The Bridge Scholars Program

For over 30 years the Bridge Scholars Program has allowed entering students to participate in rigorous academic instruction in calculus and physics, and to develop the skills necessary for academic and personal success at Rensselaer. This program is invitation only through the Admissions Office. The six-week summer program is comprised of a two-week intensive on-campus program for participants to develop early academic and social success skills through academic mentoring, career development, access to academic support resources, and enrichment seminars that focus on excelling in the uniquely demanding Rensselaer environment. The two-week program is then followed by four weeks online in subject matter content. The summer culminates with students moving back to campus early to start their semester by participating in Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond overnight experiences and day trips.

Contact Information

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the program will receive:

  • $2,500 scholarship per year, renewable
  • Costs for the summer program, including tuition, fees, housing, and meals covered
  • Advanced preparation in Physics, Calculus, or Computer Science.
  • Early access and exposure to campus life and resources
  • Their choice of a three-day, two-night adventure trip as part of Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond
  • A chance to make connections with key university upper-class mentors, faculty, staff, and administrators
  • Tips for developing good study habits and time management
  • Hands-on experience with the academic rigor at Rensselaer
  • Ability to meet and network with Rensselaer faculty, staff, and upper-class students
  • Preference for the Garnet Baltimore Research and Entrepreneurial Scholars program and assistance in obtaining a research and entrepreneurial experience experience

(Note that program benefits are subject to change at Rensselaer's discretion).

Students must complete the following to be eligible for program benefits:

  • Six-week academic readiness course in either calculus or physics
    • Two (2) weeks on campus
    • followed by four (4) weeks online.
  • Student Orientation
  • Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond Overnight and Day programs
  • Academic year meetings and workshops, not to exceed one hour per week
  • Research or entrepreneurial activity with Rensselaer for students who apply and meet eligibility criteria
  • Some funded positions are available through the Garnet Baltimore Research and Entrepreneurial Scholars program

This program is by invitation only, and students are identified by Admissions. To be eligible, students must have paid their deposit confirming their enrollment at Rensselaer for the fall semester. International students and students enrolling at other institutions are not eligible to participate in this program.

We offer a series of annual events, communications and supports for all Bridge Alumni.  Previous events have included receptions during Family Weekend, social and academic gatherings throughout the year, and invitations to special events. 

Dean Kengne remains a resource for Bridge Scholars throughout their undergraduate experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each scholar’s application will be thoroughly reviewed, and their course enrollment will be determined in consultation with the program’s faculty and committee. Scholars will be enrolled in one of the following noncredit bearing courses (Physics I, Computer Science I and Calculus I). The course is selected based on the scholar’s major, and the scholar’s level of preparedness to face the rigorous academic coursework at Rensselaer. In addition, scholars will participate in Success Lab workshops/seminar to gain new knowledge of higher education hidden curriculum and build necessary skills such as time management, study tips, stress management, communication with faculty and more. 

Yes! Scholars are required to live on campus for the Summer residential portion of the program to become accustomed to living on campus early. 

For Summer 2024, Scholars will reside in a residence hall to be announced.

Yes! Living with a roommate during the program in the residence halls allows you to build a community with your fellow Bridge scholars. This arrangement allows you to get accustomed to having a roommate in the fall semester and build stronger connections. However, if you have or need special accommodation due to medical or religious concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us

No – Scholars are to remain under the supervision of the program throughout the entire duration of the program. Additionally, due to the fast paced of the program, scholars are not allowed to leave the campus for a day or a weekend to avoid any disruption in their learning. 

Yes, if you are a scholar with a disability who needs accommodations (for mobility, learning, etc.) please contact the office of Disability Student Services

You will have to fully move out from your residence hall in the summer on July 20, 2024, and move into your fall room assignment on your assigned move-in date in August 2024. Even if your room assignment for the summer and the fall semester are the same. This allows the Living and Learning and our maintenance office to thoroughly clean the residence hall and be ready for move in day. 

The Summer Bridge Scholars Program pays for a meal plan for you to eat in the dining hall during the two – week residential period. There are some events where outside food is provided. If you have dietary restrictions, you want to be sure to let program staff know as soon as possible, so they can ensure all meals will meet your dietary needs. please contact us at

Scholars should refrain from full time employment during the duration of the 4-week online program. Because of the fast paced and intensity of the program, scholars are strongly encouraged to only work weekends for the last 4 weeks of the program (July 22nd – August 16, 2024) however, scholars must be mindful to keep up with weekend assignments.

No – Due to the fast pace and intensity of the program, it will not be possible for a scholar to catch up with the course materials and the program activities. 

Room (bed sheets, pillows, etc.), personal (toilet paper, laundry detergent) personal hygiene products (body soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, body lotion, deodorant etc...) miscellaneous expenses (bookstore gifts, RPI t-shirt, etc.).

Rae Anderson, '21 Mathematics
Rae Anderson, '19 Mathematics

"Throughout the Bridge program, I was introduced to many staff and faculty. They all seemed to be genuinely interested in my success as a student. The relationships I built with these community members only strengthened during my first semester. So much that when I decided to change majors, one of the professors from Bridge took on the role of being my academic advisor.

Bridge played a huge role in my adjustment to college. In my time at RPI, I have faced many personal issues. Each time, I knew exactly where to go for help. I was comfortable with doing so because the staff had already shown me they were invested in my success. Now, in my third year, I am always excited to see fellow Bridge scholars walking around campus. I make a conscious effort to say hello and ask them how their time at RPI is going so far. If they need help, I try to give them advice, or even help if the problem is math homework. I am very proud to call myself a Bridge Scholar!"


The Bridge Scholars Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is funded, in part, through the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program - a National Science Foundation program intended to support historically underrepresented students in the STEM fields. This program is aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of students successfully completing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) baccalaureate degree programs, and increasing the number of students interested in, academically qualified for and matriculated into programs of graduate study. LSAMP supports sustained and comprehensive approaches that facilitate achievement of the long-term goal of increasing the number of students who earn doctorates in STEM fields, particularly those from populations underrepresented in STEM fields.

LSAMP was named in honor of former congressman, Louis Stokes, who spent his life serving and defending those in need.

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