Bridge to the Doctorate

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia is accepting applications to join the Fall 2022 cohort of Bridge to the Doctorate Fellows.

As part of a deep commitment to diversifying our graduate programs, the professoriate and the research workforce, the Graduate School seeks to support post-baccalaureate students from groups that are underrepresented in their disciplines and who have not had sufficient training and research experiences to prepare them for admission to doctoral programs.


Our bridge program provides two full years of fellowship support without teaching responsibilities for students to enroll in a combination of courses, guided research opportunities and UVA’s intensive graduate student professional development curriculum known as “PhD Plus.” Each bridge fellow will work individually with faculty to develop a customized academic plan that will identify opportunities for additional disciplinary training, enable them to cultivate writing and research skills specific to their field, and develop a competitive portfolio for applying to doctoral programs.

Bridge fellows will have the opportunity to complete a graduate certificate or master’s degree. Qualified students will be considered for promotion into UVA’s own doctoral programs after the first or second year.

Financial Support

Students will receive $26,000 per year in living support and full payment of their tuition, fees and single-person coverage in the University’s student health insurance plan for a period of two years.



March 1, 2022


No application fee or standardized test scores are required

Statement of Purpose

Applicants must submit a statement of purpose describing their motivation to undertake graduate study in the proposed field, what experiences thus far have sparked that interest, and any specific training that they hope to receive during the Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship. If the scholarship or research of a particular faculty member at UVA is of particular interest, the applicant is encouraged to provide that information. This statement should be no longer than 750 words.

Statement of Inclusion

Applicants must submit a separate statement regarding any particular challenges that they have faced in obtaining access to sufficient undergraduate training to support their admission to a graduate program. This statement should reflect upon how the applicant’s participation in this program would advance the inclusion of underrepresented populations in the academy and research sectors. This statement should be no longer than 750 words.

Letters of Reference

Two letters of recommendation are required from faculty who have a strong sense of the applicant’s goals and capabilities.


Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts of their entire post-secondary academic record to the online application, including all undergraduate coursework and any graduate-level coursework. An applicant who is offered admission to the Bridge to the Doctorate program will be asked at that time to provide an official transcript demonstrating conferral of the bachelor’s degree.

Academic Writing Sample

Applicants in the humanities and social sciences must submit an academic writing sample from a course in their proposed field of study.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Admission and Matriculation

Initial admission decisions will be issued on April 1.  Matriculating students should plan to arrive at UVA in mid-July for orientation and summer workshops before the start of classes.


Applicants and faculty mentors who seek additional information regarding this program are welcome to contact the faculty liaison for their specific field of interest listed in the directory on this page, as well as  Jasmine Crenshaw, director of diversity programs in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs; Keisha John, associate dean for diversity and inclusion.