University of Virginia
#44 Overall Influence#40 Desirability Rank

University of Virginia

Public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Virginia (UVA) was very much the personal project of the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia already had a venerable and distinguished university, the College of William & Mary, which is the second-oldest in the country—founded right after Harvard—and was Jefferson’s own alma mater.

However, in Jefferson’s day, William & Mary continued to require its students to subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, whereas Jefferson had become a deist—not an atheist, but not a Christian, either, and certainly not a friend to the C of E.

Jefferson was a great admirer of the French Revolution, and nothing if not a child of the Enlightenment. Therefore, he wanted his home state of Virginia to benefit from a more modern kind of university that would advance the enlightened and progressive values he held dear.

In 1817, Jefferson met with three of his friends and political colleagues, the newly elected, fifth President of the United States, James Monroe; the outgoing fourth president, James Madison; and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall. At this meeting, they decided on a location for the new university near the town of Charlottesville.

Two years later, UVA received its charter from the Commonwealth of Virginia and construction began, with Jefferson himself serving as the main architect. The new university’s first classes began in 1825.

Two centuries later, UVA has become one of the premier public universities in the Old South. It has been affiliated with nine Nobel Prize laureates, namely,

  • Norman Ramsey and Clinton Davisson—physics
  • Alfred Gilman, Ferid Murad, & Barry Marshall—physiology or medicine
  • Ronald Coase & James M. Buchanan—economics
  • William Faulkner—literature
  • Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919

Two UVA undergrads have gone on to win the Turing Award for outstanding achievements in the field of computer science:

  • Edward M. Clarke
  • John Backus

Other UVA-connected faculty and alumni include:

  • Early American poet, pioneer of detective fiction, and virtuoso of the Gothic horror story form, Edgar Allan Poe
  • Arctic and Antarctic explorer, Richer E. Byrd
  • Painter, Georgia O’Keeffe
  • Former US poet laureate, Rita Dove
  • Novelist, Edward P. Jones
  • Comedienne, Tina Fey
  • Political analyst, Larry Sabato
  • Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian
  • Television personalities Brit Hume, Laura Ingraham, & Katie Couric
  • Civil Rights–activist, Julian Bond
  • no fewer than eight NASA astronauts

Admissions

What does this school look for?

Annual Applications

37,182

Acceptance

26%

Graduation Rate

94%

Median SAT Score

1415

Median ACT Score

32

Costs

How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)

$14,509

Fees (in-state)

$2,845

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings

$79,400

Employed

92%

Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body

24K

Under-Grads

17K

Graduates

8K

The Campus

Where will you be attending?

Location

1827 University Avenue, Charlottesville VA 22903-2628

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

10k per 100k

Violent Crime

0k per 100k

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

26k per 100k

Violent Crime

5k per 100k

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this school influential?

#24 World Rank #15 USA Rank
Law
#29 World Rank #15 USA Rank
Literature
#33 World Rank #25 USA Rank
Political Science
#33 World Rank #26 USA Rank
Education
#33 World Rank #27 USA Rank
Business
#35 World Rank #13 USA Rank
Religious Studies
#36 World Rank #25 USA Rank
Medical
#37 World Rank #22 USA Rank
Economics
#45 World Rank #22 USA Rank
History
#45 World Rank #40 USA Rank
Communications
#51 World Rank #40 USA Rank
Nursing
#55 World Rank #30 USA Rank
Psychology
#56 World Rank #36 USA Rank
Computer Science
#66 World Rank #54 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#66 World Rank #49 USA Rank
Engineering
#79 World Rank #39 USA Rank
Sociology
#79 World Rank #43 USA Rank
Biology
#100 World Rank #54 USA Rank
Anthropology
#104 World Rank #38 USA Rank
Mathematics
#105 World Rank #79 USA Rank
Social Work
#106 World Rank #39 USA Rank
Philosophy
#119 World Rank #42 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#130 World Rank #46 USA Rank
Physics
#146 World Rank #54 USA Rank
Chemistry

Influential People

Who are University of Virginia's Most influential alumni?

University of Virginia's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Law, Literature, and Political Science. University of Virginia’s most academically influential people include Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, and Ronald Coase.

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe

American-Irish Author.

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William Faulkner
William Faulkner

American writer

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Ronald Coase
Ronald Coase

British economist and author

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Francis Collins
Francis Collins

American geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health

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Katie Couric
Katie Couric

American television and online journalist, presenter, producer, and author

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William Barton Rogers
William Barton Rogers

American scientist, founder of MIT

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Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe

American artist

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Allen Tate
Allen Tate

American poet, essayist and social commentator

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Richard E. Byrd
Richard E. Byrd

American naval officer and explorer

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Anselm Strauss

American sociologist

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Richard B. Spencer
Richard B. Spencer

American white supremacist

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Seymour Schulich

Canadian businessman

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