APS Bridge Program

Bridge from a Master's or Undergraduate Degree to a Ph.D. Program in Physics

Applications Available for 2024 APS Bridge Program

Are you interested in a graduate or Ph.D. program in physics, but not sure you have the coursework, research experience, or guidance to be accepted into a program?

The APS Bridge Program may be able to help you! Apply by March 15, 2024.

See: how to apply to the APS Bridge Program.

The purpose of the APS Bridge Program is to welcome, train, and successfully send off students to do a Ph.D. in physics. The students joining the program are identified as having a strong potential and drive to succeed in this endeavor but were not given the right opportunities to prepare for entry into a Ph.D. program. All students are welcome to apply but the program especially targets students from the population that are underrepresented in physics.

The Physics and Astronomy Department at CSU Long Beach is one of only 5 nationally funded Bridge Sites of the American Physical Society. Since 2014 we offer Bridge fellows and Bridge students the opportunity to be part of one of the largest Master's program nationwide and prepare to enter a Ph.D. program.

Our Bridge fellows/students have successfully joined the Ph.D. program at University Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Ohio State University, UC Berkeley, Florida State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Oregon. Our first Bridge student, Daniel Diaz, received his Ph.D. in Fall 2020 from Florida State University / CERN (Switzerland). More are on the way! Others decided to use their Master's degree to go to industry and are content with their experience.

Read more about the impact the APS Bridge Program has had on students: How CSULB is creating a more inclusive workforce.

APS/Google Bridge Program student and faculty meeting

Bridge Master's Outcomes

The Master's degree you will earn in the Bridge Program is both stand-alone and thesis/research-driven, and prepares you well to begin doctoral studies, work in industry, or teaching at the secondary and community college level. Bridge Program students who have completed our program are in excellent Ph.D. programs all across the US: The Ohio State University, UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Florida State University, CERN, Michigan State, among others.

Master's Program

The Master's Program in the Physics and Astronomy Department provides a solid background in graduate physics knowledge through a set of core classes that all students must take and a set of electives from which to choose. The academic knowledge is complemented by a strong research experience on current topics in physics in close contact with a faculty member that culminates in the writing of a Master's thesis and often in publications in peer review journals. The Master's degree program is designed to be completed in two years. All students who decide to pursue a higher degree enter good Ph.D. programs across the country and abroad.

The Physics and Astronomy Department at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) has been named largest terminal Master's degree granting institution in the country in 2013. We have about 50 active Master's students and thus provide a true graduate experience to our students. Details of the Master's program and the research interests of individual faculty members can be found under Graduate Programs.

What We Provide

The APS Bridge Program at CSULB provide support to our Bridge Fellows and Bridge Students through various channels. The students are fully integrated into the cohort. We offer additional opportunities to overcome some of the challenges APS Bridge students face by providing caring faculty mentors, one-to-one mentorship to each student, involvement in research topics that may lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals, etc.

The following financial support can be obtained as funds are available:

  • Students who are selected by our APS Bridge Program will receive a Google Bridge fellowship for two years, $10,000 each year
  • Out-of-state students are eligible to apply for a reduction of their tuition from out-of-state to in-state tuition
  • Travel fellowships (up to $1,000) to attend conferences
  • Financial support to apply to Ph.D. programs

Additionally, students are encouraged to apply for internal funding such as the Graduate Research Fellowships of the University and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. See Department Funding and On-Campus Funding for more information.

Who Should Apply

The APS Bridge Program at California State University Long Beach is for you if you:

  • have a strong drive and vision to do a Ph.D. in Physics.
  • have unsuccessfully applied to Ph.D. programs, and/or
  • need some brush up of your physics knowledge.
  • need some additional research experience with possibly a publication.
  • are a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • are committed to improve the population diversity in Physics.

How to Apply

To be considered for the APS Bridge Program at California State University Long Beach, you need to first apply to the program at the American Physical Society (APS). All information and eligibility requirements are provided on that site. Application deadline is typically in March of each year.

Once the application has been reviewed, the APS Bridge Program forwards applicants to APS Bridge Sites such as ours for evaluation. We take a holistic view of the student's file and her/his motivations and do not place the limitations of the standardized test scores or intended research fields. We then contact students and interview them. The final offers are made in May and application to our University must be submitted before June 1 of each year.

For questions please contact us or use the office hours of the APS bridge program on the link above.