Bridge Program Curriculum and Mentoring


Bridge Fellows will take a skills assessment in the summer before matriculating to help each student’s faculty mentor develop an individualized course plan.

Coursework consists of two classroom courses per semester (2 CUs), primarily from existing 5000-level-and-above Statistics and Data Science courses, plus an independent study (1 CU). As part of the independent study, Bridge Fellows may participate in a Wharton Directed Reading Program. Bridge Fellows may also take graduate courses offered by other departments with the approval of their faculty mentor.


Each Bridge Fellow will be assigned a faculty mentor as well as a PhD mentor. The two mentors will work collaboratively to advise the Fellow on matters relating to study plan, coursework, research, doctoral program applications, and career planning. The Fellow will also have access to Penn’s Career Services, which provides additional support and guidance on doctoral program applications.


Sample Program Outline

Summer Before Program

  • Select faculty mentor
  • Complete skills assessment
  • Faculty mentor will determine a customized course plan

Year 1

  • Complete 4 CU’s of 5000-level-and-above classroom courses
  • Complete 2 independent study courses
  • Develop topic for master’s thesis.
  • Faculty advisors will help students find a paid summer research position

 Year 2

  • Complete 2 CU’s of 5000-level-and-above classroom courses
  • Complete 1 independent study courses
  • Complete master’s thesis (3 CU’s)
  • Complete final exam for degree

Student Involvement in the Department

In addition to formal coursework, Bridge Fellows will have an opportunity to participate in our professional-social research environment by attending departmental activities, such as seminars or PhD student presentations, and interacting with PhD students, faculty, and postdocs in Statistics and Data Science and across other departments at Wharton.

As Statistics and Data Science is an interdisciplinary field with many cross-campus connections, Bridge Fellows will have the opportunity to interact with Penn’s graduate student community, by attending seminars in the Fellow’s specific area of research interest. Prospective Fellows may want to check out the following events:

Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) events

Penn Research and Machine Learning (PRiML) seminars

Penn Data Driven Discovery Initiative

Applied Mathematics and Computational Science seminars

The Penn/Temple Probability seminars

Department of Statistics and Data Science

The Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania
Academic Research Building
265 South 37th Street, 3rd & 4th Floors
Philadelphia, PA 19104-1686

Phone: (215) 898-8222