University of Virginia-Main Campus
Charlottesville, VA, USA

Reviews

University of Virginia-Main Campus
4.00 Average Rating

Jessica from Chester, VA

a current student here
44 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The great thing about UVA is that it is a public research university - meaning its resources attract the big names in most fields of study. This is great for you, the student, because you get to learn under such academics as Rita Dove and Larry Sabato.
A caveat: UVA has a single sanction Honor Code. If you lie, cheat, or steal, you will be tried by a jury of your peers and if found guilty of a non-trivial offense, you will be expelled. Virginia expects a lot from her students academically, but if you put the time and energy into it, your efforts will be rewarded.
Am enjoying being here
I've heard several people say Charlottesville is such a college town, meaning there's not much to do off-grounds. FALSE. Charlottesville is so much more than the University. With the pedestrian Downtown Mall (including two cinemas, one theater, and its very own ice rink), two more ordinary malls, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, more restaurants per capita than New York City, and Carter Mountain Orchard for apple picking excursions, Charlottesville is so much more than your typical college town. There's something happening every minute, so schedule accordingly.
That being said, relaxing in your dorm room every once in a while will not be frowned upon.
Bang for the buck
Virginia's academic program has been described as rivaling some private universities' curricula, and you get to experience it at a public school price! The educational, social, and overall experiences at UVA are worth every cent of your tuition, but if it is necessary that you apply for financial aid, be very careful as you fill out your FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid) form. Due to a complex home situation this past year, I missed out on financial aid opportunities for the upcoming 2009-10 school year.
Bottom line: UVA is worth its price tag, but it wouldn't hurt to fill out some scholarships either.
Tips for prospective students
College is all about balancing a full schedule of work and play so that you can enjoy yourself in all areas of life without burning out and failing, just like in real life! So, work hard and study for your classes. Go out on the weekends or join one of UVA's many clubs and organizations. Just don't let one aspect of your life affect another. If you keep it at a happy medium, you're more likely to stay calm and, well, happy!
Great for these types of students
-Overachievers
-Networkers
-Partyers
-Stay-at-home-on-Friday-night-ers
-Introverts
-Extroverts
-Comedians
-Academics
-Left Brains
-Right Brains
(In short, UVA has a spot for anyone and everyone if they look hard enough for it!)
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Diana from Fairfax, VA

a current student here
20 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
So many classes, so little time! Take the classes that interest you the most. To be honest, if you can't handle AP classes in high school, I suggest you look at another school. I know most of you are excited about taking notes on your laptop, but high school was right: Writing it out makes it stick in your head easier.
Am enjoying being here
How can you not love it? Everyone is friendly because they want make friends like everyone else. You're not the only one who is nervous!Head to the Corner or Downtown for some food (try the dumplings!) Rent a movie from Clemons, go shopping for your family at Mincers, and buy a cute dress at Duo or Finch.
Bang for the buck
Worth every penny! (including loans!)
Tips for prospective students
Work hard, play hard, that's our motto. Always look up your professors online before you sign up for their class just to get an idea of what kind of work you'll be facing. Plan your schedule with alternative classes because I guarantee you, you won't get all the classes you want first semester. When you arrive, take a chance to explore the Grounds with your hallmates: they will be your life force! Don't forget you'll be living with them for 9 months! Another tip: Don't fall behind on your readings!! This is the most important thing you must learn if you attend UVA. There is a lot of reading, definitely more than 200 pages a week, depending on what classes you take (don't take literature and history in the same semester if you can't handle more than 500 pages a week). Definitely join some clubs and make friends that have similar interests. Remember: Work hard, play hard. Finish your work and have some fun!
Great for these types of students
Everyone finds a spot here. It can take some time, but you'll find your place!
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Kelly from Poquoson, VA

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The University offers a wide variety of course-work and majors. I am often overwhelmed (in a very good way) by the courses being offered each semester and am faced with a tough decision when it comes to choosing which ones to take. The professors are great and are always available to listen during their office hours. Every professor I've had has shown great enthusiasm for their subject and great care for their students' well-being. Also, there is a very wide variety of clubs to join. I've been able to learn so much about different service organizations and get involved not only in the Charlottesville community but also the world. There are also tons of other fun clubs that offer new hobbies. I personally joined Baking Club and Salsa Club. Learning new, fun and relaxing things while making friends is one of the best parts of UVA.
Am enjoying being here
Chalottesville is absolutely amazing. I love how I always feel completely safe walking around Grounds at any time of the day. Also, there is always something to do. Whether it be taking the trolley to the Downtown Mall or the bus to Barracks (another shopping center) or just walking down The Corner to get a bagel at Bodo's, my friends and I never feel bored while at The University. The Grounds are beautiful, and I also feel like UVA is just the right size. I am able to see people I've never met before each day, but I also always run into a friend. It's a tight-knit community of like-minded people who want to do well and have goals but also want to enjoy themselves. It's really nice to be surrounded by that balance. Lastly (and most importantly) UVA has a wonderful community and system of trust. The Honor Code at The University keeps order and makes everyone living within the community feel safe and able to trust their peers at all times. UVA is absolutely wonderful and I cannot picture myself anywhere else.
Bang for the buck
The one and only problem I have with UVA is that I feel like as a first year I paid entirely too much for my meal plan. UVA's dining facilities are nice and the food is quite good, but I did not agree with the price of the meal plan (it comes out to about 8 dollars a meal). There wasn't a problem until I visited friends at other schools and realized that they were only paying about 4-5 dollars per meal. Other than that, I think that for the amazing quality of education received, facilities and wonderful programs, UVA is quite the bargain. I definitely agree with what some say about The University: Public tuition for private education.
Tips for prospective students
One thing that prospective students should do is definitely visit all of the schools that they are applying to and never base your opinion of a school off of stereotypes and what they hear from other people. I had my heart set on going to another school from the 4th grade all the way through the first semester of my senior year of high school. I actually almost refused to even visit UVA. However, my mom made me visit and I took the opportunity to stay overnight to sort of see what it was like to live there, and I fell in love. I would say to definitely take advantage of any over-night stays or programs being offered at prospective schools. Make sure to ask lots of questions on tours and sit in on a couple of classes and talk to professors if you can.
Great for these types of students
UVA is great for anybody, I believe. There are so many great things offered by The University, and I have not met a single person while here who doesn't absolutely love it.
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Jessica from Gainesville, VA

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I'm in the engineering program at the University of Virginia, and I have learned something new in each in every one of my classes so far. Engineering classes can be challenging, and so can the classes in the college. Be ready to study and ready to learn.
Tips for prospective students
Make sure you are willing to put in the work it takes to get good grades here because a degree from the University of Virginia is going to do fantastic things for your future.
Great for these types of students
- hardworkers
- over achievers
- pre med oriented
- pre law oriented
- commerce/economics
- people who like to go out and stay busy
- people who like to stay in

really, anyone and everyone who can get it, fits in.
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Chris from Germantown, MD

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UVA is an amazing school, and the wide array of classes and activities will allow anyone to find a niche. Additionally, there is both a strong emphasis on academics as well as a surprisingly vibrant party scene (if that's your thing). However, due to the competitive nature of applications, academics can feel a little competitive at times; however, nobody is actively working against you.
Tips for prospective students
- Take as many AP classes as you can reasonably do well in and participate in extracurriculars you enjoy. It's better to have a few clubs and be deeply involved or hold leadership roles in those than it is to be in twenty clubs and only be a peripheral member.
- If you have access to a wide array of AP or IB classes (more than you can reasonably take in 4 years), be smart about which ones you pick - most AP credit only converts to transfer credit and will not let you place out of specific classes. Those that do award class credit can be found [here](http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/content.php?catoid=43&navoid=3014#adva_exam), but if you are planning on the pre-health track, I highly recommend taking AP Chem and AP Bio, but if you can only do one, I recommend taking Chem. Please note that even with AP credit for chemistry, you are still required to take the chemistry lab (this does not apply for biology, however.
Academic Rigor
Academics at UVA are quite challenging, and very few prereq classes are free As. I was a top student in high school, and I had to work really hard just to pull a 3.56 my first semester. It isn't that the professors are bad (though that may have played a role in some classes, that isn't usually the rule) - the classes are just that much work. Additionally, STEM classes at UVA (prereqs and introductory classes especially) tend to be quite difficult, particularly chemistry and physics, though the other classes are not easy by any stretch either. However, most professors have a wide array of office hours, as do TAs, so there's no reason not to go if you need the help. Professors are almost always helpful during office hours whereas TAs tend to be a bit more hit-or-miss, though outside of chemistry they tend to be pretty good.
Dorm Life
First-year dorms are kind of a toss-up. Unless you get into one of the Residential Colleges (either Hereford, Brown, or the IRC, all of which house students from across all 4 years) after applying to them, you'll be put in one of these five areas:
- New Dorms: these are the newest (and nicest) dorms on Grounds in terms of amenities (all of them have AC and their own laundry rooms) and location (close to Observatory Hall Dining Hall and relatively close to McCormick Road class buildings).
- Old Dorms: these hall-style buildings are older, though the university has begun the process of renovating them. These are closer to classes than New Dorms due to their location on McCormick Road and are fairly close to O-Hill, but only two of the eight buildings have their own laundry facilities, and none have AC.
- CDF: short for Courtenay, Dunglison (that's my dorm), and Fitzhugh, these motel-looking suite-style buildings on Alderman Road are a bit further from classes than New Dorms. However, none of them have AC or their own laundry rooms, so we have to do it in either Gibbons (the newest and closest of New Dorms) or Gooch. Additionally, they are roughly equidistant between O-Hill and Runk Dining Halls.
- Gooch-Dillard: these suite-style buildings, located further down Alderman Road, were recently renovated and have their own AC and laundry rooms. They are fairly close to Runk Dining Hall (which many consider the best on Grounds) but are relatively far from McCormick Road.
- Malone and Weedon: these hall-style buildings, which were formerly part of Hereford Residential College, are air-conditioned and close to Runk Dining Hall. However, they do not have their own laundry rooms (those are also in Runk, so it isn't far). These are the furthest from classes of any of the first-year dorms.

In addition to the above, there are also the residential colleges - Hereford (2 buildings over by Malone and Weedon), Brown (12 buildings way up McCormick Road, near the center o...
Food and Dining
First-years are all required to be on unlimited meal plans, which makes eating at dining halls relatively easy. The dining halls are all run through Aramark, and the food is usually decent but not spectacular, which is all you can reasonably expect. However, the convenience of the meal plan is hard to top, as the dining halls are well-spaced, and meal swipes and Plus Dollars make it easy to get a taste of something different. The basement of Newcomb Hall (the student union) has Chick-Fil-A, Five Guys, and Subway (all of which accept meal swipes for certain items but Plus Dollars for the whole menu), and the Amphitheater has a good selection of local food trucks that will take Plus Dollars; these food trucks include meat pies, gyros, BBQ, poke (fish bowls), and dumplings (my personal favorite).
What to do for fun
Most of the dorms are relatively close to a gym (this includes all first-year dorms), so there's really no excuse to skip a workout. Additionally, there are many musical ensembles for students to join, some of which are more casual in nature. There are also a huge selection of clubs, and Madison House, the student volunteer program, is an excellent way to spend time. If you're a partier, there is a large Greek life scene on Grounds centered around Rugby Road, though many clubs have their own houses and throw parties. Finally, intramural sports are free to join and offer all kinds of different sports.
Bang for the buck
If you live in the state of Virginia, there is quite simply no better bang for your buck - it's a fantastic university for a relatively affordable tuition. For out-of-state students, it can be more difficult to afford, as out-of-state tuition is quite high, but the education will make up for it provided you major in something practical and get a good GPA.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
- Streaking the Lawn: basically what it sounds like. You take off your clothes at the top of the Rotunda, run to the other end of the Lawn, kiss the statue of Homer, and run back and get your clothes back on.

- Thursday Night Parties: a lot of people here party on Thursday nights. This doesn't necessarily have to be at a frat; one of my suitemates once showed up around midnight fairly drunk after he got sent home from a snowboarding club party when the cops showed up. However, you will in no way miss out socially if you decide to stay home and study Thursday nights.
Great for these types of students
UVA is best suited for serious students. Parties are very common here but academics hold a much higher priority; otherwise, it would be impossible to get a good GPA.
Clubs and Activities
There is a huge array of clubs and activities to choose from. You can do intramural sports, volunteer in the Charlottesville area through Madison House in any of a dozen ways, or join the No-Tones, an acapella group for people who can't sing, to name just a few. It isn't an exaggeration to say that there's something for everyone here.
Greek Life
Greek life is fairly active at UVA, with a large variety of social and academic frats and sororities to choose from. Many people are involved in Greek life, but it is by no means ubiquitous or necessary to join a frat - many people do not and are very socially active.
Campus Safety
It is impossible to get into a dorm without a valid student ID unless someone lets you in, and even with an ID you can't get into dorms that aren't your own unless you have swipe access to the laundry areas. There is also a blue-light system on Grounds, and you can have University Police get anywhere on Grounds within 90 seconds. Finally, SafeRide will take any sober person home at night until early in the morning.

University Police did a fantastic job adapting after the events of August 11th and 12th, and it is exceedingly unlikely something like the march through the Lawn with torches could ever happen again due to new rules regarding what can be taken onto the Lawn (no firearms or open flame). However, there have been a couple of abduction attempts not far from Grounds as well as a recent sexual assault (also off-Grounds); as a result, the university now has ambassadors out near dorms as well as in areas immediately off-Grounds at night. However, Grounds itself is fairly safe, particularly relative to other college campuses. However, Charlottesville, despite being fairly nice, is still a city, which means any and all excursions off-Grounds require you to keep your wits about you, especially after dark.
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Elizabeth from Bethesda, MD

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The courses here are very rigorous and challenging, but if you love to learn and work hard, then UVA is the place for you. The professors and even the TAs are all very knowledgeable about their subjects and are always available to help you with you work. As with most colleges, there is a core curriculum that every student has to fulfill, which allows you to study things you may not have. Basically at UVA, you get as much out of the classes as you put into them.
Am enjoying being here
The University of Virginia is not only amazing academically, but it's located in Charlottesville, a wonderful city, and the campus is beautiful and a perfect size for a university. There is never a dull moment in Charlottesville - there are always lots of community events happening downtown and on campus. There's a lot of school spirit as well, which adds to the feeling of community here on campus.
Bang for the buck
Attending the University of Virginia is well worth the tuition bills. Also, the University is very good about giving students financial aid who need it. Although, Charlottesville is an expensive city in general, so that should be taken into consideration when choosing a college.
Tips for prospective students
Come see the campus, instead of applying blind. The grounds are beautiful and a big part of what most Wahoos love about UVA.
Also, UVA is a public university and has many types of students, so everyone can find a way to fit in here.
Lastly, if you get waitlisted and really want to attend UVA, don't just sit around and wait. Make a case with the admissions office and tell them how much you want to go to Virginia. The admissions office loves to accept students who are passionate about the school.
Great for these types of students
UVA is a public university and houses every type of person imaginable - everyone will find a crowd to hang with. But also, Charlottesville is a bit of a ritzy city. As a general stereotype, many UVA students are wealthy, preppy, and from Northern Virginia. However, there are many students that don't fit this bill and who have found a place here. UVA is great for students who love to work hard. The courses are hard and studying is a big part of the UVA culture. Partying is as well, especially on the weekends.
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Susanna from Oakton, VA

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am enjoying being here
Everyone I've met has been really friendly.
Bang for the buck
UVA is a great deal for in-state students.
Tips for prospective students
Get involved early! At the Activities Fair in the fall, find some organizations and sign up. Go to the interest meetings and if you like what you see/hear, join the group!
Great for these types of students
UVA is great for outgoing students who want to learn but enjoy having fun when they're not studying.
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Anna from Northern VA

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Because this is such a big school, there is a large variety of different class choices and you are very likely to be able to get into a class you want to take. I have been able to take some fun classes my high school did not offer, like Economics or Studies in Drama. I also learned a lot more in one semester of French here than I did in three years at high school.
Am enjoying being here
I love the campus and have met a lot of incredible people. There are so many different clubs and activities to be involved in that you can find the perfect fit for you. I am from a small school, so it is a little hard to adjust to such a large school where you do not really see the same people all the time.
Bang for the buck
UVA is a top-ranked school, but it is a public college, so it is not as expensive as many of the top schools. Though I am not part of it, I have friends who say the financial aid program is very helpful.
Tips for prospective students
Come visit the campus! I knew I wanted to come after seeing how beautiful the campus was and realizing it did not feel as big as it is. Try to come visit on a day when you can also come see a sporting event or listen to an a cappella group so that you can get a glimpse at some UVA traditions!
Great for these types of students
It is great for students who can manage their time between studying and a lot of different activities.
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Emily from Ashburn, VA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Being in college in the first place has given me the opportunity to learn many new things about being independent and about life. I have learned many essential things about living on my own-- especially how to make many interesting and creative microwavable meals and how to do my own laundry! As far as classes go, each and every professor and teacher's assistant are very qualified to teach the classes. Many of the professors are actually the authors of their own textbooks, so you know that they really know what they're talking about!
Am enjoying being here
I could not imagine going to any other college! Wahoowa!
At first, the idea of going to college was scary. But once I had spent a week here I really found that it fit everything I was looking for in a college. Though there are SO MANY fun activities to take part in, the thing that I loved the most was that you can tell that everyone is very dedicated to their studies and their education. Another thing that I love is that you are able to see so many different people when you look around. The location of UVa is ideal also, with many shopping centers close by.
Bang for the buck
Though I did get a couple scholarships coming into college, UVa is definitely worth what you pay, especially for an in-state student. The experience here is so valuable that I couldn't even put a price tag on it... even though there is one!
Tips for prospective students
Don't be afraid to go to college! I know that in high school I was SO ready to get out of there and out of my house. I needed something new. But when the time came for me to actually pack my bags and boxes and head down to Charlottesville, it was terrifying! In no time though, I realized that I had nothing to be afraid of, because UVa was awesome and was everything I was looking forward to in a college :)
Great for these types of students
I'd say that UVa is for those who are serious about learning, but not too serious to not have fun every once in a while! You must be a willing student who wants to take the time to read the textbooks and study hard for tests.
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Lauren from Charleston, SC

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UVA is the perfect combination of the opportunities of a big state school and the community feel of a small town! Students here really value their education but also love to socialize and have fun. We respect our honor code, our faculty, and each other!
Tips for prospective students
My biggest tip is just APPLY. As an out-of-state student, I did not even consider UVA until I was accepted and toured Grounds. I highly recommend visiting Charlottesville and seeing all of the wonderful opportunities at this school. UVA is very well-known and respected, so there's no reason it shouldn't be top on your college list!
Academic Rigor
UVA is known for its rigorous academics and is always ranked highly on Forbes and other college review websites. Students at UVA truly value their education and enjoy an environment that nurtures higher level learning. UVA students are not called freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, but rather first-years, second-years, third-years, and fourth-years because our founder, Thomas Jefferson, believed that you can never be a senior in your education. Our academics focus on this principle and foster a community in which you can continue to succeed in your educational pursuits.
Dorm Life
There are three main options for first-year dorms: Gooch/Dillard, old dorms, and new dorms. New dorms are newly renovated, by O'Hill dining hall, and have nice lounges and study rooms on each hall. Old dorms are in the best location for classes but do not have air conditioning (although I think some are expected to get A/C soon). There is a grassy quad in the middle so some say the community is better in old dorms. Gooch/Dillard is the farthest away but is the only suite-style option for first years where you get your own room. Overall, dorm life is great wherever you end up because you will learn to love where you live!
Food and Dining
There are three dining halls: Newcomb, O'Hill, and Runk. Newcomb is nicely located on Central Grounds by most classes and the UVA bookstore. O'Hill is by new dorms and is the best in my opinion. Runk is by Gooch/Dillard. All the dining halls have pretty good food. There are always a variety of hot food options, a salad bar, soup, pizza, and ice cream.
What to do for fun
There is so much to do at UVA and in Charlottesville for fun: great restaurants, parties, philanthropy and club events, etc. This part of Virginia is beautiful, and there are great hikes in the area and lots of ways to get outdoors. Downtown Charlottesville is about a 10 minute drive from Grounds and has a quaint main street. There is always something to get involved in at UVA and so many great people to meet!
Bang for the buck
UVA is a fantastic deal for in-state students and I will say with confidence that it is the best university in Virginia. It is rather expensive for out-of-state students, like myself, but the opportunities are endless. Our specific schools (Nursing, Commerce, Engineering, etc. are top notch). UVA is well known across the globe and is always high ranked! It is a fantastic school!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Streaking the lawn! It's a huge tradition that everyone must do before they graduate UVA!
Great for these types of students
UVA is great for anyone wanting to receive a wonderful education and have the best college experience! UVA is very diverse and everyone is welcomed and respected :)
Clubs and Activities
There are so many ways to get involved at UVA from intramurals, club sports, outdoors club, religious groups, a cappella groups, volunteering clubs, etc. There is an activities fair at the beginning of each semester to inform students of all the great clubs and organizations. There's something for everyone!
Greek Life
Although I am not personally involved in Greek life, all of my friends that are seem to really love it! A third of UVA students are a part of the Greek community.
Campus Safety
I feel very safe on Grounds. UVA has a free university bus system and trolley and even offers a program called Safe Ride where students can take a free taxi in the late hours of the night. Students here truly uphold our honor code. We expect one another to be honest with their work and not steal from one another. At first I did not believe in the honor code, but it's real; we save tables at the dining halls with our phones and purses and feel comfortable leaving our laptops lying around at the library. We hold each other to a higher standard and discourage cheating. Nothing of mine has ever been stolen and I truly trust our honor code.
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