Physics at Virginia


UVA PhysicsBridge is a program designed to bridge gaps in the preparation of promising young scholars in Physics.

Applications are welcome from post-baccalaureate students who have demonstrated considerable promise for advanced study, yet who would benefit from broader training in foundational Physics – in the classroom and/or in the research lab. Students accepted into the program will receive additional preparatory academic work and guided research experience to optimize their chances for success in graduate study.

How to Apply

Everyone is welcome to apply.

As of AY23-24, the primary method for applying is through UVA’s standard PhD admissions process, more information is available here. The deadline is typically 15 December for enrollment in the subsequent Fall semester. Applicants who are interested in being considered for the UVA PhysicsBridge program should make this clear in the statement of purpose they submit as part of their application materials.

Additional Information

Support: All PhysicsBridge students receive fellowship support for their first year in the program, with the potential for renewal for an additional year upon demonstration of successful progress.

Mentoring: Every PhysicsBridge student works with two faculty mentors.

  • The PhysicsBridge Director serves as academic mentor, helping craft an individualized curriculum designed to meet each PhysicsBridge student's unique needs.
  • PhysicsBridge students are also paired with a faculty scientific mentor who engages in research in a subfield that the PhysicsBridge students finds interesting and is considering for research as a PhD student.

Assessment: PhysicsBridge students will take a skills assessment in the summer before matriculating. This assessment will probe the level of preparation in the four core areas of academic physics: classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, statistical physics and quantum mechanics. Performance on this assessment will inform the individualized curriculum development.

Curriculum: An individualized academic curriculum is developed for each student before the beginning of Fall semester of their year of entry into the program. Example curricula for the first two years of the program are available here. PhysicsBridge students meet with the Physics Bridge Director multiple times throughout each semester to chart their academic plans and adjust them as needed.

Research: An opportunity to conduct independent research is an important part of the PhysicsBridge program. Formal research experience typically starts in the summer after each Fellow’s first year in the program. This research experience can be under the guidance of the PhysicsBridge student's scientific mentor, however this is not always the case and positions cannot be guaranteed. PhysicsBridge students should try to get a broad exposure to the different research programs underway in the department.

Academic performance: PhysicsBridge students are expected to remain in good academic standing, maintaining a minimum grade of B- in all classes in both undergraduate- and graduate-numbered courses. 


For more information, please reach out via email to the UVA PhysicsBridge Director at phys-bridge-director@virginia.edu.