The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program

“Neither poverty nor discrimination can defeat a determined individual…”
Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D.

The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, better known as the McNair Scholars Program, prepares high-achieving undergraduate students for graduate/doctoral studies with hands-on research, academic services, and scholarly activities. The program provides motivation, encouragement, and support to 29 students annually from all disciplines. We work closely with participants through their undergraduate requirements; encourage their entrance into graduate programs, and track their progress to successful completion of advanced degrees. Scholars must engage in a summer and academic year programs. Program activities and services include, but are not limited to:

Research and Scholarly Activities

  • Six-week summer academy funded by McNair
  • Summer Research Methodology course (3 credits)
  • Minimum of year-long research, guided by faculty
  • Opportunities for poster & oral presentations
  • Funding for conferences (and related expenses)
  • Stipend of up to $1800 for research

Graduate school preparation

  • GRE prep instruction and fee waivers for exam
  • Workshops and seminars on graduate school applications, admissions process and funding opportunities
  • Fee waivers for graduate applications
  • Eligibility for fellowships and scholarships

Academic Support and Services

  • Counseling, advising and tutorial support
  • Weekly community & monthly individual meetings

Social and Educational Activities

  • Attending University Lecture Series and dissertation defenses as a group
  • Engaging in teaching opportunities
  • Community building activities


Students are eligible to apply for the McNair Scholars program if they:

  • Are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have earned at least 48 credits of college-level coursework.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 grade point average
  • Have a strong interest in graduate education and a keen interest in research
  • Are either:
    • First-generation college student who meets federal income guidelines (based on taxable income)
    • Member of an population (African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American) that is generally underrepresented OR underrepresented in your field of interest


The McNair Scholars Program is a competitive program. Eligible students interesting in participating in the program, must submit an application, eligibility documentation, and three letters of recommendation.

2020 Application Deadline: March 8, 2020

Interested in learning more about the McNair Scholars Program before you apply? Join our list of interested applicants.

Apply to the McNair Scholars Program

Applicants also need to complete the Eligibility Form and Applicant Recommendation Form.

McNair Scholars Program
419 Sims Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
Phone: 315.443.5274
Fax: 315.443.5683

Follow us on Twitter

Christabel Sheldon, McNair Program Director|315.443.5936
Christabel Sheldon