Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program

McNair Scholars logo

The McNair Scholars Program

is a federally funded program (one of the TRIO Programs funded by the Department of Education) mandated by Congress. The goal of the program is to increase the number of students in doctoral degree programs who are low-income and first-generation undergraduates, or students who come from groups underrepresented in graduate education. All McNair Scholars obtain a faculty mentor, work on an independent research project, receive free GRE prep (worth $2,000), and are eligible for up to $5,500 for participating. Program participants must be committed to enrolling in graduate programs with an end goal of successfully completing a Ph.D.

Our graduates have gone on to these universities, among others:

Program Services

  • Research opportunities for participants who have completed at least 30 hours of college (Opportunities for research or other scholarly activities at the grantee institution or at graduate centers are designed to provide participants with effective preparation for doctoral study).
  • Exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to other undergraduates.
  • Mentoring (Mentoring programs involving faculty members or students at institutions of higher education, or any combination of faculty members and students).
  • Seminars and other scholarly activities designed to prepare students for doctoral studies
  • Summer internships
  • Travel to research conferences and graduate school visits
  • Tutoring
  • Academic counseling
  • Assistance in obtaining student financial aid
  • Assistance in securing admission and financial aid for enrollment in graduate programs
  • Guidance on teaching methods and strategies via our McNair Teaching Academy
  • Potential to earn over $7,000 in stipends and scholarships


  • The Nuts and Bolts of Graduate School
  • The Faculty Mentor Relationship
  • Public Speaking and Presentations
  • GRE Prep
  • Writing Personal Statements
  • Creating a CV
  • Choosing the right school and program for you
  • How to fund your graduate education


A student is eligible to participate in the McNair Scholars Program if the student meets all the following requirements:

(a) Is a citizen or national of the United States; or

  • Is a permanent resident of the United States; or
  • Is in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and provides evidence from the Immigration and Naturalization Service of his or her intent to become a permanent resident; or
  • Is a permanent resident of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; or 
  • Is a resident of one of the Freely Associated States.

(b) Is currently enrolled in a degree program at The University of Texas at Austin.

(c) Is-

  • A low-income individual who is a first-generation college student; or
  • A member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education (Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Native American Pacific Islanders);

(d) Has not enrolled in ANY post-baccalaureate programs at an institution of higher education.