The mission of the School of Engineering and Applied Science
is to achieve international prominence as a student-focused school of engineering
and applied science that educates men and women to be leaders in technology
and society and that contributes to the well being of our citizens through the
creation and transfer of knowledge.
Engineers and applied scientists use the knowledge of mathematics,
the sciences, and computer science to design and build physical devices, processes,
structures, and systems that satisfy societys growing dependence on technology
for health, safety, and prosperity. Todays graduates will spend their
careers in an evolving global market filled with unprecedented challenges and
opportunities. The School of Engineering and Applied Science therefore seeks
to prepare and motivate its students to excel in their chosen endeavors by instilling
in them the necessary attributes of knowledge, creativity, inquisitiveness,
leadership, confidence, awareness, and ethical values.
Graduates must have a firm understanding of the fundamental
principles of their discipline, the knowledge to design a system, component,
or process to meet desired ends, and the ability to adapt innovative, ethical
solutions to the problems of society. Because engineering and applied science
graduates enjoy a broad range of career opportunities, it is also important
that they understand research methods, have the ability to integrate broad interdisciplinary
considerations, and have the confidence to pursue new professional activities.
They must be capable of working in teams and leading them. In addition, they
must be skilled in oral and written communication and in the use of computer
tools and laboratory instruments appropriate to the discipline. Above all, they
should acquire self-study habits in order to enjoy a rich, life-long learning
While most graduates move directly into professional careers
in industry and government, many others seek further academic preparation for
careers as Ph.D. researchers or university faculty in engineering and applied
science. Some use the degree to prepare for graduate programs in other areas,
such as business, law, and medicine. The Office of the Dean welcomes inquiries,
via phone or letter, from prospective applicants who have questions about career
possibilities, program options, high school preparation, and other concerns.
Engineering at Virginia
The University of Virginia takes pride in its continued development
of modern engineering education and research. For over one hundred fifty years,
the University has offered regular study in engineering, coinciding with the
industrial development of the nation and paralleling the rise of the engineering
The infusion of applied science into the learned professions
was anticipated in the founding of the University. As early as 1825, the Rector
and Visitors formally indicated that instruction in military and civil architecture
would be a part of the education program of the University. Such courses were
offered starting in 1827. Notable members of the early engineering staff were
Charles Bonnycastle, trained in military engineering in England, and William
Barton Rogers, later co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Engineering instruction was not sought widely by young men in the predominantly
agricultural south, however, and by 1850, it was announced that the engineering
program would be discontinued.
A new and more successful beginning was made in 1865 under
the direction of Professor Charles Scott Venable, and by 1869 the University
awarded its first degrees in engineering. Instruction was offered in civil and
mining engineering until the 1881-1882 session, when engineering became a professional
department. William Mynn Thornton became the first dean of Engineering in 1905.
Under his leadership, three new degree programs were added: mechanical engineering
in 1891, electrical engineering in 1897, and chemical engineering in 1908.
Between World War I and World War II, the engineering curricula
were revised and strengthened to provide a broader program of studies, including
the humanities. During both wars the school offered engineering instruction
to members of the armed forces, and ROTC programs for the Navy, Army, and Air
Force were introduced during and after World War II.
Reorganization following World War II led again to an extensive
revision of all curricula and to the graduate studies now offered. In 1955,
two new branches of engineering study were recognized by degrees: aeronautical
and nuclear engineering. In the same year, the first doctoral programs were
instituted in chemical engineering and in engineering physics.
In 1962, the name of the school was changed to the School of
Engineering and Applied Science in anticipation of the establishment of the
Department of Materials Science (1963), the Department of Applied Mathematics
and Computer Science (1964), and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (1967).
The Department of Systems Engineering was established in 1975, and in 1984,
applied mathematics and computer science became separate departments. Further
reorganization has led to the present school academic structure with its Departments
of Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computer
Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering;
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Systems and Information Engineering; and
Science, Technology, and Society.
The undergraduate program in engineering science and the graduate
program in engineering physics are administered by the Department of Materials
Science and Engineering.
School of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400233
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4233
Facilities and Services
The School of Engineering and Applied Science is located in
a complex of buildings, the main one being Thornton Hall, named after the first
dean of engineering. Thornton Hall houses the schools administrative offices,
the Departments of Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and
Science, Technology, and Society; and assorted research laboratories. South
of Thornton Hall is Olsson Hall, which houses the Departments of Computer Science
and Systems Engineering. Adjacent to these buildings are three buildings housing
the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science and
Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. The Department of Biomedical Engineering
is located in MR-5, which is part of the Health Sciences Center. The Aerospace
Research Laboratory is located on Mount Jefferson.
The Science and Engineering Library is located in Clark Hall.
It includes books and bound journals, current scientific periodicals and technical
serials, and files of graduate and undergraduate theses and dissertations. Reference
service is available to all parts of the University, to other educational institutions,
and to industry by the library staff and, occasionally, by others on the professional
staff of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Close cooperation is
maintained with the other University libraries, whose total resources of more
than four million volumes are open to engineering students and faculty members.
The Office of Minority Programs, established in the School
of Engineering and Applied Science in 1986, is available to help minority students
by providing academic support, motivational activities, and financial assistance.
The office provides counseling and other special services for both undergraduate
and graduate students.
The Office of Engineering Career Development is available to
help engineering students establish their career goals and develop strategies
to achieve those objectives. The office provides resource material on career
fields, job search strategies, interviewing techniques, and employment opportunities.
It also coordinates on-Grounds interviews in conjunction with University Career
Services, manages the Co-operative Education Program, and develops a broad range
of summer job opportunities.
The School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the Department
of Information Technology and Communication (ITC), and the University Library
provide a wide range of modern facilities and services to support student computing.
Students use the facilities primarily for course work, projects, capstone design,
and thesis research.
SEAS and the University invest heavily in computer labs and
multimedia facilities for student use. Nearly all students bring their own computers,
although there is no computer ownership requirement. All dormitory rooms have
been wired with network connections. For further information on personally owned
machines, please see "Computers at UVa: a handbook for new students," available
A high-speed network (hardwired and wireless) provides access
to all areas of the University, as well as the Internet, while supporting public
computing labs, which contain over 700 networked PCs and Macs with fully configured
software. The labs, available to all students, are located throughout the Engineering
School and other on-Grounds locations, including some University dormitory buildings.
Public labs with access to Linux & UNIX supercomputers are also available.
These facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Many are staffed with student consultants during the afternoons and evenings,
while the help desk provides support by telephone (434/924-3731), e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org),
and in person (235 Wilson Hall) is also provided. In addition to this technical
support, ITC offers numerous training workshops and short courses. Public labs
provide free printing via high-speed laser printers, and other centralized services,
including e-mail, disk storage, and web publishing are provided to all students.
Some classrooms at the Engineering School are technology-equipped
and have computers at students desks. These computers permit students
to learn by working a problem in the classroom, individually or as part of a
team, and facilitate interaction between faculty and students. There are over
100 computers located in classrooms of this type throughout the University,
in addition to the training rooms, media labs, and other centers containing
specialized equipment and services.
SEAS also maintains computer facilities, teaching labs, and
design labs specifically for engineering and applied science students. These
departmental labs contain over 250 PCs and Macs, and over 70 UNIX workstations
and X-terminals. They provide access to discipline-specific software, high-end
workstations, and a variety of peripheral devices. Specialized studios, such
as our Internet Teaching Lab, allow hands-on experience with networking hardware,
software, and related leading-edge technologies.
For more information about computing facilities and services,
please visit http://infotech.seas.virginia.edu.
Research and Development
The School of Engineering and Applied Science currently conducts
a thriving and diversified $35 million annual research program under the sponsorship
of various federal agencies and private companies. Over 450 active research
projects support faculty, professional researchers, and students. These projects
span a variety of engineering disciplines and include biotechnology and nanotechnology
microelectronics, advanced materials, biomedical engineering, information technology
and environmental engineering. These programs provide an excellent opportunity
for undergraduate and graduate training.
Under the School of Engineering and Applied Science, research
has led to the creation of special laboratories in areas of particular interest,
including the Aerospace Research Laboratory; Applied Electrophysics Laboratory;
Injury Prevention Program; Center for Bioprocess Development; Communications,
Control and Signal Processing Laboratory; Composite Mechanics Laboratory; Center
for Advanced Computational Technology; Small Center for Computer Aided Engineering;
Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering; Center for High Temperature
Composites; Intelligent Processing of Materials Laboratory; Internet Technology
Innovation Center; Legion Meta-Computing Project; Light Aerospace Alloy and
Structure Technology Program; Light Metals Center; Center for Magnetic Bearings;
Mathematical-Computational Modeling Laboratory; Next-Generation Real-Time Systems
Laboratory; Institute for Technology in Medicine; Networking Multimedia; Institute
for Parallel Computation; Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems;
Rotating Machinery and Controls Industrial Program; Center for Semicustom Integrated
Systems; Center for Survivable Information Systems; Center for Transportation
Studies; Center for Engineering of Wound Prevention and Repair; Center for Genetic
Engineering Targeting Vascular Disease; Institute for Microelectronics; the
Virginia Laboratory for Engineering and Automated Design, and the Center for
Activities and Organizations
Engineering Council The Engineering Council serves as
the student government within the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
It is headed by a president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary and has
representatives elected from each class and department. Members from Student
Council, the Judiciary Committee, and the Executive Committee also have seats
on the council.
The Engineering Council primarily serves as a liaison between
students and faculty, coordinates student activities within the school, advises
on matters of curricula, and promotes social activities.
Student Branches of Professional Societies Represented
in the school are the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA);
the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE); Alpha Chi Sigma (AXE);
the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); the Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); the American Society for Engineering Management
(ASEM); the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineering
(ASHRAE); the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); and the Association
for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honorary fraternity,
recognizes high scholastic achievement and honorable character in engineering
students. Other honorary fraternities include Chi Epsilon (civil engineering),
Eta Kappa Nu (electrical engineering), Omega Rho (systems engineering), Pi Tau
Sigma (mechanical engineering) and Sigma Gamma Tau (aerospace engineering).
Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity, founded
in 1904, is the Universitys only national, professional, engineering fraternity.
Since its establishment at the University of Virginia in 1922, Theta Tau has
been bringing its members closer together through social service and professional
activities. Theta Tau is a coed fraternity that strives for a diverse and enthusiastic
Trigon Engineering Society takes pride in its members
being well-rounded engineers. Trigon sponsors numerous service projects each
semester, takes part in intramural sports, and sponsors many social events.
Membership in Trigon is open to any undergraduate in the Engineering School.
The Omicron Xi Engineering Society, founded on January
21, 1987, is a service and social organization dedicated to promoting brotherhood
between the engineering disciplines and performing good works within the school,
the University, and the community. The society builds upon the University tradition
of meaningful social interaction, sponsoring events for the University community
in addition to a variety of intra-society affairs.
The Society of Women Engineers is a non-profit, educational,
professional service organization dedicated to communicating the need for women
engineers and encouraging young women to consider an engineering education.
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) mission
is to increase the number of culturally responsible African-American engineers
who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.
UVas Chapter is recognized nationally for its accomplishments which include
an academic excellence program, tutorial programs, group-study sessions, technical
seminars and workshops lead by professional engineers, and very active outreach
programs. NSBEs Pre-College Initiative Program (PCI) is highly dedicated
to encouraging and mentoring area youth in pursuit of higher education. Nationally,
the NSBE organization has a communications network, two national magazines,
a host of professional newsletters, and sponsors annual national conventions,
conferences, and career fairs.
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) is
the leading social-technical organization whose function is to achieve educational
excellence, economic opportunity and social equity for Hispanics in engineering,
math, and science. The SHPE chapter at UVA provides a network for Hispanic students
to participate in regional and national conferences, technical seminars, and
career fairs. SHPE members visit high schools and invite students on grounds
to experience academic and social life at UVA in an effort to encourage them
to pursue a higher education in engineering, math, or science.
Honors, Awards, and Scholarships
The Rodman Scholars Programnamed for Walter
S. Rodman, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science from 1933 to
1946is for talented, well-rounded students with a strong interest in the
schools curricula. Rodman scholars are selected from the entering class
on the basis of superior academic credentials and indications that the student
can benefit from, and contribute to, the program; participation is by invitation
only. Several courses have been set up for Rodman scholars, from physics, humanities,
and design in the first year, to a special seminar in conjunction with the Rodman
Eminent Scholars Series later in the curriculum. During their first year, Rodman
scholars live in a selected dormitory with Echols scholars from the College
of Arts and Sciences.
The Virginia Engineering Outstanding Student Award is
made annually and given to a current SEAS undergraduate student who, has demonstrated
outstanding academic performance, leadership, and service.
The Mac Wade Award is presented in memory of Freeman
McMillan Wade, Class of 1952, who was killed in action in the Korean War. It
is awarded annually to the group, faculty member, or student who has rendered
outstanding service to the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Scholarships There are no scholarships for which newly
admitted students can apply. Students whose families qualify for financial aid
are automatically considered for certain scholarships as part of their aid package.
A limited number of endowed merit-based scholarships are awarded
to incoming Rodman scholars. Selections are made prior to the offer of admission
to the University, and the award offers are extended at the time students are
invited to join the Rodman Scholars Program. Prospective students do not apply
for either the program or the scholarship.
Regardless of financial need status, enrolled students who
can demonstrate satisfactory progress toward their degrees have the opportunity
to apply for a number of industrial or endowed scholarships. These have specific
restrictions, such as GPA, major field, academic level, intended area of employment,
geographic location, and demonstrated leadership. The scholarships are publicized
to the student body in early spring for submission to the committee after the
spring recess, usually around the third week of March.
Deans List Full-time students who demonstrate
academic excellence while taking a minimum of 15 credits of graded course work
are eligible for the Deans List of Distinguished Students at the end of
each semester. Courses taken on a CR/NC basis may not be counted toward the
15-credit minimum. A current minimum grade point average of 3.400 is necessary
to be eligible for the deans list. Any student receiving an F, NC, or
NG during the semester is not eligible to be on the deans list.
Intermediate Honors A certificate of intermediate honors
is awarded to the top twenty percent of those students in the School of Engineering
and Applied Science who enter the University directly from high school or preparatory
school and earn at least 60 credits of course work in their first four regular
semesters. The computation is based upon the cumulative grade point average
at the end of the fourth semester. No more than twelve of the 60 required credits
may be earned on a CR/NC or S/U basis. Advanced placement and transfer credits
do not count toward the required credits.
Theses and Commencement Honors Students who have demonstrated
high academic achievement in pursuit of their bachelors degree are eligible
for commencement honors.
Diplomas inscribed "with distinction" are awarded to graduates
who have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.400.
Diplomas inscribed "with high distinction" are awarded to graduates
who have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.600.
Diplomas inscribed "with highest distinction" are awarded to
graduates who have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.800.
All students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science,
whether or not they satisfy the requirements for commencement honors, are required
to complete a senior thesis and take STS 401 and 402, the six-credit thesis