Bridge to the Doctorate Program

BDP Team

What is BDP?

The Bridge-to-the Doctorate Program (BDP) was established as a constituent of the Puerto Rico Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PR-LSAMP) in August 2003. Its inception witnessed the bestowment of fellowships upon ten former undergraduate PR-LSAMP students, enabling them to pursue their initial two years of graduate studies at UPR-Río Piedras. Over the course of its existence, the BDP has honored a total of 166 exceptional individuals with these prestigious fellowships.

UPR-Río Piedras and UPR-Mayagüez, the prominent higher education institutions on the island, have been the primary institutional sites participating in the BD Program. Renowned for thier comprehensive graduate programs in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), these esteemed establishments have facilitated the intellectual and scholarly pursuits of the program´s beneficiaries. 

The breakdown of Fellows by STEM discipline:

University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras

The host institution for Cohort XIV will be
UPR-Río Piedras


The Bridge-to-the-Doctorate Fellowship covers the first two years of graduate studies, subject to successful academic performance, and includes:

  • $32,000 fellowship per year
  • Up to $8,000 per year for tuition expenses, institutional fees, and health plan
  • $2,000 per year for travel expenses
  • $2,000 per year for research and educational materials
  • BD Support Program to Enhance the Academic Preparation


NSF Application Requirements:

  • Applicants must have been a participant of the LSAMP program during their undergraduate studies
  • Applicant intends to pursue a PhD degree STEM field in a 5 year period
  • Has been accepted to UPR-Rio Piedras to begin graduate studies in August 2023
  • Had an undergraduate GPA of 3.10 or higher

UPR Bridge to the Doctorate Program Requirements – Fellows are required to:

  • Meet each semester all the requirements established by the Graduate School, and the Bridge to the Doctorate Program
  • Obtain a grade of B or higher in all courses, each semester
  • Complete nine credits per semester, for a minimum of 36 credits of graduate work by the end of the two year fellowship
  • Take and pass the qualifying exams on the date established by the Graduate School
  • Submit the thesis proposal on or before the date in which the BDP fellowship ends (August 2025)
  • Be a mentor to an undergraduate PR-LSAMP student
  • Participate in all BDP activities, as established in the program’s calendar for each semester
  • Serve as role model to high school students

Things you’ll need before register

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the statement should clearly express your motivation for seeking admission to the University of Puerto Rico- Bridge to the Doctorate Program. It should outline your readiness for the chosen field of study, highlight your research interests, shed light on your future career aspirations, and provide insights into your intellectual or life experiences. These elements will assist the admissions committee in evaluating your potential and drive for graduate studies. As your application already indicates your dedication to a particular field of study, we encourage you to focus on discussing specific issues within that field that captivate your interest. To ensure concise and informative submissions, please limit your statement to a length ranging between 500 and 1,000 words.

Graduate Research Plan

A graduate research plan is a document that outlines your proposed research project or study for your graduate studies. It provides a detailed explananation of the research objectives, methodology, and anticipated outcomes of your research. The purpose of a research plan is to demonstrate your ability to formulate a research question, design a study, and contribute new knowledge or insights to your field of study. Limit the Research plan to a maximum of three pages/1,500 words.

Thesis Topic

The thesis topic should be well-defined, relevant, and significant within the chosen field, and it should reflect the interests and expertise of the student.


Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts of their entire undergraduate academic record to the online application. Applicants are expected to have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.10 in their undergraduate programs.
Please do not request and mail official transcripts as part of the application process. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the faculty’s review of your application. If you are accepted as BDP fellow, you will be asked at that time to send official transcripts from the undergraduate institution you attended to the PR-LSAMP program.

2 Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation electronically via the online application system. Once you have entered the contact details of your chosen references in the online application, they will receive an email containing instructions on how to submit their letters on your behalf. When selecting individuals to write your letters of recommendation, it is advisable to choose faculty members within your proposed field of study who possess a thorough understanding of your work and can provide a comprehensive evaluation of your capabilities. It is important to note that you may submit your application independently of the letters submitted by your references.

How To Register Into BDP


Update your Profile!

  • Login to your profile:
  • Upon entering, click the “Edit Profile” button
  • Update your profile information
    IMPORTANT: By the Academic Information section, make sure your Student Status field is set to “Graduate”. Or else, you will not be able to see BDP registration link on your profile.
  • Check the “Certify” field.
  • And click “Update Profile” at the end of the form.
  • Add or update your research experiences, internships, professional meetings, and publications – if any.
  • When you finish, click “Back to Profile Home

Registering in BDP

  • BEFORE REGISTERING: Please have the following documents and information available
    • Statement of Purpose in PDF
    • Student copy of your transcript in PDF.
    • Thesis Topic in PDF
    • Graduate Plan in PDF
    • The names and emails of two professors who will submit your letter of recommendation.
      You can get all details in Things you’ll need section above.

  • Login to your profile:
  • After entering your profile home page, below your personal information there is a section that reads “Available Activities for Registration“. Look for the BDP program and click the “Register” button that is on the left.
  • Fill out the form and upload the required documents on their respective fields.
  • Now click on “Register” button to submit your form.
  • If everything goes well, the system send an email to each professor so that they can proceed to upload the letter of recommendation. A message should appear on top of your profile.
  • To know the status of your application, go to your profile and look for the BDP program by the Registration Status section