Technology and Innovation

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 interested in the technology and innovation areas come from a variety of experiences and have unique skills they can offer as an employee for your organization.

Jump ahead to: 

Student Demographics

Undergraduate Enrollment by Major (2015)

  • Computer Science- 369
  • Commerce- 688
  • Computer Engineering- 155
  • Biomedical Engineering - 282
  • Systems Engineering - 289

Students Graduating by Major (2012-13) 

  • Computer Science- 78
  • Commerce- 344
  • Computer Engineering- 33
  • Biomedical Engineering- 70
  • Systems Engineering- 78

Rankings and Data Points

The University of Virginia prides itself for 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 technology and innovation industries achieve 3.0 GPAs or higher.

U.S. News and World Report Rankings

  • No. 2 public university in the country
  • No. 24 among the 310 "national universities"
  • No. 5 public university best value
  • No. 25 most innovative school
  • No. 1 among public universities in first-year retention and 2015 graduation rate 

School Rankings

  • The School of Engineering and Applied Science ranks No. 21 among public schools that offer a doctoral degree and ties for No. 32 overall
  • The McIntire School of Commerce ranks No. 3 among public institutions and No. 6 overall

Average GPA by School (2015) 

  • Arts and Sciences- 3.296 (10,291 students)
  • Commerce- 3.64 (696 students)
  • Engineering- 3.285 (2,577 students)


Computer Science

The computer science BS degree prepares students for careers that provide both personal and societal rewards. As creators of information technologies our graduates are reaching out to people and the world by supporting and enhancing communication, health care, entertainment, scientific inquiry, transportation, business, and almost any other endeavor you can imagine. This program builds upon the engineering and mathematical principles introduced in the Engineering School’s core curriculum. Students are then taught to apply computing to the world around them by building faster, smaller, and more secure software systems, exploring emerging technologies, and working on real-world problems. 

All students must complete a senior thesis and one or two computer science courses to fulfill the computer science capstone sequence requirement. There are two tracks to complete the capstone: the research track, intended for students who are interested in performing an independent project, either a research-based project or an implementation-based project; and the practicum track, intended for any students who are not planning on performing an independent project.

Some highlighted courses from the curriculum include:

  • Multivariate Calculus
  • Introduction to Computing
  • Software Development Methods
  • Programming and Data Representation
  • Algorithms


The Commerce program begins with the Integrated Core Experience, which is carefully constructed to give students a vantage into the world of business from multiple angles, integrating the analytic, strategic, and behavioral skills they’ll need to tackle real-world problems. Rather than offering traditional, independent core courses, the faculty engages students in a coherent, integrated series of sessions focusing on business theory and practice. 

By the fourth year, Commerce students choose to concentrate in one or more specialized areas of study to fine tune their skill set and hone their professional goals. The five concentrations are: 

  • Accounting
  • Finance 
  • Information Technology 
  • Management 
  • Marketing 

Students can also choose up to two of six tracks — an area of specialty that spans across several disciplines. These optional tracks allow students the opportunity to further specialize in an area that augments the Integrated Core Curriculum and concentration coursework. Specifically, the Entrepreneurship track is designed to prepare students to play crucial roles in the new venture community--whether as founders, investors, policy makers, technologists, general executives, or otherwise.

Some highlighted courses from the curriculum include:

  • Digital Innovation
  • Business Intelligence
  • Strategic Value Creation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financing New Ventures
  • Foundations in Design Thinking

Computer Engineering

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree is offered jointly by the Department of Computer Science and the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Students obtain an excellent background in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. All Computer Engineering students work through an extended sequence of introductory, intermediate and advanced courses in both areas. Faculty from the Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering departments jointly administer the CpE undergraduate degree program at the University of Virginia.

Some highlighted courses from the curriculum include:

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Digital Logic Design
  • Advanced Software Development
  • Computer Architecture and Design
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Networks

Biomedical Engineering

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 
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Systems Analysis and Design 
  • Capstone Design 

Systems Engineering

Students in Systems Engineering receive exposure to a wide range of topics, including the economic, political, managerial, environmental, and technical aspects of large scale systems design and implementation. To complement this diverse course of study, students are provided with ample opportunities for hands-on experience with real-world situations and problems. 

The systems engineering undergraduate curriculum is more flexible than many traditional engineering programs. In addition to the courses specifically required in the curriculum, students are able to take nine credits of unrestricted electives, nine credits of electives tailored to an application area, and six credits of technical electives.

The application area electives, or the application sequence, allow students to pursue a specific area of interest within the broad framework of systems engineering. The following areas are available as application sequences: biomedical systems, communication systems, computer and information systems, control systems, economic systems, energy and environmental systems, financial systems, human factors, intelligent transportation systems, management systems, and mathematical systems.

The undergraduate program culminates in a capstone design project, spanning both the fall and spring semesters of the student’s fourth year. Students working in small project teams under the direction of a faculty advisor are matched with a client from the public or private sector. Each team is assigned an open-ended design problem, and they apply the perspectives, methods, and tools of systems engineering that they learn in the classroom to the resolution of the client’s problem.

Some highlighted courses from the curriculum include:

  • Data and Information Engineering
  • Technology Leaders Colloquium
  • Integrated Systems Design
  • Risk Analysis
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning

Top Employers

UVA graduates have gone on to work for a variety of companies in the technology and innovation industry. Some employers of our alums include: 

  • Oracle Corporation
  • Epic Systems
  • IBM
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Intuit
  • General Electric

Student Experiences

The University of Virginia is teeming with Jefferson’s innovative spirit, and our students are ready and willing to take on any challenges they encounter.

Students at the University have been nationally recognized for their innovations. In Fall of 2016, the Agrospheres team won national fame by taking home first place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame’s Collegiate Inventors Competition. This team won the UVA Entrepreneurship Cup, the Virginia Velocity Tour’s Agricultural competition, and participated in the iLab, the University’s summer accelerator. The previous year, a student startup developing a non-surgical and reversible male contraceptive, Contraline, took second place in the ACC Inventure Prize, having then gone on to participate in Y Combinator, the world’s hottest accelerator. Contraline was also a finalist for the 2015 Collegiate Inventors Competition.

On the social front, there are many student projects ranging from PAKA, a clothing company that aims for to share the beautiful Alpaca sweater crafts of Peruvian women to the world while empowering themselves financially, to a service that delivers farmers’ market vegetables fresh to students on Grounds who would not be able to access them otherwise. Unsung People is a growing global initiative that combats the “mean world syndrome” by providing a feed of uplifting news. Student-led projects even strive to improve the students experience. For instance, the Course Forum offers students a better way to compare classes, while UVA offers an easy way to navigate multiple schedule scenarios when choosing classes. Many of these students thrive in a collaborative environment through many supportive programs like the Works in Progress community of student entrepreneurs.

Innovation at the University goes much deeper than new commercial endeavors. In August 2016, UVA’s team of computer scientists won second place and $1 million in DARPA’s Grand Cyber Challenge with their software that autonomously both hacked into and defended itself from other teams’ software.

Many of our experiential learning programs offer students the ability to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in an independent and team-oriented fashion. The iGEM team, which functions to select, plan, perform experiments, fundraise, publish, and present, has competed well in the annual international jamboree. Some of the past years’ projects have included a pregnancy test for bacterial infections, a water filter to remove microplastics, a mechanism for biocontainment of GMOs, programmable drug delivery vehicles, and a pill that could cheaply replace two pharmaceuticals for diabetics. Other programs include the Baja Car (a team that builds and races an all-terrain vehicle), RideForward (students who convert gas-burning cars to electric vehicles), and a team of undergraduates who are attempting to remove one of the barriers to the technologies of the future by refining the manufacturing process of graphene.

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 technology and innovation: 

  • Student Council Technology Committee- subset of the Student Council
  • Women in Computing Sciences at the University of Virginia (WiCS)- WiCS supports, celebrates, and advocates for the full engagement of women in all aspects and fields of computing.
  • Nano and Emerging Technologies Club (NExT)- NExT is devoted to raising awareness of current research and potential applications of nano and emerging technologies, building an interdisciplinary community of students interested in technologies of the future, facilitating interaction  with faculty and industry, and promoting science and engineering innovation.
  • Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development- Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) strives to assist NGOs worldwide by providing consulting services that incorporate best practices to help them achieve a greater level of efficiency. In doing so, SEED aims to help foster development in local communities and facilitate the efforts of budding social entrepreneurs at the University of Virginia.
  • Information Technology Innovations Group at UVA- The purpose of the IT Innovations Group is to foster innovation among individuals that wish to further the capability of cloud and blue-tooth based technology in the telecommunications and entertainment industries.
  • HackCville​- HackCville offers free 12-week programs in everything from entrepreneurship to photography to data science.


Following Jefferson's emphasis on student self governance, several UVA students strive to add unique value to the University and greater Charlottesville community through their own entrepreneurial endeavors. Explore UVA Entrepreneurship to discover the latest news about entrepreneurial activity at UVA.

Capabilities and Skills

Computer Science

All graduates of the computer science program will have the knowledge and skills to be practitioners and innovators in computing and other fields. They will be able to apply computational thinking in the analysis, design and implementation of computing solutions, whether working alone or as part of a team. The knowledge and skills acquired from the degree program will give students the ability to make contributions after graduation in their own field as well as to society at large.


The Entrepreneurship program provides an education in and experience with the tools, techniques, and transformations involved in new venture development (e.g., ideation and innovation, team building, product-market fit, venture viability and diligence, financial and social return, legal dynamics). The Entrepreneurship Track provides a select number of Commerce students with the unique opportunity to: explore the professional processes, concepts, communities, and tools that facilitate new-venture success; examine the sources of financing for a new venture; evaluate a start-up's ability to not only be financially sustainable, but also generate compelling financial and/or social returns; and apply these principles through practical application via new ventures and teams.

Computer Engineering

The BS in Computer Engineering program at the University of Virginia enables students to achieve, by the time of graduation:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
  • An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams (understanding perspectives, communication).
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues (technical , nontechnical).
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineers speak three languages: engineering, medicine, and life sciences. They have an in-depth understanding of living systems, technology, and regulatory affairs. They know how to work in diverse teams. On the job, they often serve a coordinating or interfacing function, even if their primary job is engineer, researcher, technical advisor, consultant, physician, manager, or entrepreneur. 

Systems Engineering

The Systems Engineering program at the University of Virginia enables students to achieve, by the time of graduation:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of (1) mathematics, (2) science, and (3) engineering
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams, split into
  • An ability to appreciate differing perspectives from multiple disciplines in a team environment
  • An ability to function on a team
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

How to Recruit

Employers in the technology and innovation spaces looking to recruit students have a variety of opportunities to engage.

Our signature events of the year are our career fairs! The fairs are an opportunity for organizations and institutional members to meet with students from the university who are interested in technology and innovation careers. The programs consist of  panels, presentations, and exhibitor showcases. There are several opportunities for organizations and institutional members to participate as a sponsor or as an exhibitor.

This is the information from last year's Commerce Career Day.

This is the information from this year's Start-Up Fair. 

This is the information from this year's UVA Job and Internship Fair (takes place every semester). 

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!

Log in or register for Handshake here.

More to Explore

David Lapinski, Director of Employer Relations and Experiential Education

UVA offers a wide variety of large career events to meet the needs of organizations recruiting UVA students. 

Handshake is UVA's online recruiting portal. Post jobs or internships, register for Career Fairs, manage your On-Grounds Interviewing, and more!