Academic Life

Bridge to the Baccalaureate Program

The University of Miami (UM) and Miami Dade College (MDC) 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 PhDs 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 (NIGMS) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). 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 the University of Miami have the opportunity to become Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scholars and/or Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) 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
The summer before enrolling at MDC, students must attend the High School/MDC transition course at UM. This chemistry course is a UM credit course.

In the 1st year, students:

  • Must attend the Emerging Scholars General Chemistry Workshop at UM during the fall and spring semesters. This is a UM credit course.
  • 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.
  • Must take Integrated Biology/Chemistry Authentic Research Lab (BSC2010 Lab & CHM1046 Lab) at UM the spring term of their 1st year.
  • Must take a biomedical ethics course at MDC North Campus and conduct 400 hours of research in a UM lab during the summer after their first year.
  • 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.

In the 2nd year, students:

  • Must take a biology lab (BSC2011L) at UM during the fall.
  • Are required to conduct research for fall and spring semesters in a UM lab.
  • Are required to submit a paper on the research they conducted in the second year and present their research at a UM symposium at the end of the spring semester.
  • Are required to present a poster of their research at a national meeting.

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.

The Partners
Miami Dade College is a two-year state supported community college with eight campuses and numerous outreach centers. It’s one of the largest community colleges 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. University of Miami has become a model of excellence in the recruitment, education and graduation 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.

The application is now closed and will re-open in January 2016.

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