How it Works | Course Descriptions

A One-Year Program

Students in UVA Edge will take two online courses per semester for three consecutive semesters, earning a total of 20 credits during the program. Classes begin in the Spring 2021 semester for the first cohort, and the application deadline is Dec. 7.

Each semester, one of these classes will be held at a set time that's scheduled to accommodate working adults. For the second class, students will access a mix of live and recorded instruction at times that best suit them.

What will I learn?

UVA Edge builds the digital and human skills to help you thrive in a rapidly-changing world.   

The program develops foundational technology skills needed to navigate the workplace, like cloud-based collaboration. In the Digital Essentials course, students can choose more specialized instruction in cloud computing or digital marketing / storytelling.

UVA Edge shines by drawing on UVA’s world-class liberal arts programs to develop the human skills that are valued by employers in the digital age, like critical thinking, communication, and leadership. These skills are essential, but take time and effort to learn. Courses like Knowledge in the Digital Age, High Impact Behaviors in the Workplace, and Persuasive Writing each take a unique approach to increase your power as a professional.

Will this help me get a degree?

UVA Edge can serve as a stepping stone to a degree, and is designed to give options to students who have been away from the classroom. 

At the end of the program, students will have earned 20 credits that could be applied toward an Associate's Degree or Bachelor's Degree, though it's important to understand that the decision whether or not to accept those credits toward a degree will be made by the school that awards the degree.

Program Breakdown

Courses per semester.
Consecutive semesters over a calendar year.
Total academic credits earned from six classes.

Course Descriptions

Below are sample descriptions of the courses students will take in UVA Edge. Please note that these descriptions are subject to change as courses are refined and that this language is meant to give a sense of what classes will cover.


Knowledge in the Digital Age

How do we know what we know? How can we know when to trust our knowledge, and when we need to question it? This course introduces students to different ways of knowing and of producing knowledge in the digital age. It also poses important questions about the ethics of knowledge--how can knowledge be produced and made available in a way that minimizes harm and maximizes the common good?

Digital Essentials

Employers are in the midst of a digital transformation with significant effects on workers, who face new opportunities and challenges. The first half of this course introduces students to the essentials of work in a digital age, including content creation and cloud-based collaboration. In the second half of the course, students choose a focus in cloud computing or digital marketing / storytelling as they continue to build valuable technology skills.


Reflective and Persuasive Writing

How can you use the written word to discover and convince people about your point of view? How can you figure out what you think is true and convey that effectively in a digital world in which formats and word counts seem to be constantly shrinking? This course develops students’ writing towards greater insight, clarity, and effectiveness. Ranging from journals to academic essays to workplace communication tools, topics are geared towards everyday life and aim to give students an introduction to writing that works.

Students also take one of the following:

Understanding Data

This course develops skills in interpreting and communicating with quantitative data. Using examples and case studies from both current events and work contexts, students will gain experience judging and interpreting data sets for relevance and reliability. They will also begin to work with different methods of analyzing quantitative data, and communicating the results of their analysis efficiently and accurately.  

Introduction to Data Analytics with Python

This course provides an introduction to various topics in data analytics using the Python programming language. The course will start with the basics of Python, and apply them to data cleaning, merging, transformation, and analytic methods drawn from data science and statistics, with an emphasis on applications. No prior experience with programming, data analytics, or statistics is required.


High-Impact Behaviors in the Workplace

Employers increasingly recognize and value human skills in the workplace. This course introduces strategies and tools (like emotional intelligence) for collaboration, leadership, and team-building, and for helping to create equitable workplaces. It also gives students a chance to build insight into their own particular strengths and interests, and how those translate both to work and to the job search. Finally, students will have the chance to develop networking tools and strategies for the digital age. 

Capstone Experience

This course serves as the capstone experience of the UVA Edge program. In concert with instructors, students will design a project that engages both the technical and critical skills they've developed during the program. The course also focuses on the ethical demands of participation in a democracy, and their relationship to knowledge, education, and work.


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