Residence Halls showing bridge connecting the two buildings

The Summer Bridge Program

The Summer Bridge Program is an invitation-only summer program that empowers FLI (First-Generation and/or Low-Income) students who have been accepted to Amherst College and will matriculate in the fall to navigate the educational opportunities on campus. 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 two tracks:

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 ProgramIn 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 support for a summer opportunity (internship, research or other eligible experience) during students’ first or second summer at Amherst. A stipend of up to $5,000 will be provided to participants who receive eligible unpaid summer opportunities.   

    • Eligibility to participate in a dedicated cohort career education curriculum provided by the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning, with a focus on assistance in finding meaningful summer opportunities.

  • 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 2024 runs from Saturday, August 3, through Saturday, August 24. 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.


Questions about the Summer Bridge Program?

Dr. Jennifer Innes
Director of Summer Science in the Summer Bridge Program
Director of the Moss Quantitative Center
Dr. Kristina Reardon
Director of Summer Humanities and Social Science in the Summer Bridge Program
Director of Intensive Writing
Senior Lecturer in English and Education Studies


Prof. Kiara Vigil

Faculty Director of Summer Bridge Program
Dean of New Students
Associate Professor of American Studies