Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Rodman Scholars Program?

The Rodman Scholars Program is the honors program for the top 5-6% of each class in the engineering school. Students are selected for their superior academic performance and potential to become the engineering leaders of tomorrow.

How do I become a Rodman Scholar?

Admission into the program is primarily offered for incoming first year applicants to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). Applications to the program are neither required nor accepted as a part of this selection process. First year SEAS students or Echols Scholars may apply in the middle of their first semester. More details can be found on the Mid-Year Applicants page.

What are the benefits of being a Rodman Scholar?

  • Official Rodman Scholars Program benefits include priority registration, special scholar housing with both Rodman and Echols Scholars, a unique first year curriculum tailored to the intellectual abilities of first year Rodman Scholars. In the summer of 2010 there was even a Rodman study abroad opportunity in Germany with Volkswagen. In addition, the Rodman name holds a lot of weight among both professors looking for undergraduate researchers and employers.
  • Rodmans also have exclusive access to Rodman Seminars—student-initiated pass/fail courses designed to either delve deeper into gaps in the engineering curriculum or explore intellectual horizons beyond the engineering school. "Rodsems" offer a break from the rigorous engineering classes and teach students skills such as meditation, military strategy, and beer brewing.
  • Rodman Council, the student council for the Rodman program, meets bi-weekly to organize guest lecturers, plan social events, and try to make the Rodman experience better for future classes.
  • Check the Rodman Council minutes to see what we mean. Come to Charlottesville and see for yourself, or ask any of our students: the friends you make in the Rodman and Echols Scholars Programs will define your first year experience.

What are the other Rodmans like?

Rodmans come from a variety of different locations and backgrounds, but all have the the potential to do great things in their time at UVA. There is no typical Rodman scholar: some Rodmans love history, some are athletes, some are sorority/fraternity members, some have a passion for music, and some just like to build things. By living together and having similar schedules, the Rodman Scholar community tends to become very tight knit. As a result, Rodmans participate in many fun activities together, including sports, dinners, and doing physics homework until the wee hours of the morning (which may not be fun for everyone…). The sense of community and the friends you will meet are one of the best things about being a Rodman Scholar.

What if my question is not on here?

Please send your question to a member of Rodman Council or our Program Director, Dana Elzey. We will be happy to answer your question personally!

Rodman Courses

  • Synthesis Design I: ENGR 1410


    Offered exclusively to first-year Rodman Scholars during their first semester, this class replaces the standard ENGR 1620 introduction to engineering class. Instead of focusing on a specific application or area of engineering, Synthesis Design I looks at the engineering design process more generally and applies it to a variety of projects throughout the semester which are designed to emulate real-world engineering. ENGR 1410 is required for Rodman Scholars, but not mid-year applicants.

  • Synthesis Design II: ENGR 1420


    Synthesis Design II is offered exclusively to first-year Rodman Scholars during their second semester and continues the concepts developed in Synthesis Design I. Unlike Synthesis Design I, this second course involves a single group project that lasts the entire semester. Synthesis Design II is required for all Rodman Scholars.

  • Rodman Seminars: ENGR 3580


    Rodman Seminars are 1-credit pass-fail courses that cover various topics chosen by the scholars. There are typically 4-5 seminars offered each semester and are a fun way for Rodmans to explore topics that interest them without a large commitment of time or credits. Please visit the Rodman Seminars page for more information about the classes offered now and in the past. 4 Rodman Seminars (3 for mid-year applicants) are required for graduation.