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AGU Bridge Program

The mission of the AGU Bridge Program is to advance the Earth and space sciences in the United States by increasing the representation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in geoscience graduate programs.

About the program

The AGU Bridge Program is part of the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN), an effort to develop, adopt, and share inclusive practices for recruiting, admitting, and retaining women and underrepresented minorities in STEM Ph.D. programs.

The specific goal of the AGU Bridge Program is to increase the number of students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups obtaining a Ph.D. in the geosciences by offering students who have not applied to graduate school, or who have applied but were not accepted:

  • A free common application that can be shared with multiple institutions
  • Professional development opportunities, including workshops and conferences
  • Connections to faculty who can serve as mentors
  • Connections to other students in the program who share their experiences

By creating sustainable transition programs and a national network of doctoral granting institutions that provide substantial mentoring for students, more students from underrepresented populations will be able to successfully obtain doctorate degrees in the geosciences, addressing the persistent disparities.

Download a copy of our AGU Bridge Program promotional flyer to print and share.

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.

The AGU Bridge Program leadership team recognizes that to reach the goal of eliminating the achievement gap between undergraduate and graduate participation, it is essential to build a large base of institutions that can admit and retain underrepresented ethnic and racial minority (URM) students through an AGU-led student application process.

The AGU Bridge Program Bachelor’s and Master’s student applicant database provides access to a unique talent pool for departments in the geosciences that would ensure a supportive pairing between the student and partner institutions.

Partner Institutions are departments that have demonstrated that they will provide a supportive, bridge-like treatment of students. This designation allows us to recommend supportive programs to interested students and helps departments committed to Bridge Program principles recruit talented students to their programs.

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AGU Bridge Program Partner Benefits

  • 1
    Access to AGU Bridge Program Bachelor’s and Master’s student applicant database (an annual recruitment effort by the AGU to identify URM students interested in pursuing doctoral studies in the geosciences)
  • 2
    Public recognition by AGU of the department’s commitment to diversity in the Earth and space sciences
  • 3
    Endorsement of the graduate program to URM students in Bridge Programs and to others who contact AGU to inquire about possible recommendations for departments that have supportive postbaccalaureate educational environments
  • 4
    Featured on AGU and AGU Bridge Program websites
  • 5
    Access to individuals in the project and at existing bridge sites who are knowledgeable about support strategies for URM students in graduate studies
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Becoming an AGU Bridge Program Partner Department

Becoming a Partner Department is free. All universities that grant a master's or doctoral degree in geoscience are eligible to apply.

Partner Department applications are reviewed annually by members of selected AGU committees and AGU Bridge Project management. The deadline for partner applications is 15 October.

Please download Request for Proposals Instructions and complete the Proposal Template to apply.

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How can departments benefit from the AGU Bridge Program?

The AGU Bridge Program believes in nurturing a positive culture that supports diversity as well as study. We encourage graduate programs that have demonstrated commitment to working with diverse students and supporting them as graduate scholars to join the Bridge Program as a Partner Department.

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AGU Bridge Program Partner Benefits

  • 1
    Access to AGU Bridge Program Bachelor’s and Master’s student applicant database (an annual recruitment effort by the AGU to identify URM students interested in pursuing doctoral studies in the geosciences)
  • 2
    Public recognition by AGU of the department’s commitment to diversity in the Earth and space sciences
  • 3
    Endorsement of the graduate program to URM students in Bridge Programs and to others who contact AGU to inquire about possible recommendations for departments that have supportive postbaccalaureate educational environments
  • 4
    Featured on AGU and AGU Bridge Program websites
  • 5
    Access to individuals in the project and at existing bridge sites who are knowledgeable about support strategies for URM students in graduate studies
Green mountains and grassland surrounding a small pond

Becoming an AGU Bridge Program Partner Department

Becoming a Partner Department is free. All universities that grant a master's or doctoral degree in geoscience are eligible to apply.

Partner Department applications are reviewed annually by members of selected AGU committees and AGU Bridge Project management. The deadline for partner applications is 15 October.

Please download Request for Proposals Instructions and complete the Proposal Template to apply.

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Which students are right for the Bridge Program?

The AGU Bridge Program is appropriate for undergraduate students in the geosciences who can contribute to the diversity of the geosciences, are driven in their study, and would benefit from additional consideration from graduate programs in the Earth and space sciences.

Students with degrees closely related to geosciences may apply to the program, but they must have completed many of the advanced undergraduate core geoscience requirements or their applications will not be considered. These may include courses in advanced calculus, math or other appropriate courses. Students without undergraduate geoscience degrees should be sure to include in their application strong reasons for why their studies have prepared them to pursue a master's or Ph.D. in the geosciences.

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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, and Native American students irregardless of gender. Students who fall under these racial and ethnic minority groups are encouraged to apply to the Bridge Program.

Information for Student Applicants

The AGU Bridge Program is open to prospective African American, Native American and Hispanic students who meet the eligibility criteria, exhibit academic promise, and plan to pursue a master's or doctoral degree in the geosciences or related fields.

The Bridge Program aims to improve access to graduate education for all students, with emphasis on those underrepresented in doctoral programs in the geosciences.

Deadlines to Remember

December 2019

AGU Bridge Student Applications open

December 2019

Application portal opens. Students are encouraged to submit complete applications well before the deadline to avoid technical issues. This includes your application, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Please allow some time (usually at least two weeks) to ensure those writing your letters of recommendation have ample time to upload their letters before the deadline.

February-March 2020

Student applications close and interviews begin

Mid-February

Deadline for all application materials.

March 2020

Student interview period: Partner institutions will contact students to schedule interviews. Student applicants should plan to be available during this time.

May - July 2020

Successful applicants notified of offers

13 May - 1 July 2020

When your application is complete, you will receive a confirmation email regarding your application status. Students accepted into bridge programs will receive admission offers in May and June, through direct email contact with institution graduate directors and or AGU Bridge Program staff.

Although most offers go out in May and June, some institutions may make offers for fall enrollment later in the summer. As such, you should be sure to 1) Check that the email listed on your Bridge application is one that that you will use after graduation and that you check often, and 2) Keep an eye out for contact from institutions throughout the summer. The application cycle closes in early September, and no offers with be made after this deadline.

2021 January

2021 student application cycle opens

Is the Bridge Program for me?

The ideal candidate for this program will be a current or former geoscience student who demonstrates the commitment, drive, and potential to complete a rigorous graduate program in the geosciences, but for various reasons, does not have the necessary coursework, research experience, or guidance to gain admission to a geoscience master's or Ph.D. program.

If you have already been accepted into a graduate program in the geosciences, you do not qualify for acceptance into the AGU Bridge Program.

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

Student applications will open in December 2020.

Eligibility requirements

There is no fee to apply to the AGU Bridge Program though successful applicants may be asked to formally apply to their accepting institution. Successful applicants to the AGU Bridge Program must also meet the following criteria:
  • 1

    Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent U.S. residents, or have DACA status.

  • 2

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's or master's degree in geoscience or a closely related discipline by the time they would enter the AGU Bridge Program. Non-geoscience majors are welcome to apply but must have completed core geoscience classes to be considered. Students without undergraduate geoscience degrees should be sure to include in their application strong reasons for why their studies have prepared them to pursue a master's or Ph.D. in the geosciences.

  • 3

    Applicants must satisfy either of the following criteria in the current academic year:

    • Did not apply to a geoscience graduate program; or
    • Applied to one or more geoscience graduate programs but did not receive acceptance by any program

    Please note: if you are waiting to receive acceptance into a program, you are still encouraged to apply for the AGU Bridge Program.

  • 4

    Applicants must satisfy additional requirements of individual Bridge Program institutions, such as minimum GPA or GRE scores. As not all institutions have the same requirements, these are not required to apply, but applicants should  be aware that you may be required to submit GRE scores if you are admitted to programs that require them. 

  • 5
    Applicants must be committed to improving diversity in the geosciences.
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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, and Native American students irregardless of gender. Students who fall under these racial and ethnic minority groups are encouraged to apply to the Bridge Program.

Contacts

AGU Staff Headshot Asher

Pranoti Asher

Manager, Higher Education, AGU

202.777.7522 | [email protected]