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Graduate Bridge Program Mechanism

Section G.5 of the Graduate School Handbook

The GBP provides a direct admission to the Graduate School for a maximum of one complete academic year (e.g., summer term, autumn semester, and spring semester, enrolled consecutively, but the sequence may vary given specific program and/or student needs). Conditions of acceptance into the GBP include: 

Letters. Graduate programs (i.e., Graduate Studies Chair, Department Chair, or Associate Dean of Graduate Studies) should provide the Graduate School with copies of two letters: (1) a letter petitioning for the student’s participation in the GBP and intent to accept the student if the student maintains a GPA of 3.0 in the GBP and meets all other requirements for the program, and (2) a letter of commitment to mentor the student, which requires signatures from the program advisor and the Graduate Studies Committee Chair. A template letter of commitment can be found on the Graduate School website.

ApplicationStudents do not typically apply for admission into the GBP. Instead, programs opt into the GBP when they have a student identified to enroll. Prior to acceptance into the GBP, a Graduate Faculty Member of a graduate program identifies a student and agrees to mentor the student such that a letter of commitment is submitted at the time of application and prior to acceptance. This mentor would be expected to meet with the student and guide course load and selection and make recommendations for tutoring if desired. A template letter of commitment can be found on the Graduate School website. The Letter of Commitment submitted with the application will require a signature of the program advisor and the Graduate Studies Committee Chair and must be uploaded with the application. 

Enrollment. GBP students enroll into the Graduate School. The Graduate School recommends that these students enroll in summer term (when schedules permit) for a limited S/U course selection, then enroll for autumn for 3-4 credits of didactic course load (must be minimum of 4 credits for participation in the GBP) and remaining S/U credits, then graduate spring semester for a fuller course load, as deemed appropriate. The Graduate School does not generally recommend that GBP students enroll in a full didactic course load (i.e., 12+ graduate credit hours) in any semester or summer term. This approach will help the student adapt to the rigors of graduate education at Ohio State and their potential program with the best opportunity to achieve course grades that would permit success in a graduate program with the goal of achieving the necessary graduate GPA of 3.0 for continuation in the graduate program.

CompletionGraduate programs are responsible for determining if, and when, a student has met all requirements necessary for GBP completion (e.g., GPA, terms of the mentorship letter, subject-matter proficiency, etc.). Students who achieve a 3.0 minimum GPA after one, two, or three semesters/terms would subsequently be enrolled as a regular graduate student in the mentoring graduate program to which they were originally accepted, or apply to other graduate programs at the end of the term. Graduate programs should notify the Graduate School of the student’s need to transition to regular admission. Alternatively, students may, by the end of the final GBP semester or term, file a Completion of Graduate Program form on GRADFORMS, signed by the Graduate Studies Committee Chair, to receive the Bridge Certificate.

Students enrolled in the GBP that want to transfer to another graduate program and continue in the GBP, must have a letter on file at the Graduate School signed by the new advisor and Graduate Studies Committee Chair to replace their application letter. 

Students that have completed at least two terms of the GBP, have a 3.0 GPA in the GBP, completed a minimum of 12 credit hours, and are in good standing with the Graduate School, would be eligible to receive a Graduate Bridge Certificate designation on their transcript. For students that receive the Bridge Certificate, up to ½ or a minimum of 6 credit hours, could be applied to their continuation in their graduate program. 

For students that do not meet the criteria for the Bridge Certificate or elect to not receive the Bridge Certificate, then credits that meet the requirements of the graduate program in which they enroll would be applied to their graduate program. Students in the GBP with a graduate GPA less than 3.0 may be conditionally accepted into the graduate program, but this is not guaranteed by the GBP commitment.