The Bridge Scholarship is a merit-based, full-tuition award for graduating seniors or alumni of 5 years or less of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions who would benefit from a year of academic study at a leading research university.

The program will benefit students seeking to explore academic disciplines in greater depth and will be encouraged to take courses across the University of Chicago's graduate divisions. Students who wish to expand their research in a graduate or interdisciplinary setting can take full advantage of the University's resources.

Program Objectives

  • Enable students to explore deeper academic interests through formal coursework, and pursue research, lab, or volunteer experiences on or off-campus
  • Encourage students to develop ties to graduate faculty mentors
  • Provide students with an opportunity to hone their research skills and academic interests
  • Introduce academic bridging opportunities to further MA or PhD programs at The University of Chicago

Percentage of Students Who Matriculate to Graduate Programs

  • 2018-19: 66% (all within UChicago)
  • 2017-18: 70% (30% within UChicago, 40% to other institutions)
  • 2016-17: 100% (70% within UChicago)

Scholarship Qualifications

Applicants must possess the following to be considered for the program:

  • Institutional letter of nomination
  • BA or BS from an HBCU or HSI at time of matriculation
  • Students should be in their final year of undergraduate studies or alumnae of five years or less, at time of nomination and application
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0

Application Requirements

Students interested in the program must seek a letter of nomination from their current undergraduate institution (this may be from a department chair, academic dean, director of undergraduate studies, alumni services officer, or dean of students at applicant’s graduating college or university), and once received, the scholarship advising team will reach out with more information about the application. Please submit nominations to Esther Pandian RiskeMitchell Catalano, or Andrew Ganem.

  • To apply, students must be graduating seniors or alumnae of five years or less of either an HBCU or HSI and will need to submit the following in addition to the Institutional letter of nomination
    • 3 letters of recommendation, at least two of which are from faculty
    • Official undergraduate transcript
    • Statement of purpose
    • Resume
    • GRE scores (optional); TOEFL (if necessary)

Selection Process

  • Institutions may nominate up to 3 candidates
  • The selection committee includes: Academic Deans and Admissions Directors, Faculty Representatives, University Vice Provost for Academic Leadership, Advancement and Diversity
  • Between 8-10 Scholarships will be awarded for the 2020-21 academic year

Academic Offerings

Subject to availability and their qualifications, students are eligible to enroll in graduate or undergraduate-level courses in the University’s graduate divisions and schools, with the exceptions of the Booth School of Business, the Pritzker School of Medicine, and the Law School. Academic advisors work closely with faculty, departmental program advisors and area deans of students to provide ongoing support.

Academic Advising

Academic advising forms an integral part of program success. Scholarship recipients are required to meet regularly with an academic advisor. Quarterly programming includes alumni panels and receptions, faculty brownbags, and academic and career workshops.

Finances

Scholarship includes:

  • Tuition for 6 courses (2 courses per quarter, earning a total of 600 units of credit)
  • Academic advising
  • Lifetime transcript fee

Out-of-pocket expenses include:

  • Medical insurance (2017-18): $4,398
  • Student life fee: $1,100 (Estimate)
  • Books and course materials: $1,500 (Estimate)
  • Meals and supplies: $4,500 (Estimate)
  • Accommodation: $7,000 - $10,000 (Estimate)

Important Dates and Deadlines

Wednesday, January 1

Institutional Nominations Open (via email, mail)

Sunday, March 1

Deadline for institutional nominations, completed student online applications, and 3 letters of recommendation

Friday, May 1

Bridge Scholarship Admissions Committee convenes for decisions

Monday, May 4

Admissions decisions are relayed to students

Friday, May 15

Deadline to accept or decline Bridge Scholarship

HBCU-HSI Bridge Scholar Advisors

Esther Pandian Riske, 773.702.1682

Mitchell Catalano, 773.834.4105

Andrew Ganem, 773.795.0666

Bridge Scholar Profiles

Ruben Bautista

Ruben Bautista graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Economics and Political Science. During his time as a Bridge Scholar, he took courses at the Booth School of Business, the Harris School of Public Policy, and law courses. Upon completing the program, Ruben was granted admission to the Kent Law School.

Matheiu Bondi

Matheiu Bondi graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago with a degree in Political Science. He took courses focusing on History, specifically Imperial Japanese history through the Graduate Division of Social Sciences. Mathieu continues his trajectory into PhD programs in History, and immediately followed his completion of the scholarship by enrolling in an intensive Japanese language program during the Summer of 2019, assisting his credentials for future applications.

Laura Caballero

Laura Caballero graduated from the University of the Incarnate World with a degree in Psychology. She chose to focus her coursework in the School of Social Service Administration during her time as a Bridge Scholar, with a foray into the Center for Latin American Studies for a course on Latin American cinema. Laura gained admission to the Master’s Program at SSA with a scholarship; she matriculated in Autumn 2017.

Leah Castleberry

Leah Castleberry graduated from Howard University with a degree in International business/Finance. During her year at the University of Chicago, she took courses at the Harris School of Public Policy as well as courses in the graduate social sciences division, with most focused on community organizing and race relations. Leah gained admission to the Public Policy Master’s Program at the Harris School with a scholarship; she matriculated in Autumn 2018.

Nicole Davila

Nicole Davila studied Business Anthropology at the University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras. Her autumn and winter quarter coursework was focused in Art History and Anthropology as she pursued graduate programs in museum conservation. She gained admission to the conservation program at George Washington University beginning in the Fall of 2018.

Anabelen Diaz

Anabelen Diaz graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Public Health. Anabelen chose to focus her coursework at the University of Chicago in Biomedical Informatics as well as the School of Social Service Administration. Anabelen was admitted to the Jane Addams School of Social work upon completing the Bridge Scholarship program.

Jori Fortson

Jori Fortson graduated from Howard University with a degree in Strategic, Legal, and Management During her year at the University of Chicago, she took courses at the Harris School of Public Policy, School of Social Service Administrations as well as courses in the graduate social sciences division, with most focused on community health and health policy. Jori gained admission to the Masters of Public Health Program at Boston University; she matriculated in Autumn 2018.

William Guzman

William Guzman studied Business Administration and Computer Information Systems at the University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras. His autumn and winter quarter coursework was focused in the Departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics. He began the Master of Science in Analytics program in Spring 2017. William is the first Bridge Scholar to complete a Graduate degree from the University of Chicago, after the Bridge Scholarship.

Maribell Heredia

Maribell Heredia graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Neuroscience. She chose to focus her coursework in the School of Social Service Administration during her time as a Bridge Scholar, focusing her course interests around global and community health. She was accepted to Rush Medical School and matriculated in Autumn 2018.

Celina Hernandez

Celina Hernandez graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Economics. She chose to focus her coursework in sociology as well as related work at the School of Social Service Administration during her time as a Bridge Scholar. Upon completing the scholarship program, she continues to work on an application to Sociology PhD programs both at University of Chicago and beyond.

Dominique James

Dominique James graduated from Howard University with a degree in English. During her year at the University of Chicago, she took courses that focused on race and queer studies. Upon completing the scholarship program, Dominique continues to work on applications to PhD programs.

Mariah Levy

Mariah Levy graduated from Howard University with a degree in Philosophy. During her year at the University of Chicago, she took courses at the School of Social Service Administration, as well as the course “Conceptual Drawing” with the Department of Visual Arts. She has been admitted to the Master’s Program at SSA with a scholarship, and matriculated in Autumn 2017.

Courtnie Mack

Courtnie Mack graduated from Spelman College with a degree in Psychology. She spent two quarters taking courses at SSA and in the departments of Sociology and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, and has been admitted to the SSA Master’s Program with a scholarship, matriculating in Autumn 2017.

Alejandra Merlos Villegas

Alejandra Merlos Villegas graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Sociology/ Latin American Studies. She chose to focus her coursework in the School of Social Service Administration during her time as a Bridge Scholar. She was accepted to the AM program at the School of Social Service Administration with a scholarship and matriculated in Autumn of 2018.

Mariella Metz Yeverino

Mariella Metz Yeverino graduated from University of the Incarnate Word with a degree in English. During her year at the University of Chicago, she took courses in English literature and Creative Writing with a foray into the Center for Latin American Studies for a course on Latin American literature. Mariella was accepted to an MS in Information Science with a concentration in Archives Management at Simmons University starting in Autumn of 2019.

Stephen Neilson

Stephen Neilson graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in Political Science. He took courses at the Harris School of Public Policy with a focus in political strategy and the history of public policy. After completing the scholarship, Stephen was accepted and matriculated into the one year Masters of Arts Program at the Harris School of Public Policy and will begin degree completion during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Sade Oregesun

Sade Oregesun graduated from Howard University with a degree in Psychology. She took courses at the School of Social Service Administration as well as graduate psychology courses through the Graduate Division of Social Sciences. Upon completion of the scholarship, Sade was accepted and matriculated into the Masters of Arts Program in the Social Sciences and will begin degree completion during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Edoardo Ortiz

Edoardo Ortiz graduated from the University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras with a degree in Business Administration. He chose to focus his coursework in the Harris School of Public Policy during his time as a Bridge Scholar, with a foray into an MBA education with a course in Financial Accounting. Edoardo gained admission to the Public Policy Master’s Program at the Harris School with a scholarship; he matriculated in Autumn 2018.

Kassandra Rodriguez

Kassandra Rodriguez graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Psychology and Chemistry. She took courses at the School of Social Service Administration during her time as a Bridge Scholar, focusing her course interests around global and community health policy. She continues to pursue medical school applications for 2019-2020.

Mateo Uribe Rios

Mateo Uribe Rios graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Political Science. While a Bridge Scholar, he took courses in the Centers for Human Rights and Latin American Studies, as well as the School of Social Service Administration. He was accepted to the Master’s Program at SSA with a scholarship; he matriculated in Autumn 2017.