Overview
Jefferson’s Vision
The University of Virginia is a public institution of higher learning founded by Thomas Jefferson and guided by his founding vision of discovery and innovation and the development of the full potential of talented students from all walks of life. The University serves the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation and the world by developing responsible citizen leaders and professionals, advancing, preserving and disseminating knowledge and providing world-class patient care. Considered one of the nation’s greatest and most iconic public universities, UVA continues to break traditional boundaries, advance knowledge and further the “illimitable freedom of the human mind.”
We Are Defined By
  • Our enduring commitment to a vibrant and unique residential learning environment marked by a free and collegial exchange of ideas
  • Our unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by the distinctive, foundational values of honor, integrity, trust and respect
  • Our universal dedication to excellence and affordable access
A World Heritage
The University of Virginia was established in 1819 with the laying of the cornerstone.  Three of our nation’s presidents—Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe—served on its original Board of Visitors. Its Jefferson-designed Academical Village has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and was the original model for cross-disciplinary and student/faculty exchange, a model that was later adopted by higher education in this country. UVA is known for its unique residential experience, its student-run honor system and its enduring place in the history of the country and in higher education. Over the last 200 years, the University has emerged as a leading research university, boasting a rich history in the arts, highly regarded professional and graduate programs and an increasing global footprint. Recent years have seen increasing attention and scholarship related to the contributions of enslaved people and people of color in the University’s history. Today, the University is perennially ranked as one of the nation’s top public universities.
Defining Our Future
The University is guided by the Cornerstone Plan which maps a course forward for continued leadership in the University’s third century and focuses on core strategic priorities, namely to:
  • Extend the University’s distinctive residential culture
  • Strengthen the University’s capacity to advance knowledge through research, scholarship creative arts and innovation
  • Provide educational experiences that delivery new levels of student engagement
  • Assemble and support a distinguishing faculty
  • Steward resources to promote academic excellence and affordable access