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Marjorie Lee Browne MS to PhD Bridge Program


The Department of Mathematics at the University of Michigan is pleased to offer the Marjorie Lee Browne (MLB) Scholars Program. The program is named for Dr. Marjorie Lee Browne, who in 1949 became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Michigan. The MLB Scholars Program is an enhanced option for the M.S. degree in either Mathematics or Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics that is designed to give students professional knowledge of pure or applied mathematics in order to prepare them for continuing toward a Ph.D.

MLB Scholars are provided the opportunity to receive fellowship funding as well as teaching experience during their time at Michigan. Both the fellowship and teaching provide a stipend, tuition, and health benefits. Financial support will be available for up to four incoming students each academic year.  The MLB Scholars Program is made possible with the financial support from the Rackham Graduate School and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Students that successfully complete the MLB Scholars program are admitted directly to the Mathematics or Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics Ph.D. program with funding for five additional academic years.  


The MLB Scholars program was conceived to impart to the next generation of scholars the foundational skills required to combine a deep knowledge of applied science with solid mathematical, computational, and physical sophistication. Though the original focus of the MLB scholars program was on applied and interdisciplinary mathematics, we have recently expanded the scope to include all aspects of modern mathematics including exposure to research in the major branches of the discipline: Algebra, Analysis, and Geometry/Topology. This new, broader vision for the MLB Scholars program allows students to tap into the full strength and richness of our department and to gain the necessary skills to become leaders in the world-wide mathematics community.  Recently the MLB Scholars program was featured in this Michigan Impact Article, "STEM doctors: building a bridge for diverse PhDs."

The MLB Scholars Program has two primary goals:
  1. To give students opportunities to learn about the full range of subjects in mathematics through course work, seminars, and research
  2. To prepare students to succeed in one of Michigan's Ph.D. programs in the mathematical sciences
Special features of the MLB Scholars Program include the following:
  • Students are paired with specially-selected faculty and graduate student mentors
  • Tutoring is provided to assist students in the successful completion of coursework
  • Students will be engaged in cutting-edge graduate research projects
  • Enrichment workshops on career development, personal finance, technical writing, and many other topics are provided
  • Students receive full funding for two academic years and two summers
As a Marjorie Lee Browne Scholar you will gain:
  • A broad perspective about mathematics and its connections to other disciplines
  • A support network providing mentorship and advice
  • The basic tools needed to compete in top Ph.D. programs


The MLB Scholars Program  is looking for students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Come from an educational, cultural or geographic background that is underrepresented in the field of Mathematics in the United States or at the University of Michigan;
  • Have demonstrated a sustained commitment to diversity in the academic, professional, or civic realm through their work experience, volunteer engagement, or leadership of student or community organizations. By commitment to diversity, we mean efforts in the U.S. to reduce social, educational or economic disparities based on race, ethnicity or gender, or to improve race relations in the U.S.;
  • Have experienced financial hardship as a result of family economic circumstances;
  • Are first-generation U.S. citizens or are the first generation in their families to graduate from a four-year college.

Students who do not meet any of these criteria are encouraged to apply to the standard Math or AIM M.S. programs.

For specific inquiries about eligibility or content of the MLB Scholars Program, please contact Professor Trachette Jackson at

Current and Alumni MLB Scholars