McNair Scholars Program

The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 187 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the US Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society.

The McNair Scholars Program prepares qualified juniors and seniors for graduate study leading to PhD degrees. McNair Scholars receive comprehensive support to earn undergraduate degrees, complete research projects in their fields of study, and apply to graduate schools. The program’s limited size provides a close-knit community while helping students gain a broad understanding of research and university culture.

Applications to join the 
2021-2022 cohort will open
October 1st, 2020.

Priority Review will begin
November 1st.

For more information or to discuss your application,
contact the Program Staff by email at


  • Tuition support
  • $2800 summer research stipend
  • Classes to enhance research and writing skills
  • Graduate School Preparation Workshops
  • Preparation for the GRE
  • Assistance with admissions essays
  • Individualized advising
  • Travel to conferences
  • Travel to visit prospective schools



Selective and demanding, the program provides opportunities that propel motivated students toward earning doctoral-level degrees. A prospective participant must:

  • be low-income and first-generation (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree) or be from a group under-represented in graduate education.
  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • have a GPA that is competitive for entry into graduate school.
  • have at least one year remaining until your targeted graduation date
  • be open and committed to student-led and faculty-guided development

Recent Program News

2020 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Back in May, our outgoing McNair Scholars had the opportunity to present their research projects at the UO Undergraduate Research Symposium, which was held virtually this year.   Check out the recording of the dozen presentations from our amazing students! We were...

Updating the Website

With the start of a new academic year, we have all sorts of exciting things happening here in the McNair program! As our Scholars have all emerged from their summer research experiences with data and insight about their projects, now we turn our sights towards...

Check out where our Alumni have earned degrees from!