University of Florida undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and meet the criteria below are encouraged to apply to the McNair Scholars Program.

Applicants must meet either (or both) of the following federal eligibility criteria:

  • A first-generation* college student who meets federal income guidelines** based on taxable income; OR
  • A member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education*** as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations

In addition to the above, applicants must:

  • Have a strong interest in graduate education and scholarly research
  • Have completed the sophomore year (earned at least 60 credits) prior to the summer 2022 semester
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Plan to continue immediately to graduate school and persist to earn a PhD

The McNair Scholars Program is not open to students who only plan to earn a Master's or professional degree (e.g. MD, JD, DVM, PharmD, PsyD, DNP, etc.)

*First-Generation College Student

A first-generation college student means: (1) a student neither of whose natural or adoptive parents received a baccalaureate degree; or (2) a student who, prior to the age of 18, regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, and whose supporting parent did not receive a baccalaureate degree.; or (3) an individual who, prior to the age of 18, did not regularly reside with or receive support from a natural or an adoptive parent.

**Low-Income Individual

A low-income individual refers to an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount. Click here for current Federal TRIO Program low-income levels.

***Groups Underrepresented in Graduate Education

The following ethnic and racial groups are considered underrepresented in graduate education: Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native (as defined in section 7306 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)), Native Hawaiians (as defined in section 7207 of the ESEA), and Native American Pacific Islanders (as defined in section 320 of the HEA).

For more information on the laws, regulations, and federal guidelines governing the McNair Scholars Program, visit:

When to Apply

Application Deadline

All application materials are due by 11:59 pm on Sunday, February 5, 2022.

Application Materials

The 2022 application will open on November 15, 2021.

McNair Scholars Program Application 2022-23

McNair Recommendation Form 2022-23

A Complete Application Consists Of:

  • Completed application form with the following documents uploaded into the application:
    • Personal statement
    • Professional resume
    • Documentation of eligibility, as applicable:
      • Copy of your permanent resident card or other documentation of permanent resident status
      • Copy of your 2021-2022 FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Three recommendations (submitted directly by your references)

Personal Statement Guidelines

All applicants must upload a personal statement (2 pages max, 1-inch margins, 11 or 12pt font, double-spaced) addressing the following:

  • Your interest in participating in the UF McNair Scholars Program 
  • Your motivation for pursuing a doctoral degree
  • Graduate program(s)/discipline(s) you are interested in and why
  • Your research interests and prior research experience, if applicable
  • Career goals (e.g. professor, researcher, etc.) and the contributions you wish to make to your field and community with a Ph.D.

*Include your name and UFID in the top right corner of each page.

Recommendation Guidelines

  • Each applicant must have THREE recommendations. 
  • TWO letters should come from faculty members (professors, associate professors, assistant professors, lecturers) who can best assess your academic work, research potential, and your motivation to attend graduate school.
  • The third letter can come from a personal mentor, adviser, employer, or another supporter.
  • If you are a first-year transfer student, you may obtain recommendations from faculty members at your previous institution.