When to Apply

The new application will open by September 25, 2023.

All application materials are due by 11:59 pm on Sunday, February 4, 2024.

Note to Applicants

We are currently only accepting applications from students who qualify as first-generation AND low-income. Students must meet both federal criteria (defined below) to be considered in the 2023-2024 application cycle.


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 the 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 2023 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:

Application Materials

The application will open by September 25, 2023.

A Complete Application Consists Of:

  • Application form with the following documents uploaded into the application:
    • Personal statement
    • Professional resume
    • Documentation of eligibility, as applicable
  • Two recommendations (submitted directly to the program by your references). See "Recommendation Guidelines" for more information.
  • Income verification (dowload within the application and submit in person)

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.
Please note that each recommender must submit the following two documents:
  1. Recommendation Cover Sheet & Waiver Statement (completed and signed by the applicant)
  2. Recommendation Form
These documents can be downloaded inside the McNair application where you will find detailed instructions.