Our Endless Pursuit

In 1819 Thomas Jefferson fulfilled his lifelong ambition to create a new and better institution of higher learning. The University of Virginia would prepare America's future leaders to protect their young democracy. It would facilitate open exchange between students and professors, unlock the potential of the nation's best and brightest minds, and encourage students and faculty to advance knowledge and break traditional boundaries.

Nearly 200 years later the University continues this endless pursuit of better. As one of the top three U.S. public universities, we are committed to developing the full potential of talented students from all walks of life. Our enduring legacy of honor and student self-governance prepares tomorrow's leaders for the challenges they are sure to face. Our health system advances scientific discovery while providing first-rate patient care. And our rich academic resources--paired with our focus on cross-disciplinary collaboration--further what Jefferson described as "the illimitable freedom of the human mind.”

Leaders Are Made Here
  • The Lawn is one of UVA's most iconic features. It's also an essential part of our culture, manifesting Jefferson's vision of an Academical Village where students and professors live and study side-by-side.
  • Students govern themselves at the University, upholding a timeless commitment to honor, integrity, trust and respect—and gaining the responsibility they'll need as future leaders.
  • We believe great leaders, thinkers and innovators come from all walks of life. That's why our financial aid model makes a top education affordable to the best and brightest students—regardless of their ability to pay.
Honoring Our Past. Focusing on Our Future.

While we’re proud of our past, we’re focused on our future.

As a leading research university, UVA is bringing a wealth of innovations to the world. Our students and faculty have discovered new connections between the nervous system and the immune system, revolutionizing the study of both. We’re working with NASA to explore the edges of our solar system. And we’re leading new efforts to make major cities around the world greener, healthier and happier.

Looking further ahead, our third century will be guided by the five pillars of our Cornerstone Plan:

  1. Extend and strengthen the University's distinctive residential culture
  2. Strengthen the University's capacity to advance knowledge through research, scholarship, creative arts and innovation
  3. Provide educational experiences that deliver new levels of student engagement
  4. Assemble and support a distinguishing faculty
  5. Steward resources to promote academic excellence and affordable access