Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Percent Women: What percentage of undergraduates are women? 54.5%
Tuition (one year): In state (incl room and board): $12,458 (2013-2014) Out of State (13-2014): $39,844
Most Popular Majors: What are the five most popular majors? (based on 2012 graduates) Economics, Psychology, Business/Commerce, Biology/Biological Sciences, and International Relations and Affairs
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptance Rate: What percent of applications are accepted? Acceptance rate of 29.6%, and early acceptance rate of 29.3%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit the University of Virginia’s website at http://www.admission.virginia....
The downtown mall, Charlottesville
Why Choose UVA?
“I applied to UVA because it had a reputation for a good linguistics department and I wanted a school with a strong sense of tradition and student unity,” says Katie Fadely.
“I had a really great guide when I toured as a prospective student and she really pushed how UVA isn’t just about great academics, but it is full of lots of unique clubs and sports opportunities. And the school was really pretty!”
“It’s one of the top ranked schools in the country and it was important because [since I am a transfer student] they had a guaranteed transfer agreement with Virginia community colleges," says Olivia Oldenburg.
“I liked the level of dedication that the students and professors showed to their work.”
Elizabeth McCauley says, “I knew I wanted to go to an in-state public school and UVA is the best option out of all Virginia schools," and "The campus is really beautiful; when I visited I got good vibes.”
“I really liked UVA’s traditions, the school’s history, and the opportunities to be involved in student clubs and organizations," says Tiffany Hwang.
“Nothing is more beautiful than walking past the Rotunda every day. Whether it is covered in snow, lit up with Christmas lights, or surrounded by beautiful trees, the view never gets old.”
“The energy and spirit at sporting events is definitely one of the best features of UVA. Even if you don’t love sports, it’s so nice to be surrounded by people in orange and blue who have so much school pride. I know other people make fun of us for ‘guys in ties, girls in pearls,’ but really, there is no better feeling than putting your arms around your friends and singing the good ol’ song.”
“The Corner is definitely one of UVA’s best features! It’s full of amazing food and cute boutiques and it’s great place for grabbing Friday drinks, running Saturday errands, or eating Sunday brunch!
“How much everyone loves Thomas Jefferson! I love that it’s not a joke!”
"I think my least favorite part about going to UVA is that I hate feeling like if I'm not studying or volunteering or doing something really productive like the rest of the school I'm wasting time or I'm going to fail or not be able to be successful at the university. So basically if I'm not always busy I'm not a good UVA student. Also I hate the meal swipe options."
"Our advising system is absolutely, absurdly, inexcusably bad, and there needs to be more smaller classes. Because my major is so large I couldn't even get into a class that was less than 30 people until I was a 4th year."
"The worst part of UVA is the competitive atmosphere and expectation to be perfect"
"The worst parts of UVA are definitely the dining halls in so far as that they don't offer very healthy, easy options, especially when dealing with a food allergy. Additionally, paying for parking at the fitness facilities is a big downside as we already pay tuition and many students live where it is not convenient to walk to these facilities"
"I don't like the often extremely competitive nature of the students, to the point where they only are concerned with their own agendas. I understand being concerned with doing well, but I feel l like this attitude often finds its way out of the classroom and can make for a negative atmosphere around grounds."
New Collegiette on Campus
"Yes there is separate first year housing. There are old dorms and new dorms located on campus that only first years live in, plus their RAs." -Meg Mergenmeier, 1st year, the College
"First year is a year of transition. As a first year, you learn how to navigate grounds, succeed in classes, and participate in all the U.Va. traditions. There are so many opportunities to get involved and feel like a part of the community so that the transition is smooth, and even fun." -Malory Smith, 1st year, the College
"Summer orientation is pretty much the first taste of college. Spending the night with a roommate and doing activities throughout the day without a parent by your side will give you a glimpse of what college will be like." - Emily Pak, 1st year, the College
"I believe it is easier to get to know upperclassmen if you already know some that went to your high school and by getting involved in clubs and other activities in the University. Though the upperclassmen do have the inevitable intimidating factor due to their superiority, they don't come across as superior in any way." -Anonymous
All About Academics
"The workload at U.Va is considerable, but absolutely manageable if you are organised about it. In my first year, I was a little overwhelmed with all of the reading required in my liberal arts courses, but by spending an hour scheduling at the start of each week, I was better equipped to navigate my workload. Additionally, I found it incredibly helpful using professors as a resource when making the transition to college life -- they have, after all, advised generations of students before us!"
"So much depends on how you choose to balance your credit hours and extracurricular commitments, but on the whole I would say each semester’s workload has felt manageable. Everything seems to go so much more quickly when it’s for classes that you legitimately enjoy. First year in particular I was too stubborn to accept that using those first few weeks of each semester to explore and be a little bit adrift really does pay off once you settle into classes that fit. #1 piece of advice on this front is to focus first on shaping the quality of your workload and then on handling the quantity!"
"Political and Social Thought (PST) requires a final thesis, and from the perspective of a 3rd year I actually have a nerdy amount of excitement about it. It’s supposed to be 80-100 pages, though...so maybe in a year the sentiment will have changed a bit. So much respect for 4th year friends dealing with this insanity right now!"
"Formal advising depends to some extent on luck in my experience. I really encourage anyone who might not feel lucky about that initial advisor assignment to form relationships with other professors more informally and that way hear a range of different perspectives on any academic/life questions that come to mind. Getting involved with more specialized programs, including small majors, independent studies, or research projects, seems pretty consistently to allow for more personal interaction with advisors. Thankfully my English advisor turned out to be great despite coming from a very different section of the department, and ending up in a second major that’s so small definitely added another layer to advising support too. Across the board most professors here really are friendly and willing to talk if you just reach out to start the conversation!"
"I love Alderman so much and should probably just start paying rent here. Most people end up finding a spot, but sometimes switching it up is good too!"
Learn From the Best
Popular professors: Professor Lee Coppock (Econ), Allison Alexy (Religious Studies), Sophia Rosenfeld (History), Mary Erickson (Commerce), Stanley Stepanic (Slavic), Mary Beck (Engineering)
Favorite classes: Acting I, Theory and History of anthropology, Dracula, Introduction to Macroeconomic Principles, Introduction to Perception, Learn to Groove
“While almost all my major classes involves intensive brain use, Acting focus on the entirety of your body: your arms, your legs, and you position in space. I’ve learned to celebrate all my emotions, both on stage and in real life, I’ve learned to pay more attention to my interaction with people, and most important of all, I’ve learned more about who I am. My favorite part of this class is that my ten-minute play with my partner. We practiced a lot throughout the semester and it felt fantastic to act in front of a small crowd."
Buddhism Meditation Lab, Slaughter Recreation Center
“My favorite class is professor is Theory and History of Anthropology by professor Allison Alexy. Prof. Alexy is very smart, and she always finds a way to challenge her students. She is not spacy as some other Anthropology professors might be. Instead she is super organized in class, and she cares about her students a lot."
“My favorite class is Perception with Dennis Proffitt. He is really engaging and likes feedback from students. He asks students what they would like to learn and he changes the materials based on those. He is very interactive and likes to draw on the board to help students understand. He lets student know what he likes them to know. The material he teaches really pertain to students like how our eyes, nose, touch, ears work. It’s a really cool class.”
“I absolutely loved Revolutionary France by Sophia Rosenfeld. I loved it because it was clear in structure and Prof. Rosenfeld explained the historical events clearly and logically. She also introduced some new perspectives like intellectual history and historiology (yes, that’s a word). I took her out to lunch and she gave me some very useful advice on college life and major choices. “
"Mary Beck is definitely one of the best professors at UVa. She teaches Calculus in the Engineering School but anyone is free to take her classes. I love her because first, she is a very effective teacher and is very clear in explaining problems. Second and more importantly, she cares about you as a person. She would remember your name after the first class, she would ask you if you are feeling ok if she saw that you were a bit off in class. I liked to go to her office hours and small talk with her. We talk about our life, relationships, travel, and all sorts of things that you would talk about with friends and family members. I still go to her office hours even if I'm no longer in her class."
Econometrics Professor Ron Michener
Interests & Involvements
“Ever since I was a junior in high school I have been interested in exploring the intersection of business and development to spark social change. While at UVa I learned about the potential impact of social entrepreneurship and held on to the idea that creating a business with not only a financial purpose, but also with concrete financial and social outcomes could be the ticket to solving some of the globe's toughest problems. Looking for a way to translate my interest in to hands on experience, I stumbled upon SEED (Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development). SEED organizes teams of 4-5 individuals that provide pro-bono consulting services to over 15 NGOs and for-profit social enterprises each semester. I've worked on many interesting projects including developing a mobile technology loan system and internal controls for Forjadores, a microfinance bank in Mexico and overseeing two projects that developed a risk management and liquidity risk platform for the same microfinance bank. My most rewarding project with SEED, however, has been working with members of the Charlottesville city council, other stakeholders around the area, and a team of 5 UVa students to create an accessible, navigable research database to connect low-income communities with benefit services and job opportunities, a project that spiraled from a class I took in Spring 2013.” – Cristina Yoder, Fourth Year
“I am the Head Program Director for Bridging the Gap, a Madison House mentoring program that pairs UVa students with African refugee children resettled in Charlottesville. BTG has been in existence for over five years, and continues to enhance the lives of both volunteers and refugee children. My time spent with my mentee, an 11 year old Sudanese boy, will remain in my heart forever and I plan to remain in contact with him after graduation. Since my second year, I have watched my mentee shine on the soccer field and in the classroom. BTG provides both an excellent and easy opportunity to reach out to the Charlottesville community and serve as a tutor, mentor, and friend.” – Coles Lawton, Fourth Year
“I am in a club called TEDxUVA where we have been planning all year for a conference bringing 12 different speakers to UVA to give TED Talks on topics they are passionate about (Feb 22). The theme this year is "Making the Path" with the idea that we all have the power to choose the path we want to take to make a difference.I am on the speaker committee and was given the chance to help pick the 12 speakers at the conference, ranging from AOL's Digital Media "Prophet" to the owner of the Charlottesville coffee shop, Mudhouse. I have always loved TED Talks and the lessons and inspiration they provide. The club has introduced me to a whole new group of people on Grounds who share similar passions.” – Charlotte Seiler, Second Year
“I am a founding member of the Charlottesville division of a group called Democracy for America. At first we didn't have any presence on grounds but we just finished a campaign against Sexual Assault that gained national recognition. It has been really exciting to see something I helped start grow from the ground up and hopefully continue on long after I'm gone!” – Taylor Booth, Fourth Year
An example of The Handprint Project in action, an initiative Democracy for America helped sponsor
“I volunteer for the International Studies Office through the Buddy Program, where we aim to bridge the gap between UVa's American students and the international students studying abroad here. Over the past year, I have helped facilitate the Buddy Matching process and paired incoming international students up with a current UVa students based on their common interests apart from participating as a "buddy" myself. The program has offered me an incredible opportunity to engage with people from around the world and learn about their different cultures. I've really enjoyed the experiences I've had working with this program as it has allowed me to make connections with a group of very unique people that I otherwise might not have encountered on Grounds! I believe that people do participate in clubs and extracurriculars around Grounds, but advertising meetings and events is difficult considering the size of the school and the abundance of ongoing projects. The Club Fair at the beginning of the year is a great way to find out about existing clubs.” – Abbey Moffet, Second Year
"This year has been an especially popular year in regards to the sports at U.Va. Both of our soccer teams made it to the College Cup [the NCAA Division I Soccer Championship], our baseball team is #1 in preseason rankings, and our men's basketball team is on fire! Then our tennis teams as well as rowing, wrestling, lacrosse, and many others have always been consistently successful. The only team that's lacking is football, but those games are still fun to go to." -Anonymous, 3rd year, College
"I think a lot of people can agree that there's a lot of Wahoo pride that can not only be seen around grounds and at sporting events, but also in the number of alumni who keep up with the University's sports and often return to grounds for games. A lot of people who are just part of the greater Charlottesville community also come to U.Va. games."
-Anonymous, 4th year, E-School
"U.Va. has a very large and diverse sports culture. From just attending varsity sport games, to playing intramural sports, or to just playing pick-up soccer in Lambeth field on a Sunday, nearly everyone is at least a little involved with the sports culture."
-Anonymous, 4th year, College
"Some of the student athletes are perceived as campus celebrities, but once you see them walking around grounds along with everyone else and in classes with you, you realize they're there just to work hard and study like everyone else."
-Anonymous, 3rd year, College
“People wear preppy clothes! Uggs, north face, leggings, sweaters, scarves. And in the summer, flip flops, short shorts, tank tops, or sundresses, or just workout clothes with running shoes.” - Seher Raza, first year
“I don’t feel much of a difference between men and women after coming to UVA. The opportunities are equal for both and that feels great.” - Sheethal Jose, second year
"As at many other good colleges, the ratio is skewed towards the female side. But I don't notice it on a day to day basis and I certainly don't notice it in the leadership around school. Most of the groups I am a part of and organizations such as Honor, the Jefferson Society, and Student Council that have been traditionally male strong holds, have many women in leadership positions." -Caroline Bartholomew, fourth year
"I think because UVA can be and was such a patriarchally dominated society, they try to overcompensate. There are a multitude of organizations around grounds focused on women's issues as well as a Women, Gender & Sexuality major and a Women's Center." -Caroline Bartholomew, fourth year
Food & Drink
"We have three dining halls - Runk, O'Hill, and Newcomb. I don't really like the food because I have a really weird appetite. My favorite place to eat on grounds is the Starbucks in Nau Hall." ('15)
"There are many different kinds of restaurants within walking distance from campus, particularly at The Corner and the Downtown Mall, which have lots of restaurants and bars." ('15)
"People can go to dining halls all 4 years but they do not necessarily have a meal plan to go there themselves every year. A meal plan is required for first years, but not all upperclassmen choose to get a meal plan." ('14)
"Kitchens are in most to all apartments that I've ever seen, since most upperclassmen live off-grounds. Upperclassmen dorms have kitchens, and even some of the newer first year dorms have kitchens in them." ('14)
"I always check out the UPC Facebook page because they are always putting on fun events throughout the year. My favorite thing to take advantage of is the discounted movies at Newcomb Theater on the weekends. They are movies out of the theater but not yet released, and you get to see them on the big screen!"
–Kelsey, 4th Year
"Tuesday nights are the new Thursday nights because of Pint Night!! "I would have never gotten the chance to try and learn about so many different craft beers if it wasn't for Mellow Mushroom's Pint Night. I love it! The downtown mall has a plethora of amazing restaurants and an upper scale nightlife. I think undergrads should take advantage of it more!"
–Simay 4th Year
"On weekend nights, I enjoy getting together with friends and drinking casually. If we feel like going out, then we will head to a bar on the Corner, usually Biltmore or Virginian. I enjoy going to concerts downtown when bands that I like are playing, usually at The Jefferson, The Southern, or the Tea Bazaar. There are also so many restaurants in Charlottesville, it's always fun trying new ones."
–Corinne, 4th Year
"I love the number of different sporting events going on all year. My friends and I try to go to every game we can, regardless of the sport. UVA has such a strong sense of pride regarding sports and as we're good at most, it's always exciting to see us win."
–Lauren, 2nd Year
“If you get “old” or “new” dorms (Alderman or McCormick Residences) then you’ll only be a short walk to most of your classes. The Gooch/Dillard dorms, however, are really far away and everyone who lives there says it takes an extra 20 minutes for them to get places.” –Lizzy Timms, 1st year
“Sometime after everyone starts getting accepted into UVA, a “Girls Roommate Search” Facebook page will be created. A bunch of girls will answer a list of 10-20 questions about themselves so you can get a sense of whether you’d be good roommates. It’s a lot like girl flirting and can get awkward, but it can help you meet your new best friend (like I did!) You can also do random if you want, but UVA only asks 4 questions to match you with someone.” –Courtney Presley, 1st year
“First year, everyone is required to live in a dorm. A couple weeks into the first semester, girls will already be looking for an apartment on the Corner to lease, and for groups of people to live with. This can get very stressful since you hardly know anyone much less who you want to live with the following year. Off-campus housing is very popular for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years, although the University does offer suite-style housing for upperclassmen.” –Claire Hurley, 1st year
“I’ve LOVED living in a dorm this year. I didn’t expect for it to become as comfortable as it did, but it really feels like home now. Of course they’re not extremely spacious, but I got used to it pretty quickly… although the bathrooms aren’t always in top shape.” - Jennie Gault, 1st year
“The city of Charlottesville literally has everything you need, from small boutique cafés for lunch to upscale restaurants to go to with your parents.” -Helen Sporkin
“It has one of the kind shops whilst also giving you the option of the mall for that essential Victoria secret bra! The corner is perfect walking distance with a selection of restaurants, bars and shops. However if you venture further past the boundary of the corner Charlottesville has even more to offer... Most importantly chipotle for when that Sunday morning is a bit of a struggle.” -Frankie Dennis
“Yeah there are lots of nightlife options in Charlottesville. I prefer the bar scene but there are also some other really fun options like concerts. I think that’s what I like best about C-ville, the music scene. There are always really fun festivals or concerts going on.” -Hampton Leonard
“I think it’s a lot easier to go off campus when you have a car. But now that I’m older I definitely go off grounds a lot more!” -Anna Earnst
Want more information? Visit http://www.hercampus.com/school/uva!
HC's Complete College Guide: University of Virginia
Do you have a way with words? Apply to write for Her Campus!