About Colleges

Everything about University of Virginia

Everything about University of Virginia

Total Undergraduate Enrollment: 16,777

Institutional Type: Public

Curricular Flexibility: Somewhat Flexible

Academic Rating: 4.5

Top Programs

Biomedical Engineering


Computer Science



Global Studies


Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law

Who Recruits

1. Yext

2. Pariveda

3. Oak Hill Advisors

4. Altria

5. Harris Williams & Co.

Notable Internships

1. Strategic Investment Group

2. NBCUniversal

3. Proctor & Gamble

Top Industries

1. Business

2. Education

3. Operations

4. Research

5. Engineering

Top Employers

1. Capital One

2. Deloitte

3. EY

4. Google

5. Accenture

Where Alumni Work

1. Washington, DC

2. Charlottesville, VA

3. New York City

4. Richmond, VA

5. San Francisco

Median Earnings

College Scorecard (Early Career): $61,200

EOP (Early Career): $71,200

PayScale (Mid-Career): $117,500

Inside the Classroom

When Thomas Jefferson helped to found the University of Virginia in 1819, the US's third president did more than just assist in securing the funds—he also personally designed some of the campus’ now famous architecture, planned the curriculum, and recruited the first faculty members. As the so-called “father” of the school, Jefferson would undoubtedly be thrilled with what his progeny has gone on to achieve. Two hundred years after its first cornerstone was laid, UVA has become one of the most iconic public universities in the United States where state residents can get an Ivy-level education at a bargain price.

Undergrads can study within one of seven colleges/schools: the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, McIntire School of Commerce, the School of Architecture, the School of Nursing, the Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy, and the Curry School of Education. Within the College of Arts & Sciences, undergraduates must complete 30 credits worth of Area Requirements broken down as follows: Natural Science and Mathematics (12), Social Sciences (6), Humanities (6), Historical Studies (3), and Non-Western Perspectives (3). Further Competency Requirements include a First Writing Requirement, Second Writing Requirement, and a Foreign Language Requirement. The 225-250 students per freshman class who are selected for the Echols Scholars Program are not bound by any competency or area requirements.

The University of Virginia sports a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, a very strong figure for a large public institution. As such, the school is able to offer many small classes like you would find an elite liberal arts college. In fact, 17 percent of sections boast a single-digit enrollment and 55 percent contain 19 or fewer students. There will be some large lecture courses as well—15 percent of sections contain 50 or more undergrads. Undergraduate research can be challenging to uncover at any large school where graduate students get the prime spots, yet, UVA does offer a multitude of opportunities. To cite examples, every single engineering major completes one major research project, the biology department has 230 students each semester participating in research, and physics students are given the chance to get their names on published work.

The two most commonly conferred degree areas are in liberal arts/general studies (17 percent) and the social sciences (16 percent). Engineering (13 percent), business/marketing (8 percent), biology (7 percent), and psychology (5 percent) are next in sheer popularity. The McIntire School of Commerce has a glowing reputation in the finance/accounting/accounting realm and the School of Engineering and Applied Science is just as highly-respected by employers in those fields. Other notable departmental strengths include computer science, economics, and political philosophy, policy, and law.

Outside the Classroom

Just 38 percent of all students live on UVA’s campus, although 100 percent of freshmen do reside on the school's vast 1,682-acre grounds. Greek life is popular as an equal 31 percent of men and women sign up for fraternity and sorority life. The Cavaliers compete in 27 varsity sports teams (13 men’s and 14 women’s) in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Approximately 2,100 students are members of 65 club sports teams and many others participate in intramural athletics. As you would expect at such a large institution, there are 1,000+ clubs available in everything from acrobatics to high powered rocketry; the process of joining some of the more competitive clubs can be fierce (i.e. the University Judiciary Committee). A cappella is a beloved art form at the school and there are countless groups to consider. Outside of being the site of a disturbing rally in 2017, Charlottesville is generally considered to one of the most student-friendly college towns. There is no shortage of culture, craft breweries, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Plenty of Jefferson and Madison-related history can be explored nearby and a trip to the state capital of Richmond will take you just over an hour. Those looking to fly home for the holidays will enjoy the convenience of having the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport just eight miles from campus.

Career Services

The UVA Career Center employs 43 full-time staff members giving them a student-to-advisor ratio of 390:1, which is in the average range compared to schools in this guide and a very respectable level of support for a school of the University of Virginia’s size. Roles of staff members include pre-health and law advisor, career counseling for public service and government community, and director of employer relations & experiential education. This well-resourced office encourages one-on-one appointments, has ample drop-in hours, daily “Coffee Chats with Career Counselors,” and hosts regular “Career Communities” that help students interested in a specific field like Business & Technology or Science and Sustainability. Of the employed members of last year's graduating Class, over 20 percent were connected to their job directly by services staff/Handshake and another 8 percent heard about the opportunity at a Career Services-sponsored career fair. The University hosts large scale general career fairs in the fall and spring as well many discipline-specific events. The Engineering, Science, and Technology Career Fair attracts over 2,000 students and 230 companies each year. According to the most recent statistics available, 40 percent of undergraduates land at least one paid internship and close to 50 percent have an unpaid workplace experience. There are close to a quarter of a million Cavalier alumni and many are happy to help current students find internships, employment, or offer some level of mentorship. Each year, more than 1,000 alums return to campus for this purpose.

Professional Outcomes

Sixty-five percent of last year's Class immediately joined the workforce upon receiving their degree while 16 percent headed directly to graduate school; 17 percent of graduates were still looking for their next destination. Industries attracting the greatest number of freshly-minted graduates were Internet & Software (12 percent), Healthcare (11 percent), K-12 Education (10 percent), Management Consulting (7 percent), and Higher Education (7 percent). The companies who scooped up the greatest number of graduates were Capital One (46), Deloitte (42), Oracle (29), and Microsoft (25).

The average starting salary for those finding employment was a robust $66,790. Graduates of the McIntire School of Commerce had average salaries of $75k while Arts & Sciences graduates averaged $50k. Large numbers of recent graduates migrate to Washington DC and New York City and many others head to Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Among the grads who decided to continue their education, 219 enrolled in an advanced degree program at UVA—thenext most popular destinations were Virginia Commonwealth University (27), Columbia University (10), the University of Michigan (10), and the College of William & Mary (8). In recent years, medical school graduation for Cavaliers have beaten national averages. In the last six years, UVA applicants to MD programs have enjoyed between a 52-60 percent acceptance rate versus the national average range of 42-45 percent. Virginia grads head to a wide range of medical colleges including the nation’s best like Johns Hopkins, Emory, Cornell, Harvard, Tufts, and Georgetown.

Students' Voice: Pros and Cons of Location

Pros of Charlottesville, VA

• “There are so many restaurants, it has the [14th] most restaurants per capita in the United States.”

• “My roommate was from Charlottesville. About [2/3 of the class are from in-state], which makes it cool for me coming from out of state because there are a lot of people from Virginia who can show you around and show you the ins and outs of the town.”

• “There are hiking trails around Charlottesville.”

Cons of Charlottesville, VA

• “It’s less suburban than I’m used to. To go to Wal-Mart, I have to find somebody to take me or take an Uber. There’s no other way to get there. I feel that I’m kind of secluded away from everything.”

• “I feel like there are fewer things to do because I am secluded from things. I don’t have a car, I don’t always have money to pay for an Uber, and the buses aren’t very time efficient, so I feel like I’m sometimes stuck and can’t go anywhere.”

Students' Voice: Reasons to attend and not to attend

To Attend

• “There’s a lot around Charlottesville to visit if you’re into doing things outdoors. It’s a beautiful place.”

• “There is the College of Arts and Sciences. It’s great because it’s a big liberal arts school where if you’re not sure what you want to major in, you can try a bunch of classes. We also have a lot of really strong specialized schools.”

• “UVA is a very good school. The name carries some weight and sets you apart from other people.”

• “It’s a good environment for interdisciplinary work and research opportunities.”

• “It’s a safe campus.”

To Not Attend

• “Depending on what kind of student you are, there are a lot of overachievers at UVA so I can imagine for some people that’s not the kind of environment they want to be in.”

• “It’s competitive, and there can be some individualism here.”

• “I feel like UVA sends a message that they are working on diversity and being inclusive, but I think they just say it and don’t actually do it.”

• “If you’re looking to be surrounded by the opportunities of a larger city. They are still available to you here, but it may be more difficult to access in terms of transportation and housing if you want to be located somewhere larger.”

• “It’s not a diverse community”

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