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Student Life

Many will tell you that choosing a college or university is one of the most important life decisions you can make. And they’re right. But what sets one university apart from others? More specifically, why might you think about applying to the University of Virginia?

We stand by our founder Thomas Jefferson’s vision of UVA as a place dedicated to educating leaders in practical affairs and public service, even as the University grows and evolves. After all, a big part of the Jeffersonian spirit lies in a commitment to innovation. We are very much a 21st-century institution, but like the pavilions on the Lawn itself, our students come to the University with their own styles. We seek extroverts and introverts, scientists and artists, the playful and the studious, overt leaders and those who lead by example, and endless combinations of the above. We don’t want defining the typical UVA student to be easy.

Our “work hard, play hard” mentality is present everywhere, from a packed Scott Stadium to the quiet stacks in Alderman library, from the bustling Corner district to the nearby Madison House, a student volunteer center that has been singled out nationally for its commitment to student-led service. On a given day, you might hike into the Blue Ridge Mountains, or spend a day with friends on Charlottesville’s downtown pedestrian mall. You might visit Monticello, Jefferson’s home, or you might sit down with some reading in one of the University’s famed gardens. You might attend a meeting for one of UVA’s 600 student clubs, or you might go to practice for one of its 25 varsity sports.

With its rich traditions, beautiful atmosphere, student empowerment, and academic prowess, UVA is a singular institution. Now the question remains: What are you looking for?