The selection criteria and processes for each school are outlined below.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Competitive applicants must exhibit capacity for the highest levels of scholastic achievement and must demonstrate they are prepared to pursue ambitious dissertation projects that have the potential to transform their disciplines. Successful applicants will also possess a commitment to sharing their knowledge discovery with a broader audience through achievements in teaching and academic outreach.

Darden Graduate School of Business

Candidates are nominated by the Darden School and by an at-large process consisting of a comprehensive review of GMAT test results, professional achievements, and academic excellence. Those who attain candidacy are then invited to attend the national selection competition conducted in late fall. 

Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science

Candidates are nominated by the School of Engineering and Applied Science and then invited by the Foundation to attend a selection competition conducted in late February, which includes formal interviews conducted by Engineering faculty and alumni.

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

National Fellowship Program

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.




The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship.

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David and Jane Walentas

A transformational gift for UVA — $100 million to benefit first-generation students

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The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

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