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The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program was established by the federal government to increase the number of underrepresented students in doctoral programs. The program is administered through the College of Science and Mathematics and is funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant.


The McNair Scholars Program is Structured to…

  • support talented, highly motivated students as they strive to achieve their educational goals.
  • introduce scholars to the many opportunities an academic life offers.
  • provide scholars with a foundation for graduate school.
  • create a “pipeline” of talented, dedicated, and prepared future researchers and faculty.

Through the Georgia Southern McNair Scholars Program, scholars receive an overview of higher education, discuss strategies for surviving and thriving in graduate school, and focus on developing important research and writing skills that will help them succeed at the graduate level.

What McNair Scholars Do

  • Engage in research: Following their first year in the program, students participate in the McNair Summer Research Experience during which they conduct research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor. By completing quality research projects, students receive a realistic picture of graduate school scholarship, while learning the skills needed to succeed in doctoral programs.
  • Develop & deliver professional research presentations: McNair Scholars present their research at selected research symposia. In addition, students have the opportunity to travel to professional conferences and to network with faculty and graduate students through membership in professional organizations.
  • Attend graduate school preparation seminars: Scholars attend graduate school seminars and workshops focused on specific topics related to the graduate school application process, including how to identify graduate programs that “fit” their needs and interests, preparing for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and how to navigate graduate school.

What McNair Scholars Receive

  • McNair Stipend: Scholars receive an educational incentive of $2,800, along with room and board during the McNair Summer Research Experience.
  • Academic Development: Individual academic counseling from program staff and a faculty mentor enables students to maximize their undergraduate program and to prepare for graduate study.
  • Mentoring: Each student selects a faculty mentor who provides guidance throughout the undergraduate research process and advice during the graduate school application process. Mentors serve as role models and are an essential resource for their McNair Scholar.
  • Supportive Scholarly, Social, & Cultural Environment: Scholars engage with others through monthly seminars, group meetings, and various cultural events.
  • Funding for Graduate School Campus Visits: Scholars may receive funding to travel to up to two graduate schools to meet with graduate faculty and to learn more about the department and institution in order to make their final graduate school decision.

Who Qualifies for McNair?

Undergraduates who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply to the our program:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Full-time student at the Georgia Southern University (Open to all majors).
  • Fresh, soph or junior with a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.8 or above.
  • I am EITHER (A) a member of a group underrepresented in graduate education (African American/Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian and/or other Pacific Islander (with an affiliation with the United States), (B) a first-generation university student who also has a demonstrated need/income level established by the U.S. Department of Education, or BOTH A & B.
  • Have a strong interest in obtaining a PhD or other graduate degree in a field that will lead to a career in teaching, research, or administration on a college or university campus. (Programs that lead to law degrees (JD), medical degrees (MD), veterinary degrees (DVM), or pharmacy degrees (Pharm D) are not eligible).

Unsure of Whether you Qualify?

If you are unsure about whether you qualify, please contact our office at and we can advise you.

Last updated: 9/17/2021