Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of the McNair Scholars Program?
- What types of opportunities does the program provide for participants?
- Who is eligible to apply?
- What if I am a first-generation student, but do not meet low-income guidelines?
- What are the benefits of being a McNair Scholar?
- What is expected of a McNair Scholar?
- Do I have to be a certain major?
- What is the research component?
- What are the roles and responsibilities of the Faculty Research Mentors?
Q: What is the purpose of the McNair Scholars Program?
A: The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Scholars Program, a U.S. Department of Education funded TRIO program, is for first generation, low-income students or students who are from a group underrepresented at the doctoral level (e.g., African-American, Latino-American, or Native American). The Program encourages students to pursue graduate studies by providing opportunities to define goals, to engage in research, and to develop the skills and student/faculty mentor relationships critical to success at the doctoral level. Institutions work closely with McNair Scholar participants as they complete their undergraduate requirements to encourage them to enroll in graduate programs and to track their progress to the successful completion of advanced degrees. Top
- Academic, personal, and career counseling
- Academic tutoring
- Financial aid assistance
- Faculty and staff mentoring
- Research opportunities
- Research presentation experience
- Graduate school preparation
- Developmental workshops and seminars
- Summer internships and stipends
- Professional and academic conferences Top
Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A: The BGSU McNair Scholars Program is designed as a two-year experience; therefore sophomore students (rising juniors) in good academic standing who wish to engage in undergraduate research are strongly encouraged to apply. Junior students (rising seniors) will be considered and are also encouraged to apply, but must not be graduating for at least one more academic year. Additionally, students with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) focus are strongly urged to consider the McNair Scholars Program.
To be eligible, applicants must meet ALL of the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Be a full-time student at BGSU enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours each Fall/Spring semester
- Have achieved at least a sophomore standing by earning at least 45 semester hours
- Have a minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher on a 4.0 scale
- Have a strong interest in earning a Ph.D or Ed.D and a willingness to consider a career in academia as a scholar or researcher
- Be a first generation student, meaning no parent has received a four-year, bachelor's degree, who is economically disadvantaged (as determined by the US Department of Education criteria), OR be a student from a group that is historically underrepresented in graduate programs (African American, Latino/Hispanic, or Native American) Top
Q: What if I am a first-generation student, but do not meet low-income guidelines?
A: If you are a first-generation student, but do meet the low-income guidelines, you have to be a member of an underrepresented population to qualify for the McNair Scholars Program. Top
- Participation in seminars and workshops that assist in understanding the culture of graduate school, the graduate school admission process, and options for financing graduate education
- Help in securing graduate school application fee waivers from over 200 participating institutions
- Opportunities to attend professional conferences for the purposes of presenting research, professional development, and networking
- On-going consultation and support from faculty mentors and staff to help ensure success in making the transition from undergraduate to graduate education
- Inclusion in a national database of McNair Scholars that is submitted to the majority of graduate programs in the U.S.
- Exposure to graduate education through planned visits to regional universities
- The opportunity to earn research stipends up to $2800 for participation in structured research during the summer or between junior and senior year Top
Q: What is expected of a McNair Scholar?
A: Designation as a McNair Scholar is more than an academic honor; it is a responsibility as well. All BGSU McNair Scholars are expected to perform the following duties during their McNair Scholars experience:
- Actively participate in all scheduled McNair Scholars activities
- Meet regularly with your faculty mentor
- Meet all deadlines for submission of required documentation or materials
- Maintain a minimum semester GPA of 2.7 during McNair undergraduate program participation
- Participate in the Summer Research Institute culminating in the completion of a research paper
- Meet with the Assistant Director on a biweekly basis during the academic year
- Present research at a local, regional, or national symposium or conference
- Respond to alumni surveys following graduation
- Complete all needs assessments, individualized education plans, and evaluations as requested by McNair Staff Top
Q: Do I have to be a certain major?
A: No. The McNair Scholars Program is designed for any major. We have students in majors ranging from Biology and Chemistry to Social Work and Political Science. We invite students interested in attaining a PhD or EdD to apply. Students with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) focus area are strongly encouraged to apply. Top
Q: What is the research component?
A: Participating in research under the guidance of a faculty research mentor as an undergraduate is designed to help prepare Scholars for the graduate and doctoral experience. Therefore, the McNair Scholars experience includes the opportunity for Scholars to apply for the eight-week McNair Scholars Summer Research Institute (SRI). Scholars will prepare and submit a research proposal and report, provide periodic progress updates to peers and McNair Scholars staff, and prepare an oral presentation that is open to the BGSU community. Top
Q: What are the roles and responsibilities of the Faculty Research Mentors?
A: Faculty Research Mentors are chosen by the McNair Scholar with assistance from the McNair Scholars staff to assist in selecting and designing appropriate research projects that can be completed during the Summer Research Institute. Faculty Research Mentors supervise all research-related activities and offer support and advice for graduate school opportunities.
Faculty mentors will be asked to review and critique written reports and presentations for the McNair Scholars while also directing them in appropriate background literature, training, and techniques needed to successfully complete the research experience. Faculty research mentors will receive a stipend to help cover costs and supplies. Top