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Echols Scholars Program Admissions


Admissions to the Echols Scholar Program

There is no special application form or process for the Echols Scholars Program.  All applicants to the College of Arts and Science's first-year class are automatically reviewed for Echols privileges, and thus the selection is highly democratic.  All decisions regarding selection are made exclusively by the University's Office of Admission and not by the Echols Director or Faculty Advisers. All questions regarding the Echols selection process should be directed to the Office of Admission at (434) 982-3200. Students interested in the Echols Program should present all supporting materials they wish the Admissions Committee to review, at the time of their application.

As a general rule the Admissions office will notify successful candidates of their Echols selection around the time that admissions offers are made in the spring semester. Usually this falls between March 31 and April 15. 

Admissions Statistics

The Admissions office does not have a fixed "target" of Echols offers. Each Echols class contains 200-225 students, but the precise number fluctuates annually. In 2012 the incoming class contained 237 students, and roughly 37% of students who received an offer to attend the University as an Echols Scholar accepted the privilege. We compete against Ivy League universities and the top-tier liberal arts colleges, and many Echols Scholars have told us that the Program led them to choose the University of Virginia over other competitive schools because of its unique academic structure.

Echols "Day on the Lawn"

Students selected to join the Echols Scholars Program, along with their parents, will be invited to attend a "Day on the Lawn" event in April. The exact structure and dates of these events is subject to annual change, but the idea remains constant: providing a forum for student and faculty discussion and information on the Echols Scholars Program intended to assist students in making an informed choice in considering the University’s offer of admission.

Echols "Summer Orientation"

The University's Office of Orientation hosts information sessions for incoming students from June through August of each year. Once students accept the University's offer of admission they will receive materials regarding the Orientation process. Sessions are held on a Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday schedule.  The purpose is to provide students with as much information and material as possible and pre-register them for classes before they arrive to start the semester at the end of August.

The Orientation office usually holds 2 or 3 sessions exclusively for Echols Scholars.  Ideally, incoming Echols Scholars should attend one of these sessions, but if their schedules do not permit it, they can attend one of the other meetings.  At the Echols events, students will receive advice from the Echols Director and Faculty Advisers on course selection, meet a number of their fellow first-years, and will have an opportunity to talk informally with Echols Scholars serving as Orientation Leaders. Questions regarding Orientation should be directed to orientation@virginia.edu.

Additionally, over the summer students will receive mailings and emails from the College of Arts and Sciences for purposes of academic advising. Echols Scholars will complete an on-line information form that is used to assign them an adviser in their stated areas of interest. It is crucial that this form be completed in a timely manner, as specialized Echols first-year advising is contingent upon its prompt and accurate submission.  


Regrettably the Echols Scholars Program cannot offer financial scholarships to incoming students.  We offer three scholarships, The Sheri Richman Scholarship, The Laurie Woolen Scholarship, and The Adatto Scholarship, to enrolled students during the spring semester. The Ingrassia Family Echols Scholars Research Fund offers financial support for student research projects related to a Distinguished Major's thesis. The Program is intended to offer more academic, rather than financial, privileges. The University's Jefferson Scholars Foundation does offer merit scholarships to incoming students but has a separate selection process.  Information on the Jefferson Scholars program can be found at www.jeffersonscholars.org.

Prospective Student Visits

The Echols Scholars Program welcome visits from prospective students at all times. The Director and most Faculty Advisers hold regular office hours during the academic year and the Director is usually in the office for much of the summer. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you further about the program, but we do not conduct interviews and will not use personal contact as a factor in the Echols selection process. If you plan to visit the University and have questions about the Program that our information does not address, please contact Sherry Bullock at (434) 924-3350 or via scb6b@virginia.edu. Mrs. Bulllock can also schedule an appointment for you with the Director.

The First-Year Application for Admission to Echols Scholars Program

The Echols Scholars Program accepts a limited number of rising second year students 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 enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences. First year admissions is managed by the Echols Scholars Program and aimed toward recruitment of students whose high-school records may not have commended them for an initial acceptance, 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 curiosity and exploration both in and outside of the classroom. As with the initial selection process 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 in the College seeking admission into the Echols Scholars Program will be April 1, 2015. Updated information regarding application procedures and application forms will be available online beginning January 15, 2015.

The 2014 First-Year Application is available here.