UCF’s Physics Department became a Bridge Site in 2015 with a goal to recruit, mentor and prepare under-represented minority (URM) students for admission to a Physics PhD program of their choice. UCF is the second-largest university in the USA and is located in the 2.3 million-strong metropolitan area of Orlando, Florida.
At UCF, Bridge Program (BP) Fellows not only join the department with their cohort, but are also fully integrated into the graduate program from the time they join the department. Hence, BP Fellows at UCF are formally full-fledged graduate students, with the same financial support and departmental research opportunities as any graduate student, while also having the BP’s specialized mentoring and advising designed to help them achieve professional success both in the classroom and in a research group. Depending on their preparation, BP Fellows take either core graduate courses or a mix of graduate and undergraduate courses. First year BP Fellows benefit from peer mentoring from the more senior BP Fellows. In addition, each BP Fellow is also matched with a faculty mentor for enhanced research experience.
Our BP Fellows participate in professional development workshops offered by the College of Graduate Studies. BP Fellows have the option to apply to the Physics PhD program at UCF or other institution of their choice. To apply to the UCF Physics PhD program by the Fall priority deadline of January 15th*, click here.
*Note: The priority application deadline if applying to the Planetary Sciences Track is December 1st.
We offer a veritable cornucopia of research topics in both experimental and theoretical physics to choose from (e.g. Condensed Matter, Atomic/Molecular/Optical Physics, Biological Physics, Planetary Science, Quantum Information, Physics Education). Further research opportunities are offered by our affiliated faculty from related units, such as the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL), the Nanoscience Technology Center, the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC), Florida Solar Energy Center and the Florida Space Institute (FSI).
Additional information about our Physics faculty and their research areas can be found here. We encourage prospective Bridge Fellows to contact faculty to discuss their research interest as they develop their application.
Coursework and Advising
A Physics MS student is required to take a minimum 30 credit hours graduate level courses – a combination of core courses, electives, thesis, directed research and/or independent study. On arrival, the BP Fellow will take a diagnostic test (equivalent to a Physics GRE), following which the graduate program director will advise students individually to identify the courses they should take. During their first semester, a physics faculty member will hold weekly GRE preparation sessions for BP Fellows to prepare them for this particular exam which is a requirement for admission to most physics PhD programs in the country. This Summer and Fall 2021, the UCF Physics Bridge Program partnered with UCF Continuing Education to sponsor interested MS Bridge Fellows and provide GRE Test preparation sessions at a discounted rate. Additional information about the GRE Test preparation sessions can be found here. During their first year in the program, BP Fellows have the option of applying to the PhD program at UCF or seeking admission elsewhere, through the normal process. Additional information about the Physics MS program can be found here.
Meet the UCF Bridge Program Team
Associate Professor & Undergraduate Program Associate Director
Senior Lecturer / Undergraduate Program Director
Professor / Graduate Program Director
Talat S Rahman
Pegasus and Distinguished Professor
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Meet the UCF Bridge Program Team
Ahlam Al-RawiAssociate Lecturer
Luca ArgentiAssociate Professor
Jacquelyn ChiniAssociate Professor & Undergraduate Program Associate Director
Michael ChiniAssociate Professor
Peter DelfyettPegasus Professor
Adrienne DoveAssociate Professor
Elena FlitsiyanSenior Lecturer / Undergraduate Program Director
Abdelkader KaraProfessor / Graduate Program Director
Talat S RahmanPegasus and Distinguished Professor
Esperanza SotoGraduate Admissions Coordinator
Ready to apply?
How to Apply: Consideration for the UCF Physics Masters to PhD Bridge Program begins with an application to the American Physical Society (APS) Bridge Program, which opens on December 15th and has a deadline of March 15th (click here for informational flyer).
For eligibility requirements and to apply, click here.
Note: Applicants who believe they are qualified to begin PhD-level work right away are encouraged to apply directly to the Physics PhD program by the January 15th priority deadline (for those seeking graduate assistantship or fellowship opportunities). The priority application deadline is December 1st if applying to the Planetary Sciences Track. Click here for information about graduate admissions.
Questions about the Physics graduate program and application process may be directed to Esperanza Soto, Graduate Admissions Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (407) 823-5146.
UCF Physics Bridge Program Produces 2nd and 3rd PhD Graduates – Congratulations to Dr. Fernand Torres-Davila and Dr. Brian Zamarripa Roman!
Congratulations to all 2023 Bridge Program PhD Graduates: Dr. Tyrone Thames, Dr. Keanna Jardine, Dr. Olga Harrington, and Dr. Zackary Parsons!
Congratulations Taylor Douglas! – 1st place award winner in the NanoBiotechnology poster competition at the NanoFlorida Conference at UCF
Click here to see pictures of previous Bridge Program Conferences.
Way to go! Our Bridge Fellows were featured in the news:
- Rebecca Reddin, Stephanie Lough, and Dave Austin
- Camille Coffie
- Fernand Torres-Davila
- Keanna Jardine
- Christopher Sims
- Brian Zamarripa Roman
Click here to read the Physics Today – GradSchoolShopper Magazine article: “Bridging Students from Physics Bachelor’s to PhD”, which features some of our Bridge Program students and a Q&A with the Bridge Program Team.
Click on the links below for Nature.com Articles, Podcasts, and more: