How well-known is UVA?

<p>I'm an international student @ UVA. In my native country, a lot of people haven't even heard about the college. Other public schools (Wisconsin, UCs, Minnesota, etc.) are rather well-known. </p>

<p>So what I wish to know is:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>How well-regarded is UVA in the USA?
I've recently read a new college ranking ('Revealed Pref. Ranking') and found out that UVA was the only public school that was among the top 20. If this were true, I would have to believe that UVA has a decent reputation throughout the country, but I'm not convinced that this ranking is fully accurate. Also, I've read in an encyclopedia that UVA is widely regarded as one of the best two or three public universities in the U.S. Is this true? What would be its reputation like compared with Berkeley, Michigan, UNC, and UCLA?</p></li>
<li><p>What is the school mainly known for?
Is it known for the liberal arts, engineering, business, etc. or academics in general? Or is it mainly known for its social scene? Or is it known for nothing?</p></li>
</ol>

<p>I wish to hear some honest, unbiased opinions.</p>

<p>Its known for being an historically high-quality university. </p>

<p>Its the only one of those public schools you list that was all male in the 60s, as were the Ivy League schools (for the most part). It is the best public school in the east, which is the location of most of the highly selective colleges in the country. It is probably less well known and respected in the upper midwest and the northwest regions of the country.</p>

<p>It has a fine group of professional schools associated with it.</p>

<p>Int'l_85, what country are you from? Also, if UVa isn't well known in your country, why did you apply and then choose to go there?</p>

<p>Minnesota?? Wisconsin? Where are you from, Canada?</p>

<p>The reason UVA is not as well know as other publics of equal quality in international circles is because unlike most highly regarded publics, UVa is not excellent in Engineering or the sciences in general. </p>

<p>For example. Cal is ranked among the top 5 in Engineering and in the sciences. Michigan is ranked among the top 10 in Engineering and in the sciences. Wisconsin is ranked among the top 15 in Engineering and among the top 10 in the sciences. Illinois is ranked among the top 10 in Engineering and the sciences.</p>

<p>Int'l, at the undergraduate level, UVA is known for Business as well as for offering a very well-rounded education to a highly gifted student body.</p>

<p>At the graduate level, UVA is also known for Law.</p>

<p>i had a conversation with a UVA alum at an open house, and he said that everywhere he goes, including international, people say something to him about UVA. whether the poeple went there or they knew somebody that went there, people are always saying stuff to him.</p>

<p>Minnesota? Who has heard of minnesota? its just a normal ok public school...</p>

<p>Exactly, this person must be some sort of spy from minnesota.</p>

<p>Don't take my words as an offense. I personally consider UVA to be one of the premier institutions in the USA. I might be wrong about Minnesota. But the truth is that UVA really is not as highly regarded as some of the other universities of similar US News rank (Berkeley, Michigan, UCLA, Gerogetown to name a few), at least in my country. And I guess this is simply due to the rather smaller number of UVA alums represented in my country. So I just wish to know what its reputation is like in the U.S., and what it is known for. That's it, no offense.</p>

<p>And I am indeed a student (second-year) @ UVA.</p>

<p>Int'l is genuine. He has posted on the Michigan forum above and he is a proud UVA student. I would say given his writing style, he is Asian. And in Asia, sciences rule. That is why in his country, UVA is probably not as well known as Cal and Wisconsin. Even Minnesota is a powerhouse in the sciences. I mean, let us face it. Minnesota is top 25 in Engineering (top 3 in Chemical Engineering) and tp 25 in all the sciences. </p>

<p>Of course, that is a generalization, but you get my point.</p>

<p>Okay, here are some things to consider:</p>

<p>1) Departmental rankings are very misleading. Take for example the Gourman Report and US News, their rankings of academic disciplines (i.e. undergraduate engineering, etc.) are mostly based on deans’ and professors' perceptions of other schools' programs based on research not teaching. Frankly, how can a college administrator from Arizona honestly judge a school he's never visited in South Carolina or Montana? In addition, a university may have a Nobel/Pulitzer/Guggenheim/MacArthur Award winner in its faculty, but is he/she a good teacher or just a good researcher? Was he/she hired just to enhance that college’s prestige? Does he/she teach undergraduates? At UVa, every world-renowned professor teaches undergraduates (except of course those in the Med, Law, & other professional schools). In fact, they often teach University Seminars, which are very intimate classes open only to 15 first-year students each semester. UVA is well-known for having accessible, amazing teachers, not just researchers. In fact, the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, who's also an internationally respected Civil War scholar, won the Professor of the Year Award by the Carnegie Foundation. </p>

<p><a href="http://www.virginia.edu/insideuva/2003/21/ayers_ed.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.virginia.edu/insideuva/2003/21/ayers_ed.html&lt;/a>. </p>

<p>That says a lot if a top administrator of a school is ALSO considered a great teacher. Such acknowledgement highlights UVa’s commitment to superb teaching. Plus, Professor Ayers’ example can only encourage other professors at UVa to continue being stellar instructors. When most people think of colleges w/ excellent teaching, rarely do large research universities come to mind. Look at the old and new CC postings at Berkeley’s, MIT’s, and Michigan’s threads. There are ample complaints about bad teachers and how they seem to care more about their research rather than their students. UVa and her sister school, William & Mary, are consistently touted as public schools that are committed to teaching (and GRADUATING) their matriculants. Both schools are the only public schools that have graduation rates above 90%.</p>

<p>2) You can’t judge UVa without looking at its history. Compared to the Berkeleys and Michigans of the world, UVa is a relative newcomer to research (FYI, research and scientific breakthroughs are major reasons why some other publics are known outside the U.S.) Before UVa started admitting women in 1970, there were only 4,750 undergrads. Back then, UVa resembled the College of William & Mary more than the huge flagship public schools, which became more research-centric in the 1940’s, 50’s & 60’s. Essentially, UVa was like a LAC that focused more on teaching the liberal arts though it also had a Law, Business, and Medical School. Since then, UVa has widened its focus to research, engineering, etc. Over 50% of the undergraduate student body are involved in some type of research, and though UVa isn’t considered in the “Top 10” in say Engineering, it is more-or-less clumped in along with Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown, and Yale in that field (according to US News), which I don’t think is really a bad to place to be. Nonetheless, UVa isn't settling for the status quo, it is currently pushing an initiative called Virginia 2020 to continue to excel or improve in all fields (including Engineering, etc.) So, to say that you get an inferior education in engineering & the sciences at UVa is false. At least at UVa, the professors overall are truly committed to teaching not just research.</p>

<p>3) At the graduate level, UVa is well-known far beyond just Law. UVa is known for business, architecture, medicine, and liberal arts subjects among others. For example, in government, politics, and international relations, UVa is stellar. Currently, there are 8 UVA alums who are U.S. ambassadors worldwide, 5 alums are U.S. senators, 5 are U.S. Congressmen, and 1 is a governor. The Director of the FBI & the Treasury Secretary are also alums. Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi attended UVa and so did Javier Solanas, the former Secretary-General of NATO. </p>

<p>Furthermore, even beyond education, The University of Virginia is lauded worldwide. Virginia is the only school in the entire world included in the United Nations World Heritage List along with other architectural masterpieces such as the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian Pyramids, and Versailles.</p>

<p>UVA strengths at the undergrad level are primarily the humanities...English, Religion,History.....also the Comm school.....science and enginering ok but not what it's best at. Grad strengths include law, mba and medicine.</p>

<p>So, I am apply to the SEAS school at UVa, I plan to go into bio-med. I know VT is much easier to get in, but is there ANY advantage to going to UVa for Engineering?</p>

<p>Better school overall and if engr doesn't pan out you'll have other options.</p>

<p>I must agree with Oldman. UVA may not be as good as V Tech in Engineering, but a degree from UVA is far more valuable. You will make better contacts and get a better overall education. And as Oldman said, many people intending to major in Engineering end up majoring in something else. At UVA, your options are much better.</p>