Visitor Information

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 and the world. 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 Academical Village designed by Thomas Jefferson was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987 along with Jefferson’s home at Monticello. Nearly 200 years after Jefferson first articulated his plans, the Academical Village remains a vital part of student life at the University.

Named in honor of Princess Charlotte, the wife of George III, Charlottesville was settled in the 18th century on a hill overlooking the Rivanna River. Today the city has a population of more than 42,000 with a metropolitan population nearing 200,000. Charlottesville offers a unique combination of natural beauty, rich historical and cultural attractions, and close proximity to both a national park and the nation's capitol. Charlottesville consistently earns high marks as a desirable place to live.