Program Overview

The Bridge to the Ph.D. Program aims to enhance the participation of individuals who have encountered barriers on their path to a graduate education in Ph.D. programs in STEM. The Bridge Program is an intensive research, academic, and mentoring experience for post-baccalaureates seeking to strengthen their graduate school applications and to prepare for the transition into graduate school. Recent Bridge Alumni have gone on to Ph.D. programs at Columbia University, but also to Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Cornell University, Northwestern University, the University of California-Davis, the University of Chicago, and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Bridge participants are hired as full-time Columbia University research assistants (RAs) for up to two years and conduct research under the mentorship of faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students. The 2023-2025 salary for Bridge RAs is $43,100 per year. Program participants are also provided with $1,500 per year to support professional and educational expenses (examples include travel to professional conferences and the purchase of textbooks), and, as full-time employees, are eligible for University benefits. Note: the salary and education stipend will be $54,100 and $2,000, respectively for Bridge participants in economics.  

Additionally, Bridge participants enroll in one to two courses per semester at Columbia that is related to their future field of study, and attend monthly one-on-one progress meetings with the Program's Director. The Bridge Program also organizes a number of professional development workshops, provides access to GRE test preparation, and partners with the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science to ensure success while at Columbia and to facilitate application to Ph.D. programs.

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You can also read an article about the Bridge Program in the March 2011 issue of Physics Today. The Columbia Daily Record also featured an article about the Program in June 2012.