The University of Virginia is distinctive among public institutions of higher education. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University continues in its mission to develop tomorrow’s leaders who are well prepared to help shape the future of the nation and the world. The University is highly selective, accepting only the best students and those who show the exceptional promise Jefferson envisioned.The University of Virginia is made up of eleven schools in Charlottesville plus the College at Wise in Southwest Virginia. Not including the College at Wise, the University employs more than 28,000 people, including approximately 16,000 faculty and staff and approximately 7,000 Health System employees.For 2018, the University was ranked the No. 3 best public university by U.S. News & World Report. In the 19 years since U.S. News began ranking public universities as a separate category, UVA has ranked in the top three and continues to rank in the Top 30 among the best of all national universities, public and private.