SBS Academic Fellows Program

AFP fellows during the alternative spring break program in Washington DC

The Academic Fellows Program (AFP) is designed to provide specialized opportunities and programs for first generation, ALANA, and other historically underrepresented undergraduate students in the UMass College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.  The program expresses our College's commitment to diversity and to providing a supportive community so that students can better develop their academic and leadership potential.

AFP offers you a range of programs to better meet your needs and available only to our Fellows.  Programs include:

  • Summer Bridges College Orientation Program (for incoming first years)
  • Laptop & Graphing Calculator Program (free for selected students)
  • Faculty Mentoring
  • Weekly Newsletter
  • Alternative Spring Break in DC
  • Research Readiness Workshops
  • Networking Events with Alumnae & Students
  • Career & Professional Development
  • Finals Study Spaces & Support
  • ...and more!

What do I have to do to be a Member of AFP?

Our programs for AFP members only.  Membership is by invitation only (you will receive an invitational email at the beginning of each year).  There are no GPA minimums to participate and no need to formally apply.  Level of commitment is up to you.  Events are spread out throughout the Academic Year and summer. Fellows participate in programs of their own choosing and to the extent they are able.  We have 1-2 big Membership Meetings per semester that we everyone will attend, and everyone gets our weekly newsletter. 

Alternative Spring Break in DC

The University of Massachusetts Academic Fellows Program (AFP) embarked on its inaugural Alternative Spring Break trip to Washington, DC from March 9-13, taking 19 AFP participants to the nation’s capital. The AFP brings specialized opportunities and programs for first generation and ALANA undergraduate students in the UMass College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. Read about the trip here.

Program Commitment

Events are spread out throughout the Academic Year and summer. Fellows participate in programs of their own choosing and to the extent they are able.

There are three scheduled AFP General Membership meetings plus other AFP-focused events each semester.  Fellows are invited to lead and implement programming.  They also have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion at the end of each semester for their work and by attending at least six SBS Academic Fellows endorsed events (certificate completion is not necessary to be part of the program).  

Interested or would like more information? Please contact Angélica Maria Bernal Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Academic Fellows Program.

Angélica Bernal (email)
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Academic Fellows Program