Columbia Bridge to PhD Program

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The Bridge-to-the-Ph.D. program is designed to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in Ph.D. programs in STEM fields, including Economics. It is an intensive research, academic, and mentoring experience for post-baccalaureates seeking to strengthen their graduate school applications and to prepare for the transition into Ph.D. programs. Scholars who apply to and are selected for the economics program will be paired with a mentor in the economics department, and take part in activities tailored towards Ph.D. programs in the field.

Bridge participants are hired as full-time Columbia University research assistants (RAs) for up to two years and conduct research under the mentorship of faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students. Potential research areas within the department include behavioral economics, development, macroeconomics, urban economics, industrial organization, education, health, and political economy.

The 2019-2020 salary for Bridge RAs is $51,376 per year. Program participants are also provided with $2000 per year to support professional and educational expenses (examples include travel to professional conferences and purchase of books), and, as full-time employees are eligible for University benefits.

Bridge participants also enroll in one to two courses per semester at Columbia that are related to their future field of study. These might include mathematics courses, undergraduate electives in economics, or Master's or Ph.D. level introductory courses. The program also organizes a number of professional development workshops, provides access to GRE test preparation, and partners with Columbia's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science to ensure success while at Columbia and to facilitate application to Ph.D. programs.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Kayleigh Haskin
  • Created:02/25/2019
  • Modified By:Kayleigh Haskin
  • Modified:02/25/2019


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