Bridge to the Doctorate

The Bridge to the Doctorate (BTD) Graduate Fellowship Program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is committed to engaging students from underrepresented populations (Black/African American, Native American/Indigenous/Alaska Native, Latin American/Hispanic and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) in graduate study within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields of study. Drexel University is proud to have hosted four cohorts of up to 12 PhD students per cohort, since 2005.

The BTD Fellowship program encourages students' interest in graduate study by demystifying the graduate admissions process and removing the financial barriers associated with continued study. Moreover, the program broadens perspective among faculty and institutional stakeholders regarding the successful candidate for graduate study by evaluating prospective fellowship applicants on the basis of their record of achievements, as well as their professional and research experiences, motivation for advanced study, and connection to the field of study.

Bridge to the Doctorate 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.


This fellowship is designed to establish a bridge to the terminal degree — the PhD — by providing students with:

  • Annual student stipend of $32,000
  • Financial support to cover immunization, health insurance and University student fees
  • Financial assistance to cover the equivalent of one academic credit per term
  • Student budget for professional development opportunities
  • Individualized faculty mentoring and coaching
  • Support for external fellowship application process to continue graduate study after BTD fellowship
  • Enriched academic services and support by staff dedicated to the promotion of future leadership in the scientific enterprise


Students meeting the following criteria are eligible to apply for a Bridge to the Doctorate Graduate Fellowship:

  • Accepted into a Drexel doctoral program in a National Science Foundation (NSF)-approved Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics discipline 
  • Prior participation in an NSF-funded Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program at their undergraduate institution
  • No prior graduate program matriculation or graduate degree completion
  • Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States
  • Member of one or more of the following under-represented ethnic minority categories--African American, Latin American/Hispanic American, Native American/Alaska Native or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

Applications Unavailable

Applications for Bridge to the Doctorate at Drexel University are not being accepted at this time. 

For additional details on any of the information provided above, please contact Marisol Rodriguez-Mergenthal, Drexel's Director of STEM Support & Student Success Services.


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