Bridge Program

UVA Arts & Sciences Bridge to the Doctorate Fellows Program

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia is accepting applications to join the first cohort of “Bridge to the Doctorate Fellows” for enrollment in Fall 2020.

As part of its deep commitment to diversifying the graduate student body, the professoriate and the research workforce, the Graduate School seeks to support 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.

Application Process

Applications are due on March 1. There is no application fee for this program, and no standardized test scores are required.

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.

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.

Applicants will also need to submit unofficial undergraduate transcripts and two letters of recommendation from faculty who have a strong sense of the applicant’s goals and capabilities. Applicants in the humanities and social sciences will also need to submit an academic writing sample from a course in their proposed field of study.

Admission Decisions

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 director of graduate studies, the director of graduate admission or the director of diversity and inclusion for their specific program of interest; Jasmine Crenshaw, director of diversity programs in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs; Keisha John, associate dean for diversity and inclusion; or Dinko Pocanic, associate dean for graduate programs.


Edward Barnaby

Senior Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs


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