Category Archives: The Application Process

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 You will need to complete the course in the summer; if you do not and are offered admission, the offer can be rescinded.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

Co-Curriculars: What Do They Mean in the Admissions Process?

People often ask, “How many extracurriculars should I be involved in to get into McIntire?” There is no answer to this, as there is no secret formula to getting in. McIntire is looking for quality rather than quantity. Just show who you are! There is so much to explore at UVA, and no two McIntire students have the same roster of activities. Students play sports, get involved in philanthropic organizations, volunteer, join culture clubs, learn through academic clubs, and find jobs. Many continue activities they’ve loved since high school, as well as find new activities at UVA. There is something to be said about a student who can learn and contribute in any activity they do. As long as you show this, there is no reason to feel pressured to join the same clubs that you hear your other pre-Commerce friends are joining.

Co-curriculars, along with the rest of the application, are important in evaluating how well-rounded a student is and whether they will be able to bring new perspectives to McIntire. McIntire wants to see people who love what they do and will bring that to their classes. So if you are doing things that you enjoy at UVA, then you are on the right track.

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.

The Deferral Letter Was a Blessing in Disguise

Chuxi Sun, Third-Year, McIntire School of Commerce

As another admission cycle draws to a close, many students find themselves in a difficult and ambiguous position being in between of acceptance and rejection. Don’t panic. Being deferred does not mean you will not get into your dream school. In fact, it means you were qualified, but one element might have been lacking. Your grades might be borderline, your extracurriculars might be weak, or there might have been a tremendous amount of equally qualified candidates applying this year. What to do now?

Challenge yourself to improve and grow quickly. Consider being deferred as an opportunity to further strengthen your application and qualifications. You will have the chance to present additional materials to show your interests and fit before the spring semester ends. Be sure to update the Admissions Committee on any new developments in your record. Whether it is taking a new leadership position in a student CIO, achieving a higher academic success, or acquiring a summer internship that will help you develop your skills and knowledge, make sure it is a significant change or improvement in any part of your record since you applied.

Prepare for the interview. Take a minute to reflect upon your deeper motivation. Why do you believe McIntire will be the best place for you? Next, switch to the other side’s perspective, and ask yourself, what is unique about you that differentiates you from the rest of the candidate pool? How can you add valuable to the McIntire community and contribute to the classroom? Lastly, think about how you plan to connect the dots and your future career goals. Which concentrations and tracks interest you the most? Where do you plan to be in five years, and why is studying at McIntire an important part of that plan? If you are uncertain about the answers to some of these questions, contacting the University Career Services (UCS) to schedule a mock interview or practicing with your friends will definitely be helpful.

Am I a good fit? Have you taken the time to get to know McIntire? If you have not yet done so, schedule a class visit to experience what it is like to be attend a class, sign up for a tour to learn about the history of and culture at McIntire, explore involvement opportunities in student organizations, or simply talk to a current student to get a firsthand perspective on the ICE program. These activities will allow you to discover more connections between you and other students at McIntire, which will help you answer the “fit” question.

Stay focused; stay positive. Stay focused on your academic and extracurricular pursuits. Continue to challenge yourself and manage your time wisely. While being deferred might leave you in an uncomfortable position – not knowing what your next step should be – you still have a chance to get admitted. Life is full of uncertainties, and at some point everyone must face hazards and challenges. Appreciate the fact that this is an opportunity to help you build confidence in handling adverse events and obstacles in the future.

Next steps. If you eventually receive the admissions offer, congratulations! You are on your way to embarking on an amazing journey that will bring countless opportunities. Be ready to move forward if you do not receive an admissions offer. Take a close look at your alternative options, and continue to work hard. As an adage goes, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”

Admission Decisions: Deferral


roussToday is the day! The long-anticipated admission decisions have been released for the Class of 2016. For the past few months, second-year pre-Comm students have anxiously awaited this day, hoping for good news. A large chunk of students will be admitted today, but this is not the final incoming class. A portion of the applicant pool will be neither accepted nor rejected today; they will be deferred. This post focuses on these students. Writing as a previously deferred student, my goal is to guide deferred students through the next few months. This is just the beginning, I’ll be blogging more as you go through the process.

Being deferred from McIntire is not like being deferred from college.
This really says it all. Many colleges place their deferred students on a waitlist and the student gets off the waitlist only if a spot frees up. This is not the case at McIntire. The Admissions Committee defers a number of students (it changes each year), intending to admit a good portion of them (again, the exact number changes each year). This means the rest of this semester is essential to your application. Once spring final grades are submitted and the committee reviews your applications, you want the committee members to see your continued academic success.

The Admissions Committee wants to see another semester of accomplishments.
This is why the Admissions Committee defers students. Three semesters of academic work is not a lot to go off of, but luckily for you, you get four semesters. If you were deferred, this semester is your chance to shine. Finish up that last pre-req, and stay involved in your extracurricular activities. Continue to work hard, and do your best in all of your classes; this is what the committee is looking for.

Being deferred doesn’t mean you aren’t McIntire material.
As I mentioned, there are spaces reserved in the incoming class for deferred students. Treat this experience as a way to show the committee more about what makes you special. In the next few months, you will be given access to the application site again in order to complete an optional additional essay. Even though it is optional, you should most definitely take this opportunity to show a different side of you. In addition to the supplemental essay, you will have a chance to sign up for an interview later in the semester. Again, this is optional, but you should definitely use this interview to highlight your interpersonal skills and show how you would fit into the McIntire community. As the optional essay and interview approach, you will receive more information about the specifics, and we’ll continue to update the blog with tips and reminders.

For now, take a deep breath, enjoy spring break, and maybe catch up on some reading for accounting.

McIntire Admission for UVA Students – “Nobody Gets in So Don’t Even Bother Applying”

How many of you have heard that “nobody gets accepted to McIntire”? Well don’t believe it; in fact, MOST UVA students who apply ARE admitted, so you should definitely apply! I want to use this post to share with you data regarding the UVA internal pool and decision process. This is really for you first- and second-year students already at UVA. My next post will focus on the data and process for external applicants or those applying to transfer to UVA/McIntire from other colleges and universities.

Yes, admission is competitive, but don’t most outstanding accomplishments take a little extra work? As you can see from the data below, approximately, 400-500 students enrolled at UVA (almost always in the second year and mostly from the College) apply each year. McIntire is approved to enroll around 300 students from within the University each fall, so we generally make a few offers over 300. In fact, about 65–75% of the UVA students who apply are admitted. You can also see that the average UVA cumulative GPA of these admitted students is pretty competitive, at 3.6. Remember, this is only the average and NOT a cut-off. Last year’s admitted cumulative GPAs ranged from 3.01 to 4.0. Thus, you really need to try and maintain at least a B to B+ average to be competitive.

Internal Applications Summary

2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Applications 468 521 499 439 462
Offers 319 311 310 312 309
Offer Rate 68% 60% 62% 71% 67%
Mean UVA GPA 3.62 3.62 3.58 3.53 3.51

Why does one applicant with a 3.0 get in and another with a 3.3 not get in? GPA is only one factor and the Admission Committee looks at multiple factors in the admission process. Many elements make up the cumulative GPA, including how many hours you carry and course difficulty, so we are not comparing “apples to apples” and looking only at the final number. We look at your entire transcript. In addition, the committee looks closely at seven prerequisite courses–COMM 1800, COMM 2010, COMM 2021, MATH, STATS, ECON 2010 and ECON 2020–and actually calculates something we call a “mini GPA.” Last year, the average mini GPA of the admitted students was 3.56, with a range of 2.72–4.0. Because of the importance of the prerequisite classes, I always encourage students to spread these classes out over the first two years and to not take more than two mini-courses in one semester if possible. Too often, I see students overly anxious, taking lots of the prerequisite courses too soon and not doing as well as they could if they spread them out. You have four semesters to take these courses; there’s no need to rush. At the same time, make sure you are taking full and challenging loads with a broad variety of classes. The committee gets concerned about your oral and written skills if you are taking only math and econ courses. Conversely, make sure that you have enough quantitative courses (the mini GPA courses are all pretty quantitative) to show us you have the ability to crunch the numbers. Once admitted to the Commerce School (think positive on this!), you will have to take 15 challenging credits each semester your third year, so the committee wants to make sure you can handle this workload.

The other reality of this process is that a 4.0 GPA does not guarantee admission. Yes, we have actually denied a student with a perfect GPA! McIntire is training future business and industry leaders, so we want to see strong communication and teamwork skills and involvement outside of your academic pursuits. You will be asked to list no more than five co-curricular activities on the application. These include work, clubs, and organizations. We don’t prefer one activity over another; we just want to see that you are involved and contributing to your community. Some applicants think they have to have real work experience or an internship – absolutely NOT! You are only a second-year! Just find something you enjoy and care about and get involved. It is not about how many activities you are involved in, but that you are doing something. Working out at AFC or playing World of Warcraft really doesn’t look impressive to the committee as an activity on your application. Doing nothing at UVA isn’t going to look impressive either.

Every applicant is different, just like every student is different. You are going to have strengths and weaknesses, and there is no magic formula or perfect path to become a competitive McIntire applicant. Here are a few of my tips, presented at our recent advising sessions, to help you stay on the right track to become a competitive applicant, but most of all I encourage you to be yourself and spend your time pursuing classes and activities that hold great interest to you! If you enjoy what you are doing, you will naturally excel.

Hope this helps and feel free to send us an email if you have any questions! Enjoy the cool fall weather.