McNair Scholars Program


No. The McNair Scholars Program is a research and graduate school preparatory program that receives support and funding from the U.S. Department of Education. While the program provides some financial assistance, its primary aim is to provide support, mentorship, and resources to students from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in pursuing advanced degrees. 
No. Truman’s Honors Scholar Program is a separate program on campus that all Truman students are eligible for.

The McNair Scholars Program is specifically designed to support low-income, first-generation college students, and students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in graduate education. 

A first-generation college student is defined by the federal government as a student who has not resided with or received primary support from a parent/guardian prior to the age of 18 who has received a BA degree (4-year degree).

Low-income means an individual whose family’s taxable income did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level in the calendar year preceding the year in which the individual participates in McNair. Check the guidelines to determine if you meet the criteria.

The U.S. Department of Education considers the following students underrepresented in graduate education*: Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiians, and/or Native American Pacific Islanders.

Admission into McNair is competitive, but applicants are encouraged to contact the McNair staff to discuss specific circumstances. If you are working on correcting a grade, or feel that your GPA will be above a 3.00 by the end of the fall semester you should apply for the Program.
Generally yes, but please contact the McNair staff to express your interest! On a limited basis seniors can be eligible to apply. 
Yes and no. Students are not eligible to apply to the McNair Scholars Program until their sophomore & junior year. However, McNair offers Pre-McNair, a first-year college transition program for students interested in McNair. Please contact a McNair staff member for more information about Pre-McNair. 
The primary objective of McNair is to foster the achievement of doctoral degrees among students from underrepresented backgrounds and to contribute to the diversification of academia. While we acknowledge that students have diverse career aspirations, we strongly encourage those with a specific interest in pursuing a master’s degree and/or a doctoral degree to consider McNair as a valuable program tailored to their goals. 
The aim of the McNair Scholars Program is to diversify the faculty in U.S. institutions of higher education by reducing the barriers to the PhD for underrepresented individuals in graduate education. The McNair Program recognizes that first-generation/low-income undergraduate students and undergraduate students of color have a number of career possibilities to consider outside of academia. However, individuals who demonstrate particular interest in and motivation for doctoral study and the academic profession are likely to find the program satisfies their short- and long-term goals.
No, only your time and commitment. We cover all required materials, all tuition fees for McNair courses, and can even cover the cost of most research supplies for a Scholar’s research project. Refer to our Benefits page for more information.
Absolutely! As long as you are not being paid for these activities at the same time, you can participate in other research opportunities. In fact, we encourage our Scholars to explore Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) at other institutions and agencies.

About the Application

Applications are typically due in the last weeks of October or the first weeks of November. Check back for a more detailed update! 
No. Your recommendation writer will typically have a week after the deadline to submit their letter. Recommendation letters are due by the Friday after the application deadline. Recommendations should be submitted online. 
Your letter writers should be able to speak to your academic accomplishments, work ethic, and potential for success in McNair and in graduate school. Faculty, instructors, professional staff, and others who have served in a supervisory capacity for you may be individuals you ask to write a letter on your behalf. Letters from family members, roommates, or peers will not be considered.