In 1819, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia to question convention, expand understanding, and harness the "useful sciences" as a means to better society. In the nearly two centuries since, UVA has become one of the nation's premier academic institutions. Combining outstanding coursework, world-class faculty and cross-disciplinary collaboration, we are dedicated to advancing knowledge for the common good.
Our students who pursue careers in the biotech area come from a variety of experiences and have unique skills they can offer as an employee for your organization.
Jump ahead to:
- Student Demographics
- Rankings and Data Points
- Research Partners
- Top Employers
- Student Experiences
- Capabilities and Skills
- How to Recruit
Enrollment, 2017 – 2018
- 16,777 Undergraduate
- 7,862 Graduate
- 90% of enrolling students had reported rank in top tenth of class
- Middle 50% rate for SAT scores: 660-730
- Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 670-770
- Math: Middle 50% range for ACT composite scores: 30-34
Undergraduate Enrollment by Major (2018-19)
- Biology - 604
- Chemistry - 208
- Biomedical Engineering - 342
- Chemical Engineering - 200
Rankings and Data Points
The University of Virginia prides itself on being among the nation's most elite colleges and universities. Both the university and its schools are nationally ranked, and students in our schools related to the biotechnology industry achieve 3.0 GPAs or higher.
U.S. News and World Report Rankings
- No. 2 “best value” public university in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 undergraduate university rankings
- UVA is one of just two public universities that meets 100% of each undergraduate student’s demonstrated financial need while also making admission decisions with no consideration of a family’s financial situation.
- UVA the No. 4 public “national university” in the United States, and the 28th-best national university overall graduation rate
- Princeton Review ranked UVA as the No. 1 public university on its list of “Best Value Colleges for 2019”
The B.S. Biology degree program is designed primarily for students who plan to pursue largely technical careers in the biological sciences immediately after graduation.
Biology majors are required to complete a core curriculum that includes:
- Cell Biology
- Genetics and Molecular Biology
- Evolution and Ecology
- Developmental & Regenerative Biology
- Introduction to Neurobiology
Additionally, majors are required to complete at least six hours of laboratory course work at or above the 3000 level.
Other upper-level courses from the curriculum include:
- Synthetic Biology
- Human Genetics
- Population Biology and Conservation Biology
- Developmental Mechanisms of Human Disease
The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry (B.A.) is a flexible program designed to prepare the student for further study in a wide range of fields. With a minimum number of required courses, the chemistry B.A. permits the student to design an undergraduate program uniquely suited to individual needs.
The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (B.Sc.) is a pre-professional degree designed for students who plan to become chemists, either by going to graduate school or by working in the chemical industry. The B.Sc. program, certified by the American Chemical Society, emphasizes intensive study in the sciences.
The B.Sc. in Chemistry with Specialization in Biochemistry caters to students having a strong interest in biology and biological chemistry by incorporating biologically-related lecture and laboratory courses. Many students in this program plan to attend medical or dental school, but a significant fraction pursues graduate study in chemistry, biochemistry, environmental science, or related areas.
Some highlighted courses from the curriculum include:
- Cell Biology and Biochemistry
- Physical Chemistry
- Analytical Chemistry
- Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Properties and Applications
Biomedical Engineering's innovative research programs span basic to translational research. Historical strength in cardiovascular science and medical imaging is prominent, with deeply rooted partnerships in the Cardiovascular Research Center, Cancer Center, and Department of Radiology. Collaboration across the Schools of Medicine and Engineering likewise drive more recent research excellence in computational systems biology, tissue engineering, and cell and molecular engineering.
The undergraduate program merges human biology with laboratory and clinical perspectives, a solid engineering education with depth in a complementary field, and product and experimental design throughout all four years.
Some highlighted courses from the curriculum include:
- Computational Biomedical Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering Design and Discovery
- Biomedical Systems Analysis and Design
- Capstone Design
The Chemical Engineering program has a research program focused on Bioengineering and Biotechnology.
Some highlighted courses from the general curriculum include:
- Introduction to Programming
- Chemical Reaction Engineering
- Chemical Engineering Design
- Comp. Model and Sim
Some highlighted courses from the Bioengineering and Biotechnology concentration include:
- Modeling and Simulation in Chemical Engineering
- Material and Energy Balances
- Biochemical Engineering
- Bioprocess and Bioproduct Engineering
- Bioseparation Engineering
- Department of Cell Biology- The Department of Cell Biology at the University of Virginia conducts biotechnology and translational research that is pursued with the goal of translating laboratory discoveries towards the enhancement of human health. Additionally, the Department is actively educating the next generation of translational scientists. It does so through the Biotechnology Training Program.
- Coulter Translational Research Partnership- The Coulter Translational Research Partnership is a $20M program that funds cutting edge biomedical technologies with the purpose of improving clinical practice. The program is also dedicated to training serial innovators in translational research and commercialization.
UVA graduates have gone on to work for a variety of companies in the biotechnology field. Some employers of our alums include:
- Eutropics Pharmaceuticals
- Kwon Park
- Nitto Denko Avecia Inc.
- St. Jude Medical Center
Contracted Independent Organizations (CIOs)
There are nearly 1,000 different student organizations at the University of Virginia. Among them include these organizations specifically focused on biotechnology:
- Virginia Biotechnology Association- Chapter at UVA- The Virginia Biotechnology Association Chapter at UVa is a professional student organization that seeks to support the biotechnology community on Grounds and provide opportunities for UVa students to connect with the broader Virginia biotech community.
- The American Institute of Chemical Engineers at UVA- The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) student chapter at the University of Virginia is an active academic organization that promotes the professional development of its members along with the development of Chemical Engineering at the University. AIChE at UVA provides an outlet for the social enjoyment of its members through its events, relationships with other student chapters and the parent body of AIChE, and faculty and staff of the Chemical Engineering Department at UVa. AIChE at UVA hosts a chemeE car team and contributes to the community through its service branch, Wahoo Wizards.
The following are examples of research opporunities provided through the Center for Undergraduate Excellence:
- Amgen Scholars Program in Science and Biotechnology- The Amgen Scholars Program provides approximately 250 selected undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in a hands-on research experience at some of the nation’s leading educational institutions. Amgen Scholars will have the opportunity to take part in important university research projects, gain hands-on lab experience and contribute to the advancement of science; interact with and receive guidance from faculty mentors, including some of the nation’s top academic scientists; and attend scientific seminars, workshops and other networking activities.
- VA-NC Alliance Summer Research Program at the University of Virginia- The VA-NC Alliance Summer research Program is an eight-week research internship at the University of Virginia. Research tracks available include: astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, and nanotechnology. Students work in labs with faculty and graduate students on research projects chosen by faculty.
Capabilities and Skills
The Biology program helps students develop both an enduring and knowledgeable appreciation for the science of living systems and a deep conceptual and technical understanding of contemporary biology. The curriculum, consisting of core coverage of genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, ecology and evolution, together with a diverse offering of specialized/advanced elective courses, prepares students for a variety of careers in the biological sciences, including teaching, healthcare and research.
Students in biomedical engineering speak three languages: engineering, medicine, and life sciences. They have an in-depth understanding of living systems, technology, and regulatory affairs, and students learn how to work in diverse teams.
Graduates of the Chemical Engineering program at the University of Virginia utilize their technical competency, communication skills and breadth of knowledge to serve effectively in the chemical engineering profession; to become technical leaders in industry, government or academia; or to pursue advanced study in engineering and applied sciences and in professions such as law, business, and medicine.
Student outcomes are:
- Able to use science, engineering, mathematical, and computational knowledge, skills, and tools to formulate and solve problems involving the technological applications of chemistry and allied sciences.
- Well-versed in the design, conduct, and interpretation of experiments to solve problems.
- Competent to carry out process design functions that require not only technical expertise but also interdisciplinary contributions, knowledge of contemporary industrial practice, and an awareness of economic, environmental, and ethical considerations.
- Able to communicate effectively to technological peers and to lay audiences.
- Able to function as effective team players and team leaders.
- Educated about the context in which engineering is practiced in the modern world and the professional responsibilities accompanying that practice.
- Aware of the need and able to engage in life-long learning.
How to Recruit
Employers in the biotechnology space looking to recruit students have a variety of opportunities to engage.
The signature events are our annual job and internship fairs that occur every semester! The University of Virginia Job and Fairs are an opportunity for organizations and institutional members to meet with students from the university who are interested in careers in biotechnology. The programs consist of panels, presentations, and exhibitor showcases. There are several opportunities for organizations and institutional members to participate in this event as a sponsor or as an exhibitor. This is the information from this year's event.
Engagement is not limited to these events, however. Organizations are encouraged to post their jobs and internships year round through our Handshake job portal.
Handshake is UVA's online recruiting portal that allows you to:
- Post jobs or internships
- Register for Career Fairs
- Manage your On-Grounds Interviewing
- Advertise your presentations
- and more!