The University of Virginia is distinctive among institutions of higher education. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University sustains the ideal of developing, through education, leaders who are well-prepared to help shape the future of the nation. The university is public, while nourished by the strong support of its alumni. It is also selective; the students who come here have been chosen because they show the exceptional promise Jefferson envisioned.
The University of Virginia is made up of eleven schools in Charlottesville, plus the College at Wise in southwest Virginia. U.Va. offers 51 bachelor’s degrees in 47 fields, 84 master’s degrees in 67 fields, six educational specialist degrees, two first-professional degrees (law and medicine), and 57 doctoral degrees in 55 fields.
The University of Virginia remains the No. 2 best public university in the 2009 edition of the U.S. News and World Report rankings. In the 12 years since U.S. News began ranking public universities as a separate category, U.Va. has ranked either No. 1 or No. 2. U.Va. continues to rank in the Top 25 among the best of all national universities, public and private.