Students in the College of Arts of Sciences apply to the Program in their fourth semester of study. As a distinguished major, the Program admits a limited number of students each year, typically between 18 and 22. A 3.00 cumulative GPA is generally required for admission, but the average GPA of recent classes is substantially higher.

Before the Application

  • Is the Program Right for Me?  Students should browse the PST website, in order to get some insight into the character of the program. The abstracts of recent PST theses will give you a sense of what kind of projects have been undertaken within the major. . Current PST majors as well as graduates (some of whom are involved in a new PST alumni group) are often willing to answer questions about the program. You may also join us on our PST Facebook page. The Director of the program holds a meeting for prospective majors in mid-February to answer any questions about admission procedures and program requirements, and is also willing to see prospectives individually. Feel feel to contact the Director. 
  • Can I Study Abroad? The program requires students to be in Charlottesville during their third and fourth years. If you wish to study abroad, you should do so during your sophomore year, or in a summer if you can manage it, or you might consider studying or working abroad after you graduate.
  • What Courses Should I Take? It is recommended, but not required, that prospective applicants take one “Foundation” course (or more, if you wish) that will count toward the major. Please click here to see a partial list. All courses that satisfy the major’s requirements can be counted toward the major, even if taken before admission to the major.

Application Process

Applications should be delivered by ONE of the following methods:

  • A paper copy of all files (except your letter of recommendation) delivered to Allan Megill’s office (you can slip it under the door) at 434 Nau Hall. Please place your application in a manila envelope. If you are out of town and want to submit a paper application, the address is Allan Megill, Corcoran Department of History, 434 Nau Hall, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400180, Charlottesville VA 22904-4180.


  • An electronic copy of the entire application, consisting of one single .pdf file, must be emailed to Allan Megill. However, your letter of recommendation must be e-mailed by the recommender. Also, your official transcript must be delivered by hand or mail to Allan Megill’s office).

Application Checklist

Students interested in becoming PST majors should submit:

  1. A cover sheet including your full name (Last, First Middle), student ID number (from your student card [transfer students in process are exempted from supplying an ID number]), e-mail address, cellphone number (if available), cumulative GPA, permanent mailing address, recommender name and department, and recommender e-mail.
  2. Your official transcript.
  3. A letter of recommendation by a faculty member, emailed directly to Allan Megill at
  4. A 300-500 word essay describing your interest in the program. This essay should address the following questions: (1) What are your intellectual goals and why are they best addressed in the interdisciplinary PST major? (2) At this (tentative) point, what three “Study Areas” you might propose in constructing your PST curriculum and why? This answer does not commit students to a particular course of study if they are accepted into the Program, but it should reflect a thoughtful and coherent curricular plan.
  5. A writing sample from a previous course. This sample should consist of a previously-completed AND GRADED term paper or essay, preferably with the instructor’s feedback included. The sample should represent your best work.
  6. A “informal” one-page CV that describes significant life and/or educational experiences, including extra-curricular interests/hobbies. (Since the goal is to say something about yourself, we assume that this document will be a bit different from a traditional CV, where the goal is to lay out your qualifications for a job.)

Candidates can expect to hear from the committee by the end of March at the latest.

Applications for the Class of 2016 are due

5pm Thursday, March 6, 2014