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The College of Arts and Sciences
Garrett Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400133
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4133
(434) 924-8864



The College of Arts and Sciences offers an education in the liberal arts leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, or Bachelor of Science in Physics. The faculty believe a good liberal arts education must provide students with an extensive base of intellectual content and skills that enables them to explore ideas, evaluate evidence critically, draw reasoned conclusions, and communicate one's thoughts in a clear, coherent manner. Such abilities are particularly important in a world in which knowledge and professions are changing rapidly, and the United States is increasingly part of a global social and economic network. A good liberal arts education thus demands not only rigor and depth, but also sufficient breadth to expose students to a wide range of subjects and methods of studying them.

Competency Requirements

These requirements provide the foundation for successful study in the liberal arts, for meeting subsequent challenges in the work place, and for serving effectively as an educated member of society:

  1. Composition: We expect every liberal arts graduate to have the ability to write clearly, succinctly, and in a logical manner.
  2. Foreign Language: Language is not simply a means to communicate, but also an avenue for insights into other cultures. Many students also discover that learning a second language improves their understanding of English and broadens their awareness of an increasingly diverse America.

Area Requirements

The faculty established area requirements to ensure that all students have the background and breadth for further learning in a variety of disciplines. In completing these requirements, students explore a wide range of disciplines, points of view, and modes of inquiry. In addition, they investigate unfamiliar areas and thus can make more informed judgments about their major and elective courses.

The faculty encourages students to design programs of study that offer the maximum range of intellectual opportunities. The area requirements are therefore organized to provide experience with a broad array of intellectual approaches rather than prescribe a specific body of content:

  1. Social Sciences: allow students to explore techniques of analysis and modes of reasoning for studying a wide range of social, economic, and political relations.
  2. Humanities: improve the student's understanding of the achievements and potential of literature and the arts, whether verbal, visual, or musical. They may also address basic questions concerning values and ethics.
  3. Natural Sciences and Mathematics: improve a student's comprehension of the fundamental principles of natural phenomena and of scientific methods as a way of describing and understanding the world.
  4. Non-Western Perspectives: broadens students' exposure to other cultures and to the ways those cultures perceive their environment or organize their society.
  5. Historical Studies: introduce students to the historical forces that have shaped and changed the nature of human societies and the methods that are required to study such forces. Encourages students to think about cause and effect and the continuity and change over time.

The Major

The faculty requires each student examine one subject in depth in order to experience sustained, cumulative study of a range of related topics and issues over a period of several semesters. The declaration of a major in a single subject also allows students to focus on an area of interest where they would like to develop their intellectual capacity. The faculty does not view the major as a direct path to a particular career. However, by developing a mastery of a particular area, students advance their intellectual capabilities in ways that will be of value in a range of later endeavors.

A degree program must be completed in four academic years and, under certain conditions, can be completed in three. The first two years are intended to be spent in developing the knowledge and skills associated with a broad range of basic academic disciplines, including natural science, history and social science, the humanities, foreign language, English composition, mathematics and fine arts. In the third and fourth years, students are expected to continue at a more advanced level in several of these fields and to concentrate in one of them (the major subject). Twelve or more transfer credits awarded in a single semester for work at another institution will constitute one of the eight semesters allotted for full-time registration in the College.

The minimum residence requirement for a degree is two academic years. The last year of candidacy must be spent in this University, and courses offered in the major for the degree must be completed at the University unless written exception is made by the dean of the College in consultation with the department or interdepartmental program concerned.

For graduation from the College the candidate must have satisfied the area requirements given below and a plan of major study. In addition, the candidate must have passed and offer for a degree a minimum of 120 credits of approved courses, of which at least 96 must be passed on a graded (A-B-C-D) basis. Among the 120 credits must be at least 102 College or College-equivalent credits. A candidate must have made a grade point average of at least 2.0 on all graded courses taken in the College or elsewhere in the University and offered for a degree. A student who has received a baccalaureate degree cannot submit any courses offered for that degree toward another degree in the University. Students are subject to the area requirements in effect during the academic year when they first enter the University. Students are subject to the requirements for the major in effect during the semester in which they declare the major.

2001-2002 College of Arts and Sciences Calendar

Fall Semester
August 25Arrival of new students
August 25-26Orientation for new students
August 26-29Advising
August 22-31Final registration (via ISIS)
August 29Classes begin
September 12Last day to drop a course
September 14Last day to add a course; last day to change to or from credit/no credit; last day to elect AU (audit) option
September 28Last day to submit degree application for January 2002 Graduation
October 12Last day of classes before Reading Holiday
October 13-16Reading Holiday
October 17Classes resume
October 24Last day to withdraw from a course
October 26-28Family weekend
October 26Fall Convocation
October 29-November 9Advising, selection of spring courses
November 20Last day of classes before Thanksgiving recess
November 21-25Thanksgiving recess
November 26Classes resume; last day to withdraw from the University and return for Spring 2002 semester
December 3Last day to request change in examination schedule
December 7Classes end; last day to submit degree applications for May 2002 graduation
December 8-9Reading days
December 10-17Course examinations
December 17Last day for fourth-semester students to declare a major
January 18Deadline for completing authorized incompletes from fall semester
Spring Semester
January 9-18Final registration (via ISIS)
January 16Classes begin
January 30Last day to drop a course
February 1Last day to add a course; last day to change to or from credit/no credit; last day to elect AU (audit) option
March 1Last day of classes before spring recess
March 9-17Spring recess
March 18Classes resume
March 20Last day to withdraw from a course
April 1-12Advising; selection of fall courses
April 16 Last day to withdraw from the University and return for fall 2002 semester
April 26Last day to request change in examination schedule
April 30Classes end
May 1-2Reading days
May 3-10Course examinations
May 10Last day for fourth-semester students to declare a major
May 19Final Exercises
June 7 Deadline for completing authorized incompletes from spring semester

Students' Records

Compliance with College Regulations Students are held responsible for selecting their courses in accordance with the course restrictions and policies printed here, in the College of Arts and Sciences Handbook, and in advising material distributed by departments. Only after the approval of the dean's office has been obtained in the form of a petition may a student enroll in a course that does not comply with the College's regulations.

Requests for Exceptions and Appeals Students who believe there is a valid reason for requesting an exception to any of the rules should file a petition to their association dean. In most cases, the recommendation of a course instructor or advisor is required on the petition before it is filed. An unfavorable response from the dean may be appealed to the Committee on Faculty Rules. The College has established procedures to deal with requests for exceptions to rules in cases involving psychological issues. College students should contact their association dean for information about such procedures.

Accuracy of Students' Records Students are responsible for verifying the accuracy of their academic records by the drop deadline and, thereafter, each time they make a change in their schedule. Students who fail to do so are subject to various penalties as determined by the dean. Changes to the transcript are permitted only during the current and immediately subsequent semesters. Upon payment of a nominal fee, transcripts may be requested from the Office of the University University Registrar in Carruthers Hall. PACE reports are mailed each semester by the University Registrar, and grade reports are mailed to students at the end of each semester. Errors must be reported to the dean's office within the stated deadlines. After one semester has lapsed, a student's record is considered permanent. With official College communications to students being sent via U. S. mail, messenger mail, and now e-mail, students are strongly urged to check their mail on a regular basis and are expected to respond promptly to all notices from the College. Students who object to the use of email for the transfer of information regarding their academic standing should notify their association deans in writing and anticipate that the processing of information about them is likely to be slower.




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This page was last modified on April 2, 2004
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