For Students

The ACS Bridge Program is open to prospective African American, Native American and Hispanic students who meet the eligibility criteria, exhibit academic promise, plan to pursue a doctoral degree in chemistry or chemical engineering and can enhance the diversity of doctoral students in the chemical sciences.

Students enroll in a one- to two-year Bridge Experience in a post-baccalaureate program that provides research experience, advanced coursework, mentoring, and coaching to prepare a graduate school application.

The Bridge Experience aims to improve access to, and culture of, graduate education for all students, with emphasis on those underrepresented in doctoral programs in the chemical sciences.

Successful applicants will be supported through funding from the institution where they are accepted.

Deadlines to Remember:

  • December 2018 Bridge Application available on website
  • March 15, 2019 Bridge Application deadline for students
  • April 16 - 26, 2019 Student Interview Period: Bridge Sites will contact students to set up interviews, and students should be available during this time.
  • April 27 - May 4, 2019 Students will be notified of offers at Bridge Sites
  • May 13 - July 1, 2019 Students will be notified of offers at Partnership institutions

Students: Apply for the Bridge Program now! Due March 15, 2019

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.

Underrepresented minority students including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans are strongly encouraged to apply.


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

  • Have a bachelor's degree in chemistry or 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 sciences graduate programs, but were not accepted by any program
  • Be committed to improving diversity in the chemical sciences
  • 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 timely manner

Do not:

  • Ask last minute; often times you professor will need a minimum of TWO weeks to craft you letter. The more heads-up, 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