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McNair Scholars Program

Made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to Saint Louis University, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Program) is a component of the TRIO programs of educational opportunity. The program serves first-generation college students and students from groups underrepresented in graduate education to help them succeed in doctoral studies in preparation for teaching in colleges and universities.

The McNair Scholars Program at SLU offers participating students opportunities to prepare for graduate studies through:

  • Faculty collaboration on research projects
  • Seminars and workshops   
  • National conference presentations
  • Academic support
  • Professional development activities
  • Faculty mentoring
  • Faculty-supervised summer research internships
  • GRE preparation
  • Graduate school visits

SLU’s McNair Scholars Program supports 25 students annually. 

Download an Application

About the McNair Scholars Program

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a TRIO program developed to prepare eligible high-achieving undergraduate students for the rigor of doctoral studies. Students admitted to the program participate in a variety of educational activities, such as academic workshops and professional development seminars, and receive ongoing academic support from the McNair program staff through the completion of their undergraduate studies. Additionally, outstanding McNair sophomores, juniors and seniors are able to compete for faculty-supervised summer research internships while the program. Those who are selected for the internship receive a stipend of up to $2,800. All McNair Scholars receive academic counseling, support with the graduate school application process and assistance with GRE preparation.

Developed to support first-generation college students who demonstrate financial need and are traditionally underrepresented in graduate education, the McNair Scholars Program ultimately aims to increase the number of Ph.D. recipients within these populations.

Eligibility Requirements

We encourage you to apply for the McNair Scholars Program at SLU if you are a member of the first generation in your family to complete a college degree and meet federal income guidelines, or you are member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education (African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Alaskan Native) and meet the following requirements: 

  • Must plan to pursue a doctorate (Ph.D.) immediately after earning an undergraduate degree.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Must have earned at least 30 credit hours and be a full-time student.
  • Must be a first-generation college student with demonstrated financial need as outlined by the U.S. Department of Education OR a member of a group that is underrepresented in graduation education: American Indian, Alaskan Native, Black (Non-Hispanic) or African-American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.
  • Must be able to participate in a summer research internship, if selected.

For more information, contact program director Jamie D. Motley, Ph.D., at