About Us

Named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, the McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program that supports eligible undergraduates in their aspirations to earn a Ph.D.

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, commonly known as the McNair Scholars Program, provides a pathway to graduate education for undergraduate students across all disciplines.

Each year, UF McNair supports 25 scholars who demonstrate strong academic potential and equips them with the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary for a successful journey through Ph.D. studies. McNair scholars participate in faculty-mentored research and other scholarly activities that enhance their academic experience in preparation for graduate school. Eligible participants are first-generation college students with financial need, as defined by federal guidelines.

UF is among over 200 McNair programs across the United States. This prestigious national program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

We are a small program with a BIG impact.

To learn more about Dr. Ronald E. McNair, visit our About Dr. McNair page. 

What McNair Scholars Do

In the summer, UF McNair Scholars participate in an intensive research internship, develop their writing and researching skills, and attend workshops on the graduate admissions process and other topics related to study at the graduate level.

During the fall and spring semesters, McNair Scholars continue working on research, develop individual success plans, participate in educational and cultural activities, and attend coaching meetings with the McNair staff.

All program activities are designed to equip McNair Scholars with the information and experience they need to successfully enter and complete a research-based doctoral degree.

Program Benefits

Program Benefits

UF McNair Scholars have regular coaching sessions where they work collaboratively with the McNair staff to develop an Individual Success Plan. This plan serves as a roadmap for achieving each scholar's personal and professional goals. McNair Scholars also participate in activities, such as a Research Methods & Writing course, and seminars on library skills, researching graduate programs, writing a statement of purpose, funding for graduate education, acing the grad school interview, and more. 

While McNair is not a scholarship, our program offers comprehensive support to students in preparation for graduate school and other tangible benefits, such as research stipends, travel to professional conferences, and graduate school visits.

Below is a snapshot of what the program has to offer:

  • Research experience with guidance from a faculty mentor
  • Stipends for McNair Summer Research Internship participants
  • Peer support from a cohort of like-minded scholars
  • Mentorship from the McNair staff and Graduate Mentors
  • Seminars to prepare for graduate education
  • Instruction to enhance research and writing skills
  • Opportunities to present at local/regional/national research conferences
  • Guidance throughout the graduate school application process
  • Access to resources to prepare for the GRE Exam 
  • Travel to visit prospective graduate institutions
  • Engagement with McNair alumni


During our 2020 Open House, our Director Dr. Samesha Barnes Ivey presented on the essential information interested students need to know about the McNair program.

Watch the video here