The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. As such, it participants must meet certain eligibility requirements.
Requirement Category #1
Must be either first-generation AND low-income (2/3 of participants each year) OR a member of an ethnic or racial minority group underrepresented in graduate school including African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans (or native Alaskans, Hawaiians or American Pacific Islanders) . If applicant meets #1, then student must also qualify in second category.
Requirement category #2
Applicant must be/have/intend to do all of the following:
- Enrolled at UTA (minimum 12 hours per semester)
- A UTA GPA of 3.0 (by the end of the fall semester of application)
- A Citizen or Permanent Resident
- A sophomore, junior or senior (seeking first bachelor’s degree)
- A sincere desire to pursue the PhD (not professional degrees such as MD, DO, JD, etc.)
- An Interest in research and teaching at university level
- Enrolled at least through the fall semester of the next academic year
- Participate in the McNair Research Internship one summer prior to graduation
- Apply to graduate school, starting at least by the fall semester after graduation
Program recruitment extends from October 1-November 15 each fall semester. During this time, the McNair program will host information sessions and at least one open house. The application packet is online via ScholarShop and includes an essay and two faculty letters of recommendation. If applicants are applying as a first-generation AND low-income, they will need to provide to the McNair office their IRS return from 2018 (if independent) and/or that of their parents’ returns if dependent. Definitions of dependent/independent status are given on the application.
Decisions regarding semi-finalist depends on applicants meeting the above eligibility requirements, including GPA once fall grades become available. Applicants will be notified via e-mail if they progress to the semi-finalist level (or if they do not) before the holiday break. Semi-finalists will be requested to sign up for a 20-minute interview with McNair director and coordinator to take place during the week before the start of the spring semester. Final decisions are made by the McNair director and coordinator in conjunction with the McNair selection committee consisting of five faculty members from various units on campus. Final notifications will be sent to candidates by late January. Successful applicants will enter the program immediately. If new Scholars are (or will be) juniors by summer 2020, the McNair program will immediately begin preparation for the summer research internship. Scholars remain active in the McNair program until graduation and are tracked by staff for ten years afterwards.