Information for New Undergraduate Computing Majors


Welcome to the CS department! Whether you are a new SEAS student, a CLAS student, a new transfer, or a minor - we're glad to have you! Here are some pointers and things you might want need to know as a new student in the department. The information here is mainly for BSCS, BACS and CS minors, with some info for CPE undergraduate students.
Handbooks and General Information

  • Most every question about policies and classes can be answered by the Undergraduate Handbook (link in the menu above as well). This contains all the rules for the department and should be your first resource for department questions! Check here first for information on the BSCS and BACS degrees.
  • You can find more specific information about the CPE degree at
  • If you have general questions, the CS Office is in Rice 527. They can help you find out the answer to a random question that you don't know!
Mailing Lists

All Undergrad Students
A list called is used to send important messages to all our undergraduate computing majors (BSCS, BACS, and BSCpE majors). This list is actually made up of three smaller mailings lists, one for each graduating year. For example, has all students graduating in 2017. How to join: At least once a year, we update these lists and add all our majors. However, you can control your subscription from by finding a link to the appropriate list on this web page: (change the XX to the last two digits of your graduation year!). Be sure to join the list for your year of graduation. (If we put you onto the wrong list, you can unsubscribe and resubscribe here.)

BACS Majors
In addition to ugrads, there is a list for all BACS majors. It's called, and all BACS majors should get added when they declare. You can go to to manage your subscription. BACS majors should be on both this list and the appropriate ugrads list.

CS Minors
Minors are all on the The link to manage this email address is

CPE Majors
Also, there is a separate mailing list for BSCpE majors. If you are not on this list, contact the list manager, Natalie Edwards, CpE majors should be on both this list and the appropriate ugrads list.

Computing Jobs
CS faculty and staff routinely receive emails from various organizations, companies, individuals, and colleagues at UVa that are interested in hiring students, either for full time positions or internships. There is a Collab site called "Computing Jobs" that you can join and browse the email archive there. Faculty and staff will forward opportunities that we get to this Collab site. You are welcome to join and unjoin from the site at your leisure. To join the site, login to Collab and in the My Workspace tab, choose Membership. In the Membership screen, select Joinable Sites and then search for Computing Jobs. You can then add the site to your list of Collab sites and will receive job postings as they come in.
Major Advising

In March and October each year, advising will begin for the following semester. You will be contacted by your major advisor to setup a time to meet to discuss your courses, progress in the major, and other questions you might have. You should prepare before going to these meetings by reviewing the material in the student handbook, linked above in the menu. Please bring with you a plan of study that has your courses filled out if at all possible.
Student Organizations

The Association for Computing Machinery Chapter at the University of Virginia is a student chapter of the parent Association for Computing Machinery. The Chapter is a Contracted Independent Orginization (CIO) at the University of Virginia, and serves students, faculty, and staff of the University as well as members of the Charlottesville / Albermarle community. Any member of the University or Charlottesville / Albermarle community may become a Member of the Chapter.

WiCS (Women in Computing Sciences)
WiCS is a club that supports, celebrates, and encourages the growing community of women in computing. We aim to raise awareness of issues faced by women in technology, in addition to inspiring women to explore educational and professional opportunities in the field through mentorship and service. Among our activities is a teaching and mentorship program where we meet weekly with students at a local high school. WiCS is chapter of the national ACM-W organization.

Prof. Bloomfield is the coach of UVa's teams that compete in the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). There is a regional contest in the late fall, and teams in our region that do well advance to the world finals. We have made it to the world finals nearly every year for the past few years. For more information, please see or talk to Prof. Bloomfield.

Student Game Developers
Student Game Developers is a CIO at The University of Virginia. The group was established in 2006 by Brice Morrison and Scott Geiser. Having gone under several changes since its founding, the group continues to support the creation of several original video games each semester and provides industry resources and contacts for aspiring game developers at The University.

Teaching Assistants

Every semester, the department hires more than 100 undergrads to be TAs for our various courses. An announcement is sent out toward the end of each semester for students to apply for the next. Due to various delays inherent in how funding is allocated to courses, hiring decisions are not made until the beginning of the semester during which the TAs will be employed. The first time you TA in the CS department, you also take CS 2910, a 1-credit course to train you on TAing. This course is scheduled after the semester begins and will generally be worked around the schedules of our TAs. Enrollment in CS 2910 is restricted to people hired as TAs for some CS course. For specific questions about becoming a TA, email the professor of the course you wish to TA. For general questions about TAing and the TA application process, email Prof. Sherriff at For questions about CS 2910, email Prof. Tychonievich at
Undergraduate Research

Many of our students want to get involved in undergraduate research during their time at UVa. One way we let students know about the research professors are doing is through CS 2190, most often taken in the Spring of the 2nd year. However, students can also check the Undergraduate Research Posting Board for other topics that faculty are interested in working on.

When you do research with a facutly, you can get credit in a few different ways. First, you can sign up for CS 4993 with that faculty member and earn one CS elective toward your degree (anything beyond 3 credits of 4993 does not count). If you are in your 4th year, you should sign up for CS 4980 and have the reserach count as part of your Capstone requirement for the department in coordination with your Senior Thesis. For more information on this, ask your advisor.