What is the BRIDGE Program?

Hosted by the Vergnano Institute of Inclusion, the BRIDGE program is a five-week immersive excellence study in essential areas such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Programming. This summer program is thoughtfully designed to prepare students from underrepresented groups for the demanding engineering curriculum at UCONN.  

Beyond rigorous academic preparation, BRIDGE encompasses a comprehensive orientation to various engineering career paths and a thorough introduction to the University of Connecticut. A key component of this immersive experience is the opportunity for  students to live in UConn’s residential halls, providing a true taste of campus life. This residential aspect not only enhances the learning experience but also helps students become acclimated to the university environment, fostering a sense of community and belonging. The combination of academic rigor, professional orientation, and residential living ensures that students are well-prepared for a successful and enriching college experience. 

Who is Eligible?

The BRIDGE Program is designed for students who have applied to or have been admitted into the College of Engineering at the University of Connecticut. It specifically welcomes members from groups traditionally underrepresented in the nation’s engineering sector.  

This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • First generation students (first in your family to go to college)  
  • Students from the 36 schools part of Connecticut Alliance Districts, or similar programs or designations in other states or countries 
  • Students from Technical High Schools 
  • Students who participated in a TRiO program (Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Talent Search, Gear Up)  
  • Students who are or think they may be Neurodiverse  
  • Students who have experienced life challenges or overcome adversity 
  • Students whose identit(ies) add to the diversity and inclusivity of the College of Engineering 

Our aim is to provide a supportive and inclusive environment that nurtures diverse talents and perspectives in engineering. Students accepted to any of the UCONN campuses are eligible. 

A World of Opportunities

Participation and completion of the BRIDGE program opens doors to a multitude of exciting opportunities, equipping you with valuable skills and connections to thrive in your endeavors. Here’s a glimpse of what awaits you: 

Scholarship Opportunities

Students are eligible for a range of scholarships after successfully completing the BRIDGE program. These awards recognize not only academic achievements, but positive attitude, dedication, and the support you extend to your peers throughout the program. 


Internship Opportunities

Students are eligible for a range of internship positions after successfully completing the BRIDGE program. These opportunities with top industries provide hands-on experiences and valuable insights in the field.

Networking Opprotunities

Forge meaningful connections with BRIDGE Alumni and Industry Professionals, expanding your circle and opening doors to collaboration.


Public Speaking

Hone your ability to communicate effectively, gain the confidence to address and present your ideas with clarity and impact.


Career Advancement Resources

Students have access to a wealth of resources, workshops, career development tools designed to propel your field of study and career forward.


Leadership Skills

Cultivate leadership skills essential for success in today’s dynamic world.

Program Benefits

Instruction on college level chemistry, math, and computer science

Study skills workshops and structured group study sessions

Exposure to the College of Engineering facilities and laboratories

University housing, weekly meals (excluding weekends), tuition, and books

Visits to engineering companies and tours of industry

Engineering career seminars presented by faculty / professional engineers

Social, community, recreational, and cultural activities

Hours of tutoring from BRIDGE alumni

Group Study Sessions

Students will attend group study sessions in the evenings. These sessions are designed to give students time to work with classmates and our tutors on their homework problems, and to practice potential test and exam questions. Students will strengthen group problem solving skills as they learn to work as part of a team.

Industry Tours

As participants in the BRIDGE program, students will travel off campus to a variety of engineering companies throughout the state of Connecticut. In past years, corporate visits have included Covidien, Electric Boat, Alston Power, Pratt and Whitney, Olin, Unilever, Sikorsky, Timken, CT Department of Transportation, Cigna, and Google, just to name a few. Students will explore the world of work by actually seeing engineers apply their academics to the real world. During the visits students will see peer mentors and role models in the field of engineering while exploring the variety of career opportunities within engineering. These are professional visits so students will be required to wear suits/business attire. 

General Information

Once we have recieved the BRIDGE registration, parental consent, and health forms, you will be mailed a confirmation letter and the following informaiton: 

  • BRIDGE Orientation and Check-in Day
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Checklist of Items to Bring

Meals/Spending Money

All program Participants will eat in assigned cafes or dining halls Monday through Firday for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is served by us. Dining hours are as follows: 

  • Breakfast: 7AM – 9AM
  • Lunch: 11AM – 1PM
  • Dinner: 5PM – 7PM 

Students will be responsible for purchasing weekend meals. Additional spending money will be given as HuskyBucks that can be used for food around campus. Laundry facilities are provided by the university free of charge.


The Vergnano Institute for Inclusion will provide textbooks for summer use, free of charge. Students will need notebooks, loose leaf paper, pens, pencils, and calculators/ Students will have access to the Engineering Computer Learning Center, so laptops are not required for the program. Laptops may be rough to the dorms, however, for personal use, if desired.

Conference Sessions

All participants will have at least one schdueled meeting with the Director during the cours of the BRIDGE program to discuss academic performance and any other concerns. These sessions are schduled during free time periods.

Undergraduate Orientation

ALL STUDENTS WHO CONFIRM PARTICIPATION FOR THE SUMMER BRIDGE PROGRAM MUST ATTEND A UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT UNDERGRADUATE ORIENTATION SESSION.  Sessions are held from late May to early July. During orientation, new students have the chance to become familiar with the UConn campus. ID photos and placement tests for mathematics and English are given during this time. You will receive information regarding orientation from the Office of Orientation Services one you have paid your room deposit/acceptance fee. Please notify the Vergnano Institute of Inclusion once you have received the confirmation of your orientation date.

Residential Life/Housing

BRIDGE participants will be housed in an on-campus residence hall and will be assigned a roommate. Each resident will pay a $100.00 room key deposit which will be refunded upon receipt of returned assigned keys. STUDENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED OVERNIGHT GUESTS during the program. The University reserves the right for authorized representatives of the Division of Student Affairs and Services, Facilities Management, and Fire Department to enter students’ rooms to determine occupancy and to inspect rooms for healthy and safety reasons. You and your roommate share joint responsibility for what is in your room. Each floor is assigned a Residential Assistant (RA) who is responsible for needs of the residents.

Mandatory Health Insurance

All students are required to have some form of health insurance that provides coverage for accidents and/or illness. Students not covered by a personal or parental insurance policy are advised to purchase Supplemental Student Health Insurance until university insurance plan takes affect at the start of the first semester. Supplement insurance is available by contacting the Bailey Agency at (203) 446-8255.