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McNair Scholar and faculty member using large telescope McNair Scholar and faculty member using large telescope

McNair Scholars Program

Get involved in research

The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Education geared toward helping low-income, first-generation college students and underrepresented students achieve their Ph.D.

The goal of McNair is to increase the number of students pursuing careers in research and to help students coming from these backgrounds become competitive for fully-funded admission offers from graduate programs around the country. The McNair program supports students interested in exploring a career involving research, but does not support students interested in pursuing professional degrees such as medical degrees, health professions degrees, law degrees etc. because the goal for McNair students is the Ph.D.

Graduate schools want McNair Scholars. The McNair Scholars Program prepares you for acceptance into graduate school with full funding. As a McNair Scholar, you’ll engage in original research with a faculty mentor and learn how to present your findings.

Friends. Get ready to make connections and lasting friendships. You’ll meet fellow students at CMU and from other universities who share your interests and will help you work toward your goals.

Funding and travel. You will receive a research stipend, application fee waivers, graduate school prep materials and money for travel opportunities – including attendance at a Graduate School Preparation Camp. Scholars are funded to present at national conferences within their discipline and visit their top-choice school.

The McNair Scholars Program helps you:

  • explore your passion(s).
  • learn how to do research with a faculty mentor.
  • enhance your communication and writing skills.
  • become competitive for graduate school.
  • prepare for your Ph.D.

We get to know our scholars and we support them in many ways. We are here to nurture the growth of strong and confident individuals interested in pursuing higher education. McNair students have already overcome huge obstacles in order to make it to college. We encourage scholars to make healthy choices so they can excel academically and become leaders in their field by achieving an advanced degree.

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. Each year we have an amazing group of students who understand one another, want to see each other succeed and are supported by a special group of faculty mentors intent on their success.

To see if you qualify for this prestigious program, visit our Eligibility and Application Process page.