If you’re a high school graduate about to enter your first year of undergraduate study, it could be a great idea to attend a pre-college program. Many pre-college programs are designed to better prepare students to take on advanced coursework, conduct advanced research under their professors, or explore different avenues. These programs offer practical experience in highly technical subjects, such as geoscience, that can positively impact your trajectory while moving into an undergraduate program. As opposed to students who do not have the experience of a pre-college program, those who attend a bridge program are given the opportunity to explore, learn, and grow at a high level, even before stepping foot on campus.
For those interested in geosciences, University of Maryland’s Geosciences Bridge Program may be the perfect bridge program for you.
In this blog, we will cover all there is to know about the program, its eligibility requirements, structure, application dates, and deadlines, as well as 7 compelling reasons why you should apply.
What is the Geosciences Bridge Program?
This program offers a 6-week paid internship for students planning on pursuing a career in geosciences. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center, the program introduces high school students to a wide variety of geoscience topics, including ocean sciences, atmospheric sciences, and geographic information systems (GIS) techniques. The program is committed to offering in-depth learning experiences and hands-on opportunities to strengthen its students' knowledge and skills before their freshman year of college.
Who is eligible?
The program accepts high school seniors who are entering their first year of an undergraduate degree program in the fall. Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a minimum of a 2.7 GPA. The program is particularly encouraging of students from underrepresented groups planning to pursue a career in geoscience.
Important dates and deadlines
Applications are due in the spring of every year.
How is it structured?
As part of the program, students are asked to enroll in two college courses: college Algebra or Calculus I and a Freshman Seminar course. They will earn college credit for these two courses and attend classes throughout the six weeks of the program. Students will reside in the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s residence halls and eat in the university’s dining halls.
Every day, students will participate in lectures or field trips with hands-on activities in all areas of geoscience. For example, students might visit local caves to study geological structures or travel to nearby marine biology labs to speak to professionals in the field.
The program is intended to cover a wide variety of topics within the subject of geoscience. Listed topics include atmospheric science, biogeochemistry, civil and environmental engineering, environmental science, marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, physical oceanography, remote sensing/GIS, and other related fields.
The program is fully funded! Additionally, students are paid $500 per week and given reimbursement for travel to and from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The program includes all lectures, field trips, college courses, housing, and meals.
7 reasons to apply
1. The program is a great way to prepare for a career in geoscience
Specifically designed for students who hope to pursue a career in geoscience, the program focuses on providing a cohesive, comprehensive introduction to geosciences, while also encouraging students to go in-depth and develop further skills and knowledge. Students are given the opportunity to explore multiple areas in the geosciences, allowing them to find the area that truly interests them before college. The program specializes in hands-on exposure and experience, which is the best way to learn in a field as tactical as geoscience. With geoscience being a relatively less popular field than something like biology, there are not many programs that offer such unique opportunities to explore the geoscience field as this Geosciences Bridge Program does. We encourage students who are seriously committed to a future in this field to take advantage of the program’s many mentors, field trips, lectures, and workshops.
2. The program is prestigious
Because this program is fully funded and offers a wide variety of valuable learning opportunities, it’s become quite popular. This means further competitiveness and prestige. Sponsored by well-established organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Living Marine Resources Cooperative, Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystem, and Center for Earth System Sciences, the program is well regarded. Participating in such a program means you’ll have a prestigious name on your resume even before starting college. This could open a lot of doors when looking for research or career opportunities down the line.
3. The program offers strong professional development opportunities
Many of the field trips and lectures will focus on scientific communication, career planning, and other essential skills for success in geosciences. Students will be given the opportunity to meet renowned professors and professionals in the field. Developing a relationship with these mentors will serve as an incredibly valuable network for someone interested in pursuing a career in geosciences. Just by knowing their names, you open potential doors for a future research position, recommendation letter, or job. These are people you can rely on when you have future questions or are looking for advice concerning a geoscience career.
4. Students will get a unique taste of college life
Students in this program will live in the University of Maryland’s dorms, eat their food, meet their students, interact with their instructors, and walk on their campus. You’ll also be taking college-level classes! This is a great opportunity to get a quick taste of college life and prepare yourself adequately before you enter the real deal.
5. Students are given academic support to prepare them for college
This program gives students the opportunity to take two college-level courses, ensuring students have a solid foundation in the core sciences required for geosciences. With these courses come the corresponding office hours, question sessions, and teacher assistant aid to help those who might be struggling. In addition to the college courses, the program also offers tutorial services for any students looking to sharpen their skills or develop their understanding further. The program emphasizes its support for students’ learning, particularly in mathematics which new students may find difficult. Designed to make students comfortable with the fundamentals of geosciences, students will be well prepared by the time they enter college to take further courses in the field.
6. Students will participate in a new and engaging community
Targeted toward students who aim to pursue a career in geosciences, the Geosciences Bridge Program will draw like-minded peers who all have a deep and unique passion for geosciences. This means you’ll be surrounded by peers who are similarly excited about the field and about entering college. By spending six weeks together living in the same dorms and attending the same classes, there is no doubt you will form valuable relationships with your classmates. This will be a great community you can rely on for questions, and advice, not just at this program, but also in the future. When you are looking to start a career in geosciences, this is a community you can rely on to understand and help you.
7. The program is fully funded
The program comes at no cost at all and instead gives students a large stipend, with all meals, travel, and classes covered. This is an incredibly unique opportunity. Most programs that offer this many learning experiences, not to mention college credit and housing, charge a high price. The program does this to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to apply; this way, those from a first-gen or low-income background don’t have to worry about costs at all, and the great opportunities that come with this program can be accessible and open for all.
If you are passionate about research then you could consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.
Amelia is a current senior at Harvard College studying art history with a minor in economics. She’s enthusiastic about music, movies, and writing, and is excited to help Veritas AIs students as much as she can!