First Year Admission Process

The Echols Scholars Program accepts a limited number of rising second-year students currently enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences into the program annually. Admission is by application made during the spring semester and is open to all first-year students currently enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences. First-year admission is managed by the Echols Scholars Program and is aimed toward the recruitment of students whose high school records may not have commended them for an initial acceptance into the program, but who have distinguished themselves academically during their first year at the University.

No single factor determines suitability for acceptance. Criteria for selection include having taken a challenging selection of coursework each semester and demonstration of academic exploration and curiosity in and outside of the classroom. As with the initial selection to the program, there is no fixed number of first year acceptances. Students invited to join the Echols Scholars Program at the end of their first year are given the same privileges as students selected out of secondary school. 

The deadline for application by first-year students currently enrolled in the College seeking admission into the Echols Scholars Program will be May 29, 2019. The application will be posted in mid-March.

The Echols Application has five components:

  • Application form (available here during the application period.)
  • Responses to three application essay questions
  • Unofficial transcript from SIS
  • A one-page resume
  • One letter of recommendation submitted by your recommender
    • The recommendation should be from a UVA faculty member, TA, or dean who has interacted with you in an academic capacity (as your course instructor, academic advisor, or research supervisor). The letter should speak to your academic qualities and abilities, your intellectual curiosity, and your potential to contribute to a community of scholars. We advise you to choose the recommender who knows you best, regardless of whether the recommender teaches in your intended major or area of study. 

For any questions regarding the application process, please contact Laura Young at