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AGU Bridge Program

The AGU Bridge Program offers students from historically marginalized populations the opportunity to attend institutions that are interested in supporting the continuation of their academic education in geoscience Master’s and Ph.D. programs.

AGU Bridge Program

The Bridge Program increases opportunities for students from historically marginalized populations to obtain graduate degrees and create a network of peers, mentors, and advisers to support and serve them before, during and after grad school. The program is open to those who have not applied to graduate school or those who applied and were not accepted.

As part of the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN), the Bridge Program defined standards for recruiting, admitting and retaining students to develop, adopt and share the best inclusive practices. AGU works as a community with this national network to provide opportunities for students and participating institutions. Download Download our flyer and learn more.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants Nos. 1834540, 1834545, 1834528 and 1834516. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Now accepting AGU Bridge partner proposals!

Interested departments should visit the "Partner Benefits & Application” tab for details. 2022 AGU Bridge partner application deadline is 1 October 2022.

RFP Details

AGU Bridge Program Partner Institutions

The AGU Bridge Program is an asset to institutions seeking to increase diversity in their departments and the larger geosciences community. By working together, we can create a more welcoming environment in the Earth and space sciences for everyone. Congratulations to the 2021 AGU Bridge Partner departments, announced in a recent From the Prow post. The 15 partners selected in 2021 join the original cohort from 2019, announced in a 2019 Eos article, and the 2020 cohort, announced in a 2020 From the Prow post. With the addition of the 2021 partner cohort, the AGU Bridge Program now has a total of 46 partner departments.

Colors represent the year an institution became a partner

Blue pin Blue pin – 2019

Green pin Green pin – 2020

Purple pin Purple pin – 2021

AGU Bridge Program Partner Benefits

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Access to the AGU Bridge Program student applicant database.

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Recognition by AGU of the department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the Earth and space sciences.

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Recommendation of the department’s supportive post-baccalaureate educational environment to prospective and current Bridge Program students, students from underrepresented groups, and others.

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Secure a five-year partnership with the potential to renew.


In addition to the benefits listed above, Bridge Program Partners will also receive access to AGU Bridge Program staff, veteran Bridge Program Partners, and other subject matter experts to provide resources and strategies for supporting historically marginalized students in graduate programs.

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Application for Bridge Program Partner

AGU is focused on nurturing a positive culture that supports diversity as well as continued education in geosciences. When institutions are accepted as an AGU Bridge Program Partner, they are helping to increase the diversity in their departments and our larger geosciences community. By working together, we will create a more welcoming environment in the Earth and space sciences for everyone.

We encourage graduate programs that have demonstrated a commitment to working with students from historically marginalized communities and supporting students from such communities as graduate scholars to join the Bridge Program as a Partner Department. The application is free. Applicants must be U.S. based institutions that grant a master’s or doctoral degree in geosciences.

AGU Bridge partner proposals are reviewed annually. A request for proposals opens in June and closes October 1st. Please refer to the 2022 request for proposal instructions pdf icon.  Additional instruction on how to submit your application using the online submission platform is available here pdf icon.

Review the attached Bridge Program Dos and Don’ts pdf icon for tips on how to submit a successful AGU Bridge partner proposal. 

We encourage you to attend our virtual office hour event with AGU Bridge Program staff on 16 August 2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET for more information on the program and application process and an opportunity to ask questions.

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Interested students & eligibility 

Students with degrees closely related to geosciences should apply to the program. If you are an undergraduate or graduate student in the geosciences and identify with a historically marginalized identity, this program is for you!

Before applying, we recommend reviewing the eligibility since advanced undergraduate core geoscience requirements are required which may include courses in advanced calculus, math or other appropriate courses.

Students without undergraduate geoscience degrees must include compelling reasons for how their studies have prepared them to successfully pursue a graduate degree in the geosciences in their application.

Eligibility requirements

The Bridge Program application is open to applicants who did not apply to a geoscience graduate program, or, applicants who applied to one or more geoscience graduate programs, but did not accept an offer or commit to a specific department/program in the current academic year. If applicants are waiting to be notified about acceptance into a graduate school program, they should still apply for the AGU Bridge Program.

Successful applicants to the AGU Bridge Program must meet the following criteria:

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Attain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in geoscience or a closely related discipline by the time they would enter the AGU Bridge Program.

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Satisfy additional requirements of individual Bridge Program institutions, such as minimum GPA or GRE scores. Note: Institutions have different requirements. Applicants may be asked to submit additional materials if admitted to programs that require them.

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Students who identify with the following historically marginalized identities are encouraged to apply: Hispanic, Black/African American, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native or Native Hawaiian.

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Be a U.S. citizen, permanent U.S. resident cardholder, or have current enrollment in the DACA program.

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Frequently asked questions

Eligibility for the AGU Bridge Program states that students should hold a degree, either bachelor's or master's in the geosciences or a closely related discipline. Note that students who have already attained a master's degree in the geosciences must meet all other eligibility requirements. This includes not receiving an offer of admission into a doctoral program.

The AGU Bridge Program does not presently offer funding to successful applicants nor to participating institutions, however, these institutions typically offer financial support, typically comparable or identical to stipends received by other graduate students at the institution. Once students receive graduate program offers, students should consider whether the offered financial support is sufficient for their needs.

Although women of all racial and ethnic groups are underrepresented in geosciences and many other STEM fields, the specific focus of the AGU Bridge Program is to increase the number of Ph.D.s awarded to African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian students irregardless of gender. Students who fall under these racial and ethnic minority groups are encouraged to apply to the Bridge Program.

Deadlines to Remember

31 March

Deadline for all application materials.

(Students must submit their application by 31 March 2022, to allow enough time for faculty recommendations to be submitted.)

April - May

Applicant interviews and offers

April - May

Completed applications and submitted recommendation letters will be reviewed by AGU Bridge partner departments. Departments will contact applicants to schedule interviews during a specific window of time (dates vary slightly each year but typically the interview window begins in mid-April). After the interview period has closed, departments send out offers of admission to students on specific offer dates (dates vary slightly each year but generally begin in April and close in May). Offers of admission will be sent directly from partner department faculty/staff to applicants. Applicants will be given a deadline to accept or decline any offer of admission.

After submitting an application, it is vital to consistently check the email listed on the submitted Bridge application. If using a school email on your application, be sure to confirm that this email will continue to be viable after graduation.

The official application review and offer period closes in May and this is when most offers are sent, however, some departments may continue to make a limited number of offers for fall enrollment throughout the summer. Accepted AGU Bridge Fellows are onboarded into the program in July.

Learn more about mentoring, inclusive practices, advancing equity in the geosciences and how you can get involved.

General Resources

  • AGU Ethics & Equity Center curates and shares resources, including workshops and trainings, for cultivating a diverse, equitable and inclusive scientific community in the Earth and space sciences.

DEI in Geosciences Data, Statistics, and Reports

  • Geoscience Numbers, Equity in Graduate Education (a collaboration between IGEN and the California Consortium for Inclusive Doctoral Education (CCIDE) project) gathered data regarding the representation of historically marginalized students in the Geosciences (Numbers, Data on general STEM)
  • Diversity in Geosciences, from the American Geosciences Institute, shows demographic data in the geosciences from higher education to the workforce 

Where to Start

  • FAQ of Doctoral Education from IGEN Research Hub, contains quick information on diversity in science, best admission practices, and impacts of the Bridge programs
  • Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program Toolkit compiled their lessons learned, strategies, and tools to inspire and provide concrete guidance for other practitioners in the field seeking to develop similar programs. To access these resources, you must fill out their form.

  • Mentoring365 is a safe virtual mentoring platform for those interested in the Earth and space sciences (ESS) community. You can become a mentor or mentee, no matter your expertise, interest or location, and connect with others to help with career search, skills, exploration, and navigation. (Mentors/Mentees)


The AGU Bridge Program is part of the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN), a partnership of over 30 societies, institutions, organizations, corporations, and national laboratories. Learn more about the network and other partner institutions through IGEN’s Partner page. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants Nos. 1834540, 1834545, 1834528 and 1834516.


First Year PhD Student in California

| Bridge Fellow
[One thing that should not be changed about the Bridge Program application process is ] The ability to apply across different fields with just one application.

[The Bridge Program is ] a huge influence on my career, I ended up studying the topic I do because of meeting my advisor through the Bridge Program.

[I would recommend this program to other students in the future because ] It’s a great way to explore new opportunities and avenues!

First Year PhD Student in Northeastern United States

| Bridge Fellow
[The Bridge Program ] has given me the opportunity to pursue my dreams.

[I would recommend it because ] This program will help improve diversity.

First Year PhD Student in California

| Bridge Fellow
[One thing that should not be changed about the Bridge Program application process is that ] Most of the questions asked served as great opportunities for us to talk about our circumstances and it allowed us to be seen from a whole perspective rather than one dimensional students.

[The Bridge Program ] has played a defining role in my career... I have my dream job working as researcher.

I would absolutely recommend the bridge program to any one who is interested and motivated to pursue a PhD or masters. The program has shown they truly care about our success and make us part of a community that is committed to our success.


Dr. John Gierke, Michigan Technological University

| Bridge Partner
The recent Bridge Program Leaders meeting reminded me that I wanted to share with you how grateful we are to be an AGU Bridge Partner. One experience for us during the review/selection cycle from last year was the increased visibility our program gained from the Bridge Application and Review process. None of the applicants that we interviewed had heard of [our] university before we contacted them for the interview. Our participation as a Bridge Partner is a very effective way for us to become more visible to students in other regions of the country. We are very grateful to you and AGU for developing and maintaining this effort and look forward to increasing the diversity of students in our graduate programs and, eventually, professionals in our discipline.

Dr. Steven Lower, Ohio State University

| Bridge Partner

The AGU Bridge helped us do a better job recruiting (minoritized students) in the regular admission window.

The AGU Bridge Program is helping to boost diversity even when students don't come directly through the Bridge program.

Dr. Oliver Timm, University at Albany

| Bridge Partner
[The] program offers exciting opportunities to actively participate [by] increase[ing] the non-traditional/underrepresented groups in our STEM-related academic field.

Dr. Nievita Bueno Watts, Humboldt State University

| Bridge Partner
The AGU Bridge program has afforded our recent graduate an opportunity we had not thought to pursue. So thank you, AGU, for your support of our underrepresented students.


AGU Staff Headshot Asher

Pranoti Asher

Assistant Director, Grants and Education Programs

202.777.7522 | [email protected]

AGU Staff Headshot Kostyu

Eva Kostyu

Project Coordinator, AGU Bridge Program • Talent Pool

202-777-7354 | [email protected]