Academic Life

Bridge to the Baccalaureate Program

The University of Miami and Miami Dade College have collaborated on the Bridge to the Baccalaureate Program since 1994. The long-term goal of the program is to encourage students from underrepresented groups in the sciences to pursue doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences. It is designed to facilitate their transition into the biomedical sciences at UM. It is not a pre-medical program.

The Bridge program is funded and supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The key components of the Bridge program are: research experiences, faculty mentoring, special courses, and travel to national science meetings.

Student Benefits

Through the Bridge program students will receive college credit for courses taken at UM while at MDC, be paid for the time that they spend doing research in a UM lab, participate in seminars, and present at a national science meeting. Students who successfully complete the Bridge program and decide to transfer to UM have the opportunity to become HHMI scholars and/or Initiative for Maximizing Student Development scholars. As HHMI and/or IMSD scholars, students will receive paid research experiences.

Who is Eligible to Apply

Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents and members of an underrepresented group in the sciences.

Program Requirements

  • Students must attend the High School/MDC transition course at UM the summer before enrolling at MDC. This chemistry course is a UM credit course.
  • Students must attend the Emerging Scholars General Chemistry Workshop at UM during the fall and spring semester of the first year. This is a UM credit course.
  • In their first year, students are required to attend three Family Science Sundays at UM with at least one parent or guardian. A UM faculty member leads a research project in which Bridge students and their families participate.
  • Students must take a biotechnology course and a research ethics course at the MDC North Campus in the summer after the first year.
  • Students must take a special HHMI research-based introductory biology lab at UM in the spring semester of the first year and in the fall semester of the second year, which will substitute for the MDC biology labs. Students will get credit for the course at MDC.
  • Before graduating from MDC with an Associate in Arts degree, students are required to conduct 400 hours of research in a UM lab during the summer after their first year. In their second year at MDC, students are required to conduct research for two semesters in a UM lab.
  • Students are required to submit a written scientific paper based on the summer research experience and present the findings at a UM symposium at the end of summer. At the end of the spring semester, students are required to submit a paper on the research they conducted in the second year and present their research at a UM symposium.
  • Students are required to present a poster of their research at a national meeting in their second year.
  • Students must maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA while in the program.
  • Students who successfully complete the program and decide to transfer to UM must take a genetics course and Emerging Scholars Genetics Workshop at UM during the summer after the second year. This is a UM credit course.

About the Partners

Miami Dade College is a two-year, state-supported college with seven campuses and two centers. It's the largest institution of higher learning in the country and it is also one of the best. Founded in 1926, the University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southern United States. UM has become a model of excellence in the recruitment, education, and graduation of students in underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences.

Apply for the Bridge Program

The student must complete the application, submit an updated high school transcript, and two letters of recommendation from high school teachers and/or counselors. Applications should be submitted to The Honors College director on the campus to which the student plans to attend.

Get the Application

Message From the Director

Learn more about the program from Dr. Michael S. Gaines, professor and assistant provost of undergraduate research and community outreach at the University of Miami.

Read the letter