Imagine that you could take one unique course for four weeks, exploring a topic in depth with one of the world's leading experts, working intensely alongside your fellow students and your professor. That's the essence of the W&L Spring Term.
Academics A Diverse Curriculum
The academic life at Washington and Lee is defined by diversity. What, after all, does one study at a liberal arts college, but difference? Whether one is studying biology or archaeology, Africana Studies or neuroscience, the point is to engage difference and learn through that experience. The faculty at Washington and Lee place supreme value on the free and respectful exchange of knowledge, ideas, and thought, whether that takes place in the classroom, the laboratory, the lecture hall, or the many crucial exchanges that happen in the hallways and walkways of a great university.
The importance of diversity to intellectual inquiry is paramount. As Ralph Ellison famously wrote at the end of his classic 1952 novel, Invisible Man: "Whence all this passion toward conformity anyway? Diversity is the word. Let man keep his many parts and we will have no tyrant states." Diversity, freedom, justice, opportunity, understanding, equality-these are the very conditions of a liberal (as in "liberating") education. These are fundamental values at any great university. At Washington and Lee, with our honor system, our speaking tradition, and our commitment to a community of trust, the emphasis on diversity is especially ingrained in our mission and our self-understanding.
In the academic core of the university, our curriculum and programs of study exemplify diversity. We see this especially in the rich array of programs, majors, minors, and areas of study; in our multiple opportunities for global and international study; in our innovative curriculum and its many high-impact, signature experiences, ranging from small seminars, individual research projects, community-based education, and experiential learning; as well as our emphasis on interdisciplinary programs and cross-department areas of study. All of these learning opportunities and many more embody the commitment to diversity of thought and study, and hallmarks of the Washington and Lee education.
Below is a sampling of distinctive W&L academic centers, programs and student experiences that put a special emphasis on diversity, inclusion and exploration.