All posts by Jeannine Fields

About Jeannine Fields

Jeannine Fields is Assistant Director for Undergraduate Admission. Her email address is

FAQ from Dean Leonard on the Difficult College Acceptance Decision

Email from a Parent to Dean Leonard


I saw your email and blog post and am taking the liberty of emailing you. We live in Virginia, and our son has been admitted to both UVA and a private university. He has not gotten into McIntire but would like to do so if he attends UVA. We are struggling with this decision and would appreciate any perspective you may have.   

The economic choice for us, as in-state residents, is obvious: $30K for UVA vs. $72K for the private university. 

Since he is not guaranteed admission into McIntire, if our son chooses to go to UVA and does NOT get into McIntire, he will have to continue at UVA as a non-business major. On the other hand, with the private school, he is guaranteed to receive a business degree.   

How hard is it to really get into McIntire? And what are his options, short of transferring, if he does not get in?   

Thank you in advance for any perspective you can share.  

Anxious Dad

From Dean Leonard

Dear Anxious Dad,

Congratulations on your son’s acceptance to two great programs. I hope that he is attending one of the Days on the Lawn sessions being held this month for admitted students and that he will attend the McIntire session held at 10:30 a.m. each of the six days. At that session, he will learn about McIntire’s unique integrated approach to the delivery of business education combined with liberal arts preparation that only McIntire can provide. This integrated core curriculum is a key reason McIntire consistently ranks as one of the top business programs in the world. First and foremost, if you have this financial flexibility, I encourage you to let your son make the ultimate decision and to really think about where (geographic, demographic, etc.) he most wants to spend the next four years. Students can find their place and thrive at any institution if they go with an open mind and willingness to get involved and work hard.

The risk of not getting into McIntire is one that students who come to UVA with a desire to pursue business must accept, and understandably, that makes the decision more difficult.  However, “most” (60-70%) students who apply to McIntire are admitted, and those who are not remain at UVA, pursuing a major that leads them toward their desired career goals with a degree from one of the best public institutions on the country! Most business-related activities and organizations are open to all UVA students, and we have an exceptional University Career Center that works with all students.

I think if you ask anyone in public accounting, banking, finance, consulting, and even data analytics, they will say our program has a very solid national brand and that our graduates are aggressively sought out by top companies and firms. But again, determining where your son wants to be in terms of community should be an important factor. I am confident that if you calculate the return on investment over the long term, UVA and McIntire will come out ahead.

Thank you for your email and interest in the McIntire School of Commerce. Should you or your son (we always prefer to speak directly to the “customer”) have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the McIntire Office of Undergraduate Admission at 434-924-3865.

Rebecca Leonard
Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Admission

Undergraduate Admission Process, March 2017 Update

From the Desk of Rebecca Leonard, Associate Dean, McIntire School of Commerce

Re: Undergraduate Admission Process, March 2017 Update

The McIntire School of Commerce Undergraduate Admission Committee has completed the initial reading of fall 2017 applications from UVA students.

Summary of Application Information

Of the 508 UVA students who applied, the School will ultimately be able to offer admission to 320-330 students. The applicants once again presented remarkably strong credentials, with an average UVA cumulative GPA of 3.58. On March 9, emails will be sent to University students regarding the Admission Committee’s decision. Of the 508 students who applied, 260 were offered admission, 129 were deferred, and 119 were declined admission.

At the end of the spring semester, the Committee will review additional application information from the 129 deferred students and anticipates making offers to approximately 65 of those applicants. In addition to spring grades, deferred applicants will have the opportunity to submit another written essay and to participate in an interview to demonstrate oral communication skills.

A Holistic Evaluation

Throughout the selection process, the Committee considers multiple factors, including communication skills, leadership and teamwork skills, co-curricular engagement, academic performance, and strength of semester schedule/course load, as evidenced through the application. Those students admitted achieved an average UVA cumulative GPA of 3.75, with a range of cumulative GPAs from 2.95 to 4.0, demonstrating the Committee’s holistic evaluation of each applicant. Those students deferred achieved an average UVA cumulative GPA of 3.50. In addition to outstanding academic performance, students offered admission and deferral demonstrated exceptionally strong leadership skills and co-curricular activities. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

2017 Admissions by the Numbers

For Additional Information

Students with questions regarding the undergraduate admission process should contact the McIntire Office of Undergraduate Admission at 434-924-3865 or or are welcome to come by during walk-in advising beginning Monday, March 13, 2017.

What Now?

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

  • Do not second-guess yourself. Don’t start thinking about what you should have, could have, or would have written now that you’ve had more time to ponder your essays. It’s done – do not 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 your decision the middle of March – there is no set date for your decision e-mail to be sent.
  • Relax. The hard part is over. Enjoy whatever weather Mother Nature sends our way as much as you can, exercise, and start looking forward to spring.

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.

10 Suggestions for Winter Break

If you are a current UVA student planning to apply to the McIntire School of Commerce for fall 2017, you should be aware that the application is available online and you need to register by Jan. 9. You can register any time by Jan. 9 and start working on your application as soon as you receive confirmation of your registration; the application is due by noon, Jan. 25.

Be sure to register, and consider these tips to will help with the application process (even if you are not planning to apply to McIntire until next year, pay attention to suggestions 2, 4, 7, 9 and 10! These are good for us all!):

  1. Reread and review previous posts on this blog. There is a vast amount of information available and you can get many of your questions/concerns answered without even having to send an e-mail.
  2. Relax and get some much-needed sleep. This semester has been a trying and difficult one and it is important that you take care of yourself.
  3. Work on the application essays slowly. Format your responses in Word, leave them for a day or so, revisit, and make any needed changes. Eliminate all unnecessary words. Have more than one person review your essays. Cut and paste your essays into your application.
  4. Visit and spend time with friends and family. You deserve this much-needed break; you have been missed, so reconnect.
  5. By Jan. 12, your prerequisites will be viewable on your application, so pull up your application and review the coursework appearing in the Prerequisite Section. There is an area on the application under this section, and if you are missing a requirement, a paragraph titled “Unmet Prerequisites” will show the missing requirement and ask you how you have (or plan) to complete this requirement. Sometimes you might see that a course you took for humanities credit is not being picked up or that the placement exam you took for foreign language is not exempting you from this requirement. This is OK – don’t panic! Simply fill in the information in text box provided; these requests will be reviewed periodically through the remainder of winter break (and after) and waivers for these will be either granted or not. Typically, if you have already satisfied a requirement that is showing up as missing, this will be waived. If you are planning to take the requirement in the summer, this will still show up as missing, but we will have your explanation of how you plan to complete this requirement. Please remember that we are updating our system through SIS continuously, and as you add courses for spring 2016, this will be reflected on your application. If you have any questions regarding a requirement that you fulfilled with AP or transfer credit, please e-mail You should first check SIS and make sure this requirement is showing up on your transcript.
  6. Pace yourself. Don’t wait until Jan. 24 to start the application.
  7. Eat lots of good home-cooked meals – spring recess is a long way away.
  8. SAVE THE DATE! Friday, Jan. 20, there will be an application review session from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in Rouss & Robertson Halls, Room 123. This is a drop-in session, so you can come at any time between the times listed above. Bring a printed copy of your application or your laptop to pull up your application to be reviewed by a current Commerce student. This event is sponsored by the Women’s Forum at McIntire, the Black Commerce Student Network, Smart Woman Securities, and the Latino Student Network at McIntire. Do not be in a hurry to final submit your application – there are no early decisions. All applications will be reviewed after the Jan. 25 deadline, with decision notifications by mid-March.
  9. Do something nice for someone else. Help your mom around the house, shovel an elderly neighbor’s driveway or wash their car (for free), read to your nephew…you get the idea. Get your focus on something other than the stress of the application process.
  10. Last, but definitely not least – have a wonderful and safe holiday. Enjoy yourself and regroup. We are looking forward to seeing you in the new year!

The Application Is Ready — Are You?

By now, most of you who plan to apply for fall 2017 admission know that the application is now available online. As you begin to prepare to work on the application (after exams, please!), some questions/concerns may arise. Please be aware of the following:

  • Make sure that your name and all contact information are correct in SIS. Although the application pulls only name, e-mail, and phone number, it’s always a good idea to check your local and permanent addresses in SIS periodically to make sure this information is up-to-date.
  • Remember that you MUST have all of the prerequisites completed by the time you would enter the McIntire School should admission be offered. If you are missing a requirement, please make note of this on the application where provided. You will need to complete the course in the summer; if you do not and are offered admission, the offer can be rescinded. Please remember that you will not be able to view your prerequisites and how these have been satisfied until Jan. 12, 2017, so please review these before you submit your application.
  • Check to make sure that any AP credit and/or testing credit you received are listed on your transcript, especially if these are being used to satisfy any of the prerequisites.
  • Review any waivers you have been given. The more common of these are foreign language through placement exams and English writing through SATs or portfolio reviews. If you believe you have received a waiver(s) for a requirement and the requirement is showing up as missing, contact the McIntire Office of Undergraduate Admission for further information.
  • Spring courses should be on your transcript so that the committee will know what you are planning to take. Some of you may still be adding/changing courses, and if your schedule should happen to change after you have submitted the application, please be aware that we receive updated copies of your transcript and will be able to review these changes.
  • Do not make the mistake of getting hung up on courses that you think will look good to the committee. Although you should challenge yourself in your course selection, make sure these are courses that you will enjoy and learn from.
  • Check your essays, and do not rely on spell-check, as this feature, wonderful as it is, can give you a wrong word if you are not careful. Proofread more than once, and have someone review all of your essays.
  • You will need to either make the payment or request a fee waiver prior to submitting your application. Plan on doing this several days in advance so that you do not run the risk of missing the due date. Payment or waiver alone does NOT mean that you have submitted the application. After payment has been submitted or the fee waiver granted, you can then submit the application. These are two different processes, so please do not forget to click Submit after your payment has been accepted or your waiver request has been approved.
  • Do not hit submit too soon. The review of applications will not begin until after the due date of Jan. 25, 2017, so submitting early does not benefit you. Make sure you have everything taken care of, reviewed, listed, and completed before you click on that icon. Most importantly, make sure your grades from fall are listed and correct. Again, you should not submit your application until after you have been able to view your prerequisites between Jan. 12, 2017, and the application due date of Jan. 25, 2017.
  • Once you have submitted your application, you can still view your application, but no changes can be made. This is another important reason not to submit too soon! Keep in mind that SIS updates will still occur even after the due date.

Coming soon, suggestions for winter break!

Application for the B.S. in Commerce Now Available

The online application for UVA students who wish to apply to the McIntire School’s undergraduate program for fall 2017 is now available at The two-step process includes registration and application submission.

Registration: Nov. 15, 2016–Jan. 9, 2017

Students must register no later than Jan. 9, 2017. Students who have not registered by Jan. 9, 2017, may not apply for admission to McIntire for fall 2017.

Once registered, students are able to work on application; prerequisite information (pulled from SIS) will be viewable on the application starting Jan. 12, 2017.

 Application Submission: Jan. 12–25, 2017

Registered students must submit applications no later than 12 noon Jan. 25, 2017.

 For questions or additional information, contact:

McIntire Office of Undergraduate Admission
Room 163, Rouss & Robertson Halls, East Lawn

Message from Dean Zeithaml

Nov. 3, 2016

Dear McIntire School Community,

I write to you today from Asia, where I am meeting with many McIntire alumni, parents, potential students, academic and corporate partners, and friends from literally all regions of the world. Like all of us, they recognize that our increasingly diverse and inclusive community is one of our great strengths, and I am pleased that the McIntire School makes every effort to achieve this end and to realize the best in each of us.

Having said that, I am sad and very concerned to learn of the bias incidents taking place in the UVA Community. I join other University leaders in the call to stand together as a McIntire family to condemn acts of bigotry and hatred and to work together to create an inclusive environment where all members can thrive, grow, and learn from each other. McIntire is taking great strides this year, establishing a new Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as a strategic plan around Diversity and Inclusion that ensures all members of our community are valued and empowered. Many of you already participated in workshops and training around Valuing our COMMunity of Differences, and we will continue to offer training and resources around these issues. I reiterate some of the statements found in our new strategic plan around Diversity and Inclusion:

  • Our community is inclusive, acknowledging and removing barriers to empower all our members to engage fully and to contribute in and out of the classroom.
  • Our community is enriched by challenging assumptions, inspiring thoughtful discussion, and contributing to the development of innovative solutions.

As current and future global business leaders, we must create an environment that promotes constructive dialogue while maintaining civility and respect. I ask that you join me to speak out against bias and hatred; speak out when you see something you know is wrong; use the Just Report It system to report an incident of concern.

Both McIntire and the University have resources to support individuals who may feel the targets of bias or uncomfortable about events or conversations taking place. I encourage you to obtain support if necessary and engage in constructive dialogue around these issues. McIntire’s Office of Student Services (RRH 163) or Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (RRH 104) are resources for support. Many University resources are available to support students, faculty, and staff:

I sincerely appreciate everything that all members of our community do each day to make the McIntire School a wonderful place to live and learn. With the impending election and its associated rhetoric and media coverage both before and after next Tuesday, I ask all of you to redouble your efforts in the coming weeks to reject language and actions driven by fear, hate, and bias, and to participate in our efforts to make the School and University an even better and stronger community. Thanks very much.

Best, Dean Zeithaml

Course Registration: Course Selection Tips

Registration will soon be under way, and many of you may be wondering about what courses you should be taking. You might be torn between two classes and worrying if one course will look better to the Admissions Committee than the other, but what if you are REALLY interested in the other? Below are just a few suggestions we hope will help:

1. Stay on track with your area requirements. Completing courses in all these areas will benefit you no matter what your major is and provides an excellent broad-based educational foundation.

2. Take courses you are interested in or curious about; it’s okay to explore.

3. Challenge yourself, but don’t go overboard. Don’t enroll in a 4000-level course unless you have a solid base for the material that will be covered.

4. Plan ahead. As you move forward in your academic career, so should your difficulty of courses. Once you are a second-year, your coursework should consist mainly of 2000-level courses.

5. Don’t overanalyze courses to look for “business-related” courses. Business is everywhere, whether you look for it or not. A politics course can be very valuable because politics influences business and vice versa. Sociology courses can help you develop critical thinking skills as well a deeper understanding of social environment – which has an impact on business. Just because “business” isn’t in the title doesn’t mean the course is not applicable to a business career.

6. Don’t worry too much about what will look better to the Admissions Committee. Take courses that interest you.

7. Choose courses that go along well with your area of interest: Marketing? Take some psychology or sociology courses or media studies courses. International? Take courses in foreign affairs, or continue in a foreign language or courses that emphasize global issues. Finance? Consider additional math or economics courses.

8. Finally, remember that college is your time to explore and broaden your perspective; take full advantage of this time and the opportunities before you. Below are some tips from Dean Leonard’s recent advising presentation that might help you further with course selection for spring.

Admissions Information – Academic Advice

1. Take full loads with challenging courses from various areas (e.g., quantitative, oral and written communication, ethics and moral reasoning, global perspective).

2. Stay on track to complete your area requirements in the College of Arts & Sciences, and explore possible majors in the College.

3. Spread the prerequisites out; don’t take more than two mini-GPA courses in the same semester.

4. Get involved outside of the classroom.

To Withdraw or Not to Withdraw, That Is the question!

With the approach of the withdrawal deadline (Oct. 18), you may be considering the option of withdrawing from a course that:

  1. You are doing poorly in
  2. You are not finding as interesting as you thought
  3. Is so overwhelming that your other courses are suffering
  4. All of the above

Let’s face it – you know the Admissions Committee doesn’t want to see Ws on an applicant’s transcript. It is very difficult to know why a student would withdraw from a course, so assumptions can be made that the student is lazy, doesn’t want to work, can’t carry a full course load, or is so overly concerned about their GPA that the thought of getting under a B sends the student into crisis mode.

Once in the Commerce School, students are required to carry 15 credits each semester of their third year and will never be allowed to W from a Comm class.

Before you withdraw from a course, you should ask yourself several questions:

  1. What is “doing poorly”? Are you afraid of pulling a B-, C+, or even a C? Please be aware that the Commerce Admissions Committee views a withdraw in a course as a negative. Ask yourself if it is worth having a W show up on your transcript as opposed to a passing grade in a class that you completed successfully.
  2. There will be courses that might not be as exciting as others – that’s life. Stick with it, learn the material, and who knows? It may turn out to be one of those courses that will provide you with skills that you will use long after the course is over. You don’t get to withdraw from a project at work once you are in the real world.
  3. Learn time management skills now. Plan your schedule with course credit hours in mind. Fifteen to sixteen credits are typical. Don’t overload with 4-credit courses that will boost your credit hours to 17 or above and therefore give you more work.
  4. Before withdrawing from a class, meet with your associate dean for additional input and advice. Also, attend our walk-in hours in Rouss & Robertson Halls, Room 163, for additional feedback. You want your application to be as competitive as possible, and we’re here to help.
  5. Sometimes problems with one class or personal problems can spill over and impact your performance in your classes. In some instances, you may really need to withdraw to maintain overall academic and personal balance; if so, then go ahead, but make sure you address this in the optional essay on your application.

The McIntire Undergraduate Admission Office has Moved and Other News

Greetings from the McIntire School of Commerce Office of Undergraduate Admission! Please read on to find opportunities to engage with McIntire and learn important updates from our office.


Our office is still located in Rouss & Robertson Halls on the East Lawn, but we are on the first floor, in Room 163. Please stop by and see our new digs during walk-in advising.


Whether you’re new to Grounds or a second-year preparing to apply to McIntire, we invite you to an information session, where we’ll brief you on McIntire admissions and you’ll hear advice from our amazing McIntire Ambassadors!

Information session for prospective Commerce students
Wednesday, September 14
6 – 7 p.m.
Rouss & Robertson Halls, Room 123


  • Take advantage of one-on-one conversations with our office staff during walk-in advising
  • Visit a McIntire class of interest with our Take-a-Seat program
  • Check out blog posts for perspectives of students who have been in your shoes

We look forward to working with you this year so that you can reach your academic and personal goals.