Why UVA?

The Grounds in the spring

The University of Virginia is distinctive among American institutions of higher education. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University pursues the mission of developing leaders who are well prepared to help shape the future of the nation. UVA is a public institution that is sustained by the private support of its alumni. It is also highly selective; the students who come here have been chosen because they show the exceptional promise that Jefferson envisioned.

“If the condition of man is to be progressively ameliorated, as we fondly hope and believe, education is to be the chief instrument in effecting it.”

—Thomas Jefferson to Marc-Antoine Jullien (1818)

When you join the University of Virginia as an employee, you join an institution known nationally and internationally for the excellence of its teaching, research, and public service. People choose to work at the University of Virginia for many reasons and there are even more reasons why they stay for a career. As an employer, the University has an outstanding record of growth and stability and offers a wide variety of exciting and challenging jobs. Each year the University appears prominently in the rankings of national publications and organizations in a variety of categories.

Here’s a sampling of recent rankings:

  • The Princeton Review and USA Today ranked UVA as the No. 1 “Best Value College” of all U.S. public universities in 2009.

  • The 2009 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Virginia second among public universities and twenty-third among all national universities. In the twelve years since U.S. News began ranking public universities, UVA has placed No. 1 or No. 2 each time.

  • In 2009, for the fifteenth consecutive year, UVA posted the highest graduation rate for African-American students among major public institutions, according to an annual survey published by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

  • The University of Virginia is ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row among 50 “best value” public colleges and universities, according to The Princeton Review, one of America’s most widely known education services and test preparation companies.

But rankings tell only part of the story of UVA’s strength as an institution. Balancing a rich sense of tradition with a forward-looking spirit, the University has a distinguished record of developing educated, civic-minded citizens who are well prepared for leadership and service on a global scale. Dedicated to its primary missions of instruction, research, public service, and patient care, UVA comprises twelve schools in Charlottesville, a Level I trauma center and teaching hospital, research facilities, arts and athletics venues, and the UVA College at Wise, a four-year liberal arts school located in southwest Virginia.