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Bridge to Doctorate (BD) Fellows

Bridge to Doctorate (BD) fellows are committed, mindful learners who are actively engaged in the process to become leaders within the scientific community at the national and global level.

The BD program is awarded by the National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, which assists universities and colleges in diversifying the STEM workforce through the recruitment and development of highly competitive students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines: African-Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders.

The goal of the LSAMP BD activity is to increase the quantity and quality of STEM graduate students from underrepresented populations, with emphasis on Ph.D. matriculation and completion.

This fellowship is designed to establish a bridge to the terminal degree — the PhD — by providing 12 underrepresented minority science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) doctoral students with:

  • Tuition and fees paid and enrollment in a health insurance benefit program
  • Student stipends of $34,000 annually for two years
  • Individualized faculty mentoring and coaching
  • Participation in professional conferences and meetings
  • Links to research and professional opportunities
  • Enriched academic services and support by staff dedicated to the promotion of future leadership in the scientific enterprise

Bridge to Doctorate at USC

The USC BD program will connect doctoral students with research advisors from among 16 STEM graduate programs housed in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and Engineering & Computing (CEC).  

Participating programs in CAS include:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Geography
  • Geological Sciences
  • Marine Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Statistics

In CEC, participating programs include:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering 
  • Nuclear Engineering

Application Process 

We will not be accepting Applications for Fall 2022.  Please stay tuned for Fall 2023.  For additional questions, please contact Dr. Mike Matthews ( or Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson and (

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