About the Program

Based on the inspiration and dedication of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, the McNair Scholars Program was established to better prepare first generation college undergraduate students from low-income families for doctoral study. The long-term mission of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase the number of individuals from underrepresented groups to receive doctoral degrees.

The McNair Scholars Program is seeking students who have completed at least their sophomore year and are first-generation and low-income students, or who are from a group underrepresented at the doctoral level (African-American, Latino-American, or Native American).The McNair Scholars Program at St. Thomas is funded through the United States Department of Education and supplemented with generous in-kind gifts and financial support from the university.

In order to best serve the academic and professional needs of the participants, the Program is designed to be highly interactive. The McNair Scholars Program provides each student opportunity to attend the summer academic program designed to increase skills, confidence, and encourage enrollment in graduate school. McNair Scholars receive four (4) credits for successfully completing a course dedicated to the program. In order to assist students financially, each participant conducts research and receives a scholarship and travel funds for professional conferences. Students will also receive advising for undergraduate as well as graduate study. Students' needs will be addressed primarily through mentoring and peer support. Each Scholar is matched with a faculty mentor with similar personal and professional interests; and, receives GRE preparation, tutoring, academic testing and evaluation. McNair Scholars are also involved in research projects within their major, including the preparation of a publication-quality document and presentation of research posters and paper presentations.