With close to 11,000 students, the College of Arts & Sciences is the University’s largest undergraduate school, offering more than 50 majors spanning the natural and social sciences, and the arts and humanities.
Since the University of Virginia’s founding nearly two centuries ago, the College has set the standard for a rigorous liberal arts education that equips students for lives of purpose and informed, engaged citizenship. Through a challenging curriculum that combines pioneering research and teaching in an expanding array of enduring and newly emerging fields of study, the College prepares its graduates for a broad spectrum of career paths.
Graduates leave the College with an array of analytical, problem solving, and communication skills honed during their liberal arts educations, arming them with a nimbleness of mind, a depth of historic understanding, and an ability to philosophically investigate issues in a variety of fields. Whether they pursue careers in the arts, business or governance, in scientific research or public policy, in medicine, law, or entrepreneurship, College graduates leave UVa prepared to be agile leaders in their chosen professions.
The College’s students are offered considerable latitude in, and responsibility for, shaping their own programs of study. They may pursue courses of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science (which is offered in biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, and physics). There has been an explosion of new fields of study, fueled by advances in computational methods and a globalization of the curriculum. Whether it’s in environmental sciences or global humanities, data sciences or digital culture, the College continues to define the standard.
A degree program must be completed in four academic years; under certain conditions, it can be completed in three. The first two years of undergraduate coursework are intended to develop the knowledge and skills associated with a broad range of basic academic disciplines, including the social sciences, humanities, sciences, mathematics, history, and the fine arts, as well as foreign language and English composition. In the third and fourth years, students are expected to continue at a more advanced level in several of these fields and to concentrate in at least one of them as a major subject.
For graduation from the College, the candidate must (1) satisfy the College area and competency requirements, (2) complete the requirements for a major, and (3) complete a minimum of 120 hours of approved courses, of which at least 96 must be passed on a graded (A-B-C-D) basis. (This number varies for transfer students). Of the 120 credits, 60 must be earned at UVa, and 102 credits must be College or College-equivalent credits. A candidate must have made a grade point average of at least 2.0 on all graded courses taken in the College or elsewhere in the University and offered for a degree. (Twelve or more transfer credits awarded in a single semester for work at another institution constitutes one of the eight semesters allotted for full-time registration in the College.)