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AGU Bridge Program

The AGU Bridge Program aims to advance equitable practices in graduate geoscience departments and to expand outreach and recruitment of students from historically marginalized populations in order to support the achievement of students' educational goals in supportive and inclusive environments.

AGU Bridge Program

In alignment with AGU's mission, strategic plan, and core values, the AGU Bridge Program aims to advance equitable practices in graduate geoscience departments and to support cohorts of students pursuing advanced degrees in the geosciences. The AGU Bridge Program is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Earth and space sciences through the dissemination of leading practices in higher education and the facilitation of a graduate application pathway at our partner departments. Our goal is to expand outreach and recruitment of students identifying as Hispanic, Black/African American, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native or Native Hawaiian for the AGU Bridge Program to achieve their educational goals in supportive and inclusive environments, thereby raising graduate degree attainment rates for students holding these identities. Download our flyer and learn more.

As part of our commitment to ensuring an inclusive and equitable student experience, we expect our partner departments to:

  • Participate in collaborative discussions with other partner departments and the AGU Bridge Program on practices that improve all programs
  • Engage faculty/staff/students both internally and externally in discussions and actions that improve the access to and culture of graduate education for all students
  • Work with AGU Bridge program to track student progress and submit progress reports (Grades, GPA, and transcripts are not collected)
  • Submit annual impact reports

The program is open to those who have not applied to graduate school 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. See the student benefits and eligibility tab for additional eligibility requirements.

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 is part of the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN).

Now accepting student applications!

Visit the "Student Benefits & Applications" tab below for details. Application deadline is 15 March 2024.

Apply Now

student application office hours

Sign up for a student application office hour to learn more:

6 February 2024 (1 PM–2 PM ET | 10–11 AM PT)

5 March 2024 (3 PM–4 PM ET | 12–1 PM PT)

 

AGU Bridge Program Partner Institutions

The AGU Bridge Program is an asset to geoscience departments seeking to promote equity within their graduate programs and within the larger geoscience community. By working together, we can create a more welcoming environment in the Earth and space sciences for everyone.

Congratulations to the two departments selected for partnership in 2023: (IUPUI) Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, Department of Earth Sciences and University of Oregon, Department of Earth Sciences

The two partners selected in 2023 join the existing cohort of 50 partner departments selected from 2019-2022.

See our interactive map displaying all current AGU Bridge Program partners here! The map contains basic information about each partner department as well as links to each department website, and ways to filter through partner departments.

School Department
Brown University Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences
California State University, Fresno Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Central Washington University Department of Geological Sciences
Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science
Cornell University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Florida International University Earth and Environment
Dartmouth College Department of Earth Sciences
George Mason University Department of Atmospheric Oceanic and Earth Sciences
Georgia Institute of Technology School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Georgia State University Department of Geosciences
Hampton University Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Johns Hopkins University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Lehigh University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Michigan Technological University Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
Northern Arizona University Center for Ecosystem Science and Society
Ohio State University School of Earth Sciences
Tulane University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University at Albany, State University of New York Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Atmospheric Science Research Center
The University of Alabama Department of Geological Sciences
University of California, Irvine Department of Earth System Science
University of California, Santa Barbara Department of Earth Science
University of California, Santa Cruz Ocean Sciences Department
University of Chicago Department of the Geophysical Sciences
University of Colorado Boulder Department of Geography
University of Colorado Boulder Department of Geological Sciences
University of Connecticut Marine Sciences
University of Houston Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Earth, Society and the Environment
University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Maryland College Park Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Geosciences
University of Michigan Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Minnesota Twin Cities Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Oklahoma School of Geosciences
University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and College of Environment and Life Sciences Biological and Environmental Science Graduate Program
University of Texas at Austin Department of Marine Science
University of Texas at El Paso Department of Earth, Environmental and Resource Sciences
University of Washington Department of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Wisconsin Madison Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison Geography
Utah State University Geosciences
Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences
Western Kentucky University Department of Earth, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences
California State University, Chico Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Geosciences
University of Illinois Chicago Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
William & Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science School of Marine Science
 

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, applicants from historically marginalized backgrounds, 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.

Application for Bridge Program Partner

AGU is focused on nurturing a positive culture that supports diversity as well as continued education in geosciences. When departments are accepted as an AGU Bridge Program Partner, they are committing to building and maintaining an inclusive and equitable community within their department and our larger geosciences community thereby increasing diversity within the Earth and space sciences. 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. The 2023 request for proposals is open now and closes on 20 September 2023 at 11:59pm ET. Please refer to the current request for proposal instructions pdf icon. All 2023 applications must be submitted via our online submission platformFor additional instruction on how to submit your application, download the "Instructional Guide: AGU Bridge Partner RFP submission platform" documentpdf icon.

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

Please reach out to Bridge Program staff at [email protected] with any questions.

How are Bridge partners selected?

Departments are asked to provide their motivation for seeking to become an AGU Bridge partner and what their comittment to DEI advancement through the AGU Bridge Program will be.

We look at department retention rates and request that disaggregated demographic data is included.

  • We look for evidence of multi-faceted admission criteria and an admission process that examines a broad range of student potential to conduct original research without employing strict GRE cutoff measures.
  • We expect departments to provide clear information about funding packages and additional financial resources for students.

In our review, we look for active departmental efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. This looks different for each partner department. 

We seek engaged and committed faculty in our partner departments. Departments must describe how they will directly contribute to and mentors students who enter the department via the AGU Bridge Program.

Mentoring is a vital part of graduate school, and we seek departments that are prepared to mentor students effectively, including students from historically marginalized communities. This can include training for mentors, previous success mentoring students from historically marginalized groups, and mentor-mentee compacts.

We look for evidence that departments possess student handbooks, IDP’s and other induction and advising resources.

A transparent and effective process for progress monitoring is an important component of student success in graduate programs. We look for evidence of how students are monitored and plans for early intervention, clear timelines for student milestones, and procedures for how grievances are handled. We also look at exam structures and exam pass rates.

Information for interested applicants

Interested in applying to graduate school in the geosciences? Apply through the AGU Bridge Program!

The AGU Bridge Program seeks to recruit and retain students from historically marginalized backgrounds into geoscience graduate programs around the country. Interested applicants can apply using a single, free application to be considered for graduate school admission by our 45+ partner geoscience departments. Our partners are committed to adopting best practices in admissions and retention of students and are striving to improve the geoscience education experience for all students. Students identifying as Hispanic, Black/African-American, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian are encouraged to apply.

AGU Bridge Program partner departments review AGU Bridge applications each spring and may extend offers of admission to their graduate programs to interested applicants. Students who choose to enroll in graduate school via the AGU Bridge Program are automatically enrolled as program participants with AGU. Offers of admission are not guaranteed and interested applicants should review the various eligibility criteria of some of our partner programs to understand which advanced undergraduate coursework may be required. This may include courses in advanced calculus, math, or other related geoscience coursework. Students without an undergraduate degree in the geosciences should use the application to speak to how their studies have prepared them to successfully pursue a graduate degree in the geosciences.

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 departments. Departments have different requirements and applicants may be asked to submit additional materials if admitted to programs that require them. Applicants are encouraged to ask departments about any additional requirements during the interview/contact period in the spring.

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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.

Diverse People Studying Students Campus Concept

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you are eligible to apply for the AGU Bridge Program even if you have already attained a master’s degree. The eligibility requirements state that applicants have obtained a bachelor’s or master’s degree in geoscience or a closely related discipline by the time they would enter the AGU Bridge Program. Note that students who have already attained a master’s degree in the geosciences must meet all other eligibility requirements, including not accepting an offer or committing to a specific department/program in the current academic year.

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.

While women of all racial and ethnic groups have been historically marginalized in the geosciences and many other STEM fields, the specific focus of the AGU Bridge Program is to increase the number of graduate degrees awarded to individuals identifying as Hispanic, Black/African American, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native or Native Hawaiian, regardless of gender. Anyone is welcome to apply to the Bridge Program and students who identify with the above, listed identities are especially encouraged to apply to the Bridge Program.

A graduate degree in the geosciences opens the door to a number of potential career paths! While some students may continue a career in academia, most graduates will go on to careers outside of academia spanning a diverse array of fields including careers in industry, government, and non-profit organizations. For more information on geoscience careers outside academia, explore the resources from this link: https://www.grow-geocareers.com/

Bridge Application Timeline

Apply

Tips!
  • Submit application well before the deadline to avoid any last-minute technical issues.
  • Give plenty of time for recommendation letters to be written – ask letter writers well before the deadline. (See the Students & Faculty Relationships tab of our Resources section for best practice for LOR!)
  • Be sure to use an email that will remain active throughout the entire process

Mid-December: Applications Open


Gather:

  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Be prepared to list your education history, relevant coursework, and work and professional experience. We welcome your application with the understanding that many talented students may not have had access to research experience, if this is something you do have, you'll be able to list this on the application. You'll also be asked to write about your educational and career goals.

Decide

Tips!
  • Check out our resources tab for helpful information during this process!
 

Mid-March: Applications Due


Applicants must submit their applications by the 15 March, 2023 deadline.

Mid-April: Interviews


Departments begin contacting applicants to schedule interviews. Applications are reviewed by partner departments directly, not by AGU Bridge Program staff. While preparing for your interview, review this list of questions to consider asking.

Early/Mid-May: Receive Offer of admission directly from partner departments

Mid/Late-May: Choose Program!


Offers will include an acceptance deadline

Join

Tips!

Things to consider when reviewing offers:

  • Cost of living & location
  • Funding package
  • Student support services
  • How the research project aligns with your interests
  • Alumni career placement
 

July: Onboarding


  • Accepted students are onboarded into the AGU Bridge program.
  • Dates will vary for departmental orientations and onboarding, be sure to acquire this information from your department.


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.

Fellows

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.

Partners

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.

Contacts

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Pranoti Asher

Assistant Director, Grants and Education Programs

202.777.7522 | [email protected]

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Eva Kostyu

Project Coordinator, AGU Bridge Program • Talent Pool

202-777-7354 | [email protected]