McNair Scholars Resources

McNair Scholars Summer 2012

University of Minnesota Summer 2012 McNair Scholars (photo by: Patrick O'Leary)


Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program Resources

(for Prospective University of Minnesota Graduate Students)


Named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, one of the astronauts who perished with the Challenger mission, this national TRIO program assists eligible first-generation undergraduate students from low-income families to prepare for and to enter graduate programs leading to the Ph.D.  Participants include academically talented low-income, first-generation students and students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in graduate programs.


Get Connected!  (

 McNair Scholars are encouraged to start their graduate school process by viewing the "Preparing for Graduate School" website. We encourage McNair Scholar to  complete the Graduate School's "Request for Information Form" so they can receive important information about Graduate Program(s) and the application process.  This is not a listserv, but rather just a helpful resource for those interested in studying at the University. You'll get a few emails until you decide to become an  applicant.   

Be sure to check the McNair box under "Activities":  [  ] Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program


Recruitment Efforts 

Recruiting McNair Scholars Brochure: Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Student Recruitment (PDF file).

We encourage McNair Scholars to contact the Office for Diversity in Graduate Education at early in their graduate studies process in order to advise them with their graduate school pursuits and introduce them to the appropriate program(s).  We offer application fee grants to qualifying McNair Scholars (see below).  We are pleased to report that approximately 140 McNair Scholars applied to the Graduate School for Fall 2016; the states with the largest number of McNair Scholars applicants were: Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, Illinois, Texas and Georgia.

The University of Minnesota has an undergraduate McNair Scholars Program;  these scholars are required to meet with ODGE staff one-on-one during their McNair experience

Recent Article:  Dr. Evelyn Davis-Venn: From McNair Scholar to U Professor (October, 2015)

Summer Visitation Program 

During the Summer, the Office for Diversity in Graduate Education in collaboration with the Graduate School invites McNair Programs to our Graduate School Visitation Program held once a month (June, July, and Aug)  on the Twin Cities campus.  The day consists of a presentation about the process of applying for admission to graduate programs.  The students meet with faculty and staff to discuss their research, and receive a staff-led tour of the campus.  Our Summer McNair Visitation Program is highly successful; over 200 McNair Scholars from 17 McNair Scholars programs attended.   For more information about the Summer Visitation Program Agenda and planning your trip please click here.      

McNair Scholar Visitation Program in the News (June 21, 2016)


National McNair Conferences

We recruit nationally at National McNair Scholar Symposiums to attract McNair Scholars.  We will be attending the following National Conference:

Please refer to our recruitment schedule to see a complete list of the events we attend.   


Helpful Additional Resources for Prospective McNair Scholars


McNair Scholar/DOVE Fellowship

The Graduate School of the University of Minnesota has designated at least two of its  Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowships to be awarded to McNair Scholars.  The award includes a stipend, tuition at regular graduate school rates (up to 14 credits per semester), and subsidized health insurance for one academic year.  For further information please refer to the DOVE Fellowships Website.


McNair Scholar Ambassadors

The McNair Scholar Ambassadors Program enables prospective McNair Scholars to connect with previous McNairs Scholars alumni, whom are also current or former graduate students of the University of Minnesota.  The Ambassadors invite prospective McNair Scholars to ask about their campus experiences, graduate programs, and the Twin Cities communities.  We would be glad to send you the University of Minnesota McNair Scholar Ambassadors Flyer.  For more information, please contact Derek Maness at


McNair Alumni in Graduate Education at the University

As a TRiO Ronald E. McNair Scholar you are part of a large and supportive national network. The University of Minnesota has hosted a McNair program since 1991 and is one of the longest running programs in the country. We have over 400 alumni and a thriving University McNair community. We strongly encourage you to stop by and visit the McNair team. The team is happy to serve as one of the many resources and support networks you have available as you get acclimated to campus and complete your post baccalaureate degree(s). They are located in 40 Education Sciences building  (East Bank Campus). They have a comprehensive website that lists key resources and an active Facebook page announcing McNair news and events. For more information please contact Anthony Albecker, Director of the McNair Scholars Program at or 612-625-0772.


Retention Program:  Community of Scholars Program (COSP) 

The Community of Scholars Program works towards creating an institutional environment that supports the academic and professional success of graduate students who have historically been under-represented in academia. COSP assists students (US citizens and permanent residents) to more fully participate in the University; develop supportive relationships with advisors and mentors; build a sense of community through academic seminars and professional development workshops; and connect students to the Twin Cities community through research, teaching and civic engagement opportunities.  For further information please refer to the COSP Website.


Application Fee Grant (request/submit deadline:  Thursday, December 15, 2016 (noon).    We are no longer accepting application fee request for Fall 2017.

The deadline for Fall 2017 applicants to request and submit an application to receive the grant is December 15; be aware that some programs may have an earlier deadline.  For students with earlier deadlines than December 15,  we would not pay for application fees after the Program deadline.  If your deadline is after December 15 and you need more time, students can opt to pay and submit their own application.   Please note that the application fee grants are a cost to the Office of Graduate Admissions As funds are limited, application fee grants are not available after the deadline date.

McNair Scholar Request for Application Fee Grant On-line Form (Fall 2018) 

Students need to be in contact with our Office at least two weeks before their Program deadline to determine eligibility.  We want to help with the application process and introduce them to their Program(s).

Eligibility Highlights:

  • Be a McNair Scholar
  • Have a preferred GPA of 3.2 or above
  • Must  be entering graduate school for the first time or have not received a post bachelor degree (we want to give everyone an opportunity).
  • Request and submit your on-line Graduate School application by December 15 (see above)
  • Your program must be administered by the Graduate School (please see list of University of Minnesota Graduate School programs)
  • For those applying to the Ph.D. Program in Psychology:  due to the high volume of application fee request please refer to the Psychology McNair Webpage for information on how to obtain a possible departmental application fee grants. 

The Office for Diversity of Graduate Education in collaboration with the Office for Graduate Admissions at the University of Minnesota will offer application fee grants to scholars who are applying to the Graduate School for Fall 2017.   The fee grants are paid by the Office for Graduate Admissions.   Since this fund targets students (U.S. Citizens and permanent residents) with financial hardships, some students may prefer to pay the application fee.  To qualify, students must meet the eligibility requirements mentioned above and complete the "Request for Application Fee Grant On-line Form (Fall 2017)" at least two weeks before your Program deadline.   We will notify you of your eligibility, put you on our roster and inform the graduate program(s) that you are interested in applying.


1.  Complete the following request for information form (please provide this information asap or at least two weeks before your Program deadline):

McNair Scholar Request for Application Fee Grant On-line Form 

 2.   The on-line application is available at: Please fill out the entire graduate school application.  Once your application is completed, contact Derek Maness to let him know it is ready to submit (he will submit your application). You will need to email your USER NAME and PASSWORD to Derek Maness ( so that your application fee can be paid using a U of M credit card.  Please note that we are unable to reimburse application fee grants to students who choose to apply online with their own credit card. 

3.    Upload your transcript(s) to the online application to complete your application.  Official transcripts, however, will be needed if you are admitted.   See the on-line application web-site for complete details.

4.    Email (Pdf file) a letter to from your Program McNair Director indicating that you participated in a McNair Scholar Program.

Most graduate programs require that separate program application materials be sent to them directly in addition to the Graduate School application.  If you have not already done so, you should contact your major program or visit their web-site for information about financial aid and any other additional program application materials you may be required to submit: letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, GRE scores, etc.  Programs that require such materials will not consider the Graduate School application for admission until all materials are received. 

Only one application fee grant ($75) will be allowed per student to apply to a University of Minnesota graduate school program.  Students may opt to apply to more than one program, however, only one application fee may be paid by our Office. 

The Graduate School does not waive application fees for professional programs that are not administered by the Graduate School such as the College of Veterinary Medicine, Carlson School’s MBA program, Medical School, Law School, M.Ed. Programs, Occupational Therapy and the School of Public Health.  For McNair Scholars interested in the School of Public Health please contact Crystal Esparza at, SOPHAS ( has their own fee waiver process.

If you have questions, please contact Derek Maness at 612.625-3524 or



1)  Students with a graduate or professional degree are not eligible for the application fee grant (such as M.A., M.S., M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.). Students need to be entering graduate school for the first time. We do, however, wish to assist you with your questions.

2)  Psychology Ph.D. McNair Prospective Students:  due to the high volumn of application fee request please refer to the Psychology McNair Webpage for information on how to obtain a possible departmental application fee grants.