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Northwestern University

Bridge Program

College is different from high school in ways that students often don’t anticipate. The Bridge program is designed to help students identify and hone the skills they’ll need to navigate the transition to college-level work with confidence. Whether you have a course of study in mind or just want to explore, Bridge is an excellent place to start your Northwestern journey. First-generation students, students from lower-income backgrounds, and students who attended high schools with limited or no AP/IB preparation are especially encouraged to apply. The program is free to attend.

Dates

The program is scheduled to run from Saturday, August 6 to Friday, September 9, 2022. 

Overview

Bridge revolves around two half-credit “core” classes that all students take in common: 

  • “Introduction to Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning,” an interdisciplinary class introducing students to the methods and questions typical of STEM and other quantitative fields; and
  • “Introduction to Critical Thinking,” an interdisciplinary class introducing students to the methods and questions typical of the humanities and social sciences. 

Medill students take one additional full-credit class, “Introduction to Journalism,” introducing them to the basics of researching and reporting the news, with an emphasis on the city of Chicago. 

Weinberg students take one additional half-credit core class as well as a half-credit elective. All Weinberg students take “Exploring the Liberal Arts,” in which professors from a dozen different Weinberg departments introduce the work done in their departments and its place in the larger Weinberg curriculum. They also choose from one of the following: 

  • “Problem-solving in Chemistry,” introducing concepts, habits of mind, and study skills essential to success in introductory general chemistry; 
  • “Problem-Solving in Economics,” introducing concepts, habits of mind, and study skills essential to success in introductory economics;
  • “Asking—and Answering—Questions in the Social Sciences and Humanities,” introducing students to the basics of research with an emphasis on the city of Chicago. 

Although Bridge classes vary in terms of content, they each share the goals of fostering community, preparing students for the pace and rigor of the quarter system, and teaching or honing effective study habits and other essential skills that transcend disciplines.

Bridge courses are taken Pass/No Pass. Unless they choose not to participate, Bridge students are automatically enrolled in the Arch Scholars Peer Mentoring program starting in the fall quarter.

In addition to coursework, Bridge students will participate in social hangouts with their classmates led by undergraduate teaching fellows (UTFs). These fellows are former program participants who will give you honest, meaningful advice on how to succeed at Northwestern University. In these conversations you will learn more about the true college experience, your classmates, and yourself. Learn more about this year's amazing UTFs: Amya, Ashley, Ashton, Dakota, Eugene, Fatima, Jasmine, NathalieValeria, Vincent, and Viviana!

Faculty

Bridge instructors are among the most dedicated - and popular - in the university. The 2022 faculty  include (in alphabetical order):

Benefits

  1. There is no charge for tuition - the program is free to attend! 
  2. We will arrange and pay for airfare/train tickets for students who live more than a 3-hour drive (about 150 miles) from campus
  3. Preferred admission into NU Bioscientist, our research preparatory program for first-year students.
  4. Enrollment in the Arch Scholars peer mentoring program for first-year students.
  5. Early move-in to fall housing! 

How do I apply?

Click here to apply! You should be prepared to answer two short essays about why you would like to participate in our programs, and what your future goals might be. You can also indicate your interest in one of our other Arch Scholar programs (such as NU Bioscientist) on the same application. 

Questions?

Contact Rebecca Enright Siroky, Assistant Director for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. 

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