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Jefferson Graduate Fellowship Program

This fellowship is for the University of Virginia only.

The mission of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is to serve the University of Virginia by identifying, attracting, and nurturing individuals of extraordinary intellectual range and depth who possess the highest concomitant qualities of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship.

Jefferson Scholars Graduate Fellowships were established in 2001 through private donations to the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and the College of Arts and Sciences Foundation. These prestigious fellowships, awarded solely on the basis of merit, are consistent with Thomas Jefferson's belief in a natural aristocracy of scholars and leaders who would share their talents with the wider world for the common good. Candidates demonstrating exceptional potential as scholars and possessing a willingness to share their passion with a broad audience are nominated by departments and selected based on a national competition conducted in Charlottesville each February.

Each year the Jefferson Scholars Foundation awards Jefferson Fellowships to outstanding Ph.D., M.B.A., and J.D. applicants to the University of Virginia. The Fellowship Program, seeks to identify and recruit outstanding scholars, teachers, and leaders to the grounds of the University of Virginia.

For Ph.D. candidates, terms of the fellowship include: tuition, fees, health insurance, an annual stipend of $30,000-$35,000, renewable for five years and additional research funding up to $7,500.

The Jefferson Fellowship, one of the most competitive national fellowships, seeks candidates who share an interest in communicating with leading scholars and fellows at the University of Virginia in a cross-disciplinary environment. The Foundation believes that Fellows, who engage in thought provoking conversation and discussion both inside and outside of their chosen discipline, make the University a far more invigorating institution. Proof of our commitment to this effort comes in the form of a state-of-the art Jefferson Fellows Center which includes teaching space, Fellows offices, and a reading room/library.


Applicants for candidacy for the Ph.D. at the University in any department in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Darden Graduate School of Business and the Law School. Candidates must be nominated by their departments [at UVA]. Once nominations are received, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will host all candidates at a selection weekend in Charlottesville in February.


Early December. To be considered for a Jefferson Fellowship interested students must submit their applications to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences no later than the deadlines stated by the individual departments. Application deadlines vary by academic department. A complete list of departmental deadlines may be found at the UVA webpages.

Many departments consider Jefferson Fellowship candidates early in the admissions process. Please consult your department for more information about its designated Jefferson Fellowship deadline. Applicants are nominated by each department, and thus students may not apply directly to the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.

Selection Process

Candidates must be nominated by their departments. Once nominations are received, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will host all candidates at a selection weekend in Charlottesville, usually in February.


More information on the Jefferson Graduate Fellowship Program.


Contact at phone (434) 243-9029 or fax (434) 243-9081.

Mailing Address

Jefferson Scholars Foundation, P.O. Box 400891, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4891

Shipping Address

Jefferson Scholars Foundation, 112 Clarke Court, Charlottesville, VA 22903