McNair Scholars Program


Elijah at Lake Geneva

This program prepares participants for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. Participants are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have demonstrated strong academic potential. Institutions work closely with participants as they complete their undergraduate requirements. Institutions encourage participants to enroll in graduate programs and then track their progress through to the successful completion of advanced degrees. The goal is to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society.

For further information on eligibility, please see the eligibility requirements here.

Students who qualify for McNair must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution. In all projects, at least two-thirds of the participants must be low-income (link is to Federal TRIO Programs 2009 Annual Low Income Levels), potential first-generation college students. The remaining participants may be from groups that are underrepresented in graduate education.
For purposes of the McNair eligibility criteria, the following groups are currently designated in the McNair Program regulations as underrepresented:
    •    African American/Black
    •    Hispanic/Latino
    •    American Indian/Alaskan Native

The Department of Education also includes Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (with an affiliation with the United States, such as residents of American Samoa, Guam, Mariana Islands and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands) in the underrepresented groups designation.

Before you apply, we encourage you to take a look at UNI McNair's Policies and Procedures Manual.

Application Procedures:
To apply for the McNair Scholars Program, the following documents must be submitted to complete an application. The hyperlinks include PDF and/or Word versions depending on the type of form. Also, feel free to stop by to pick up a packet of all required forms:

    1.    McNair Scholars Application (PDF or Word)
    2.    Two Letters of Recommendation (PDF or Word) preferably from current professors
    3.    Personal Statement - attesting to why you want to obtain a doctorate degree
    4.    Resume
    5.    Tax Return or 1040 Substitute (PDF)
    6.    College/University Transcripts
    7.    Authorization for Release of Information (PDF or Word)
    8.    Completed Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), or a copy of Green Card or INS Case Number
    9.    Certification of Eligibility for Federal Assistance in Certain Programs (PDF)

All application documents do not need to be submitted simultaneously, each part may be submitted separately.

*Need a guide of what needs to be handed in? Download our checklist!

Please submit your application to:
McNair Scholars Program
University of Northern Iowa
007 Innovative Teaching and Technology Center (ITTC)
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0388

After Acceptance:
After being accepted into the program, you will receive and have to complete and/or sign the following forms available at the office:

Received a Letter of Acceptance
    2.    Acceptance of Appointment
    3.    McNair Scholars Responsibilities Agreement
    4.    Complete a Basic Skills Self-Assessment
    5.    Fill out a Biography Form - use the link to fill out the form online, or download a paper copy (PDF or Word)
    6.    Like us and follow us on Facebook and Twitter
    7.    Meet with a McNair Academic Advisor