Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819. Jefferson devoted his last years to the project of designing and building the grounds of the University, completing the Rotunda the same year he died, in 1826. On his gravestone, Jefferson claimed the University as one of his proudest achievements, along with authoring the Declaration of Independence and Virginia's statute on religious freedom.
Today, the University of Virginia is the top-ranked public university in the country for the third year in a row, with over 18,000 students, 1,900 full-time faculty, and 389 endowed professorships. The University offers forty-eight bachelor's degrees in forty-six fields, ninety-four master's degrees in sixty-four fields, six educational specialist degrees, two first-professional degrees (law and medicine), and fifty-five doctoral degrees in fifty-four fields.