University of Virginia Library


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To be admitted as a student of the University, the
applicant must be at least sixteen years of age; but the
Faculty may dispense with this requirement in favor of one
who has a brother, of the requisite age, entering at the
same time.

If the applicant for admission has been a student at any
other incorporated seminary, he must produce a certificate
from such seminary, or other satisfactory evidence of general
good conduct.

In this institution there is no curriculum or prescribed
course of study, to be pursued by every student, whatever
his previous preparation or special objects. In establishing
the University of Virginia, Mr. Jefferson for the
first time in America threw open the doors of a University
in the true sense of the name, providing, as amply as
the available means would permit, for thorough instruction
in independent schools, in all the chief branches of learning,
assuming that the opportunities for study thus presented
were privileges to be voluntarily and eagerly sought, and
allowing students to select for themselves the departments
to which they were led by their special tastes and proposed
pursuits in life to devote themselves.


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The wisdom of this plan has been amply vindicated by
time and experience, and within the last few years many of
the institutions of higher culture in the United States have
to a greater or less extent remodelled their method of study
in accordance with the example here set. Especially is the
option permitted in the choice of schools useful to the young
man whose preparatory studies have already enabled him
to select his future career in life, and who desires to make
professional attainments in any department of knowledge—
whether in those commonly spoken of as professional, as
law, medicine and engineering, or in the academic schools
of languages, literature and pure science—; he may occupy
himself with just such studies as are required by the special
object he has in view. At the same time it is easy for one
who desires a sound general education without particular
bias to arrange for himself, with the aid of such advice as
he can always obtain here, a well balanced plan of study
which shall best enable him to profit by the time he may be
able to spend at the University.

While every student may thus select the schools he will
attend, in the academic department he is required as a rule
to attend at least three, unless upon the written request of
his parent or guardian, or for good cause shown, the Faculty
shall allow him to attend less than three.

Students are permitted to exchange schools, with transfer
of fees, within one week after admission; thereafter no
exchange is allowed, except by leave of the Faculty, and
then without transfer of fees.

The session commences on the first of October, and continues,
without interruption, until the Thursday before the
fourth day of July.

The mode of instruction is by lectures and text-books,
accompanied by daily examinations.