The application period for this cycle is now closed.

Review of Bridges to the Doctorate (BTD) applications begins on April 1 of each year. Your best chances of acceptance are to have your application completed by April 1.

To be eligible for the BTD program, you must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or legal permanent U.S. resident. Unfortunately, DACA students are not eligible for the BTD program.

Important: You must also apply to AND be accepted to the degree program you wish to pursue (Department of Biological Sciences or Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) as well as California State University, Long Beach to be considered for funded support. Note that the deadline for Biological Sciences is January 15, and the deadline for Chemistry and Biochemistry is April 1. See: Graduate Programs Admission Eligibility. We recommend submission of a FAFSA form when you apply to the graduate program.

A completed application requires four components. If you have any questions regarding the application components, please contact us.

Please fill out the online Primary Application Form, which contains the following sections:

  • Personal Information
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Authorization
  • Acknowledgement

To fill out the Personal Information section, you will need your contact information, your academic history including cumulative GPA, as well as the highest level of education attained by your parents. You will also have an opportunity to upload the required supporting documents (see below).

To fill out the Letters of Recommendation section, you will need the names, institutions and email addresses for three people who will write letters of support for you. If you have participated in research, one letter should be from your research mentor. If you have worked in the biomedical industry, one letter should be from your research supervisor. These letters should address your ability to succeed (intellectual ability, determination, maturity, etc.) in an intensive two-year program that leads to entrance into a Ph.D. program. Be sure to click the waiver even if you do not agree to waive your access to Letters of Recommendation. Recommenders must send letters as attachments directly to

The Authorization section will first ask if you are a CSULB student. If yes, you will be asked if you authorize the BTD program to review your academic records.

In the Acknowledgement section, you will acknowledge that you have filled out the application correctly and to the best of your knowledge.

You may upload your Personal Statement and Curriculum Vitae when you apply. If you do not upload the documents in your application, please send them in one combined PDF file to before the deadline.

Personal Statement

Tailor your Personal Statement to the BTD Program. The BTD program is an intensive two-year program that provides financial support allowing participants to complete a research project while preparing for admission into Ph.D. programs. Introduce yourself in 600 words or less. We are particularly interested in learning why you are motivated to obtain a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences and what your career research interests are.

Describe your ability to persevere and commitment towards completing the BTD program. Describe research experiences you have had -- what research questions you pursued, what you did, and what your results meant. Explain any discrepancy between your grades in academic coursework (and/or GRE scores) and your talents and potential.

Curriculum Vitae

Please provide an up-to-date curriculum vitae. Please include previous research support if you have received it.

The Confidential Data Form asks for confidential information, and you can Decline to State for all questions except: whether you and your family qualify under the 2023 poverty level as defined by Health and Human Services (HHS), and if you are eligible for financial aid.

Please read 2023 Poverty Guidelines before starting the Confidential Data Form. If you are eligible to receive financial aid, you will need to send a copy of your FAFSA score or Financial Aid Award Letter (whether or not you have unmet need) to in order to complete your application.

You will be emailed a link to the Confidential Data Form after you complete the Primary Application Form.

Please apply to the graduate programs for the Department of Biological Sciences by January 15 or to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department by April 1. These applications require a separate application to the University.

Transcripts (and GRE scores for Chemistry and Biochemistry) are included in the department applications and will be accessible to the BTD program. Thus, you do not need to send transcripts (or GRE scores) separately to the BTD program.