Aug 20, 2017


The Commonwealth of Virginia is located on the U.S. east coast. It shares borders with Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. To the east lies the Atlantic Ocean. Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth, while Virginia Beach is the most populous city. Other major cities include Norfolk, Chesapeake, Richmond, Newport News, Alexandria, Hampton, Roanoke, Portsmouth and Suffolk. The total population is 8,260,045, according to 2013 U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

VirginiaVirginia’s economy is strongly tied to the federal government, thanks in part to its proximity to Washington, DC. For example, Virginia has the highest defense spending of any state per capita. Many Virginia residents work directly for the federal government or for federal contractors, including many defense and security firms. The Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency are both located in the state. Other major sectors include agriculture, tourism, technology, manufacturing, and services. A 2013 report by Forbes magazine rated Virginia the best state in the country for business and careers

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the Commonwealth's coordinating body for higher education.

Top Reasons to Study in Virginia

  • Employment Prospects: Virginia enjoys a strong reputation as a business-friendly state. This, along with its proximity to Washington, DC, makes the state a thriving employment hub that is home to 22 Fortune 500 companies, including Freddie Mac, Dollar Tree, Capital One Financial, Altria Group, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics Corporation. Many foreign companies find Virginia an attractive location, and there are more than 700 internationally owned companies located in the state, including Canon, Stihl and Rolls-Royce. Virginia boasts the highest concentration of high-tech workers in the nation and ranks #5 nationwide for technology job growth. Nearly 10% of the state’s private sector workforce is in technology, according to TechAmerica Foundation’s annual Cyberstates report.
  • Quality of Life: Virginia offers an excellent quality of life that includes access to beautiful mountains, rivers and beaches as well as abundant outdoor and historic opportunities. In 2013, Money Magazine ranked Vienna the 4th best place to live in America.
  • Strategic Location: The state’s central location provides easy access to major urban centers on the east coast. Washington, DC is minutes away, while New York and Philadelphia are less than four hours away by road. Virginia's Washington Dulles International Airport serves 80+ U.S. cities and 40 non-stop destinations worldwide—and is the 6th busiest U.S. airport for international travel.

Featured Colleges and Universities

Below are some of the popular colleges in the state. You can also use our college finder search tool to find the right college for you based on your preferred area of study.

For a full list of accredited colleges and universities in Virginia, contact the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.


College Popular Majors Type of Institution Enrollment
Liberty University Business,Culinary Services,Hospitality Private >10,000 Request Info
University of Virginia Business Administration,Political Science,Psychology Public >10,000 Request Info
James Madison University Communication Studies,Health,Kinesiology Public >10,000 Request Info
Old Dominion University Business,Health,Social Sciences Public >10,000 Request Info
George Mason University Accounting,Political Science/ Government,Psychology Public >10,000 Request Info
Virginia Commonwealth University Communications,Finance,Nursing Public >10,000 Request Info
Viriginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Business,Health,Visual/ Performing Arts Public >10,000 Request Info
Marymount University Education,Visual/Performing Arts Private >10,000 Request Info
University of Richmond Agriculture,Biology,Engineering Private >10,000 Request Info
College of William and Mary Business Administration,Government,Psychology Public >10,000 Request Info

References and Useful Links