FAQs

Who are the Bridges Scholars?

Deaf and hard of hearing RIT master’s degree students who are accepted into the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate program.

How many Bridges Scholars are accepted each year?

Three scholars will be accepted into the program each year.

How do I apply?

You can apply through email or postal mail.  It is preferred you do so after you have been accepted to one of RIT’s masters programs in behavioral or biomedical science that we accept under the Bridges Program.  However, you are able to apply to the Bridges Program at the same time you are applying to one of RIT’s MS programs, with the understanding that your application will not be reviewed until we have all of the required paperwork including an acceptance letter from RIT Graduate Admissions.

Can international students apply for this program?

Unfortunately, this National Institute of General Medical Sciences grant only supports US Citizens and permanent residents.

What is expected of me during the application process?

In addition to the application materials required, you should be available for video conference interviews, and be ready to respond to e-mails as soon as possible.

If accepted to the program, what will be required of me?

The Bridges Scholars must:

  • Maintain a GPA of 3.5 or above
  • Commit to continue their graduate training in a doctoral program in a biomedical or behavioral science discipline
  • Participate in all of the required Bridges activities
  • Travel to professional conferences
How long is the program?

Funding is two years per Bridges scholar, correlating with your master’s degree program.

What type of assistance does this program provide?

This program provides:

  • Interpreting services
  • Tutoring support
  • Travel coordination and expenses
  • Funds for books and supplies ($1000 per year)
  • Paid research assistantships
  • Partial tuition waiver (90% waived first year; 72% waived second year)
Do I have to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology?

Yes, you must attend RIT for your master’s degree. 

Do I have to attend the University of Rochester for my PhD?

All Bridges Scholars are expected to go for doctoral training but not necessarily at the UR.  However, the Bridges program will give the Scholars opportunities to begin working in laboratories at UR and take UR doctoral courses there to get to know the UR faculty.  The transition to doctoral training at UR might be more streamlined than at another university.  If Scholars are accepted at UR, they might be able to continue to working in the same laboratory and continue to receive support from the same Bridges personnel who work at the UR.

Do I have to do a research assistantship?

Yes.  Throughout their time in the program, all Bridges scholars are expected to work a minimum of 15 hours per week in assigned laboratories during the semester, and increased hours weekly during the summer.

What is required to be able to stay in the Bridges program?

It is likely that if a Bridges Scholar receives more than one C, he or she will be asked to leave the Bridges program (but might be able to remain in the RIT Master’s program).  An A/B average is acceptable, but an A average is preferable to maximize the Scholar’s chance to successfully enter a doctoral program.

Will having a master's degree shorten the length of my Ph.D. program?

While many biomedical and behavioral science Ph.D. programs do not require a master’s for admission, having a master’s degree in your chosen discipline from RIT will not shorten the length of time or credits required for your chosen Ph.D. program.