The Summer Bridge Program
The Summer Bridge Program is an invitation-only summer program that empowers FLI (First-Generation and/or Low-Income) students to navigate the educational opportunities at Amherst College. In addition to taking ownership over their academic journey, participants will benefit from opportunities to build an enduring intellectual and social community with one another, to make connections with faculty and staff, and to engage in conversations about the benefits and challenges of being FLI at Amherst.
Participants in the Summer Bridge Program also will become part of the Intensive Advising Program and the Meiklejohn Fellowship Program, and will benefit from the Class and Action Resource Center. The Summer Bridge Program covers all costs related to participation.
The Summer Bridge Program offers three tracks:
- Summer Humanities and Social Science Program
- Summer Science Program
- Summer Quantitative and Social Science Program
In each track, participants will take four courses and will develop close relationships with faculty, staff, and other FLI students.
Each Summer Bridge student benefits also benefits from the following resources:
- The Intensive Advising Program matches you with a faculty member who will meet with you every two to three weeks throughout your first year to get to know you and to provide academic, intellectual, and personal guidance.
- The STEM Incubator Program. In the summer between your first year and sophomore year, Summer Bridge students interested in the sciences and/or STEM will be invited to participate in this program, which provides a hands-on training program and internship in a science laboratory.
- The Summer Bridge Research Institute (SBRI). In the summer between your first year and sophomore year, Summer Bridge students interested in the humanities and social sciences will receive an exclusive invitation to apply to participate in this program. SBRI introduces students to what it means to do research in the humanities and social sciences. It prepares students to take advantage of the range of research opportunities at the college and to use research skills in their chosen careers.
- The Meiklejohn Fellows Program, which offers the following benefits:
- Guaranteed financial and professional development support for a summer opportunity (internship, research or other eligible experience) during students’ first or second summer at Amherst. A stipend of up to $4,500 will be provided to participants who receive eligible unpaid summer opportunities.
- Dedicated advising, programming, and career development support, including assistance from the Meiklejohn Fellows program director in the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning in finding meaningful summer opportunities.
- Opportunities to build personal, academic and career networks with other Meiklejohn Fellows, Amherst alumni, and the broader campus community.
- The Office of Campus Diversity and Student Leadership (CDSL), which serves to provide support and advocacy to and on behalf of FLI students.
Dates of Summer Bridge Program:
Summer Bridge 2023 runs from Sunday, July 23, through Saturday, August 12. Participants are required to attend the entirety of the program.
History of the Summer Bridge Program
1987: Amherst created the three-week Summer Science Program for a small group of incoming students.
2009: The College added the Summer Humanities & Social Science Program, which operated alongside the Summer Science Program.
2016: Amherst created the Intensive Advising Program to support Summer Science and Summer Humanities participants throughout their first year of college.
2017: Summer Science and Summer Humanities & Social Science both increased in size under the umbrella Summer Bridge Program, and became tailored specifically to the needs of First-Generation and/or Low Income (FLI) students.
2018: The Meiklejohn Fellows Program was launched, and it included all Summer Bridge participants.
2019: We added the Summer Quantitative & Social Sciences Program, as a third track within Summer Bridge alongside Summer Science and Summer Humanities & Social Science.
2020: Launch of the affiliated STEM Incubator program.
2021: Launch of the affiliated Summer Bridge Research Institute (SBRI) in the humanities and social sciences.