Class sizes are generally manageable with the occasional overcrowding issue. For this reason it is a necessity to sign up for classes as soon as they are available, because many core classes and popular electives fill up very quickly. The faculty is, deservedly so, held in very high regard. Many professors are published in their fields, several of whom have won numerous awards. Career placement is not a high priority at Mary Washington, but that said they do have great internship possibilities. The level of requirements is that of any standard public university, though one must make sure not to stray too far from one's chosen major, as it will set one back a semester or more.
All of the professors I have had know my name. Fav class had to do with computers...surprise because I hate computers...but the professor was AWESOME (Davies). Least favorite: Economics, because the teacher was horrible. AKA the "anti-christ" on ratemyprof.com. students are very smart and active, and I would say competitive, but not in the rutheless negative way. All departments have barbeques for their majors, and that's when a lot of students get to hang out with their professors outside of class. UMW's academic requirements change often, especially particular gen-ed's, which is always a pain.
Strong academics. Students get out what they put in. Can be frustrating when slackers do reasonably well. Some students go only to easy classes and skip alot finding easy professors, I look forward to being their boss one day because they wasted a good opportunity to get ready for the real world. No TA is good. Professors are usually top notch, particularly in Political Science. General Education requirement is hard but will benefit you in the long run. Students aren't very competitive and many are not book worms.
Professors are pretty sweet, they all enjoy interacting with students and teaching. however, while they usually have PHds they usually went to bad colleges and aren't the smartest people. Students dont study that much ever, whether they are straight A students, or straight Ds. I spent all first semester playing video games, partying, and chilling and I got a 3.8 :) (sounds awsome doesnt it? its not). Class participation is pretty bad, its kind of like highschool, only slightly better. Students are NOT competitive.
If you take the initiative to be involved in class (in discussions, visiting Professors during office hours, etc), the professors will know your names. Some classes are larger (100 or so), and the professors won't know who you are. All professors are available outside of class for help and additional assistance. I think the size of the school is also great because you have the opportunity to be known by your professors without having to do too much work (reminds me of the size of most high school classes I had).
Academics are great. The professors are all brilliant and the majority of them are SO nice. The Modern Foreign Language Department professors are amazing - especially German prof. Herr Rotter. The students aren't that competitive, it seems like they go to class because they have too, participate because it's required, and leave as soon as class is over. UMW students are smart all around - in and out of classes.
Great class sizes and professors though demanding are there to help you if they see you are making an effort. Students are competitive. I recommend taking the harder teachers b/c although your GPA may take a hit you will learn information and skills that will prove invaluable.
Academically, it's right below UVA, just by a notch, and about on par with William and Mary. However, it does not have nearly the prestige, which is very unfortunate, because it's an incredible learning environment. (doesn't mean you can't have fun. I do)
Challenging, but professors actually make an effort to help each individual student. Being a Bio major, the content is hard and the classes are demanding, but for the most part teachers are understanding and care about your success.
Class sizes are perfect, freshman year my largest class was less than 20 students. Teachers know your name and actually seem to care, office hours are held regularly and e-mail responses are always quick.