For Students

The ACS Bridge Program (ACS-BP) is open to prospective Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students who meet the eligibility criteria, exhibit academic promise and plan to pursue a doctoral degree in the chemical sciences to broaden participation and diversity in graduate education.

Within the ACS-BP, students will enroll into a one- to two-year Bridge Experience in a post-baccalaureate or transitional master’s program that provides research experience, advanced coursework, mentoring, and coaching to transition into a doctoral program.

The Bridge Experience aims to improve the access to graduate education for all students while also enhancing the culture of this frontier for those underrepresented in the chemical sciences. Successful applicants will receive financial support from the institution where they are accepted. 

Deadlines to Remember:

  • December 15, 2021 - Bridge Application available for 2022-23 application cycle
  • March 31, 2022 - Bridge Application deadline for students
  • April 5, 2022 - All letters of recommendations must be submitted
  • April 15 - 27, 2022 - Student Interview Period: Bridge Sites will contact students to set up interviews, and students should be available during this time.
  • April 30 - May 21, 2022 - Students will be notified of offers at Bridge Sites and Partner institutions.
  • Is the Bridge Program for Me?

    The ideal candidate for this program will be a current or former undergraduate chemistry or chemical engineering student, who for various reasons does not have the necessary coursework, research experience, or guidance to successfully apply for admission and complete a chemical sciences PhD program. Successful applicants must demonstrate the commitment, drive, and potential to complete a rigorous graduate program in the chemical sciences.

    If you are already enrolled or completed a graduate program in the chemical sciences, you do not qualify for acceptance into the ACS Bridge Program.

    Students from Underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, including Black, Latinx, Indigenous Americans, are strongly encouraged to apply. 

  • Participating Departments

    ACS Bridge Sites:

    • Arizona State University 
      Chemistry and Biochemistry 
    • Cornell University 
      Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    • Florida State University 
      Chemistry and Biochemistry 
    • Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology
      Chemical Engineering
    • Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology)
      Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Indiana University, Bloomington
    • The Ohio State University
      Chemistry and Biochemistry  
    • University of California, San Diego
      Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • University of Houston 
      Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
      Biochemistry & Organic Chemistry 
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison

    ACS Bridge Partners:

    • Brown University
    • California State University, Fresno
    • Columbia University 
    • Columbia University 
      Chemical Engineering 
    • CUNY 
    • Florida Agricultural Mechanical University
      Chemical Engineering 
    • Lehigh University
      Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    • Michigan Technological University
    • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
    • Northeastern University
      Chemistry and Chemical Biology 
    • South Dakota State University
      Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Stony Brook University
    • The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
      Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Tufts University
    • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
      Chemical Engineering
    • University of California, Berkeley
    • University of California, Irvine
    • University of Illinois, Chicago 
      Pharmaceutical Sciences Department 
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
      Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      Chemistry and Biochemistry 
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    • University of Northern Colorado
      Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • University of Oregon 
      Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • University of Rochester  
    • University of Washington 
    • Villanova University 
    • Yale University 
  • Eligibility

    Degrees may include chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, and other closely related disciplines. Students must:

    • Have a bachelor's degree in chemistry or a closely related discipline
      • Degree must be complete by the time students enter the Bridge Program.
      • Degrees may include chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, and other closely related disciplines. Non-chemistry majors must have completed core chemistry requirements to be considered (Read FAQ for more details).
    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (or be a part of the DACA program)
    • Satisfy one or more of the following criteria in the current academic year:
      • Did not apply to a chemical science graduate program; or
      • Applied to one or more chemical science graduate programs, but were not accepted by any program.
    • Meet any additional requirements that individual Bridge sites may have, including minimum GPA.
  • Application Review Process

    Eligibility will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the ACS-BP management. All complete applications are forwarded to bridge sites first, then to Bridge Partnership Departments for consideration. The participating institutions make decisions to admit individual students. ACS-BP will provide support for students admitted to bridge sites and partnership departments who meet eligibility requirements.

    Dos and Don'ts for Recommendation Letters


    • Be sure that you have a personal connection to your letter writer and they are able to write a strong letter before the deadline
    • At least one letter will be from a mentor or advisor who can talk about your research ability and your contributions to research
    • Be sure to specifically ask if they would be willing to write a recommendation letter on your behalf
    • Thank them; it may be their job, but gratitude is always appreciated
    • Be sure to (at least it is highly advised) that you waive your right to read the letters written on your behalf
    • Be sure to provide your letter writer with all of the information they request in a timely manner

    Do not:

    • Ask last minute; oftentimes your professor will need a minimum of TWO weeks to craft your letter. The more time you can give your letter writer, the better
    • Assume that a professor will write a letter on your behalf; if they cannot, they will tell you
    • Sign your professor up to write a letter for you before you ask them. Your letter writer should never find out that you asked for a recommendation from anyone else other than yourself

    Information in this section was adapted from inChemistry, the ACS Student Member Magazine. Read the full article.

  • Admissions Evaluation Guidelines

    ACS recommends these criteria for admission into bridge programs, but final decisions are made by each bridge site.

    1. Academic promise
    2. Drive to pursue a doctoral degree in chemistry
    3. Potential to benefit from 1-2 years of training in preparation for a doctoral program
    4. Contribution to enhancing diversity of doctoral students in the chemical sciences
  • Additional Resources

    In addition to the ACS Bridge Program, please find additional resources and non-ACS affiliated bridge programs to help reach your career goal.

    The Inclusive Graduate Education Network 

    Fisk-Vanderbilt Master's-to-PhD Program

    Columbia Bridge to the Ph.D. Programs in the Natural Sciences 

    Listing of Additional Non-ACS Affiliated Bridge Programs

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