Woody Hall 347 Mail Code: 4719 900 S. Normal Ave. Carbondale, IL 62901
| F: 618-453-4596
1) How can I apply for the McNair Scholarship?
The SIU McNair Program is not a scholarship. It is a year round program that offers students opportunities for networking and professional development in preparation for graduate school. Students participate in the Summer Research Institute where they work with a faculty member. The McNair Scholars Program Office is located in Woody Hall 347, (618) 453-4582.
2) What documents do I need to apply?
Three letters of recommendation (at least two from faculty)
Previous Year Tax Return
SAR Report from FAFSA
*Please contact the McNair office for assistance if you have difficulty with any part of the application process.
3) How do I know if I am eligible to participate in McNair?
You can apply to participate in the McNair Scholars program if you are:
Interested in pursuing a doctoral degree after you earn your bachelor’s degree
From a low-income family and neither of your parents have earned a bachelor’s degree or if you are from a group traditionally underrepresented in doctoral programs.
A sophomore or junior with a GPA of at least 2.7
A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
4) Do I have to attend graduate school at SIU Carbondale?
No. Scholars are required to apply to at least 3 graduate schools from across the country.
5) Can I participate in McNair as a freshman?
No. Freshmen can apply for the McNair Scholar program for their upcoming sophomore year.
6) What majors are accepted?
Students from all majors are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to students who have expressed an interest in going to graduate school and who have a major in the Sciences, Social Sciences, or Technology fields.
7) What is the Summer Research Institute (SRI)?
The Summer Research Institute is an 8-week experience that exposes participants to the foundations of research design, academic writing and public speaking. The Institute promotes activities that are instrumental in preparing undergraduate students to successfully enter graduate programs including networking, team building, and GRE preparation.
8) Can I work during the Summer Research Institute?
No. Participants are not allowed to work during the 8-week time frame. Some students work before or after the SRI depending on their schedule. Each McNair Scholars will receive a research award of $2,800 for participation in the Summer Research Institute.
9) Can I take classes during the Summer Research Institute?
Maybe. Students are expected to enroll in UNIV 301b for at least 1hr. This will give the student access to the health center, rec center and the library. Students needing to take an additional class can enroll in (1) 3 hour-course during the 2nd intersession which begins in July.
10) How do I find a mentor?
After being selected to become a part of the McNair Program, Scholars are encouraged to visit the departmental website and learn more about faculty research interests. You should meet with at least three faculty members in your department to discuss your interest in research and participation in the McNair Program.
11) What are some of the other benefits of McNair?
The McNair Scholars program provides you with the opportunity to:
Receive individualized academic and personal support from our McNair staff
Conduct original research, including a summer research project with a research award
Present your research at the McNair Scholars Research Symposium
Be mentored by faculty, graduate students and peers
Access academic coaching/tutoring
Participate in research conferences and visit graduate schools
Obtain assistance in researching and applying to graduate schools
Participate in workshops focusing on the graduate school application process, financial aid, scholarships/ fellowships, and the graduate school culture
Have access to GRE preparation and the ability to register for the exam at a reduced rate
The opportunity to apply to more than 200 graduate programs that will waive application fees for McNair Scholars.
12) What is the GRE?
GRE is an acronym for the Graduate Record Exam. It is the graduate school entrance exam administered by the Educational Testing Services worldwide. Participants will take the exam before the fall semester of their senior year.
13) Who was Dr. Ronald E. McNair?
Dr. Ronald E. McNair was nationally recognized for his work in the field of laser physics. In 1978, he was one of 35 applicants selected from a pool of ten thousand for NASA's space shuttle program and assigned as a mission specialist aboard the 1984 flight of the shuttle Challenger. He was the second African American to fly in space. On the morning of January 28, 1986, McNair and his six crew members died in an explosion aboard the space shuttle Challenger. His memory lives in each student who enters the McNair Program, and strives to receive the PhD. After his death, members of Congress provided funding for the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program dedicated to the high standard of achievement Dr. McNair displayed. The McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement Program is a comprehensive program structured to prepare undergraduates for successful careers as graduate students, professors, and professional researchers.
14) How is the program funded?
The program is an educational opportunity program authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 collectively known as TRIO Programs. The McNair Scholars Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The program awards grants to institutions of higher learning for projects designed to provide low-income/first-generation college students or students who are members of a group which is underrepresented in graduate education with effective preparation for doctoral study. SIU received its first McNair grant in 2003.