A teacher in a classroom standing behind a table of students clapping

Tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as senior lecturers, are eligible to teach three-week courses in the Summer Bridge Program. Faculty in the humanities and social sciences, and in particular in psychology, computer science, and economics, as well as mathematics, including both statistics and calculus, are invited to apply.

The Summer Bridge Program empowers first-generation and/or low-income (FLI) students to navigate various educational opportunities at Amherst. In addition to taking ownership of their academic journey, participants 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. All costs related to student participation in the program are covered, and students are provided with various incentives.

It was the best experience I've had since starting at Amherst. Apart from getting prepared for the rigor of Amherst classes and learning important skills such as time management, Summer Bridge is where I met some of my best friends.” —Jasmynh Stokes ’26


A teacher and student working on a piece of lab equipment

Summer Bridge courses introduce students to the kind of inquiry, engagement, and analysis that will be expected of them in the Amherst classroom, rather than a particular major, department or program. Each student is invited to either the STEM or Humanities and Social Science track.

Regardless of track, all students will enroll in a writing attentive course and “Introduction to the Liberal Arts,” which is co-taught by two faculty members representing each of the two tracks. Faculty are invited to propose a writing attentive course, or a course  in the humanities, social sciences, and in quantitative fields, like math, statistics, computer science and others. They may also apply to teach a section of “Introduction to the Liberal Arts.”

Examples of titles of past courses include: Justice & Power; Intro to the Psych of Well-Being; Statistics; Reading and Writing for the Liberal Arts; Puzzles, Programming, & Problem-Solving; Writing & Becoming; Classics Now; Law & the Visual; Reading The Federalist Papers; Decoloniality in Latin America; Writing our Way Through the Commons; Calculus; Chemistry; Biology; and Writing About Literature.

There is a faculty stipend for the three-week course, and the program usually happens in August, right before classes begin. The application due date to teach with Summer Bridge is usually in January of each year. Applicants are usually notified about the acceptance of their course in February.


Students in the Summer Bridge Program also become part of the college’s Intensive Advising Program during their first year at Amherst. The program matches faculty with a Summer Bridge student, with whom they will meet every two to three weeks throughout their first year to provide academic, intellectual, and personal guidance. Most faculty who teach in Summer Bridge also work with the Intensive Advising Program. An additional stipend is available for serving as an intensive advisor.

Learn more about the Intensive Advising Program for current Intensive Advisors (Login Required)

Summer Bridge students also have other advising and support during their time as students. They are invited to join the Loeb Center’s Meiklejohn Fellows Program in their first year at the college. They also benefit from the resources of the Class and Access Resource Center (CARC) and, in the summer before their sophomore year, are invited to participate in the STEM Incubator Program or the Summer Bridge Research Institute.