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Bridges to the Doctorate

Welcome to the Bridges to the Doctorate Research Training Program at CSUSM, a partnership between CSU San Marcos, UC San Diego and The Scripps Research Institute. The program is federally funded by the National Institute of Health's National Institute of General their Medical Sciences  (NIH/NIGMS).  The national BRIDGES Program prepares master’s students from underrepresented groups, who are interested in biomedical research careers, to seamlessly transition (the Bridge) to PhD programs. The CSUSM Bridges program fiscally supports students over a two-year period to perform their thesis research, attend conferences and gain training on how to obtain a PhD.  Students will be provided with tours, mentorship and lectures from faculty at UCSD and TSRI. Furthermore, the program is designed to prepare them for graduate education and training, and to join the biomedical research workforce around the country. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a full time student at CSU San Marcos
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Be accepted to the master’s program in biology, chemistry, kinesiology or psychology
  • Commitment to pursuing a Ph.D.
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Meet one of the NIH definitions for underrepresented populations

Program Requirements

  • Work in a research laboratory 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week in the summer
  • Attend Class (Fridays 12:30-2:00) and Workshops/ Seminars (Fridays 2:00-3:30).
  • Participate in the CTREE Summer Research Training Program (SRTP)
  • Participate in the Puentes Program (Graduate School Prep Program)
  • Attend Scientific meetings to present your research
  • Participate in all CTREE activities
  • Mentor Undergraduate CTREE Students
  • Apply for PhD programs during your second year.
  • Graduate from the master’s program at CSUSM in two years.

Student Benefits

  • Annual income up to $26,000/year
  • Up to 60% tuition relief
  • Visits to UCSD and TSRI
  • Travel and conference expenses for one conference per year
  • Mentoring by program faculty and staff at CSUSM, UCSD and TSRI
  • Summer Research Opportunities
  • Networking opportunities


Application Reviews Starting: April 15, 2024
Complete Applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until all spots have been filled.  

Apply Today!