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Applications on Pause for the 2024-25 Academic Year

Bridge to the Doctorate

For Prospective Students


As part of our deep commitment to diversifying the professoriate and research workforce within academia, the UVA Graduate School of Arts and Sciences seeks to support post-baccalaureate students from historically underserved communities in preparing for admissions into doctoral programs. Our goal is to help strengthen foundational knowledge and develop research skills in promising scholars to set them up for success as they pursue PhD programs.


The Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship started in 2020 and was borne out of UVA’s commitment to cultivate a diverse and vibrant community in higher education as part of the strategic vision to becoming a great and good institution.

The B2D Fellowship welcomed its inaugural cohort in 2020. Due to the first Covid-19 pandemic, the first cohort was virtual; however, since 2021, the Fellowship has been fully residential.

How it Works

The B2D Fellowship is an intensive post-baccalaureate training program, with the goal of preparing Fellows for admittance and success in PhD programs upon the completion of the Fellowship.

Once Fellows are admitted, they work with Bridge Directors in their departments to create a customized academic plan that identifies opportunities for additional disciplinary training, enables them to cultivate necessary skills specific to their field, and improves their portfolio for applying to doctoral programs in their chosen fields of study. The IDP is a living document and should be updated as needed.

In addition to providing necessary academic training for preparation for graduate school, Bridge Departments will also help Fellows cultivate a wide network of mentors who will support them academically, professionally, and personally during their time at UVa. B2D Fellows will also have access to regular professional development opportunities offered by the Dean's Office during the course of their Fellowship.

Fellows will receive $30,000 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.

*The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia is pausing applications for the upcoming application cycle. 




No application fee or standardized test scores are required

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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.

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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.

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Letters of Reference

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

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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.

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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.

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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 Irtefa Binte-Farid, the Associate Director for Community Development and Recruitment.