When to Apply

The 2024-2025 application cycle closed on February 4, 2024. Applications will re-open in fall 2024.



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 be first-generation* college students who meet the federal income guidelines** based on taxable income.

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 2024 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.

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

Application Materials

A complete application consists of:

  • Online application <--- Click the link to access
  • The following documents uploaded within the online application:
    • Personal statement
    • Professional resume
    • Documentation of eligibility, as applicable
  • Two recommendations (see "Recommendation Guidelines" below for more information)
  • Income verification (submitted at the time of interview)

You may download the supplemental application materials here:

Personal Statement Guidelines

All applicants must upload a personal statement describing their interest in the McNair Scholars Program (2 pages max, 1-inch margins, 11 or 12pt font, double-spaced). We are particularly interested in your personal/family background, your educational and research experiences, your passion for your intended field of study, and your career objectives. We advise you to carefully draft this statement after thoughtful planning.

Address the following (in any order) in the body of your personal statement:

  • Your motivation for pursuing a doctoral degree in your field of interest
  • Why you believe that becoming a McNair Scholar is necessary to help you successfully apply for and transition into graduate school
  • Your prior research experience, if applicable, and your research interests
  • Your career goals and the contributions you wish to make to your field and community with a Ph.D.

*If you submitted a personal statement to apply for a summer research program, you may use or revise that same statement to apply for McNair.

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


Recommendation Guidelines

  • Each applicant must have TWO recommendations. 
  • One recommendation must come from a faculty member (professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer) who can best assess your academic work, research potential, and your motivation to attend graduate school.
  • The second recommendation can come from another supporter (faculty, staff, program director, personal mentor, adviser, employer, etc.).
  • If you are a transfer student, you may obtain recommendations from faculty/staff at your previous institution.
  • Your references should submit their recommendation materials to
Please note that each recommender must submit BOTH of the documents below:
  1. UF McNair Recommendation Cover Sheet (completed and signed by the applicant)
  2. UF McNair Recommendation Form