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Chapter 12: Division of Continuing Education

General Information

The University of Virginia's founder, Thomas Jefferson, dedicated his new University to the education of citizens in practical affairs and public service. Today, the University of Virginia Division of Continuing Education carries forward the distinctive educational and civic values that shaped the University's founding. The Division offers a broad curriculum that draws from the resources of many University disciplines. Programs offered by the Division address the complex problems and difficult questions that are so much a part of professional, civic, and private life. Programs stress the theoretical and practical value of the University's research for the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

The Division's programs are developed primarily for post-baccalaureate adults. The Division offers both credit and noncredit courses in a variety of formats. The Division's programming fosters long-term educational relationships between the University and the public.

In the 1996-97 academic year, the Division served over 30,000 individuals who enrolled in graduate and undergraduate credit and noncredit programs and courses. Over 750 of these students were enrolled in graduate programs.

History and Mission

In 1915, the University organized a Bureau of Extension to make its academic resources more available to all of the citizens of Virginia. In the subsequent decades, the University has been called upon to do far more for the Commonwealth. The Division of Continuing Education creates opportunities for adults to participate in off-grounds study based on the University's research and teaching strengths. Through the Division's programs:

Off-Grounds Programs

Graduate Degree Programs

Graduate degree programs offered through the Division of Continuing Education are designed to meet the educational needs of employed professionals at locations convenient to them.

Faculty from the Division of Continuing Education work in cooperation with other schools at the University to design and deliver off-grounds degree programs. Admission, content, and degree requirements are determined by the degree granting school. Library or laboratory facilities and other instructional resources are identified locally and supplemented as necessary by the Division.

Credit Courses

The Division of Continuing Education offers a broad range of credit courses to help individuals meet their learning objectives. These courses, listed elsewhere in the catalog under the appropriate school, carry identical credit to those taught on-grounds. Class schedules are distributed by the Division's regional centers before the beginning of the fall, spring, and summer sessions. Course offerings are primarily at the graduate and professional levels. Most credit courses are taught in the evening or on weekends.

Within the limits prescribed by the residential faculty of the University and stated in the policies of each school and the Division of Continuing Education, qualified persons may apply courses taken at regional centers for credit toward degrees. The Division of Continuing Education does not award degrees but assists other schools of the University in the design and delivery of off-grounds graduate degree programs and degree credit courses.

Many students transfer courses taken through the Division to programs at other colleges and universities. Other students use credit courses for renewal of teaching licenses and other professional certificates. In such cases the students should consult their superintendents and the Virginia Department of Education or other certifying bodies for licensing requirements.

Noncredit Programs

As the Division moves to establish long-term educational relationships between the University and the public, noncredit programming becomes increasingly important. Programs are developed for postgraduate audiences who value significant intellectual depth and breadth but do not need additional credit or degree study. Noncredit programming offers a flexibility that permits a focused exploration of a complex issue in a format that best suits each offering's distinctive educational agenda. The flexibility of noncredit programming also permits faculty from a variety of disciplines to share their insights on a given subject in a way that would not be possible in traditional class formats.

The Division's noncredit programming links University faculty with professors and renowned scholars from other institutions; international, political, cultural, and corporate leaders; and noted authors and artists. The Division's noncredit programs are developed through collaborative relationships among the Division's program development staff, University faculty members, and representatives of selected external constituencies. The program development staff is dedicated to maintaining the internal and external contacts necessary to ensure that the best opportunities exist for the University to extend its research and teaching resources to the Commonwealth and the nation.

Organizations and individuals are encouraged to call and discuss their educational needs with the Division's programming staff. New programs can be developed in response to the long-term educational needs of organizations. For further information, call (804) 982-5397.

Certificate Programs

The Division of Continuing Education offers programs of study which lead to the awarding of certificates in a number of specialized fields in business, education, and other professions. Most certificate programs involve 10-30 credits of instruction.

Generally, admission is based on an application, interview, and evaluation of the applicant's work experience, general educational goals, and potential for performing satisfactorily in the relevant courses. Each student must be interviewed by the program director before being admitted to a certificate program. Students interested in a certificate program should consult the program's director to obtain specific admission requirements.

Applicants may be required to provide transcripts of previous academic work. Students must maintain an average grade of "C" or better to continue in a credit certificate program, or maintain satisfactory progress in noncredit or CEU programs to be eligible to receive a certificate. Admission to credit certificate programs does not in any way imply admission to the University for degree programs. Persons interested in further information about certificate programs should contact the Division at (804) 982-5397.



Since 1920, when the first Extension Office was opened in Richmond, the University of Virginia has made its academic resources available to the citizens of the Commonwealth through a unique system of regional centers and program offices. These operations complement the academic offerings of local institutions by providing the level and type of instruction that a comprehensive University is equipped to offer. The University's regional centers and program offices assess and respond to the educational needs of Virginians in every city and county.

Each off-grounds center or office is led by a director. The directors organize, administer, and evaluate continuing education programs throughout their region. They are assisted in this work by one or more staff members who are specialists in education, business and industry, government, or other disciplines. The director and staff represent the University and the Division within the geographic area where they are located.

Office of the Dean
P.O. Box 3697 or
104 Midmont Lane
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(804) 982-5206

Charlottesville Regional Programs
P.O. Box 3697 or
104 Midmont Lane
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(804) 982-5313

Conferences and Institutes
P. O. Box 3697 or
104 Midmont Lane
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(804) 982-5252

Hampton Roads Center
418 Pembroke Four
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 552-1890

Lynchburg Center
3506 Wards Road
P. O. Box 4709
Lynchburg, VA 24502
(804) 582-5110

Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Road
Falls Church, VA 22043
(703) 536-1115

FBI Academy
Quantico, VA 22135
(703) 640-1224

Richmond Center
7740 Shrader Road, Suite E
Richmond, VA 23228-2500
(804) 662-7464

Roanoke Center
117 W. Church Avenue, SW
P.O. Box 1050
Roanoke, VA 24005
(540) 857-7922

University of Virginia Programs at the
Southwest Higher Education Center

15856 Porterfield Highway
P.O. Box 1987
Abingdon, VA 24212
(540) 628-6327


The Division's units help the University communicate the theoretical and practical value of its research to key constituencies. The Conferences and Institutes, Charlottesville Regional Programs, and Executive and Professional Programs staff includes program specialists who develop academic and professional seminars, courses, and conferences in collaboration with University departments and faculty members. Program specialists draw together the resources of several departments to address the complex academic or professional questions facing selected segments of the public. Program specialists also maintain regular contact with the academic and professional communities outside the University, to ensure that the University recognizes and responds to important opportunities to share its resources effectively. For additional information, call (804) 982-5397.

The Citizen Scholar Program   Qualified adult students may register for on-grounds, regularly scheduled instruction at the University of Virginia. Those who have completed the bachelor's degree and who are not currently registered in any degree programs at the University of Virginia, may apply for admission to the Citizen Scholar Program. Adults who have completed two or more years of college, and have specific academic needs which cannot be met by other area colleges may also apply. The program is a part-time credit non-degree study option. A detailed description of the status, its options and limits, is included in the program brochure. Admission to this program does not constitute admission to any of the University of Virginia's degree-granting programs.

Prospective Citizen Scholars are encouraged to apply by July 15 for fall enrollment, or by December 1 for spring. A brochure and application for the Citizen Scholar Program may be obtained by calling (804) 982-5313, or by visiting the Charlottesville Regional Programs Office, 104 Midmont Lane, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

The Special Student Program   Regularly admitted undergraduate students at the University of Virginia with special learning agendas may be referred to this status by their department chair or dean. Students must obtain the written permission of their dean, advisor, instructor, and others as required by the school of enrollment. There are limits to the amount of course work that can be taken in this status. Credits earned through the Division of Continuing Education may be applied to a degree only by permission of the degree-granting school.


Zehmer Hall   The administrative and central programming offices of the Division of Continuing Education are housed in Zehmer Hall. It also functions as a center for conferences, institutes, seminars, workshops, and similar continuing education programs that the Division conducts year round. Zehmer Hall can also be used by university groups and community organizations for meetings, training activities and other educational activities.

Birdwood Pavilion   In 1974, the University of Virginia purchased the 560-acre Birdwood estate, which is located two miles west of the Grounds. The centerpiece of the estate is an antebellum, red brick mansion, now called the Birdwood Pavilion. The Division of Continuing Education has renovated and refurbished the mansion and, in July of 1980, began to use it for continuing education activities. For further information contact the Division of Continuing Education, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 3697, 104 Midmont Lane, Charlottesville, VA 22903, or phone (804) 982-5252.

General Regulations

Admission   Application for admission to the courses and programs of the Division of Continuing Education should be made at the office of the Regional Center where the student plans to study, or at the Division's main offices in Zehmer Hall.

Registration   Registration should be completed prior to the first meeting of the class. This includes completing the registration/receipt form and biographical data form, and paying all tuition and fees. Registration is not complete and transcripts are withheld until all tuition and fees are paid. In special circumstances, and with permission of the center or office director, late registration may be allowed upon payment of a late registration fee.

The University of Virginia Division of Continuing Education reserves the right to modify, withdraw, or make substitutions for any of the courses announced, or to change instructors.

Grades   Undergraduate passing grades are A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-; a grade of F awards no credit. Certain courses may be taken on a CR/NC (credit/noncredit) basis; credits may be earned with a CR, but no grade points are awarded. The minimum grade accepted for degree purposes varies among the schools of the University of Virginia; specific information may be obtained from the Center or from the individual school at the University. Many Division programs require a grade of C or above for ongoing study and successful program completion.

In graduate degree programs, passing grades can range from A+ to D-; an F denotes failure. At the graduate level, each school determines its own grading system as outlined in Chapter 4 of the Graduate Record. In Architecture, the maximum passing grade for graduate degree credit is A, minimum is B-; in Education the maximum is A+, the minimum is B-; in Engineering the maximum is A+, the minimum is C; and in Nursing, the maximum is A, the minimum is B-. Certain seminar workshop and research courses may be graded on an S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) basis.

Other notations or nongrade symbols are used in reporting semester grades. IN (incomplete) indicates that the grade for the course is being withheld until all course requirements are complete.

NC (noncredit) indicates that a student receives no credit for a course where a student has elected the CR/NC (credit/no credit) grading option. Grade notations for noncredit courses are S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory). Students who audit courses receive the notation of AU (audit). The symbols WP (withdraw passing) and WF (withdraw failing) are used for students who have officially withdrawn prior to the conclusion of a course.

Grade Changes   Any grade or grade notation may be changed by the instructor after it has been submitted to the University Registrar. Instructors changing grades must do so in writing to the University Registrar.

Grade Reports   Grade reports for the Division of Continuing Education are sent to the home (permanent) address of the student by the University Registrar.

Grade Appeals   Students registering for courses through the Division of Continuing Education are afforded the same rights for resolving grievances as students registering on-grounds. Continuing Education students needing more information or assistance with a grievance should contact the director of the center or office through which course registration was obtained.

Incomplete or Failing Grades   A student who receives an incomplete (I) or a grade of failure (F) in any course offered by the Division of Continuing Education cannot enroll in another course unless permission is granted by the Dean of the Division of Continuing Education.

Satisfactory Academic Progress   Individuals enrolled in credit courses for professional development, licensure, or personal enrichment are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students who consistently fail to maintain a 2.00 grade point average may be denied the opportunity to enroll in additional courses through the Division of Continuing Education unless permission is granted by the appropriate program or center director. Students also should consult policies for specific certificate, licensure, and endorsement programs to determine academic standards and requirements.

Teacher Relicensure   Teachers and administrators who wish to take courses and/or professional development offerings for relicensure purposes may register without submitting transcripts. It is the responsibility of persons seeking relicensure to determine the acceptability of courses or professional development programs by consulting their school division superintendent or the Virginia Department of Education.

Suspended Students   Persons who have been suspended from the University of Virginia or any other college or university are ineligible for enrollment through the Division of Continuing Education as long as the suspension remains in force.

Application of Courses to Degree Programs   With the approval of a student's school of enrollment, a course taken through the Division of Continuing Education can be counted toward degree requirements. For undergraduates, these courses are included in the computation of a grade point average. Approval is required in advance; otherwise, the courses do not apply toward a degree.

Application to Other Educational Programs   Courses which carry a credit designation may be used by school divisions, businesses, industry, state agencies, the federal government, institutions of higher education, and others to measure currency in knowledge and skills required by various professions. Specific examples of its use are to establish levels of proficiency in business and industry, recertify teachers, or measure an individual's professional development for the determination of promotion and/or salary increase.

The Continuing Education Unit   Many noncredit activities are organized as Continuing Education Unit (CEU) programs. One CEU is defined as ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. Successful participation in programs which have qualified for CEU award is permanently recorded by the University Registrar. An individual may request a copy of his or her record from the Office of the University Registrar, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 9009, Charlottesville, VA 22906-9009.

Transfer of Credit   Students seeking to transfer credit from the Division of Continuing Education to another educational institution should, prior to registering, consult that institution as to the acceptability of the courses and credit.

Auditors   Students who wish to enroll in credit courses without working for degree credit may do so, with permission of the center or office director, by registering as auditors and paying the same tuition and fees as credit students. Credit or audit status must be indicated at the time of registration. Admission requirements are the same for auditors as for credit students.

Transcripts   Credit for University of Virginia courses taught at the Division Centers is recorded by the Registrar of the University. Transcripts are $3 each, and are available from the Office of the University Registrar, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 9009, Charlottesville, VA 22906-9009.

Tuition, Fees, and Refunds


Non-degree programs, Undergraduate and Graduate (per credit)
Virginian $141
Non-Virginian 215
Professional Programs (including Certificate, Graduate and Undergraduate)
Virginian $147
Non-Virginian 218
Professional Programs (including Certificate, Graduate and Undergraduate) -- Northern Virginia
Virginian $152
Non-Virginian 223
Special Students Registered through DCE
Virginian $211
Non-Virginian 778
Master's Degree Programs
Virginian $190
Non-Virginian 269
Master's Degree Programs -- Northern Virginia
Virginian $195
Non-Virginian 274
K-12 Educators
Graduate Televised Engineering
Graduate Televised Engineering -- Northern Virginia
Music Lessons (13 one-hour sessions)535

Other Fees

Late registration fee$25
Admission fee in Certificate and Special Programs$25
Change Course Fee$12
Facilities Fee, Northern Virginia Center (per credit)$10
Transcript Fee$  3
Late exam fee$10
Other miscellaneous fees as established to recover laboratory or materials expenses. 


Division of Continuing Education programs have varying policies regarding refunds. Please refer to course descriptions or special brochures for details. The following is the general policy for refunds, and applies except as otherwise indicated.

All requests for refunds must be made in writing to the center or office director (or the deputy director for academic support at Northern Virginia). The date of the postmark, fax, or in-person request determines the amount of the refund. If registration is by credit card, include the card number since any refund must be credited to that account. Notifying an instructor or a sponsoring agency does not constitute an official request to withdraw from a class.

Refunds are calculated according to the following considerations:

  1. Refunds are granted automatically when a scheduled class is canceled.
  2. If a student drops prior to the first class meeting, a full refund of tuition is granted less a $12 fee. If any materials have already been photocopied for the student, any materials fee is not refunded.
  3. For courses of ten or more sessions, 80 percent of the tuition is refunded between the first and second class meetings. A refund of 60 percent is granted between the second and third class meetings. No refund is granted after the third class meeting.
  4. For courses of three to nine sessions, 80 percent of the tuition is refunded between the first and second classes. No refund is granted after the second class meeting.
  5. For courses of one or two sessions, no refund is available once the course begins.
Refund checks are issued by the University treasurer in Charlottesville, Virginia. Allow four to six weeks for processing. Please direct refund inquiries to the regional center.