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ACS Bridge Program


The ACS Bridge program at UC San Diego aims to increase the number of students from under-represented minority groups who earn the Ph.D. degree in chemistry. This post-baccalaureate program will provide students with an opportunity to earn a Thesis-based MS degree, with the goal of providing them with mentorship and research experience to help them become more competitive to transition directly into a Ph.D. program. The Chemistry & Biochemistry Bridge Program at UC San Diego is a partnership with the American Chemical Society, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Genentech Foundation with additional funds from the UC San Diego Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. More information about the program is available at

Through the two-year Bridge program, students will receive close mentorship, strengthen their research skills and fundamentals in Chemistry & Biochemistry, along with enhancing communication skills. Additional experience as teaching assistants will help increase Bridge Fellows' readiness to apply to and gain admission to world-leading Ph.D. programs in Chemistry at UC San Diego or other institutions.

Program Features

FINANCIAL SUPPORT : ACS Bridge Fellows will have full tuition, fees and stipend covered in combination with serving as a Teaching Assistant each quarter. The award package will also include student health, dental and vision insurance as well as a travel award to be used during the program's tenure.

TRAINING and PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT : The ACS Bridge Program provides training in coursework, teaching, research, seminars, and key assessments. To maximize their performance and growth, ACS Bridge Fellows will be given special opportunities to engage in advanced research, teaching, and career workshops. Additional information to be provided. 

COMMUNITY BUILDING AND MENTORSHIP : The aforementioned activities will help to cultivate an extensive network of faculty, staff, and peers for ACS Bridge Fellows as they navigate the path from being a student to a competitive graduate student researcher.

Prospective Students


The ACS Bridge Program is open to prospective under-represented minority students who meet the eligibility criteria, exhibit academic promise, plan to pursue a doctoral degree in chemistry, and can enhance the diversity of doctoral students in the chemical sciences.

    • The Bridge program is open to  U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and persons enrolled in the DACA program.
    • Prospective students will have completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, or closely related field by time of matriculation (Fall 2021).
    • Students who are currently enrolled or have already completed a graduate program in Chemistry, including a Master’s degree, are not eligible to apply.

Applying to the ACS Bridge Program:

Applications to the Bridge to the Chemistry Doctorate program are made directly to the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN). IGEN is  a consortium of professional societies  (including the American Chemical Society) and universities that have allied to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in graduate studies in the physical sciences.  The ACS and several other professional societies that sponsor Bridge to the Doctorate Programs in different scientific fields use one common web site and application form, hosted on the IGEN web site.  After the March 31 cutoff for graduate admissions,  IGEN distributes student application information to the appropriate universities that host Bridge to the Doctorate Sites for consideration. Students who are not accepted by a Bridge Site can also be considered for admission by ACS Bridge Partners. Bridge Site and Bridge Partners may have significant differences in the structure of their program. For more information about the ACS Bridge Program please visit the ACS Bridge Project website.

What do I need to apply to the Bridge Program?

IGEN will collect information  as described below.  Applications are due to IGEN by March 31, 2021, UC San Diego will be given access to the information on April 06, 2021, and the UC San Diego Executive Committee will contact semi-finalists for the UCSD/ACS Bridge Fellowships, to conduct a video interview and possibly to provide additional information relevant to our selection process.  Finalists for the Bridge program will be offered admission to UC San Diego.

Information that will be requested as part of the Bridge application process includes:

      • Information about yourself, career goals, and experience.
      • ​Information typically found on a resume or CV. (You will need to copy and paste into the application form)
      • ​Transcripts from all institutions from which you have earned college credit.
      • Contact information for three people who will write recommendation letters (at least one letter of recommendation from research advisors, professors, or mentors who can talk about your research ability and your contribution to research)

Prospective students may contact our Graduate Program Advisors prior to applying to answer any questions and to verify that this program is right for you.

By applying to the ACS Bridge Program:

How do my research interests affect my application? 

Application to the ACS Bridge to the Doctorate Program allows access to your application by multiple universities, so it is not essential to express specific research interests in your initial application to the IGEN site. UC San Diego is currently one of six Bridge sites, and the only location on the West coast. Other universities, known as “Bridge Partners”, may also receive your information. Students who are considered for admission to the UC San Diego Bridge Program may be asked to supply additional information for our selection process.

Graduate Student Orientation 2021

Welcome to UC San Diego Chemistry & Biochemistry! We look forward to working with you.

Below you will find a link to download your ACS Bridge Orientation schedule, a map to help you navigate through the orientation process, and other useful information. Please also note, your schedule is a little different from the MS orientation schedule, so please make sure to refer to the ACS Bridge Orientation activities that will occur in September. There will be a lot of important information coming your way, so please check your emails, be sure to attend all scheduled activities and be on time! We want you to be well-prepared for embarking on your graduate school career with us!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact, Kristen Itahara, ACS Bridge Coordinator for clarification, questions you may have or concerns.

IMPORTANT: The public health emergency associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may impact our plans for Orientation and Fall Quarter, but events are currently scheduled to be hosted in-person at UC San Diego. We will keep you posted should there be any changes.

Orientation Schedule

Tentative Orientation Schedule for ACS Bridge Fellows (updated 5/25/21)

Our Departmental Graduate Orientation for students starting in Fall 2021 will start at the beginning of September. For general information, please visit our orientation webpage. Bridge Fellows' schedule will differ from the MS Orientation schedule and will participate in many Ph.D. activities.


Below you will find a map with information to parking (on and off campus) and locations to all the different meetings and events. View Chemistry & Biochemistry Graduate Orientation in a larger map.

Map Legend


Things to know

Congratulations once again on your admission to our program! We're delighted that you have decided to join us at UCSD!  As soon as you accept our admissions offer, you go to the Graduate Division's website for admitted students.You'll see there are a list of things for you to do immediately, before your arrive to campus, and when you arrive to campus.

The “Submit Pending Documentation and Information“ section will identify the documents and information you will need to submit to Graduate Admissions. It should have a list of things you'll need to complete (i.e. setting up your email, set up Personal Access Code, TB requirements, and Statement of Legal Residence Form).

Below, you will find additional information to help with your transition into our Graduate Program and moving to beautiful San Diego!


Email Accounts

Please understand that this is one of the primary means of communication with our 300+ graduate students. You must take responsibility for reading your email on a daily basis. During your tenure in the program, we will use your email account to send all official correspondence on important deadlines and requirements, etc. 

For more information on how to use or setup your email, please visit ACMS Email Resources.

SHORE and Graduate Housing

Student Single Sign-On (SSO) Account

  • All students will have a Student SSO account, which uses your PID as the User ID and the Password will be your PAC (Personal Access Code). You should have been emailed with Instructions to create your Personal Access Code.
  • All students will also have a UCSD email account. (This login information is referred to as your Active Directory or AD credentials.)
  • For more assistance with your Student Accounts, start at the Activate and Access your New Student Account webpage.  

Campus ID Card

  • Submit your photo online by August 1st to avoid having to wait in line to get your campus ID card when you arrive on campus. You can access the tool here. You will need to sign in with your student PID and password. Once submitted, you will receive an email stating whether it has been approved or not approved. If you submit your photo online, we will have your campus ID card conveniently available for pick-up during our welcome session. 
  • Students must get a Campus Student ID card. Your Campus ID card will allow you to use various campus facilities and resources including the library, gym, and public transportation stystem.
  • Please contact us if you need a Campus Student ID card before the quarter begins. We will need to provide you with a formal letter indicating your start date.

Lab Safety Training

Students will need to take the following online lab safety trainings from the UC Learning Center *before* working in a lab:

  • UC Laboratory Safety Fundamentals
  • Annual Laboratory Hazards training

Registering for Classes

You can find more information on how to register for classes by visiting Please refer to the department PhD, JDP, and MS schedules to see when you should sign up for classes.

Address, Phone, or Email Changes: TWO Places

Parking & Bus Passes

Once you have your Campus ID Card (see above), you may get a bus pass and/or a campus parking permit from the Parking Office

New Hire Employment Paperwork

You will be contacted over the summer with instructions to complete employment paperwork. If you have not recieved an email by August 1, please contact Asmaa or

ALL Incoming Grads - Fill out emergency contact information!

  • Make sure the Student Affairs Office has your up-to-date emergency contact info by filling out the form here.
  • Also, sign-up for the campus emergency notifications here.

Incoming ACS Bridge Students Students:

  • You will only need to complete Employment Paperwork. You are TAing in Fall Quarter. This will be provided at the Orientation Welcome Session.


  • You will receive your first full paycheck on November 1 for your work in October. Your funding (a combination of your TA salary and a supplemental stipend) for 2021-22 is $30,000 annually (or $2,500/month gross). 

Fall 2021 TA Application

  • The Fall 2021 TA application will open in August! All incoming ACS Bridge students must submit a TA application. 

UCSD Library Resources

Click here to learn more about UCSD campus library resources and services, including how to set up remote access.

Social Media

For questions, please contact the Student Affairs Office! or Kristen Itahara, ACS Bridge Coordinator.


The Graduate Division will use Canvas to provide information to new graduate students about the following resources:
  • Graduate Division
  • Student Health Services
  • Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination
  • Counseling and Psychological Services
Coming Soon!

ACS Bridge Executive Committee of UC San Diego

The UC San Diego Bridge Program faculty director is Professor Brian Leigh, with Professor Elizabeth Komives and Professor Haim Weizman serving as our program's executive committee members.



Brian Leigh


Elizabeth Komives


Haim Weizman



ACS Bridge Students 2020-21



Stanley Buczynski


David Garcia


Javier Sanlley Hernandez