Early College Academy

Early College Academy

Due to budgetary constraints, UVA Wise has decided to suspend the Early College Academy for the 2020-2021 academic year.  We expect to reconfigure and restore the program in fall 2021.

College-Level Academics

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise’s Early College Academy is a free college-level sequence of courses that will take place during the senior year for advanced high school students.  It meets the needs of accomplished students who presently find themselves unchallenged and running out of curricular options in the last year of their high school experience.  By combining the high rigor of college-level work with the more structured environment of a traditional high school, the Academy will prepare students for matriculation at four-year institutions of higher education in challenging majors, including the science, engineering and mathematics fields.  Upon completion, students will have earned their high school diploma and at least fourteen hours of college credit.


Academy students will be grouped as a cohort, exclusively with other students of their age.  An academic support program tailored to the needs of high school students, the Early College Academy will support success and a smooth early transition to college.   Embedded in the curriculum with be tutoring sessions, opportunities for individual assistance, and regular progress reports for parents.  Unlike most college students, who are legally adults, Academy students will receive guidance and support appropriate to their younger age.

Free of charge to Virginia students

The Early College Academy is open on a selective basis to all Virginia high school seniors. The cost of tuition, fees, and books is covered by the College.

2020-2021 Curriculum

Academy classes will be scheduled during morning hours in order to allow students to return to their high schools to take additional coursework and participate in extracurricular activities.

Based on feedback from past ECA cohorts, we have revised the program. Starting in fall 2020, ECA students will take HIS 1070, American History 1, along with a newly developed Chemistry course, CHM 1951, Fundamentals of Chemistry, with a specially designed lab component.  This class and lab will offer four hours of college credit and will better meet the needs of high school students preparing for CHM 1010 in the spring.

Along with CHM 1010 and lab, during the spring 2021 semester ECA students will take HIS 1080, American History 2. For students who choose to attend UVA Wise, the two Chemistry courses–CHM 1951 and CHM 1010, with labs–will meet the eight credit hour natural science core requirement for a Bachelor’s degree.

Tutoring and supplemental instruction are provided to ensure students succeed in their classes. Academy students also may apply to take an additional course per semester at the College.

Q & A

Who are the faculty?

  • All courses will be taught by the same faculty who teach our regular sections of these college courses.

Will this allow me to graduate high school on schedule?

  • Courses will transfer back to the high school as concurrent enrollment courses.  The Academy program leaves afternoons free to allow students to schedule necessary coursework.  Students will need to work with their guidance counselors to be sure that they have completed all graduation requirements.

How much does it cost?

  • Tuition, fees, and books are covered by UVA Wise.

How much credit will I earn?

  • You will earn from 14-20 college credits depending on spring semester offerings. The fall curriculum will include 7 credit-hours of coursework.

How is this program different from being a college freshman?

  • Academy students will be grouped only with other high school students and will receive a level of supervision and assistance not available to older, traditionally-aged students.

How rigorous is the curriculum?

  • It is a very strong, but rigorous curriculum.  In the last two years, graduates of UVA Wise have been admitted to Duke and UVA medical schools and graduate programs at the University of Chicago, Harvard, Carnegie-Mellon, and Purdue.  Chemistry and American History are challenging courses, but freshman students take and pass these courses every year.  Students enrolled in the Early College Academy will gain the advantage of taking these courses with additional support and in a more structured environment than they would as college freshmen.


For information contact your school counselor or send an email to academy@uvawise.edu.