Welcome Class of 2020!

Welcome to the University of Virginia, Class of 2020!

As a fourth-year, I am a little jealous that you have four great years ahead of you here in Charlottesville. I still remember my first day of classes like it was yesterday. The highlight of my day was not getting lost on Grounds. As I begin my last year and reflect on my past three years, I cannot believe how the University has shaped me. I have made the best friends, taken some cool classes, and learned a lot about myself. These next few years are a great chance to explore your interests both inside and outside the classroom.

If you are considering business, there are many opportunities to learn about the McIntire School of Commerce before you would apply during your second year.  You can tour Rouss & Robertson Halls, visit a class, or take advantage of advising for prospective students. You can learn more at https://www.commerce.virginia.edu/undergrad/engage-us. Another great resource is this blog. It is filled with information catered specifically to pre-Comm students. Check back often, as it is updated frequently.

Another great way to learn more about McIntire is by talking to current students. As you get more involved at UVA, I am sure you will meet a student who will share their experiences with you and answer any questions. You can always reach out to one of the McIntire Ambassadors at any time as well.

Best of luck to each and every one of you as you begin your journey as a Cavalier. Your four years will fly by, so enjoy every moment and take advantage of every opportunity you get. Wahoowa!

What Calculus Course Should I Take?

The most frequently asked questions that the McIntire Undergraduate Admission Office receives are regarding math and the appropriate course to take.

As you are probably aware, McIntire requires only one Calculus course to enroll, but you may not know that there are at least eight different flavors of calculus offered at UVA that satisfy this requirement. So a question we get asked a lot is “Which Calculus course should I take?”

What are the three sequences of Calculus taught at UVA?

1. Applied Calculus sequence (MATH 1210 & 1220)

  • Two 3-credit courses (no discussion sections), intended for non-math intensive majors in the College (e.g., Commerce, Biology, Economics, Psychology).
  • Meets the Calculus requirement for almost all majors, but does not prepare students for further coursework in Mathematics.
  • Note: MATH 1190 (“Applied Calculus I with Algebra”) does not meet McIntire’s Calculus requirement.

2. Traditional Calculus sequence (MATH 1310, 1320 & 2310)

  • Three 4-credit courses (each with a discussion section), intended for Math and Natural Science majors in the College.
  • MATH 1320 is a prerequisite for any 2000-level Math course or higher.
  • MATH 2315 (“Honors Calculus III”) is offered each fall and intended for students planning to take graduate-level math courses. It’s rare that we see a McIntire applicant take this course.

3. Engineering Calculus sequence (APMA 1090, 1110 & 2120)

  • Three 4-credit courses, intended for engineering majors.
  • Essentially the Engineering equivalent of MATH 1310, 1320 & 2310.

I don’t have any Calculus credit. Which should I take?

We recommend MATH 1210. The workload is less intense, and it still meets the requirement. The only reason to take the more challenging MATH 1310 is if you are interested in higher-level mathematics and/or intend to pursue Math, Statistics, or Physics as a double major.

But I heard you have to take Calculus II or Calculus III to get in?

We’ve dispelled that rumor before. That said, there are a number of reasons applicants take additional coursework in mathematics.

What if I’m coming in with AP or IB credit for MATH 1310?

Then you’ve already fulfilled McIntire’s prerequisite requirement for Calculus; if you never want to see Calculus again, then you don’t have to.

So if I do take Calculus II, which one should I take?

If you intend to take higher-level math courses, then take MATH 1320. If not, we suggest taking MATH 1220 — even if you got AP credit for MATH 1310.

Additional notes about math

  • The admissions committee likes to see math coursework done here at UVA, particularly if you received AP or transfer credit for the math requirement.
  • Potential Finance concentrators are encouraged to complete additional coursework in mathematics.
  • Economics and most science majors require two semesters of Calculus.

So what’s the gist?

  • High school calculus and college calculus are very different, so unless you’re confident in your math skills, be sure to explore your options before committing to higher-level courses.
  • There are several other ways to demonstrate your quantitative ability outside of taking Calculus II or III, including completing quantitative courses in the departments of Economics, Statistics, Psychology, Sociology, Computer Science, and more, that can show your ability to handle the quantitative curriculum at McIntire.
  • Unless you want to take higher-level math, take the Applied Calculus sequence.
  • You can take Calculus II to prep for finance or for another major, but there are many other quantitative courses you can take to demonstrate your mathematics proficiency on your application.

As always, if you have any questions, speak with an admissions counselor, either during open office hours or by appointment.

2016 Application Process: In the Books!

Although most students are gone for the summer, here at McIntire we just finished the process of selecting our class of incoming undergraduate students for fall 2016.

Below is a summary of the status of the applications at the end of March.

 2016 Internal Applicants Offered Deferred Denied  Total
Number 227 149 127 503
Percentage 45% 30% 25% 100%
Mean Cumulative GPA 3.79 3.57 3.3 3.6
Minimum Cumulative GPA 3.1 2.91 2.42 2.42
Maximum Cumulative GPA 4.0 3.96 3.8 4.0

In late May, the Admissions Committee reviewed all applications, with a focus on new information–spring grades, the additional essay, and feedback from alumni interviews. All of the applicants presented very strong credentials, making the decisions tough for the committee! Of the 149 students deferred, the Committee offered admission to 104 students. Although GPA is an important consideration, the wide range of accepted grade point averages emphasizes the holistic nature of the admissions process and the importance of other factors such as co-curricular engagement, leadership experiences, and personal and professional skills, as demonstrated through the interview.

Below is the summary status of applications at the end of May.

 2016 Internal Deferred Applicants Offered Denied  Total
Count 104 45 149
70% 30% 100%
Average Cumulative GPA 3.59 3.45 3.52
Minimum Cumulative GPA 2.94 2.65 2.65
Maximum Cumulative GPA 3.96 3.74 3.96

Ultimately, of the 503 applications from students enrolled at UVA, 331 (66%) were offered admission, and 323 (64%) will enter the School in the fall. The mean cumulative GPA for these incoming students is 3.71, with a prerequisite GPA of 3.61. We look forward to welcoming the new Class of 2018 this August.

We are still here all summer, so please feel free to contact McIntire Undergraduate Admissions if you have any questions regarding McIntire’s programs. We can be reached at the Student Services Office at 434-924-3865 or commerce-admissions@virginia.edu.

Being Deferred – A Student’s Perspective

Being deferred from McIntire is in no way a bad thing. In fact, almost half of each McIntire class is composed of students who were originally deferred. It means that you are a strong applicant who could succeed in McIntire but may be currently lacking in one of the areas stressed by the Admissions Committee. In my experience, it was usually obvious to those who were deferred what they needed to work on. Some students recognize that their GPA had been affected by a bad semester. Being deferred gives them the opportunity to excel in the current semester and show the committee that they can work hard and recover from slips. In addition, students who feel they weren’t actively involved in the community have a whole semester to find something they’re passionate about and tell the committee about their involvement. Deferred students are given the opportunity to write an essay after the spring semester, allowing them to convince the Admissions Committee why they are fit for McIntire. In addition, deferred students are encouraged (and absolutely should) interview with McIntire alumni so they can voice their qualifications and show that they are passionate about joining the McIntire community. Overall, being deferred is a chance to improve, and an extremely motivating one. Personally, my spring semester of my second year was one of my best yet because I was determined to be a McIntire student and knew I needed to prove myself.

Current Third-Year Commerce Student

Keeping a Major/Minor Outside the Commerce School

Enrolling in the Commerce School does not mean giving up what you have been doing and enjoy doing. In other words, if you are looking to finish another major or minor outside of the Commerce School or simply just want to try out different classes, you can do that! To prove this point, I will share a little bit of my personal experience.

Before joining the McIntire community, I always knew that I wanted to master a third language someday. Having arrived at UVA with a decent amount of credits for Spanish already, I decided to declare either a major or minor to complement my Commerce studies. However, I soon realized that my schedule could not fit the 12 required courses for the Spanish major. I did not give up and continued my search in the Spanish department, hoping to find another program that would fulfill my needs, and found the Business Spanish minor. This program is perfect for me because it has a study-abroad requirement that can help me better achieve fluency while requiring only six courses to fulfill.

I am very content with my choice to continue my Spanish studies even after joining McIntire. The Business Spanish minor has opened doors to many more opportunities for me, both in the context of job search and co-curricular activities. Most important of all, it allows me to continue to study what I enjoy.

My only regret is not being able to plan more ahead of time to allow a semester of study abroad in Valencia. My Spanish proficiency improved a lot from my trip to Valencia this past summer. I realized that I would have liked to stay longer to take further advantage of the cultural immersion. Therefore, my advice is to figure out which major or minor outside of the Commerce School you would like to pursue, gather information from both the department faculty and peer students to make informed decisions, and just go for it! Start planning your semester coursework and know that McIntire does not have to be a choice you make at the expense of another.

Posted by a Third-Year McIntire Ambassador

Advice for First-Year Students Interested in Applying to the Comm School

If you are a first-year interested in applying to McIntire, I am going to give you a piece of advice I wish I had been given two years ago: While working hard in prerequisites and joining a variety of organizations on Grounds are important, I believe it is equally important to determine what other academic subjects interest you. Take classes in those subjects (and even join organizations focused on those subjects if you can).

This is helpful for you in two ways. First, you will be more well-rounded and knowledgeable about a variety of topics. Every student who applies has most likely excelled in classes and is extremely involved on Grounds. You will be able to differentiate yourself by showing that you have other focused interests as well as a strong interest in business. Second, applying to the Comm School can be a stressful experience (if you let it). By having options that you would actually want to pursue if the Comm school does not work, you will feel less stressed and worried during the application process. Less stress and worry will allow you to relax and fully enjoy your first two years at UVA.

If you work hard, get involved, determine your interests, and take advantage of every opportunity (especially those from the Comm School), you will be in great shape next year when you apply. Good luck!

–Third-year McIntire ambassador

What Now?

Now that you have submitted your application, you probably feel a sense of great relief as well as some apprehension regarding the upcoming decision. So what do you do during those awkward weeks of waiting? Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Don’t second-guess yourself. Don’t start thinking about what you should have, could have, would have written now that you’ve had more time to ponder your essays. It’s done – don’t dwell on this.
  • Be aware that we will update all SIS data prior to reviewing, so if your schedule changes, this will be reflected in your application. This includes withdrawing from courses, so be very careful when adjusting your schedule.
  • Keep up with your coursework and continue to work hard academically.
  • Don’t worry about the decision deadline. You will know the decision in mid-March – there is no set date for your decision e-mail to be sent.
  • Relax. The hard part is over. Enjoy the cold weather as much as you can, exercise, and know that spring really isn’t that far away.

Above all, keep in mind that you are at UVA, one of the best (okay, THE best) public universities in the country, and the education you receive will provide a firm foundation for a successful future, no matter what happens in March. There are so many opportunities for you, whether or not you are in the Commerce School, and the McIntire Student Services Office will be happy to meet with you to discuss your options.

Is it OK if I Take That Cool-Sounding Class?

There is a common misconception among pre-Comm students (including myself), when they first arrive on Grounds, that the majority of classes taken before applying McIntire have to be commerce, math, economics, or something business-related. I promise you this is not true! Though you do have to complete all the required courses, it is highly recommended that you take no more than two prerequisites per semester, leaving lots of room in your schedule for the class you heard about that UVA students just have to take. Looking back at my favorite classes so far, although I enjoyed many of the prerequisites, all the cool and “random” classes I took before entering McIntire definitely top the list, as they exposed me to interesting subjects I had no knowledge of before. Though these courses I took have little to do with the commerce-related subjects I’m studying, what I learned from these various electives made me a more well-rounded person, enabling me to contribute to conversations on a variety of topics.

College, especially a school like UVA, is the one place where you’ll be able to explore and learn about that random topic that has always interested you, so don’t let this opportunity go to waste by limiting yourself solely to business-related classes. With entrance into the Comm School not starting until your third year, this gives you ample time to take classes on a variety of subjects that catch your interest. If you’re worried that admissions will think you’re doing this to get an easy A, don’t be (as long as this really isn’t your intention). McIntire is all about learning from each other’s diversities, and possessing knowledge about a variety of subjects is one easy way to contribute to this. So when you’re on SIS and that cool class taught by that one-of-a-kind professor catches you’re attention, click enroll—trust me you’ll be happy you did!

How Do I Pick My Elective Courses?

Registration for spring course selection will begin soon, and many students have questions about what elective courses they should take. Electives are just that…electives. You should take courses that interest you and that you will enjoy attending. Below is some good advice from a current McIntire third-year student:

“We don’t start business courses at UVA until our third year so that we can develop a liberal arts background first. Take advantage of this while you can! There are so many great classes to take in the College and ways to broaden your perspective. A good place to start (and something that is recommended by the Admissions Committee) is to fulfill the area requirements for the College. Take history, social science, and a second writing requirement class. I found out that I love learning about history and social issues much more than I did in high school. They are very engaging and help you to learn about what is going on in the world.

“It is also helpful to take classes that further extend the Commerce prerequisites. For example, if you liked economics or statistics, consider taking more of those classes.

“There are many options out there and it can be overwhelming, but websites like Lou’s List and the Course Forum are great websites that list classes by department, give descriptions, and show class and professor reviews. There is no formula for what you should take before applying to McIntire. Just remember that a well-rounded student is highly valued! And everything from your electives can be applied to business classes and situations, whether it be specific skills or a way of thought.”

What to Do in Your First Year

The first year in college is a new and exciting experience for most students, who are able to explore and enjoy many different activities now that they are on their own. Although there are plenty of things to do during your first year, I suggest keeping at least two things in mind, especially if you’re interested in applying to McIntire: (1) Explore many options and (2) work hard.

I encourage you to try as many different activities as you can your first year, especially those you feel uncomfortable with. College is a time to get out of your comfort zone and discover new clubs and extracurriculars you hadn’t considered before. These clubs do not necessarily have to be Commerce clubs either; McIntire appreciates diversity in its applications. Find clubs where you can make new friends, work on something you’re passionate about, and develop relationships outside of Comm. These will keep you going once you’re in McIntire and spending most of your time on Comm-related coursework and activities.

As tempting as it is to just have fun, put in a good amount of effort toward working hard and smart for your classes as well. It is much easier to maintain a good GPA than to improve a lousy one. The ramifications of a bad GPA go beyond applying to McIntire; your GPA can affect your internship and job prospects as well.

First year is a great time to have fun and try many different things. Keep the importance of working hard in mind, though, and you should be off to a good start.

Submitted by a McIntire Student