APS Bridge Program


The APS 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 APS student application process.

The APS Bridge Program student applicant database provides access to a unique talent pool for physics departments to facilitate pairings between student applicants and partner institutions.

Since our first priority is to ensure a supportive pairing between student and graduate program, we have established two levels of departmental engagement (Partnership and Membership institutions) to support the goal of broadening participation in physics.

Bridge Program Goals

  • Increase, within a decade, the fraction of physics PhDs awarded to underrepresented minority students to match the fraction of physics Bachelor's degrees granted to these groups
  • Develop, evaluate, and document sustainable model bridging experiences that improve the access to and culture of graduate education for all students, with emphasis on those underrepresented in doctoral programs in physics

Situation Statistics


Lots of people in the hallway looking at books

Membership Institutions

Institutions that are actively working to improve diversity in the physics community may join. This network of member institutions will share innovative ideas, learn from leaders in the field, and promote awareness of the importance of diversity in physics.

List of Current Member Institutions

Benefits of Membership

  • Registration discounts for Bridge Program conferences and workshops
  • Immediate, focused Bridge Program updates
  • APS support in improving diversity in your physics department
  • Synopses of relevant policy, research, and programmatic information
  • Use of project-generated statistics (PowerPoint slides, data plots, etc.)

Apply for Membership

To apply for institutional membership, please review and submit the application form.

Please note that the form requires an attached letter from your institution's physics department that includes a statement of support of APS-BP goals and missions, including an endorsement of the Joint Statement of Diversity in Physics and a commitment to provide annual departmental diversity data.

APS Bridge Member Application

Partnership Institutions

Partnership institutions have gone through a vetting process to determine if their graduate programs have demonstrated or have plans to demonstrate the best practices of supportive environments for prospective Bridge students.

List of APS Bridge & Partnership Sites

Benefits of Partnership

Includes all the benefits of a Membership in addition to the following:

  • Access to a comprehensive pool of eligible students looking to pursue a graduate degree in Physics
  • Recognition by the APS Committee on Minorities (COM) of the department's commitment to diversity in physics
  • Recommendation of their graduate program to URM students in Bridge Programs and to others who contact APS to inquire about possible recommendations for departments that have supportive graduate educational environments
  • Access to individuals in the project management and at existing bridge sites who are knowledgeable about support strategies for URM students in graduate studies
  • Strengthening "Broader Impacts" efforts within the department
  • Limited travel support for accepted students to attend a professional meeting

Apply for Partnership

Applications are accepted in March and September of each year. Further instructions and information about the review process are available at the following links.

APS Bridge Partnership Application

Learn about the review process

Download proposal template (DOCX)

Frequently Asked Questions

How can departments benefit from the APS Bridge Program?

The APS 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 partnership institution.

Are there other ways for departments that aren't ready to become a partnership institution to learn from the APS 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.

NSFThis material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0958333. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.