January Term takes place during Winter Break. It provides students with unique opportunities: new courses that address topics of current interest, education abroad programs, undergraduate research seminars, and interdisciplinary courses. The intensive format of January Term classes encourages extensive student-faculty contact and allows students and faculty to immerse themselves in a subject. Students who enroll in January Term courses have access to a variety of student services and cocurricular activities. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.
Each summer, more than 4,000 students take advantage of a rich selection of programs and courses through UVA's Summer Session. Many of these programs and courses are not available during the academic year, including the University’s well-known Summer Language Institute.
Students commonly enroll in the Summer Session to fulfill requirements for a degree or double major, improve their GPA, shorten time to their degree, or explore new interests. Summer Session students have access to an array of support services and cocurricular activities.
To enrich their classroom studies, students may take advantage of an array of undergraduate research opportunities. Working in collaboration with a UVA faculty member, students can plan and implement substantial and significant research projects. Opportunities for research are available across all disciplines.
The student-run Undergraduate Research Network hosts several workshops each semester, holds a research symposium each year, and publishes The Oculus, a journal that showcases undergraduate research.
Students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science write, edit, and produce The Spectra: the Virginia Engineering and Science Research Journal, which highlights undergraduate research. The University’s Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards program funds outstanding undergraduate research projects. Awards of up to $3,000 each are granted on a competitive basis to current first-, second-, and third-year undergraduate students.
The Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research (USOAR) program matches work-study eligible students with paid research positions with faculty within their area of interest.
The University of Virginia views education abroad as an important academic endeavor, enriching students both intellectually and personally, and crucial in preparing students for leadership in a global context. This unique learning experience combines intellectual pursuits with firsthand exposure to different peoples, cultures, and values. It provides students with an opportunity to gain an international perspective on their chosen academic field or career path and to learn and practice important life skills — critical thinking, creativity, independence, maturity, flexibility, resilience, and the ability to interact and communicate with individuals from other cultures.
UVA is committed to making education abroad affordable and accessible to all students. Students receiving financial aid through Student Financial Services can apply this funding toward their education abroad programs. Additional need- and merit-based funding is available.
The key to a successful education abroad experience lies in early planning. The online Education Abroad Workshop introduces students to the steps involved in planning and preparing for their international experience. Education abroad Advisors guide students through these steps and support them throughout the sojourn.
Jefferson Public Citizens
To help advance the University’s public service mission, the Jefferson Public Citizens program encourages students to put their learning into action by connecting classrooms with communities. Students lead research-service projects and apply their knowledge to social issues. Undergraduates from all schools in their first three years of study are eligible to apply. JPC students publish their project results in a scholarly journal, present their work at an academic forum, and earn designation as a Jefferson Public Citizen on their transcript. (See related information about Learning in Action.)
Center for American English Language and Culture
The Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC) provides an array of English language support services for UVA students whose native language is one other than English. CAELC is charged with helping members of the UVA community attain the level of linguistic and cultural proficiency needed for success at a research university in the United States. In addition to services available during the academic year, CAELC offers an intensive English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program mid-July through mid- August. The EAP program is for entering UVA students and research associates.