Most students agree that the professors at UVA are outstanding, qualified, brilliant, and passionate men and women. As expected, there are occasional complaints about class structure, material, and size, as well as some unfortunate cases of disinterested teachers. The quality and interest level of classes and professors vary throughout the different schools and departments at UVA. For the most part, students find that classes and professors in the College of Arts and Sciences (particularly the English, drama, history, and psychology departments) are more liberal and interesting. Some of the more technical, scientific courses and schools (biology or engineering, for example) can be a necessary burden, even for students specializing in those fields.
Although it can be difficult getting to know a professor in a lecture setting, taking smaller seminars gives you a much better opportunity to get close to professors. How well you get to know your professors largely depends on the size of your major and the initiative you take with them. Older students are often very helpful with class and professor recommendations, so use them as a resource to achieve a more fulfilling academic experience. Though the best professors tend to only teach upperclassmen, be patient. Learn from your TA in the meantime—even though it may be disappointing and frustrating at times. Remember that TAs are more accessible, younger, and often more enthusiastic about the classes they’re working with; you can use this to your advantage and get more out of your learning experience. In general, as long as you are interested in developing a relationship with some of your teachers, whether they be TAs or professors, you will no doubt excel academically at Virginia.