McNair Scholars

Program Description


The Ronald E. McNair Program is a Ph.D. preparatory program, preparing eligible first-generation, low-income, and/or minority undergraduate students for doctoral study through involvement in research and scholarly activities. The purpose of the McNair Program is to assist in the academic and professional development of undergraduates whose goals are to teach and research at the college level. In order to help students achieve these goals, the program sponsors and supports undergraduate experiences that lay the foundation for a successful graduate school experience. By fostering mentoring relationships, promoting undergraduate research, assisting with GRE preparation, and encouraging students to attend and present at conferences, we aim to produce highly competitive graduate school applicants who have the skills and experiences necessary to succeed in their programs.

Benefits for McNair Scholars

The McNair Scholars Program offers a challenging and supporting environment that is conducive to learning and personal / professional development. Click here to see the timeline for a typical McNair Scholar experience.

As a McNair Scholar, you will have access to the following benefits:

  • Advising:
    • The academic and personal support of the UW McNair Staff
    • Assistance in finding, applying, and gaining admission to graduate school programs
    • Assistance in locating and applying to funding for graduate study through fellowships and grants
    • Faculty, graduate student, and peer mentoring
    • Access to tutoring and the OMAD Instructional Center
  • Seminars and Workshops:
    • Seminar courses are offered every quarter to provide structured support in graduate school exploration and preparation
    • Structured preparatory program to support students who need to take the GRE General Exam
    • Workshops on financial aid and financial planning, scholarships and fellowships and the culture of graduate school
  • Research Support:
    • A research stipend to complete an original research project
    • Assistance finding a faculty research mentor
    • Training in research proposal writing
    • Opportunities to participate in research conferences, such as the UW McNair Scholars Research Conference
    • Publication of original research in the UW McNair Scholars Journal
    • Travel funding to present / attend research and professional conferences and visit graduate schools

Staff Responsibilities

We are committed to sponsoring and supporting academic enrichment activities and events that will prepare you to attend graduate school and earn a doctoral degree.

Our responsibilities include:

  • Regularly facilitating and improving on workshops designed to strengthen your academic skills and graduate school applications
  • Disseminating up-to-date information about new research opportunities, internships, scholarships, programs, and conferences
  • Providing individual advising and counseling for McNair Scholars
  • Facilitating and supporting the faculty mentor / student relationship
  • Assisting McNair Scholars in finding sources of financial aid and funding
  • Consistently providing valuable educational, cultural, and social experiences for McNair Scholars

McNair Scholar Responsibilities

As a McNair Scholar, you will be expected to:

  • Attend all scheduled workshops and events
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 3.0
  • Meet regularly with your McNair Graduate Student Advisor
  • Participate in all required activities
  • Meet regularly with your faculty mentor
  • Complete at least one research project
  • Present your research, either at our Annual Spring Research Conference, at another McNair conference in the country, or at a professional conference in your discipline
  • Publish your research paper, either in our annual UW McNair Scholars Journal or in a peer-reviewed journal in your discipline
  • Notify McNair staff of all graduate school acceptances, rejections, and financial packages
  • Maintain contact with McNair staff after you graduate from the UW