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.

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.

Reflections on the First Week in ICE

What’s it like to reach your goal after two years of hard work? Turns out, it’s a whirlwind of excitement, meeting new people, learning more information than you thought was possible in just three days, and (already) staying up a little later than expected.

My first week in ICE was unforgettable. I loved being in a room with 40+ other people who share the same broad interests as I have but who could provide perspectives I had never even considered. This became apparent as we discussed our first case in class, and I knew that I would not only learn from the great professors but from my block members as well. I was pleasantly surprised to find how well my team got along from the beginning. The fourth-year mentors had mentioned that teams truly become family, and I can definitely see it happening. Less pleasant was the immediate workload. Imagine a fire hose on full blast, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. The readings/case studies, however, provide real-world examples (think Netflix and Trader Joe’s) to study and learn from. Basically, it’s a TON of reading, but most of it is really cool.

My first week in McIntire has concluded, and I’m excited to see what the rest bring. I’m looking forward to the kickball tournament, the pizza socials, and, as crazy as it sounds, the late nights with my team spent working on our project. I know it’ll be a tough year, but it’ll be spent surrounded by incredible students and supportive faculty, and in one of the most beautiful buildings on Grounds.

-Third Year Commerce Student

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.

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 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

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