Biology Lab

Frequently Asked Questions

What's great about the New College Curriculum?

From the start of your UVA experience, the New College Curriculum offers small discussion-based classes just for first year students, immediate access to some of UVA’s best faculty, and exclusive academic talks and labs – all while providing access to the full course catalogue of the College of Arts & Sciences. The New College Curriculum is completely compatible with any of the College's majors or academic programs.

What if I want to Pursue a Pre-Health or Pre-Law Track?

Our commitment is to ensure that any student – pursuing any major – can enroll in any curriculum and succeed. These pre-professional tracks have particular courses you need to take in your first, second, and third years, and the New College Curriculum was designed with these requirements in mind.

Considering a pre-health track? The New College Curriculum would allow you to count up to 15 of the pre-health credits towards the curriculum requirements (9 in the “Disciplines” and “6” in the Literacies). The Traditional Curriculum would count 12 of these credits (in the Areas).

Considering pre-law? The interdisciplinary nature of the Engagements courses of the New College Curriculum, coupled with the wide variety of courses that will count towards the Disciplines could be a great fit. You will probably want to enroll in Philosophy, Sociology, History, Psychology, and Literature courses – all of which align with many of the Discipline Categories in the New College Curriuclum.

Will the New College Curriculum transfer to the McIntire School or the Batten School?

Yes, the New College Curriculum is a great pathway pathways into McIntire or Batten. Because the Engagements courses of the New College Curriculum are only 8 credits of your first-year experience, you can be assured that you will also be able to take the necessary prerequisite courses for application to these schools in a timely manner.

The Engagements courses – what are they?

The Engagements are an 8-credit experience exclusive to the New College Curriculum (as a part of the 30+ credits students take during their first year). The Engagements are taught by the distinguished College Fellows faculty members. Not all Engagements are the same: you choose one 2-credit course from each of the four categories below. Engagements are 7 week courses, so you can take two per semester, and new courses are being added daily!

What classes do I take during my first year (other than the Engagements)?

Students have access to the full Arts & Sciences course catalogue during their first year, and are encouraged to take courses that will help them explore a potential major. Almost every course in the course catalogue will count towards New College Curriculum requirements.

Is the New College Curriculum interdisciplinary?

Yes! For example, the Engagements courses for the New College Curriculum were designed with the unique idea of drawing faculty out of their departments and into a shared, cohesive learning environment for our students. From the first day on Grounds at UVA, students in the New College Curriculum will have the opportunity to discuss large questions about knowledge and learning guided by this interdisciplinary perspective.

What about class size?

Our historical data suggest that students are interested in smaller course sizes. On average, every first-year students takes about 2 courses in their first year that would be considered “small” – less than 50 people. The Engagements courses were designed with this in mind, and provide even more access to UVA’s faculty in a more intimate environment. Class sizes in Engagements courses will average between 25 to 40 students, making them among the smallest courses available in your first year.

Does AP/IB and dual enrollment credit transfer to the New College Curriculum?

Yes! If you receive credit for a “College Equivalent” course, you can apply that credit to the Disciplines and Literacies components of the New College Curriculum. For more information on transfer credit, click here:

Who are the College Fellows teaching the Engagements courses?

The Engagements courses are taught by award-winning faculty members in the College of Arts & Sciences or exceptional postdoctoral scholars recruited specifically to participate in the New College Curriculum. The courses promise to engage you in the important questions of our day while seeking to challenge your very notions of what constitutes real learning. See for yourself by watching the video below – a highlight of one of our College Fellows, Kelsey Johnson, and her approach to teaching: