Graduate Fellowships

The selection processes and criteria for Jefferson and National Fellows are tailored to meet the needs of each program.

Jefferson Fellowships

Jefferson Fellowships are offered at three different graduate schools within the University. While the selection process for each school culminates in an interview of the candidate, it varies significantly from one school to the next.  

2022-2023 Selection Highlights

204 combined applicants.

32 Jefferson Fellows and three National Fellows representing 41 universities will join the Foundation community this fall.

18 disciplines represented and 155 scholarly works published by the incoming cohort of Fellows.

Darden School of Business

Candidates are nominated by Darden and identified by an at-large process consisting of a comprehensive review of GMAT test results, professional achievements, and academic excellence. Those who are selected as finalists after this review are invited to attend a selection competition conducted in late fall, which includes formal interviews conducted by Darden faculty and alumni.

Competitive candidates must demonstrate scholarly excellence, sound and decisive judgement, strong and effective leadership, and a track record for putting ideas into action.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Any graduate student in an Arts & Sciences department in their fifth year of financial support offered upon admission is eligible to apply for a Jefferson Fellowship in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Those wishing to apply on an earlier timeline should contact the Director of Graduate Studies for their departments regarding eligibility.

Competitive applicants will demonstrate a commitment to sharing their knowledge discovery with a broader audience through achievements in teaching and academic outreach. Applicants are encourage to investigate the Engagements Curriculum to inform their course design.

Applicants are reviewed by a committee of collegiate faculty, advanced degree holders, and subject matter experts in a variety of fields. Finalists selected from amongst the applicants will be invited to participate in a presentation and interview in late February.

How to Apply

Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science

No one may apply for a Jefferson Fellowship at the Engineering School. Candidates are nominated by the School of Engineering and Applied Science and then invited by the Foundation to compete for a Fellowship in late February, which includes formal interviews conducted by Engineering faculty and alumni.

Competitive nominees must exhibit exceptional ability and potential in scholarship. They must also demonstrate commitment to research, a passion for community engagement, and a desire to contribute to the intellectual life of the University community and the public beyond.

National Fellowship

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation encourages applicants from a broad range of disciplines, including, but not limited to, history, political science, policy studies, law, political economy, communications and media, and sociology. Applicants are judged on the quality of their scholarship and on their potential to shed new light upon contemporary developments in American politics, foreign policy, and America and the World.

How to Apply