What is a Bridge Program?

IGEN, the ACS, AGU and APS are partnering with higher education institutions that have Bridge Programs to increase the number of physical science graduate degrees earned by Black, Latinx, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Bridge Programs invite promising senior undergraduates or bachelor degree recipients in the physical sciences (astronomy, chemical engineering, chemistry, geoscience, physics, or closely related fields) to participate in one-to-two year transitional graduate programs or traditional graduate programs. Some transition programs are post-baccalaureate programs that provide research experience, advanced coursework, mentoring, and coaching to prepare a graduate school application while others are traditional graduate programs.

Bridge Program elements vary from institution to institution. IGEN partners identify academic departments that are committed to providing intentional support, mentoring, and access to resources that enable their graduate students to thrive.

American Chemical Society Bridge Program Webpage
American Geophysical Union Bridge Program Webpage

American Physical Society Bridge Program Webpage

How to Apply

In order to ensure that applicants are considered by the programs of greatest interest to them, it is recommended that you apply through the traditional graduate application process for these graduate programs. If for some reason, that process does not work, you are encouraged to apply through the free IGEN Bridge Application system.

Eligibility

Eligibility for the disciplinary society bridge programs varies; however, for all the programs applicants must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (some programs may consider students who are part of the DACA program)
  • have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, Earth and space sciences or related disciplines
  • not have a PhD
  • not have accepted a graduate admission offer in the current academic year (Submit an application even if you are waiting to be notified about acceptance into a graduate school program)

Bridge Application Timeline

  • December 15 through March 15: IGEN Bridge Applications are accepted.
    • Recommendation letters must be submitted before IGEN Bridge applications can be reviewed. 
    • Please complete your portion early enough to allow recommenders time to complete their part!
  • Early April: IGEN Bridge Partner programs begin reviewing IGEN Bridge applications
  • Mid April: IGEN Bridge Partner programs interview applicants.
  • Late April through May: IGEN Bridge Partner programs offer admission to applicants.

Resources for Bridge Applicants

Read and Watch Success Stories of our Graduate Students

Isel Rivera

"With help from the ACS Bridge Program, a preparatory program designed to support and mentor students from underrepresented minorities in their pursuit of graduate education, Isel Rivera, now a second-year doctoral student at Indiana University studying the interaction of nanoparticles, shares how she landed on a path to success."

Read the complete inChemistry interview here.