The growth of applied science into a learned profession 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 session of 1881-1882, when engineering became a professional department. William Mynn Thornton became the first Dean of Engineering in 1905. Three new degree programs were added under Thornton's leadership: 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 Materials Science Department (1963), the Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Department (1964), and the Biomedical Engineering Department (1967). The Systems Engineering Department was established in 1975. In 1984, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science became separate departments. Further reorganization has led to the present School academic structure: Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Systems Engineering, the Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics, and the Division of Technology, Culture, and Communication.
The undergraduate program in Engineering Science and the graduate program in Engineering Physics are administered by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Today there are a total of 9 undergraduate and 36 masters and doctoral degree programs.
School of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
School of Engineering and Applied Science World Wide Web site
The Library for Science and Technology is located in Clark Hall. It includes books and bound journals, current scientific periodicals and technical serials and files of the 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 two 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 for tutoring, counseling, and other special services for both undergraduate and graduate students. Most of the tutors are graduate students.
An Office of Career Services is available to help engineering students establish their career goals and strategies to achieve those objectives. The office provides resource material on career fields, job search strategies, interviewing techniques, and employment opportunities. The office also coordinates on-grounds interviews in conjunction with the University's central career planning and placement office. This Office manages the Co-Operative Education Program and develops a broad range of summer job opportunities.
There are a number of public computing facilities available to students. These facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are staffed with student consultants during the afternoons and evenings. Over 400 PCs and Macintoshes of various models are housed in these public labs. All of these computers are connected to the University's networks and can be used either as stand-alone computers or to access other computers at the University or around the world. Other public facilities house high-performance Unix workstations that can be used for specific courses or research. All public facilities provide free printing via laser printers and dot-matrix printers.
Most school departments and research groups operate their own computing facilities to supplement the public facilities. These computers are used for specific courses and research projects within those departments. The equipment includes everything from PCs and Macintoshes to general purpose Unix workstations to high-performance graphics workstations to specialized processors for vision and sound research to highly advanced parallel processing engines.
Under the School of Engineering and Applied Science, research as a whole has parented special laboratories in areas of particular interest such as the Rotating Machinery and Rotor Dynamics Labs, the Light Metals Center, the Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering, the Semiconductor Device Lab, the Aerospace Research Lab, the Center for Semicustom Integrated Systems, the Institute for Parallel Computation, Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems, Center for Communications Network, Center for Bioprocess/Product Development, Center for Computer-Aided Engineering and the Automobile Safety Laboratory. Also, the Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Transportation in cooperation with the University.
The primary functions of the Engineering Council are to serve as a liaison between the students and faculty, to coordinate student activities within the School, to advise on matters of curricula, and to promote social activities.
Student Branches of Professional Societies Represented in the School are the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE), Alpha Chi Sigma (AXE), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Society for Engineering Managers (ASEM), American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineering (ASHRAE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Nuclear Society (ANS), and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Other Organizations Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honorary fraternity, recognizes high scholastic achievement and honorable character in engineering students. Tau Beta Pi has chapters at most major universities and colleges across the country.
Active groups of other honorary fraternities include Alpha Nu Sigma (Nuclear Engineering), 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 University's 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 which strives for a diverse and enthusiastic membership.
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 Engineering School, the University and the community. Activities undertaken by the Society include service work with other area organizations, as well as independent projects. The Society builds upon the University tradition of meaningful social interaction, sponsoring events for the University community in adjunct to a plethora of intra society affairs.
The Society of Women Engineers is a non-profit, educational, professional service organization dedicated to making known the need for women engineers and encouraging young women to consider an engineering education.
The National Society of Black Engineers serves its own members and the University. The Society gives its members job placement assistance, academic support and tries to assess the attitudes of the University and industry towards the students. NSBE aids the University in its recruitment of qualified black students and helps to insure that capable black engineering students graduate.
The Virginia Engineering Foundation Award is made annually to a person who, in the opinion of the Foundation, has been effective in completing a project of importance to the Foundation and the School.
The Margaret Elinor George Scholarship was founded in 1982 in memory of Margaret Elinor George, a former student of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of merit to provide tuition assistance to a rising third or fourth year student in this School and is administered under the auspices of the Trigon Engineering Society.
The Mac Wade Award is awarded annually to the group, faculty member or student who has rendered outstanding service to the School of Engineering and Applied Science in memory of Freeman McMillan Wade, Class of 1952, who was killed in action in the Korean War.
The Dean of Admissions
P.O. Box 9017
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22906
During the first year, students declare a major in one of nine programs in engineering or applied science and spend the last three years specializing in the specific area chosen, as well as taking further courses in the general field of engineering. Successful graduates can expect a wide range of career opportunities in engineering, business, law and medicine.
All students must write a thesis in the last year.
Bachelor's/Master's Program Outstanding students can be admitted to the combined Bachelor's/Master's program at the end of their third year. After admission the students take a mixture of graduate and undergraduate courses and work on one of our sponsored research projects in the summer and academic year. The requirement of a senior thesis is waived, and the student writes a master's thesis to satisfy the requirement of both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. This program was implemented in order to encourage our best and brightest students to enter into research in the various engineering and applied science fields.
Graduate Degrees are offered in all of the areas of undergraduate specialization of the School. In addition, graduate work is offered in Nuclear Engineering, Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Mechanics and Engineering Physics. For information on graduate programs and inquiries regarding admission, address the:
Office of the Dean of Engineering and Applied ScienceAdmission As a Special Student In certain circumstances individuals may be permitted to enroll in a maximum of two School of Engineering and Applied Science courses through the Division of Continuing Education.
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Special students who wish to become degree candidates must apply through the Office of Admissions for undergraduate admission or through the School of Engineering and Applied Science for graduate admission.
Advisory System Faculty members and upperclass students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science aid entering students in the transition to college life and in furthering their academic interests. Along with the University's counselors these professors and upperclass students act as friendly colleagues. Each first year student consults with his or her faculty advisor about programs in academic work and through this contact may also meet other faculty members in special fields throughout the University.
At the end of the first semester the student selects a field of engineering and is then assigned an advisor in the department administering the degree program. The departmental advisor helps the student plan the curriculum and serves as a counselor on other academic matters.
Normal progress toward graduation consists of taking a minimum of 15 credits each semester and maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better (see Chapter 5, University Regulations). The minimum (15 credits) may not be satisfied with courses taken on a credit/no credit basis.
Academic Warning A student is on academic warning if:
Probation (and suspension) criteria for transfer students from other universities take into consideration the credits accepted for transfer as well as those completed at the University.
A student on academic probation is required to meet with the advisor early in the semester to examine the student's schedule and set appropriate goals.
Suspension A student is suspended from the School and from the University if students have ever been on probation and their cumulative GPA falls below stipulated values. If the GPA of a student who has never been on probation falls below the value for suspension, the student is placed on probation.
A student on first suspension may be re-admitted after being away from the Grounds for at least one academic year. Application for readmission must be made by letter addressed to the Assistant Dean for undergraduate programs. This letter should describe briefly the activities of the applicant since their suspension and their future academic goals.
In order to be in good standing after suspension students must achieve a GPA of at least 2.0 in every semester after readmission, or their cumulative GPA at the University must be at least 2.0. If after readmission both the current GPA and the cumulative GPA fall below 2.0, the student is suspended for a second time. A second suspension is final.
Regardless of other satisfactory work, after a third failure in any required course (whether taken in the regular or the summer session), a student may not register for the course a fourth time, and they become permanently ineligible to receive a degree from the School of Engineering and Applied Science, though credits earned may be transferred to other institutions. A student who becomes ineligible for the degree is suspended from the School.
Appeal of Academic Regulations In circumstances not covered by specific regulations, or in difficulties which cannot be resolved by the Dean or the instructor concerned, a student has the right to petition the Committee on Rules and Courses for redress of his or her grievance. The action by the Committee on the petition is final inasmuch as it acts for the full faculty in these matters.
The petition must be signed and dated by the student and submitted to the Office of the Dean. The petition must contain the following:
Normal The normal undergraduate course load is 15-18 credits, unless the student is on probation in which case a course load of 12 to 15 credits is recommended. Any program of study requires the advisor's approval.
Overload An overload of 19 or 20 credits may be approved by a faculty advisor for the student who has demonstrated excellent grades (GPA 3.0 or more). A proposed overload amounting to 21 or more credits must, in addition, be reviewed and approved by the Office of the Dean. Demonstrated superior academic performance and clear career planning will be the major criteria for approval (GPA 3.6).
Underload A semester load of less than 15 credits must be approved by the advisor and the Office of the Dean.
Attendance Regular attendance in classes is a vital part of the educational process. At the University of Virginia each student is expected to accept the responsibility of attending all lectures, laboratories, quizzes and practical exercises, subject to absence penalties specified by the instructor.
The instructor may recommend to the Dean the forced withdrawal from a course of students who are habitually absent or display negligence in their work. (See enforced Withdrawal below.)
Absences traditionally excused are those that occur because of death in a student family, important religious holidays, or authorized University activities such as field trips or University sponsored athletic events.
Students who anticipate absence for cause should obtain permission from the instructor in advance of the absence; unforeseen absences resulting from sickness or from other circumstances considered to be emergencies may be excused by the instructor and arrangements may be made with the instructor to complete the assignments missed.
Engineering and Applied Science students taking courses in the College or other schools of the University are governed by attendance regulations of the instructor in that division, unexcused absences from such courses being subject to the penalties prescribed.
Dropping a Course With the approval of the student's advisor, a student may drop and void registration in a course any time up to the official drop date, unless such action reduces the number of credits the student is registered for to less than 15. Normally, a student is not permitted to take less than 15 credits a semester, not counting CR/NC courses. Permission to take less than 15 credits a semester must be obtained from the Office of the Dean.
Withdrawing from a Course After the drop date a student must petition the Office of the Dean to withdraw from a course, and permission to do so is only granted when there are extenuating circumstances. A student who is permitted to withdraw from a particular course receives a "WP" (withdraw passing) or "WF" (withdraw failing) for the course. Petitions must be signed by the course instructor, student advisor and approved by the Office of the Dean.
Extension of a Course After the withdrawal date (two weeks before the end of the semester), a student can no longer withdraw from a course. If there are extenuating circumstances, and if it is feasible, a student may petition for a course extension. If approved, all work must be completed by the end of the next academic term. Feasibility is determined after a review of the outstanding work, availability of the instructor, accessibility of laboratory and other practical considerations.
Enforced Withdrawal From a Course The faculty with the approval of the Dean may impose enforced withdrawal with a grade of "F" as a penalty for habitual delinquency in class, habitual idleness, or any other fault which prevents the student from fulfilling the purposes implied by registration in the University.
Enforced withdrawal may also be imposed for failure to take the physical examination required of all entering students or for failure to obtain medical leave or medical withdrawal from the health service in the case of repeated or prolonged absence from class as a result of illness.
Laboratory Courses To register for or to attend any laboratory course, a student must be registered for or have credit for the associated lecture course. If the associated courses are being taken concurrently and if the lecture course is dropped, the laboratory course may be continued for credit only with permission of the laboratory instructor or the Dean.
Completion of Prerequisite Courses The sequences of required courses leading to the various degrees are carefully arranged to assure that a student who enters any course may be expected to receive maximum benefit from the course. A student who failed a course may not normally enroll for any course which lists the failed course as a prerequisite before satisfactorily completing that course. Under unusual circumstances, exceptions may be made. Exceptions require written permission from the instructor of the failed course, all instructors of the subsequent course and approval by the Dean.
Repeating Courses A student who has received "D" grades in fundamental courses may be required to repeat such courses as their academic advisor or departmental faculty may direct. A course in the School of Engineering and Applied Science passed with a grade of "D" may be repeated once. Courses passed with higher grades are not normally open to a student's repeated registration. Both grades for a repeated course are used in the computation for the grade point average.
Graduate Courses Undergraduates may be granted permission to take 600- level series courses in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Qualifications include fourth year standing and a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2. 500-level courses are open to all fourth year undergraduates.
Required Courses Courses specified in the curriculum for each degree are considered to be required, and changes or substitution are not ordinarily permitted. Any student who drops or fails a required course must register anew for that specific course (or for its successor in case the original is no longer offered) and repeat the content in its entirety.
General Education Program Each undergraduate student must complete a program of studies in the Humanities or Social Sciences that reflects a rationale or fulfills an objective. This program, equivalent to at least one half year of study, is fulfilled in part by taking courses offered through the Division of Technology, Culture, and Communication and in part through General Education electives selected from a list of approved Humanities and Social Science courses. At least two of the elective courses must reflect a progression showing depth in a single subject area of discipline.
Elective Courses The curricula include elective courses designed either as "General Education Elective," "Technical Elective," or "Unrestricted Elective."
Any changes in the elective program must be approved in advance by the department faculty and a signed copy of the approved change filed in the Dean's Office. All electives should be chosen to meet an objective rather than at random.
Examinations Written examinations are held at the end of each semester on the course work of that semester. Re-examinations are permitted only as provided in the following paragraph, and failure in any courses requires reregistration and attendance in classes to establish eligibility for the next regular examination.
Special Examinations A candidate for a degree who is otherwise eligible but who has one failed course incurred in the semester prior to graduation, may request permission to take a special examination to qualify for a passing grade in the course. Such permission may be granted only under justifiable circumstances which include the inability of the student to repeat the course. Permission will not be granted if the student has failed the course twice. Application for special examination is submitted to the Dean's Office.
Absence From Examinations Unexcused absence from an examination incurs an automatic failure in the course with a grade of "F." Absence from a final examination for any course offered in the School of Engineering and Applied Science can be excused only by the Dean, and then only when accompanied by evidence of arrangement with the instructor for a deferred examination, to be taken within ten days after the regular examination which was missed. An emergency which justifies extension of this period is considered only when supported by satisfactory documentation submitted immediately after the period of emergency. After the ten day period, or its extension if granted by the Dean, the temporary grade of "Incomplete" officially becomes a grade of "F" unless the deferred examination has been completed. Absences are excused only for sickness on the day of the examination or for other providential cause acceptable to the Dean. An excused absence may be absolved by taking a special examination at a time mutually satisfactory to the instructor and the student concerned. Special examinations are not granted for other reasons than those stated above.
Regular programs leading to the various degrees are shown in detail under the departmental listings. The student should become familiar with the requirements of their chosen area of study. Students are expected to declare a major area of study at the end of the first semester but may change majors at a later date.
Though the curricula change occasionally, students in continuous residence and making normal progress toward their degrees may graduate under the curriculum in force at the time they entered the School. When certain courses are discontinued, however, students are required to take other courses which the faculty designate as equivalent. Students may elect to graduate under a new or revised curriculum, provided they fulfill requirements and substitutions of that curriculum. (This statement does not apply to any of the various ROTC curricula, which are subject to change without notice, not permitting choices or substitutions.)
Note Each student is responsible for the selection of their own program, for the fulfillment of prerequisites and for the scheduling of all courses required by their curriculum. The Dean and faculty assist, but the duty of enrolling in and completing the full degree requirements rests primarily with the student.