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Program Description

Keck telescopesThe mission of the Cal-Bridge program is to increase the number of California State University (CSU) students completing their bachelor's degree and successfully entering a PhD program to study astronomy or a closely related field (e.g., planetary science). Applicants will be evaluated for admission to the program based on their academic ability or potential, motivation to attend graduate school, and financial need. Students admitted to the program will become “Cal-Bridge Scholars”

Benefits of becoming a “Cal-Bridge Scholar” include:

  • Full scholarship support for your final two years at a participating CSU, based on demonstrated need
  • An additional year of scholarship funding to help cover the cost of your first year of graduate school at a participating UC campus*
  • Mentoring from CSU and UC faculty members
  • Professional development opportunities geared towards success in completing your undergraduate degree and in entering graduate school
  • Opportunities to participate in research with CSU and UC faculty members
  • Participating in STEM enrichment activities in a nurturing, friendly environment with other like-minded young scholars from around the CSU system

*Please note that admission to the Cal-Bridge program does not guarantee admission to a UC graduate program; Cal-Bridge scholars must successfully apply and matriculate to a participating UC graduate program in order to receive financial aid for graduate study.

Program Details


To be eligible for the program, a Cal-Bridge applicant must:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be currently enrolled in a participating CSU or currently enrolled in a participating community college and expecting to transfer to a participating CSU in the coming Fall (see “Participating Schools” for a complete list). Acceptance to Cal-Bridge is contingent on acceptance and enrollment to a participating CSU by the Fall of the Cal-Bridge application year.
  • Be majoring in physics or astronomy
  • Be enrolled in 2nd and 3rd year physics classes
  • Demonstrate academic ability or potential
  • Be motivated to attend graduate school to study astronomy or related fields at a participating UC or another institution (however, please note that only Cal-Bridge scholars who matriculate to a graduate program at a participating UC will receive financial aid for graduate study; see "Participating Schools for a complete list)

Selected Cal-Bridge scholars attending a participating CSU will be given full scholarship support for up to their last two years of attendance at their home institution, to the extent allowed by their demonstrated financial need as determined by the financial aid office at their home institution.

Participating Schools

Cal-Bridge Participating Community Colleges

School NameRelated WebsitesFaculty Contact
East Los Angeles College

Physics website:

Contact: Lilith Haroyan
El Camino College

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Arturo Hernandez

Santa Monica College

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Gary Fouts

MiraCosta College

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Rica French

Norco College (Riverside)

Physics website:

Contact: Phu Tran

Cypress College

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Ron Armale

Mt San Antonio College

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Michael Hood

Palomar College

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Takashi Nakajima

College of the Canyons

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Eric Lara

Cal-Bridge Participating California State Universities

School NameRelated WebsitesFaculty Contact
Cal State Dominguez Hills

Cal State East Bay

Cal State Fullerton

Physics website:

Contact: Josh Smith

Cal State Long Beach

Physics & Astronomy website:

Contact: Prashanth Jaikumar

Cal State Los Angeles

Physics & Astronomy website:

Contact: Susan Terebey

Cal State Northridge

Physics & Astronomy website:

Contact: Damian Christian

Cal Poly Pomona

Physics & Astronomy website

Contact: Alex Rudolph

Cal State San Bernardino

Physics website:

Contact: Carol Hood

Cal State San Diego

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Eric Sandquist

Cal State San Marcos

Physics website:

Contact: Gerardo Dominguez

Cal State Stanislaus
San Francisco State
San Jose State
Sac State

Sonoma State

Cal-Bridge Participating University of California campuses

School NameRelated WebsitesFaculty Contact
UC Irvine (UCI)

Physics & Astronomy website:

Contact: Tammy Smecker-Hane

UC Los Angeles (UCLA)

Physics & Astronomy website:

Contact: James Larkin

UC Riverside (UCR)

Physics & Astronomy website:

Contact: Bahram Mobasher

UC San Diego (UCSD)

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Adam Burgasser

UC Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Physics website:
Astronomy website:

Contact: Joan Emma Shea

When and How to Apply

Applications for the 2017-2018 Cal-Bridge program are due August 19, 2017. To apply to the program, fill out the Online Application Form. In addition, you must ask two faculty members (or others familiar with your academic or work background) to submit letters of reference using the link on the application instructions page.

Indicate their names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses in your on-line application where appropriate. It is your responsibility to confirm that these letters have been sent and failure to obtain these two letters will render your application incomplete and lead to its rejection without review.

Applicants who are chosen for the short list will be required to schedule a telephone interview with faculty on the selection committee.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Cal-Bridge co-Director, Professor Alexander Rudolph.

The Cal-Bridge program is supported by the National Science Foundation under an S-STEM Grant No. DUE-1356133.

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