The University of Virginia main campus is located in Charlottesville, VA in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, a picturesque locale 70 miles northwest of Richmond and 115 miles from the nation’s capital. Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, UVA was launched in response to the curriculum offered by his alma mater, William and Mary, which Jefferson thought too religious and restrictive (particularly in scientific study). This public 4-year school has produced many politicians, scholars and 8 astronauts. UVA is particularly noted for its unique Jeffersonian architecture; the 1600+ acre campus is referred to as “The Grounds” and students are not identified by Freshman, Sophomore, etc. but rather as 1st year, 2nd year because Jefferson believed that the learning process should never end./p>
UVA is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and offers Bachelor’s Degrees in 48 majors, Post-Baccalaureate Certificates, 94 Master’s Degrees, Post-Masters Certificates and 55 Doctorates in 12 colleges. The university has special accreditations for Nursing, Medical Education, Public Health, Radiologic Technology, Psychology, Law, Pastoral, Teaching and Theatre programs, although the largest programs are in Social Sciences, Engineering and Liberal Arts. According to the Mission Statement, “The University of Virginia is a public institution of higher learning guided by a founding vision of discovery, innovation, and development of the full potential of talented students from all walks of life. It serves the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world by developing responsible citizen leaders and professionals; advancing, preserving, and disseminating knowledge; and providing world-class patient care.” Further, the university is defined by “Our enduring commitment to a vibrant and unique residential learning environment marked by the free and collegial exchange of ideas; Our unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by distinctive foundational values of honor, integrity, trust, and respect; Our universal dedication to excellence and affordable access.”
The over 23,000 strong student body enjoys the beautiful campus and lives in a variety of residences, ranging from traditional dormitories to special interest housing and Greek chapters. There are multitude clubs and organizations to occupy a student’s time, as well as intramural and club sports. The Blue and Orange Cavaliers field teams in 14 sports and participate in NCAA Division I competition. Traditions are many and deeply embedded in the campus culture. Annual “Lighting of the Lawn” is a winter festival of lights and song; proper attire – either “guys in ties/girls in pearls” of the ‘sea of orange’ at home sporting events and the long-standing Honor Code (enacted in 1842) are just a few. UVA is also rife with Secret Societies (some not-so-secret and others you won’t ever hear about). All of this adds to the experience of the UVA education. There is a 10-point detailed Code of Ethics that all students and faculty are beholden to, contributing to the atmosphere of integrity and honesty that is a source of pride within the University.