UMass Chemistry Bridge Program

male grad student in lab

UMass Chemistry BRIDGE program aims to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing advanced degrees in the chemical sciences.

The UMass Chemistry BRIDGE program is flexible, to match the needs of each student, and applicants are admitted to one of two tracks.

Research-intensive track for students to gain more research experience. This 2-year program leads to a thesis-based MS degree.
• Take 5 graduate courses over 2 years, with full time research during one summer.
• Choose a lab to join at the beginning of year 1. Conduct research and write a Masters Thesis.
• Students are supported by a combination of Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships.
• Students can transition to PhD programs at UMass or elsewhere.

Rotation track for students who have already had significant research experiences. This is direct admission to the Chemistry PhD program.
• Complete 3 rotations in order to choose a lab for PhD research
• Complete 3 courses per semester throughout the first year.
• Students typically join their PhD lab at the end of the Fall, and conduct full-time research supported by a Research Assistantship beginning in the summer.

All BRIDGE students benefit from opportunities for professional development and community building.
• Students are invited to an on-ramp program in August to facilitate the transition to UMass and the Amherst community.
• The first-year fall courses include “Chemistry Core I” with all first-year chemistry graduate students, which teaches collaborative proposal-writing skills and builds connections with their cohort.
• Students all have near-peer mentors from the Chemistry graduate program.
• In addition to BRIDGE and Chemistry department social activities, students are invited to monthly activities with Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) Scholars completing a postbaccalaureate program for biomedical sciences.

research track illustration







Eligibility: The UMass Chemistry Bridge Program is open to underrepresented students who exhibit academic promise and plan to pursue a doctoral degree in chemistry.
•  The Bridge program is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and persons enrolled in the DACA program.
•  Prospective students will have completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, or closely related field by time of matriculation (fall semester), and have not enrolled/been accepted in a Chemistry graduate program.

How to Apply: The ACS Bridge Program has a common web site and application form, hosted on the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) web site. IGEN shares the goal of increasing the participation of Black, Latinx and Indigenous students in physical sciences doctoral programs. IGEN distributes student application information to universities hosting Bridge opportunities.

UMass-Amherst will consider completed applications submitted to IGEN by the application deadline, and will invite semi-finalists for video interviews to the Bridge Fellowships shortly after. Finalists for the Bridge program will be offered admission on or before April 25.

What do I need to apply to the Bridge Program?
•  Requested information includes:
•  Information about yourself, career goals, and experience.
•  Information typically found on a resume or C.V.
•  Transcripts from all institutions from which you have earned college credit
•  Names and contact information for three people who can write letters of recommendation.
•  GRE scores are not used for the UMass Amherst selection process. While GRE scores are not required for admission to the Bridge program, ACS requests GRE scores if available.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact Mike Knapp or Lynmarie Thompson prior to applying to answer any questions and to verify this program is good fit for you.


Additional information regarding eligibility, the application review process, admissions evaluation guidelines, and other participating departments is available at the ACS For Students page.