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Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Program Information

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The UW-Madison Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (commonly known as the McNair Scholars program) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Federal TRIO Programs. This program is named after the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair who perished on the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. Dr. McNair was a physicist who achieved great heights, both personally and professionally, and continues to inspire scholars throughout the world. To learn more about Dr. McNair and the McNair Scholars Program, please visit http://grad.wisc.edu/mcnair/.

     The McNair Scholars program supports up to 28 undergraduates from groups that are underrepresented in research-based graduate programs and Ph.D. studies:  

      Students who identify as 

    • A first-generation college student with a low income level (at minimum, two-third of the total number of McNair program participants are first-generation college students from low-income circumstances, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education Federal TRIO programs )

              OR

    • A member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education (Black (non-Hispanic), African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, or Native American Pacific Islander)

             AND

Are seriously interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or research-intensive doctorate degree (Note that the McNair Scholars Program isn┐t available to students interested in pursuing a professional degree such as law, medicine, dentistry, or optometry; an M.F.A. in fine arts or creative writing; or an M.B.A.),

are eligible to apply when they have completed at least 48 credits and have at least 4 semesters (including summer) before they graduate. 

      Students from all majors are eligible to participate in the McNair program.

     If you have questions, or need more information about the program, please e-mail the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.


Application Information

How to Apply

The McNair Application is a two step process:

Step 1 -  Submit:

1.  Completed Application Form
2.  Personal Statement (No more than 1000 words) describing your career goals and your research interest.

Step 2 - After your application is reviewed, you may be invited to submit letters of recommendation

1.  One letter of recommendation from a faculty member (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor)
2.  One letter of recommendation from a personal supporter (such as a family member, close friend, or mentor) who is committed to your goal of completing a Ph.D. degree


Program Website  


Scholarships for this Program

Scholarships Descriptions
The program is named after Dr. Ronald E. McNair who perished on the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. The program supports high-achieving undergraduates who are first-generation college students, low-income, and/or underrepresented minority interested in pursuing a Ph.D. degree. This...
The program is named after Dr. Ronald E. McNair who perished on the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. The program supports high-achieving undergraduates who are first-generation college students, low-income, and/or underrepresented minority interested in pursuing a Ph.D. degree. This program is intended for students who expect to graduate in Fall 2016 or Spring 2017.
<ul> <li>Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States</li> <li>Currently enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at UW-Madison</li> <li>Must have completed 54 credits</li> <li>Undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 2.85</li> <li>Be a first-generation college student from low income circumstances</li> <li>Be a member of a group underrepresented in graduate education (American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander)</li> <li>Commitment to a career path in which a Ph.D. is required</li> <li>Willingness to participate in and complete all McNair sponsored activities/events</li> <li>Be seriously interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or research-intensive doctorate degree (Note that the McNair Scholars Program isn't available to students interested in pursuing a professional degree such as law, medicine, dentistry, or optometry; an M.F.A. in fine arts or creative writing; or an M.B.A.)</li> </ul> Participants are selected on the basis of their commitment to pursue and complete a Ph.D. degree.
Scholarships marked with FAFSA required prior to awarding decisions in the list above require a completed Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for awarding decisions. To learn more about applying for financial aid, please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid website.