The University of Virginia is a public research university with a liberal arts core located about 100 miles away from Washington, D.C. It was created to prepare a new generation and a new nation to govern and lead-producing a culture that places responsibility, along with the power to change, in the hands of students. UVA’s groundbreaking model of student self-governance provides students with the opportunity to govern much of life on Grounds-from responsibility for Residence halls to serving on the Honor Committee, to reporting to our Board of Visitors-students are encouraged to take on responsibilities and experiences that prepare them for lives as citizen leaders.
UVA encourages students to enhance their academic experiences through research opportunities, whether by contributing to ongoing research efforts or carrying out independent work. The dynamic residential community is made possible by all first-year students living on Grounds. Outside of class, students have plenty to explore. The Arts for Students program provides students with free or discounted tickets to many arts events and student performances on Grounds. On a given weekend, you may find yourself volunteering around the Charlottesville community, attending a meeting for one of UVA’s 900 student clubs, at a game for one of the University’s 25 varsity sports or hiking with friends in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Fun Facts: The word “Grounds" is a term used by students, faculty and alumni to refer to the University instead of “campus.” Thomas Jefferson founded the University and designed the rotunda, the most recognizable symbol of UVA as the architectural and academic heart of his community of scholars. The Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia opened the spring of 2020. It began with a student-led effort in 2019 and is a shining example of student self-governance. The memorial acknowledges and honors the more than 4,000 individuals who built and maintained the University while providing a significant opportunity to express UVA’s current ideas for the future and addressing a complex past.