The average age of students entering most graduate programs is 27-30. Many students work or take one or more bridge years between their undergraduate and graduate studies. Some common reasons for taking a bridge year are: to earn money, to gain experience, to establish residency in order to be eligible for in-state tuition, and to clarify goals.

Bridge Year Options

  • Volunteering/Service programs
  • Teaching programs
  • Internship programs for recent graduates
  • Cultural exchange programs
  • Seasonal or temporary work

Steps to Take Before Graduation

1. Ask for letters of recommendation.

Generally, professors will be able to write stronger letters for you while you are still fresh in their minds.

2. Take required admissions tests.

Usually, candidates achieve higher test scores as students while they're in "study mode".

3. Gather information

You have the best access to information about graduate school while you are still a student. Take advantage of the resources at the UVA Career Center and talk to faculty.

Bridge Year Programs

Click here for a listing of selected programs!