In fall 2015, nearly 22,000 students were enrolled in the University in on-Grounds courses for credit, with approximately two-thirds of those students studying as undergraduates and the remainder enrolled in graduate programs. In addition, nearly 1,900 students were enrolled in credit courses offered through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and through other program offered in various locations throughout Virginia.
The University accepts applicants who demonstrate intellectual ability and academic achievement. It also expects applicants to possess the personal qualities that will enable them to enrich the University community. Undergraduate admission is administered centrally through the Office of Admission, while graduate admission is handled by individual schools.
Admission to the University is highly competitive. The 2015-16 entering class of 3,674 first-year students was drawn from 31,106 applicants and enrolled from 9,186 offers of admission. Among first-year students, 89 percent of admitted students were in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
Approximately 69 percent of the undergraduate student body is from Virginia. Students come from 49 states and approximately 119 countries. The gender breakdown is 55 percent women and 45 percent men. The undergraduate student body has become increasingly diverse in recent years. Nearly 30 percent of students identify themselves as members of a minority.
The Office of Institutional Assessment and Studies maintains and reports current information on student enrollment and a variety of other University data. Several specially selected groups are included in the entering undergraduate class: the Echols Scholars in the College of Arts and Sciences; the Rodman Scholars in the School of Engineering and Applied Science; and the Jefferson Scholars, who are supported for four years of undergraduate study and five renewable years of graduate study.
Students coming directly from secondary school enter the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Architecture, or the School of Nursing. The McIntire School of Commerce admits students after two years of undergraduate study, either at the University or elsewhere. The Curry School of Education admits students to the five-year BA/MT program in their second year of enrollment in the College. Students in that program earn a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Arts and Sciences and a Master’s of Teaching from the Curry School of Education. Curry also offers a number of preprofessional programs, including a degree in Kinesiology for entering first-year students and degrees in Youth and Social Innovation and Speech and Communication Disorders for students transferring after two years of undergraduate study. The Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy admits undergraduate students to its bachelor’s program once they have earned 60 credits and also offers an accelerated program that allows undergraduates to earn a Master of Public Policy along with their bachelor’s degree in four or five years.
Reflective of the University’s global culture, the International Studies Office reports that more than 3,000 students are expected to travel outside the United States for University-related purposes in 2016–17. Such travel may include study, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances, recruiting, and athletic competitions. International student travel for University-related purposes is subject to the policy on student travel. Faculty members should be aware that the University restricts student travel to countries under a travel warning issued by either the U.S. Department of State or the Centers for Disease Control and may issue additional travel restrictions. For the current list of such warnings and restrictions, see Travel Alerts, Notices & Warnings, maintained by the International Studies Office. Students who travel outside the U.S. for university-related purposes are required to register their travel through the Student International Travel Registry.
Student life is characterized by a commitment to student self-governance with a strong focus on developing leadership skills and building a vibrant, safe residential community. Students are charged with both freedom and responsibility for their individual and collective actions. The Honor System, which is based on the concept of a Community of Trust, forms the heart of student self-governance. As described below, students assume major responsibility for owning and running the structures and organizations that define student life.