College of Arts and Sciences
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2003-2004 College of Arts & Sciences Calendar  |  Student Records

General Information

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 Biology, 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.
  3. Courses used for competency requirements must be taken on a graded basis.

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.

All courses used for area requirements must be taken on a graded basis.

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.

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

2003-2004 College of Arts and Sciences Calendar

Fall Semester
Spring Semester

Student 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 Student 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 and Use of e-mail: 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. VISTAA reports, which replace the ones from PACE, and final semester grades are available through ISIS on-line. 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.

The College of Arts and Sciences sends much of its official correspondence via e-mail. Students are expected to open and maintain an active U.Va. e-mail account and are held responsible for all materials sent via electronic mail. Examples include end of the semester academic status letters, notice of failure to declare a major, various official newsletters, and requests to schedule an appointment with your Association Dean, etc. When students use non virginia.edu mail accounts, it is their responsibility to make sure their UVA mail is forwarded to that account. Students with questions about their e-mail accounts are directed to the ITC Help Desk in 235 Wilson Hall (924-3731) or to ITC's web site: http://www.itc.virginia.edu/helpdesk. 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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