Why UVA?

The Research: Our excellent students work with highly motivated faculty on current and important problems. They receive great mentorship and individual attention, due in part to a smaller student/faculty ratio than other leading schools. Our department takes pride in its uniquely collegial culture of collaboration and cooperation, treating our graduate students as colleagues and partners in research. Most importantly, our students enjoy the benefits of a very strong and focused research program. For example, according to the US News and World Report, the school’s research budget per Ph.D. student surpasses leading schools such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, UIUC, and CMU. This strength reflects our focus on leading-edge experimental systems and applied research. While our admission is selective to maintain excellence, it is our policy to guarantee funding to all accepted Ph.D. students.

The Teaching: We have a commitment to excellence in instruction, with a world-class undergraduate curriculum that has been adopted by many departments around the country. We are re-designing our graduate curriculum to meet the needs of today’s students, with reduced course loads, more seminars, small classes to enable serious faculty/student interaction, a strong focus on building complex systems, and immediate involvement in research.

The People: We have a diverse yet close-knit student body, serious about work but able to have fun. Faculty, staff, and students interact socially both inside and outside the department. Various department-sponsored activities — such as the weekly Tea Time and the Computer Science picnic — complement student-run activities — such as the weekly Happy Hour — to foster a uniquely friendly and collegial atmosphere. Our students are motivated and nurtured for excellence, and leave our program in high demand by industry. Our senior faculty provide extraordinary contacts, and we have had superb success recruiting excellent junior faculty. In an era of extraordinarily competitive markets for top talent, the best young faculty in the nation are choosing Virginia; something’s going on here!

The Community: The University of Virginia is located in Charlottesville, which has recently been voted the #1 best college town in America by Travelers Today and has also been recognized as one (#26) of the top 100 places to live in America by Livability.com. Built by Thomas Jefferson, the University enjoys a unique historical significance in the nation. Its picturesque surroundings, overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains, are rich with history, natural beauty, and recreation opportunities. These include hiking, biking, canoeing, horseback riding, and many others. A mid-sized college town, Charlottesville combines the amenities of larger cities with student campus lifestyle and the charm and safety of smaller towns.

Students Say Why

I like the cooperative feeling. Everyone, graduate students and faculty, is friendly and positive. There are all sorts of social events and speakers, and the department becomes a large part of your life. I have never felt so at home in an academic setting before!

Andrea Paige Rowan


The department is a great environment for research. It is a collaborative environment and that has been helpful. People are willing to cooperate and help each other out beyond the bounds of their research groups. I have had the chance to publish several conference papers and a journal article, and to go to the conferences to give talks on my research. This seems to me to be a good indicator that I can do and am doing good research, which is essential in a PhD program. The faculty here realize the importance of grad students and treat us accordingly. I like the fact that grad students are present on all major departmental committees.

Gabriel Ferrer


Faculty Say Why

“Our beautiful physical environment, rich intellectual environment, high caliber of graduate and undergraduate students, proximity to funding agencies, and collegial culture puts us among the great computer science departments in the nation for faculty and graduate student research and doctoral education.”

Kevin Sullivan


Our department takes teaching seriously and takes pride in doing it well, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

David Evans