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More About Our Program

​​We think of our work with each scholar as a holistic journey together. We get to know our students really well and we support them in many ways. It goes beyond academics. We are really in the business of growing amazingly confident and strong individuals who know they have the choice to take their education and experiences in life to great levels. Our students have already overcome huge obstacles in order to make it to college. We listen and learn from these experiences and we are intent on moving beyond them. Our focus is really on encouraging our students to make healthy choices in their lives that will enable them to excel on all levels – academically and otherwise.

The magic comes from our relationships with the scholars and relationships among the scholars and with their faculty mentors. The group grows and evolves together and supports one another. In the end, you have an amazing group of students who understand one another and want to see each other succeed. And, you have a special group of students supported by a very special group of faculty intent on their success.

The goal of McNair is to have our scholars carry on in the footsteps of Dr. McNair by achieving their Ph.D. and then giving back. Giving back to society through their work, yes, but also giving back to the community and by mentoring students and helping others to find their way. The Ph.D. opens doors to do some really cool things in life! 

Program Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, you must be either:
  • A student of any ethnicity who is both a first generation college student (neither parent has received a college degree - they can have received an associate's degree and/or some college) and considered low income according to federal guidelines (click here to access Trio income guidelines)
  • A member of an underrepresented group (African American, Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander) in graduate education
In addition, you must be:
  • Seriously interested in preparing for graduate education and attaining a research doctorate
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrolled full-time at Central Michigan University
  • Maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8
  • Able to have completed at least 56 credits before beginning the summer research experience

Application Process

If you want to get your Ph.D. (possibly for free!) and have the opportunity to do cool research, please fill out an interest survey at  We want to meet you, hear your story and​ help you find an educational and career path that will best fit your needs and interests.  We are actively recruiting for our next cohort.  The application deadline this year will be Monday, November 1st by 4:00 p.m.  The first step in applying is filling out an interest survey.