Bridge Program Partners

Bridge Program partners foster supportive environments for prospective Bridge students.

Benefits of partnership

As an APS Bridge Program partner, your institution has access to a student applicant database with a unique talent pool for physics departments. The Bridge Program facilitates pairings between student applicants and partner institutions.

In addition to drawing from a diverse and dedicated group of physics students seeking graduate degrees, APS Bridge partnership provides the following benefits:

  • Collaboration with individuals in the IGEN project, who are knowledgeable about best practices and equity in graduate education
  • Shared learning and collective action to advance equity in graduate education through the community of existing Bridge Programs
  • Recognition by the APS of the department’s commitment to equity and inclusion in physics
  • Access to APS Bridge Program applicant database, an annual recruitment effort by IGEN to identify students from historically marginalized communities who are interested in earning a graduate degree in physics
  • Promotion of the partnership institutions to students interested in graduate school, including being featured on key APS Bridge Program webpages

The partnership application process

To become a Bridge Program partner, your institution must complete an online application and submit a brief proposal detailing programs and practices that support physics graduate students.

We encourage you to contact the APS Bridge Program team to express interest in becoming a partner and so that you may request the partnership manual and graduate student induction manual. These documents will assist you in crafting your proposal, which should address how your institution will implement the suggestions in it.


To become a Bridge Program partner, and institution must be a university or college that:

  • Is a current Bridge Program member or in the process of applying to become a Bridge Program member
  • Offers a master and/or doctoral degree in physics
  • Is located and accredited in the United States
  • Has active research programs readily available to students throughout the academic year

Application and proposal submission

Applications and proposals for membership must be submitted annually in March through the online application.

The application should include details about your department's diversity initiatives, information about enrollment and degrees awarded to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in physics, as well as the number of faculty and postdoctoral researchers in your department who are underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in physics.

Review process

The APS Committee on Minorities (COM) and APS Bridge Program management team review partnership applications. The following criteria are particularly important in proposal evaluations:

  • Engagement and commitment of faculty
  • Mentoring successes
  • Thorough and multi-faceted admissions practices
  • Monitoring of students' process
  • Record-keeping on demographics
  • The department's striving toward diverse representation and involvement

Site visit

Institutions selected to move to the next round of the review process will schedule a two-hour, virtual site visit with the review committee. The goal of this site visit is to gather more information and establish a personal link with the institution's leadership. The site visit includes:

  • Institution liaison (if not the chair or director of graduate studies)
  • Chair of the department and the director of graduate studies
  • A selection of graduate students

The site visit provides the institution an opportunity to discuss specific efforts that support historically marginalized students. Your institution will receive more details about the site visit in advance.

After the site visit, the selection committee will recommend if the institution should be approved as a Bridge Program partner. The team will also provide a brief evaluative feedback report to the department where appropriate to outline specific actions they might consider to further improve their support for students.

Review outcomes

Following review, the panel will often make one of three decisions:

  • Full approval: The institution will receive comments and suggestions from the panel review.
  • Provisional approval: The institution's proposal will be provisionally approved, pending the submission of a supplement that discusses concerns raised in the panel review, to be evaluated by the APS Bridge program mangers and COM members.
  • Denial: Denied proposals will receive notification of this status and feedback, as well as an invitation to re-apply.

Bridge Program partner expectations

Once an institution becomes a Bridge Program partner, the institution is expected to:

  • Participate in collaborative discussions with other partnership institutions and the APS Bridge Program on practices that improve all programs
  • Engage faculty, staff, and students both internally and externally in discussions that improve the access to and culture of graduate education for all students
  • Participate in project evaluations or annual surveys as led by IGEN partnership institutions and evaluation team, WestEd, about program satisfaction and impact on department and students
  • Complete the certification renewal every five years

Expectations of partners that accept students in the Bridge Program

For institutions that accept students in Bridge Programs, APS requires that they:

  • Inform the APS Bridge Program of all offers and student acceptances from the APS Bridge Program application portal
  • Work with the APS Bridge Program to track student progress and submit progress reports each semester including enrollment status, accomplishments and program milestones, though grades, GPA, and transcripts are not collected

Data provided on students will be handled with the appropriate permissions and precautions.

Contact the APS Bridge Program

For questions about the proposal writing process, please contact the APS Bridge Program Manager.

Other ways to participate in the Bridge Program

We encourage departments that aren't ready for partnership status to apply to become a member institution. Membership institutions receive access to information about APS Bridge Program updates, resources, and events.

Review the Bridge Program membership application

Bridge Program partners

Current Bridge Program partners

The APS Bridge Program is pleased to partner with the following institutions:

  • Bowling Green State University
  • California State University Long Beach (a Bridge Program site)
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Columbia University
  • Delaware State University
  • DePaul University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Fisk-Vanderbilt
  • Florida International University
  • Florida State University (a Bridge Program site)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University (a Bridge Program site)
  • MIT
  • North Dakota State University
  • Princeton University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Syracuse University
  • Texas State University
  • The Ohio State University (a Bridge Program site)
  • The University of Alabama
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of Central Florida (a Bridge Program site)
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Hawai'i at Manoa
  • University of Houston
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • University of Virginia
  • West Virginia University
  • Wright State University

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