Student Guide

These pages contains tips and guidance for prospective students and current undergraduate students by year: new incoming first-year and transfer students and current 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. 

NEW STUDENT Checklist: Information for Fall 2022 Advising and Enrollment

Newly Admitted First Year and Transfer Students: Preparing for Summer Advising and Enrollment

Summer Orientation New Student Portal
Visit the Summer Orientation New Student Portal frequently throughout the summer to complete important tasks to prepare for advising and enrollment in the College.  

Learn About the College
The College of Arts & Sciences web page has important academic dates and policy information.

Complete Your Curriculum Module
First-Year students have been placed in either the Engagements or the Disciplines Plus general education pathway. Once notified of your curriculum placement in early May, you will have the opportunity to request a change of your pathway to be included in the Engagements Pathway if you were not selected. NOTE: YOU MAY NOT REQUEST  A CHANGE FROM THE ENGAGEMENTS TO THE DISCIPLINES PATHWAY.

Please choose and view the appropriate curriculum module below.

Evaluate Your AP/IB/Dual Enrollment Credit

Watch the  Welcome to the College Webinar
A Welcome to the College webinar for new first-year students on Zoom will be offered in May. Students must pre-register for the Webinar using their UVA email address. A link to view the recorded webinar will be added here following the live webinar:

First-year students can watch a recording of the webinar here: Watch the First-Year Advising Webinar 

First Writing Requirement Placement 
New first-year students (except Echols Scholars) must complete a First Writing Requirement course in their first year.
Students who submitted an SAT or ACT score for admission are placed in a first writing course according to their test scores; see First Writing Placement. Students who did not submit test scores should complete the First Writing Placement Module (opens May 16) by June 2

Check out this video for more information on First Writing Placement.

Pre-enrollment Survey
New first-year students will have the opportunity to be pre-enrolled in a number of classes before they attend an advising and enrollment session during Summer Orientation. Please complete the pre-enrollment course preference survey (opens May 16) by June 2.

Check out this instructional video for completing the pre-enrollment survey.

Complete Your Student Information Form
All incoming College students must complete the Student Information Form (opens May 16) by June 9.

World Language Requirement
Are you planning to continue with a World Language you studied in high school or at another college during your time at UVA? If so, click on these links below to learn about language placement and take the appropriate placement module to determine in what course you should enroll in a fall or spring semester.

Find more information about other languages and placement at these links:

Math Placement
Click here for information on math placement.

Learn To Use SIS and Plan Your Schedule
Take some time to log into your Student Center in SIS and learn the Student Information System.

  • Plan your schedule using "Class Search" in SIS, add 15-20 College Classes to your shopping cart before you attend Summer Orientation.
  • Choose only 1000- or 2000-level courses.
  • You may add closed or wait listed classes to your shoppping cart - there may be seats available during your course enrollment sessions.
  • 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.
  • Consider a USEM Course
    • University Seminars are two-credit courses that are offered during both the fall and spring semesters. Student participation in a USEM should foster a love of learning with the goal of igniting a spark of enthusiasm for a particular subject. 

Register For an Advising and Enrollment Webinar
An advising and enrollment in the College webinar will be offered via Zoom for new first-year and transfer students in late June to help prepare students for course enrollment on day two of Summer Orientation. Students must pre-register for this Webinar using their UVA email.

  • First-year students can watch a recording of the webinar here: Watch the First-Year Advising Webinar
  • Transfer students can watch a recording of the webinar here: Watch the Transfer Advising Webinar

Be Prepared for Course Advising and Enrollment During Day 2 of Summer Orientation
You must bring a laptop, tablet, or Smart Phone to use on day two of Summer Orientation which is when you will enroll in your fall classes.

You will be assigned an enrollment appointment which will give you access to enroll in classes using SIS (the Student Information System). There will be faculty advisors and student Orientation Leaders who will assist with academic information and advice about fall course enrollment. You will be able to add courses, as well as swap any pre-enrolled courses. All enrollment appointments on day two of Summer Orientation are randomly assigned and cannot be changed for any reason.

Watch this video to learn more about UVA Course Codes that will help you choose the most appropriate classes for your first semester.

Watch this video to learn how you'll Browse For and Enroll In Classes in SIS

Course Enrollment and Zoom Advising for International Students
International students and students unable to attend a Summer Orientation session in person will be assigned to Summer Orientation Session K and will enroll in SIS during an assigned enrollment appointment on July 20. Advising sessions with a College Association Dean will be available via brief one-on-one meetings in Zoom break out rooms during the assigned enrollment appointments.

Finish Your Schedule
Incoming students will continue building their fall schedule in August (TBD) and, as needed, join course waitlists. SIS remains open for course enrollment changes through the add/drop deadline in September.

Learn about Collab
Log into Collab in August before classes begin to review course syllabi and determine how to prepare for the first day of class. Some classes may have work due at the first meeting.

Getting Started: Connecting College, Advising and Career

Sign up for a Summer Program so You're Ready for Fall

Like the College on Facebook

First Year Students

Current 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.

Questions? See your Association Dean in Monroe Hall.

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.

Key Links for First-Year Students:

Focus on your classes and the adjustment to College!

Second Year Students

Are you a new transfer student preparing for your first semester at UVA? Please visit the “New Transfer Students” tab below.

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

Are you a new transfer student preparing for your first semester at UVA? Please visit the “New Transfer Students” tab below.

By now you are in a major and may have questions about graduate or professional programs. Contact the University Career Center 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 3.400 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 graduationWatch for an email in November with information on how to apply for graduation. 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:

New Transfer Students

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

New 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 academic 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 Ozment 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 Elizabeth Ozment, 204 Monroe Hall, 924-3350). Make use of their office hours and introduce yourself.

Key Links for Transfer Students

Prospective Students - Thinking About UVA?

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: