criminal justice, education, and business.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

The majority of Virginia’s universities and colleges could be considered small schools, serving populations of less than 5,000 students. Included on this list are public schools, like Christopher Newport University in Newport News, and private schools, like Hampton University, a historically black university in Hampton. Though most of its higher education institutes charge tuition fees above the national average, Virginia offers several loan forgiveness programs for qualifying attorneys and medical, dental, behavioral health, and pharmaceutical professionals.

Virginia is perhaps most famous for its rich history - but the state is also home to many unique museums and famous landmarks. For example, those who love the classics can visit the Edgar Allen Poe Museum in Richmond. Those who harbor romantic dreams of espionage and intrigue might visit the CIA Museum in McLean. And, if you like your attractions random, you could check out Virginia’s 300-yard-long natural tunnel or its 29-ton spinning granite ball. While you’re here, you might consider attending one of the 78 colleges located in the state.

Learn more about Virginia’s higher education opportunities by checking out the state’s many colleges and universities.


What are Virginia’s Colleges & Universities?

Virginia’s Best Overall


Virginia's Best Grad Schools Badge
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There are 16 doctorate-granting graduate schools in Virginia. Our ranking of the best graduate schools in the Virginia is composed of both private and public schools. To be included, schools must be fully accredited non-profit institutions, and must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.

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Best Grad Schools in Virginia 2023

  1. #1

    University of Virginia

    Charlottesville , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    19%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    29K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1470/33

    Career Outlook for degree at University of Virginia

    Cost of Degree: $21,425
    Expenses: $17,790
    Starting Salary: $79,400
    Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    27K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/24

    Career Outlook for degree at Old Dominion University

    Cost of Degree: $11,220
    Expenses: $17,780
    Starting Salary: $48,700
    Cost Recoup Time: 12 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  3. #7

    Liberty University

    Lynchburg , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    131K

    Career Outlook for degree at Liberty University

    Cost of Degree: $16,203
    Expenses: $19,987
    Starting Salary: $41,400
    Cost Recoup Time: 15 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  4. #9

    Hampton University

    Hampton , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/22

    Career Outlook for degree at Hampton University

    Cost of Degree: $29,162
    Expenses: $16,886
    Starting Salary: $50,100
    Cost Recoup Time: 15 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  5. #12

    Regent University

    Virginia Beach , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/22

    Career Outlook for degree at Regent University

    Cost of Degree: $19,680
    Expenses: $11,182
    Starting Salary: $45,600
    Cost Recoup Time: 13 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  6. #14

    Marymount University

    Arlington , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    4K

    Career Outlook for degree at Marymount University

    Cost of Degree: $36,800
    Expenses: $21,807
    Starting Salary: $57,000
    Cost Recoup Time: 16 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Marymount University known for?

    Marymount University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #15

    Shenandoah University

    Winchester , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    5K

    Career Outlook for degree at Shenandoah University

    Cost of Degree: $35,170
    Expenses: $15,330
    Starting Salary: $52,300
    Cost Recoup Time: 16 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Shenandoah University known for?

    Shenandoah University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #16

    University of Lynchburg

    Lynchburg , VA

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/24

    Career Outlook for degree at University of Lynchburg

    Cost of Degree: $34,500
    Expenses: $16,110
    Starting Salary: $48,800
    Cost Recoup Time: 16 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is University of Lynchburg known for?

    University of Lynchburg’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

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Virginia’s Best Grad School for Your Area of Interest

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2024 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2023. That’s because we took a fundamentally different approach. For 2024 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Virginia
  2. George Mason University
  3. Virginia Tech
  4. William & Mary
  5. Virginia Commonwealth University
  6. Liberty University
  7. James Madison University
  8. Old Dominion University
  9. Hampton University
  10. Regent University
  11. Virginia State University
  12. Norfolk State University
  13. Marymount University
  14. Shenandoah University
  15. University of Lynchburg
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