Rodman Scholars and International Studies

Department of Engineering & Society


Rodman Scholars and International Studies

The Rodman Scholars Program is the honors program for the top 5% of each class in the engineering school. Students are selected for their superior academic performance and potential to become the engineering leaders of tomorrow.


Rodmans are placed into a special first-year curriculum that allows them to expand and develop their talents by building and learning from each other. In addition to the first-year curriculum, the Rodman Scholars Program encourages Rodmans to explore their interests through 1- credit seminars chosen by the scholars themselves. Throughout their four years, Rodmans are given access to special research and design opportunities to continue developing their engineering and leadership skills.

Professor Dana Elzey oversees the Rodman Scholars Program while the Rodman Council organizes a variety of events for the Rodmans and manages much of the day- to-day operations of the program, in conjunction with Professor Elzey. All Rodmans can be a part of Rodman Council and are encouraged to attend meetings that take place every other week throughout the semester. Read more here.

International Studies

With the growth of international trade and multinational industries, engineering students are finding it increasingly desirable to acquire international experience and cross- cultural skills. SEAS students have opportunities to develop professional skills, as well as cultural and social knowledge of other countries, through study abroad (academic exchange) programs, research internships, engineering service projects, or graduate research. Though not required as part of a UVA engineering education, study abroad remains among the most significant and transformative educational experiences available. Our goal is to enable every SEAS student to obtain a significant international experience while an undergraduate.

SEAS International Programs offers information, advising and logistical support to engineering students interested in international programs. The University’s International Studies Office (ISO) offers information on study abroad programs across the University, plus travel, visa, passport and other logistical assistance ( Interested students may also obtain information and advising by contacting their departmental office and/or international programs contact person.

While the majority of SEAS students go abroad during the summer or January Term, semester-length programs remain a viable option. SEAS offers short study abroad programs, designed for engineering students and led by SEAS faculty, in Germany, Argentina, Guatemala, Panama and France. SEAS also offers numerous opportunities to engage in engineering service learning, primarily in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and South Africa. Students interested in international engineering service may contact the SEAS International Programs office or the Engineering Students Without Borders (ESWB) student organization. Students interested in research may consider a research exchange program, such as the one at the Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo.

Students interested in a semester-length study abroad have a wide range of options, including university partners in most European countries, China, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. The National University of Singapore and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, both offering engineering curricula similar to those within SEAS, offer all instruction in English. Students wishing to study in France, Germany, Spain, and China will need varying degrees of language ability to succeed. Students electing to study abroad at one of UVA’s partner institutions have the advantages of reduced administrative complexity and of being able to pay their home school tuition or fees and register free at the host school.

Undergraduates planning to study abroad for a semester, whether or not second language ability is required, should begin a year in advance. Partner institutions typically do not offer all of the courses a SEAS student would be required to take during a given semester. However, knowing in advance which courses will be available while studying abroad, allows for some adjustments in the student’s schedule while at UVA. Students studying abroad should also apply for transfer credit approval in advance. A course grade of ‘C’, or its equivalent, is required to receive UVA credit for courses taken while studying abroad.

If you have any questions or would simply like more information on international programs in engineering, please feel free to contact the program director at


Dana Elzey, Director of Rodman Scholars and International Studies