We wish to establish in the upper and healthier country, and more centrally for the state, a University on a plan so broad and liberal and modern, as to be worth patronizing with the public support.
Jefferson was a man of many talents, and he expressed them fully in founding the University of Virginia in 1819; he outlined the institution's purpose, designed its buildings, supervised construction, and planned its curriculum. He also directed the recruitment of its faculty.
When classes began in 1825, with 68 students and a faculty of eight, the University of Virginia embodied dramatic new ideas in American higher education. In an era when colleges trained scholars for the clergy and academia, Jefferson dedicated his University to the education of citizens in practical affairs and public service. The innovative curriculum permitted the student a broader range of study than was available at other colleges and universities of the day, and Jefferson implemented novel ideas concerning student self-government and religious freedom.
This educational community was built around a rectangular, terraced green -- the Lawn -- flanked by two continuous rows of identical, one-story rooms. These rows are accented by large buildings, the Pavilions, each in a different style. Both the rooms and the Pavilions open onto a colonnaded walkway fronting the Lawn. Behind each of the two rows of buildings are public gardens delineated by serpentine brick walls and backed by yet another set of rooms. The Rotunda, a half-scale model of the Roman Pantheon, closes off one end of the Lawn, while the south end was originally left open to a vista of the mountains.
The genius of Jefferson's design is that it integrates housing for students and faculty as well as classroom and library space into a single unit. Students lived on the Lawn and in the outer two rows of rooms, the Ranges. Faculty members lived in the Pavilions; the Rotunda held the library and classroom space.
Although the University has grown since Jefferson's time, the Lawn remains the intellectual and spiritual heart of the academical village and serves much of its original purpose. Students who have made special contributions to the University are awarded a Lawn room in their fourth-year; senior faculty and their families live in the Pavilions, where classes are also held; and graduate students live in the Ranges. The Rotunda's oval rooms and the Dome Room are used for meetings of the Board of Visitors, dinners, and other ceremonial occasions, as well as for student activities.
The special grace and character of Jefferson's design are widely recognized. As Ada Louise Huxtable has noted in the New York Times, the University "is probably the single most beautiful and effective architectural group of its kind in the country, or in the history of American building." In 1976, the American Institute of Architects proclaimed it one of the outstanding achievements in American architecture; in 1988, the Lawn was named to the prestigious World Heritage List.
Each year, the area attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists, who come to see the Grounds of the University, visit the homes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, tour local wineries, and hike through the Shenandoah National Park, just 20 miles west in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Charlottesville has its own traditions. The community celebrates each spring with a Dogwood Festival and New Year's Eve with First Night Virginia fireworks and entertainment. Steeplechase fans attend the Foxfield Races and every spring, runners in the Charlottesville Ten-Miler rush through town toward the finish line at University Hall.
A pedestrian mall downtown offers fine dining, distinctive shops, and nightspots in a historical section of the city. In the Court Square area, lawyers and business people occupy offices in buildings dating back to the 1700s. The city is known for its fine restaurants, appealing to every taste and budget, and many establishments present nightly entertainment by local artists. The Virginia Festival of American Film, is held at the University of Virginia brings new visitors and celebrities to the area each fall, along with movies, seminars, and premieres.
Charlottesville is located 120 miles from Washington, D.C. and 70 miles from Richmond. Airlines offer more than 30 flights daily to such destinations as New York, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Pittsburgh. Major highways convenient to the city include Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 29. Nationwide bus and railway service for passengers and freight is provided by Greyhound, AMTRAK, Norfolk Southern, and the CSX Corporation. The Charlottesville Transit System and the University Transit System provide bus service on Grounds and around the city. Visitors to the University are always welcome. On-street parking is limited, so visitors are encouraged to park at the paid hourly Central Grounds Parking Garage off Emmet Street.
Maps of the University are available at the University's Visitor/Information Center at 2304 Ivy Road in Charlottesville (follow signs from 29N or Interstate 64 to the University Information Center). Brochures about the University and walking tours of the Rotunda, the Pavilion Gardens, and the historic Academical Village can be obtained at the Rotunda. If you are interested in books about Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, and the University of Virginia, visit the University Bookstore, located in the Central Grounds Parking Garage.
For the high-tech viewer, check out the electronic kiosk in the
lobby outside the University Bookstore in the Central Grounds
Parking Garage. It offers short video clips about the University,
an electronic calendar, map and bus routes.
Internet enthusiasts can access a great deal of information about U.Va. through its home page on the World Wide Web.
You can view electronic versions of all of the undergraduate publications, and even print out an undergraduate application. Admissions information for the graduate and professional student is also available.
You are currently viewing the full texts of the Undergraduate and Graduate Record(s) published through the Office of the Registrar's home page.
The University's full-time faculty numbers almost 2,000, most of whom conduct research and publish their findings on a regular basis. The University has established more than 373 endowed professorships for outstanding scholars, and the Center for Advanced Studies plays a major role in attracting and retaining scholars of national and international distinction.
This year, the prestigious National Research Council, which evaluates 274 institutions every ten years, placed our graduate programs in English, religious studies, German, Spanish and Portuguese, and physiology among the top ten programs in their fields, ratings based in large part on the quality of the faculty.
U.S.News ranked the School of Law as the top public law school in the country, ranking seventh overall. The magazine placed the Darden School ninth and the master's of architecture program tenth. The master's degree program in the School of Nursing placed among the nation's best in a U.S.News poll on health care.
University faculty have consistently been active in the intellectual and practical life of the country. Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, by English professor E.D. Hirsch, has transformed the national debate about literacy and made it a subject of household conversation. Long-term research by Dr. Joseph Larner has offered a way to correct the cellular malfunctioning underlying Type II diabetes, the fourth leading cause of death by disease in the United States, by isolating two key compounds that are reduced or absent in people with Type II diabetes. Dr. Barry Marshall recently received the American Gastroenterological Association's Distinguished Achievement Award for his work linking bacterial infection to ulcers and gastric cancer.
University faculty members overall have received many national and international awards. This year two faculty members joined seventeen other members of the University of Virginia faculty as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Robert M. Berne, professor emeritus and former Alumni Professor of Physiology and William A. Wulf, AT&T Professor of Engineering and Applied Science. Roger A. Chevalier, W.H. Vanderbilt Professor of Astronomy, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove is a distinguished member of the English department faculty. Dove is serving her third year as the nation's poet laureate, nominated in 1993 for the position by President Clinton. Professor of Computer Science Anita K. Jones is in her third year as the director of defense research and engineering within the U.S. Department of Defense.
Eleven University faculty members have received the prestigious Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists. In the past five years (through 1995), 17 faculty members have been Fulbright Scholars; four medical faculty have been elected to the Institute of Medicine; three faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering; nine faculty have received National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships; eight faculty have received National Science Foundation Young Investigator Awards; three researchers have won Sloan Foundation awards; and seven Virginia faculty have received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award from the state of Virginia, while two others have been named by the state as Virginia's Outstanding Scientist.
Despite the demands of research and writing, University faculty are remarkably attentive to the needs of their students. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, faculty members serve as academic advisors. Professors routinely post office hours, and U.Va. students do not hesitate to use them. It's not unusual to encounter students clustered in the hall outside a professor's office, waiting for a chance to discuss papers or review classwork.
Four years at U.Va. prepares students well for becoming adults who are thinking, contributing members of society. Whether they go directly to a job (many do), teach English in Africa for the year, enroll in law or medical school (to which U.Va. students are accepted at well above the national average), or enter graduate school to pursue the scholarly life as a profession, their undergraduate years at Virginia provide the chance to explore subjects and ideas that will lay the foundation for their future careers and lives.
The overall success of Virginia's varsity teams in recent years can be matched by few schools in the country. Over the past seven years alone, U.Va. has claimed five national championships in men's soccer and two in women's lacrosse. In 1993, Virginia became the first school in NCAA history to win three consecutive national men's soccer titles. Remarkably, the Cavaliers topped that achievement in 1994 by capturing their fourth national title in a row and fifth in six years.
The Virginia football team has made seven bowl appearances in the last nine years. Most recently, the Cavaliers defeated Georgia 34-27 in the 1995 Peach Bowl and were co-ACC champions. Among U.Va's 1995 regular season victories was a 33-28 win over then second-ranked Florida State. In 1990, U.Va. climbed to number one in the regular season national polls (Associated Press and United Press International) and played Tennessee in the 1991 USF&G Sugar Bowl. The 1989 Cavaliers won a share of U.Va.'s first ever ACC championship and met Illinois in the 1990 Florida Citrus Bowl. Off the field, Virginia has been honored every year since 1984 by the College Football Association for its graduation rate involving scholarship football players.
The men's basketball team has advanced to postseason play (NCAA or NIT) 17 times in the last 19 seasons. Virginia won a share of the ACC regular season champsionship in 1994-95 and advanced to the finals of the NCAA Midwest Region Tournament. U.Va. has won two National Invitation Tournament championships (in 1980 and 1992) and has reached the NCAA Final Four twice (in 1981 and 1984).
The women's basketball team won its sixth consecutive ACC regular season title in 1995-96 and advanced to the finals of the NCAA East Regional. It marked the Cavalier's 13th straight trip to NCAA postseason play. U.Va. won ACC Tournament titles in 1990, 1992 and 1993, and reached the NCAA Final Four three consecutive years, from 1990-92. Virginia regularly wins its share of state, conference and national honors in many other sports as well. At the same time, U.Va. student-athletes graduate at a rate which is comparable to that of the University's entire student body.
The University's Bayly Museum's broad-ranging art collections include outstanding examples of twentieth-century American art and European art from Jefferson's era. The Bayly's growing permanent collections are supplemented by frequent visiting shows, the Fayerweather Gallery, which displays student and faculty art and other exhibits, and several private galleries in the city of Charlottesville.
Dramatic productions are presented year round by professional and local groups, including the highly acclaimed Heritage Repertory Theatre and the Virginia Players in the University's well-equipped drama and fine arts center. The theatre department regularly presents drama, musicals, and small workshop productions by students in the Culbreth and Helms theatres.
The library needs of the University's professional schools are served by the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, the Camp Library in the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, and the Arthur J. Morris Law Library.
Libraries at the University of Virginia are committed to the provision of cutting-edge access to information through technology. On-line catalogs of the collections and on-line access to newspaper and journal articles are available in all library locations, and may also be accessed from home and office computers. Six electronic centers offer library users assistance with innovative technologies such as digitizing text and combining sound and video for multimedia presentations. User education programs assist the University community in expanding its information literacy base.
The majority of the microcomputers, Macintoshes, workstations, printers and graphics equipment supported by ITC are located in public facilities throughout the Grounds for ease of student access. Software available for these systems includes programming languages as well as word processing, network communications, spreadsheet, mathematical, statistical and graphics packages.
Access to the Internet is provided on all systems via high-speed interactive terminal access (telnet), file transfer (ftp), electronic mail, Usenet news, the World-Wide Web (WWW), and a Grounds-Wide Information system (GWIS) based on Gopher and WWW protocols. Other on-line information retrieval systems include the University Library Catalog (VIRGO) and the University directory (whois). Consulting, training, and documentation are available for these services.
In the spring of 1989, the University became the first U.S. environmental research center of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). This nongovernmental research institute brings together scientists from more than 20 nations and a variety of disciplines to work jointly on problems of international significance, including the environment, population growth, technological risk, international negotiations, and food and agriculture.
New research instrumentation is being acquired continuously at a rate in excess of $10 million each year. In the past year, external support of research programs reached $135 million. The University is among the top one hundred public universities in competitively-awarded federal grants.