BRIDGE Program

Building Refugee and Immigrant Degrees for Graduate Education Program

Since the early 1990s, we have addressed the need for the recruitment and preparation of newcomer social workers through the School’s Refugee & Immigrant Training Program–an initiative that helped establish a solid track record of recruiting members of newcomer groups to enter the social work field. Today, we are proud to serve as home to the Building Refugee and Immigrant Degrees for Graduate Education (BRIDGE) program.

The BRIDGE program aims to increase access to graduate social work education for refugees and immigrants as well as critical cultural competency needs within the human services workforce. This program will increase the number of professionally trained social workers from underserved culturally- and linguistically-diverse newcomer populations through a unique structure of support that provides a transitional bridge to graduate academic communities.

Please Note:

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are not currently accepting new applicants to the BRIDGE Program. The BRIDGE Program continues to support our current BRIDGE/MSW students and graduates. For further information, please email Claudio Martinez at, and please continue to check in here for updates.

Program Structure

Our program is structured in four phases.

Orientation (Pre-Admission)

A free, nine session pre-admission course takes place from October to December. This course introduces participants to the culture and expectations of graduate social work education as well as provides assistance and support for those who go on to apply for admission to an MSW program.

Preparation (Pre-Matriculation)

Preparation support eases the transition into graduate social work education for those individuals accepted into the BUSSW MSW program. Additional activities include social events and workshops on topics including—but not limited to—speed reading and writing graduate-level papers.

Education Program (Master of Social Work)

While there is no guaranteed financial assistance available in the BRIDGE program at the present time, our ultimate goal is to secure ongoing financial support for all BRIDGE participants who enroll as BUSSW students. Over the past two years, all BRIDGE students enrolled at BUSSW have received some financial assistance. Those enrolled will continue to receive support and mentoring from the BRIDGE coordinators as well as from faculty and other student groups.

Career Development (Post-Graduation)

BRIDGE graduates have access to Boston University’s career resources. Additionally, we assist graduating students with career planning and the employment search process, maintain a social and support network for newcomer alumni, and recruit former BRIDGE participants to provide voluntary assistance with future students in the program.

Questions about the BRIDGE program? Contact BRIDGE

Claudio Martinez
BRIDGE Co-Director
(617) 358-5463

Dawn Belkin Martinez
BRIDGE Co-Director

Make a Gift to BRIDGE

Support graduate social work education for refugees and immigrants by giving to BRIDGE today.

Give Now