Academics

It's true that UVA Engineering students are fortunate to study with faculty who are international leaders in their fields, and our school's relatively small size means students get plenty of access to - and one-on-one attention from - their teachers. But employers who recruit our students routinely tell us one important thing: UVA Engineering graduates demonstrate a uniquely high level of preparation to ascend into important leadership roles in their future careers, because our curriculum includes training in analysis, problem-solving, communication, judgment and ethics.


Our graduates can go anywhere and succeed. And our students have an enormous range of organizations with which to engage while they are at UVA.

Before they graduate, 100 percent of UVA Engineering students must complete a research project that demonstrates their analysis and judgment. In any given semester, nearly half of our students are enrolled in a course that focuses on communication, research and critical thinking. Nearly a quarter of our students spend time learning abroad, which is well above the national average.

Dean Craig Benson

"Students today are very interested in experiential education. They want to learn through doing. This is actually one of the most effective ways that we can teach students and get them really engaged passionately in learning."

UVA Engineering Dean Craig Benson

UVA Engineering's dean, Craig Benson, always says that students don't become engineers by sitting in lectures. Our students spend a significant amount of time working on projects with real-world applications - programming robots to help people with disabilities; 3-D printing human tissue samples; designing smart home and transportation systems.

Students explore engineering problems in open, collaborative spaces such as our Lacy Student Experiential Center, our Lacy Design Studio, our National Instruments Engineering Discovery Lab, our Mechatronics Lab, our Rapid Prototyping (3-D printing) Lab, and our professional flight simulator lab.

Inside all of our labs and classrooms, there is no ceiling on our creative students' imaginations.

UVA Engineering Academics

In the classroom and in life around Grounds, our students support and challenge each other to excel.

  • Biomedical Engineering

    The last 30 years have witnessed an explosion in our knowledge of the human body and our ability to treat disease. Undergraduates who choose Biomedical Engineering as a major have the opportunity to work side by side with faculty who have made important contributions to this knowledge creation. Using our perspective as biomedical engineers, we are making groundbreaking discoveries in fields like systems biology and biomedical data sciences, medical imaging and cellular and tissue engineering.

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  • Chemical Engineering

    The Department of Chemical Engineering is developing solutions to some of society's most pressing challenges in areas like renewable energy and water purification, while pursuing exciting opportunities in biotechnology and biomolecular engineering that can improve medical treatments and save lives. When you decide to major in Chemical Engineering at UVA, you join a group of students who are both high performing and mutually supportive, giving you a perfect environment to grow and develop.

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  • Civil Engineering

    Shelter, transportation, clean water. With a dual focus on infrastructure and the environment, the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering develops new approaches and new technologies to better develop, monitor, maintain, and manage the essential building blocks of society. Through this work, our students and faculty make international contributions to a more sustainable future. In the process, we advance the limits of current technology, whether it’s cyber-physical systems for smart cities or nanotechnology for low-cost water purification. To ensure our solutions are fully responsive to community needs, we actively collaborate across disciplines, including public policy, business, public health and architecture.

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  • Computer Engineering

    A student in Computer Engineering can choose to study with any faculty in the departments of Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering. The program allows faculty from both departments to collaborate with one another and to co-advise students in areas which cross traditional curricular lines. Computer engineers design, program, produce, operate, and maintain computer and digital systems. They generally apply the theories and principles of science and mathematics to the design of hardware, software, networks, and processes to solve technical problems. Areas of research include Energy, Medical, Networks, and Security.

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  • Computer Science

    With its significant strengths in the three core areas of computer science—computer systems, theory and artificial intelligence—the Computer Science Department provides its students with intensive, hands-on experiences applying fundamental computer science concepts in the real world. The process is reinforced by presenting technical education in the context of important societal issues, with an emphasis on communication skills.

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  • Electrical Engineering

    Whether they see themselves designing chips for the Internet of Things or engineering next-generation photovoltaic cells, Electrical Engineering undergraduates leave UVA ready to drive the future of technology in industry or in graduate school. Starting with fundamentals courses, students learn the elements of electrical engineering not as an abstraction but as an integrated system of tools that can be applied to specific, real-world applications. Students have ample hands-on studio courses, research opportunities and projects.

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  • Engineering Science

    Students who take Engineering Science, the undergraduate program of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, like the freedom to chart their own course. Engineering Science is an interdisciplinary degree program, which means students can create their own program that matches their interests or career goals by combining a major in one engineering discipline with a minor in mathematics, science or another engineering discipline.

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  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    We make a point of grounding our students in the fundamentals of mechanical and aerospace engineering. This positions them to make the most of the freedom and independence that is the essence of the fourth-year capstone project. Students can choose to focus on topics like aircraft design, rotating machinery, or computational methods, but the specific direction they take is theirs to choose, and many students earn national awards for their work.

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  • Systems Engineering

    The Systems & Information Engineering program places graduates squarely at the center of the data revolution. It equips them with technical skills in areas like data science, visualization, optimization and business analytics that are critical to decision-making, as well as the leadership and communication skills to direct efforts to design and improve large-scale systems. Through class projects, internships and fourth-year capstone projects, our students gain real-world, team-based experience in such areas as cloud computing, machine learning and unmanned aerial systems.

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