Student Guide

These pages contains tips and guidance for prospective students and current undergraduate students by year: new incoming and transfer students and first-, second-, third-, and fourth-year students. We strongly recommend that all students stay on top of deadlines and communicate effectively with professors and deans.

Prospective Students

Welcome to the homepages of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia. Here you will find a wealth of information to help learn more about us. The College is the largest of the University's six undergraduate schools and we offer a diverse assortment of major programs and thousands of courses taught by some of the top Faculty in the world. Some key links for you to inspect, along with the rest of the site include:

New First-Year Students

Welcome to the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia! We will do our best to make your introduction to the University as smooth as possible. Students succeed here when they inform themselves, obtain advice, and carefully consider choices. As you prepare to come to the University for your first year, please follow the steps below:

1. Activate Your UVA E-Mail Account.

2. Register for Summer Orientation.

3. Prepare for Enrollment (“MY TO DO List”).

4. Learn About the College

5. Submit Your Student Information Form.

         Student Informtion Form opens:   May 8
         Student Informtion Form closes:  June 4

6. Take French, German, Italian, and Spanish Placement Exams.

   College foreign language requirement Are you exempt?

    If NO, take the online exam below. These exams will not be offered during Summer Orientation. PRINT & BRING PLACEMENT SCORE WITH YOU TO SUMMER ORIENTATION.

7. Learn How to Use Student Information System (SIS) and SIS MOBILE - watch these SIS help videos.

8. Plan a Preliminary Schedule Before Your Summer Orientation Session.

Using “Class Search” in SIS, add 20-25 classes to your shopping cart. Do this BEFORE your summer orientation session.  Here is a course mnemonics guide and some videos to help get you started:

           Getting Started

          Graduation Requirements

9. Consider Adding a COLA 1500 to Your Fall Schedule.

One-credit graded seminars open to all first-year students in the College—the instructor will be your academic advisor.

10. Send Transcripts W/College Credit Directly to the College.

Have official transcripts sent to: College Registrar, University of Virginia, College of Arts & Sciences, P.O. Box 400133, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4133

11. Bring Copies of SAT II/IB/AP/Dual Enrollment Credit & Online Foreign Language Placement Scores with You to Summer Orientation.

12. Like "UVA College of Arts & Sciences" on Facebook.

13. RELAX—Fall Enrollment is a Two Month-Long Process. At Summer Orientation, You Will Enroll in a Partial Schedule Only.

14. Complete Fall Schedule of 15-16 Credits in SIS Starting in August.

Getting Started: Connect College, Advising and Career

New Transfer Students

New Transfer Students see the New Transfer Student Guide for information.

Current Students

First-Year Students

If you are a new first-year student, we urge you not to take on too much your first semester. Most students find that college work requires more time and effort than high school courses; you may need a semester or two to acclimate to this new, demanding academic environment. Do, however, be sure to enroll in at least 15 credits.

As you begin to consider the subjects you would like to study during the next two years, do not be overly concerned about declaring a major immediately or transferring to a pre-professional school elsewhere in the University. You are encouraged to select courses that intrigue you, and to investigate areas of study you have not encountered before.

Tips for First-Years

There can be demands inside and out of classes. Keep these things in mind while making choices for the semester:

  • Follow the steps on on course selection and building a schedule
  • Start with 15 credit hours your first semester; you can drop or withdraw from a course to a minimum 12 hours. (If you enroll in a 4-credit course, sign up for 16 credit hours; this will leave you with 12 credits should you need to drop or withdraw from the 4-credit course.) Note that to be eligible for Intermediate Honors you must earn 60 credits at UVA by the end of your 4th semester.
  • Balance your overall schedule (e.g., leave time to get around between classes)
  • Try to avoid more than three consecutive classes
  • Allow time to eat lunch
  • Keep in mind the location of your classes and consider the amount of time it takes to travel from one class to another
  • Factor in the time for extra-curricular activities, social life or a part-time job.
  • Consider enrollment in the Academic Achievement Program.

Key Links for First-Year Students:

Transfer Students

Ten Things You Need to Know

  1. Plan to register for and attend Summer Orientation.
  2. Attend the College transfer student Orientation meeting on the Sunday before classes begin.
  3. Learn the College Deadlines (see the calendar) and pay attention to them. Verify your course enrollments BEFORE the drop deadline.
  4. Don’t repeat courses for which you have already received credit.
  5. Fulfill any remaining area requirements, especially the first writing, math/science and foreign language requirement, as soon as possible. Once you matriculate, all remaining College area requirements must be completed here.
  6. Get off to a head start by attending one or more Summer Session terms at the University of Virginia this year. All credits earned are applicable to your degree requirements.
  7. Second-year students will be assigned an advisor; third-year students need to declare a major upon arrival and will then be assigned an advisor in their major.
  8. See Dean Papovich if you are a third-year student and are unable to declare your major within the first two weeks of the fall semester.
  9. You may not have an extra semester to complete a second major. You may finish your degree during Summer Session if you need to do so.
  10. Get to know your instructors and your Academic Dean (Dean Frank Papovich, 201-B Monroe Hall, 924-3350). Make use of their office hours and introduce yourself.

Key Links for Transfer Students

Second-Year Students

Every second year student should have a faculty advisor. Check your Student Center in SIS (the Student Information System) to verify the name of your advisor.

Declaring a Major

At the end of the second year/fourth semester, all College students must declare a major. At that time you will be assigned to an advisor in the major department you choose. Note that almost all College majors now have prerequisite courses that you must take before you can declare a major. Plan ahead!

You are facing some important decisions: Major? Minor? Transfer to another U.Va. undergraduate school? Study abroad? Internships, Externships? Successful students formulate and keep an academic plan by being well informed about opportunities and policies in the College, and by being in frequent contact with their advisors and their Association Dean.

Key Links for Second-Years Students:

Advising Resources & Questions

Click here for a useful guide for the second year.

Third-Year Students

By now you are in a major and may have questions about graduate or professional programs. Contact Arts & Sciences Career Services for pre-professional information. Gather the information necessary for taking the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT and/or NTE. If you are considering graduate school, be in regular contact with your major advisor. Be sure you know several faculty members well and, if you have a 3.4 GPA, consider participating in the Distinguished Majors Program.

Key Links for Third-Year Students:

Fourth-Year Students

As a fourth-year student you are no doubt thinking about graduation. Watch for an email in November with information on how to apply for gradiation. Be sure to verify your diploma address in SIS when you apply. Consult the graduation web page which should have answers to many of your questions.

If you plan to attend a professional school or graduate school, contact Arts & Sciences Career Services. Gather the information necessary for taking the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT and/or NTE. If you are considering graduate school, be in regular contact with your major advisor. Be sure you know several faculty members well and, if you have a 3.4 GPA, consider participating in the Distinguished Majors Program.

Key Links for Fourth-Year Students: