The UC Davis McNair Scholars Program was born during the winter quarter in 1996. It is a two-year program funded by TRIO and the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to encourage students from groups often underrepresented in graduate programs to pursue doctoral degrees. Eighteen to 20 UC Davis undergraduates and incoming transfer students are selected each year to participate in academic year and summer activities. Check out the McNair Scholars Program brochure located here.
To qualify for the McNair Scholars Program students must meet the following criteria:
- Completed at least 90 quarter units (60 semester units) at time of entry.
- A 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA.
- U.S. citizenship or permanent U.S. residency.
- Major in agriculture, biological sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, math, engineering, or humanities.
- Come from a low-income family and be the first generation to complete a baccalaureate degree OR be a member of a group underrepresented in graduate education (African American, Native American, and Chicanx/Latinx).
- Intend to pursue a Ph.D. after graduation. This program is not open to students intending to pursue professional degrees such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, management, or law.
- Students who have transferred from a community college are especially encouraged to apply.
The McNair Scholars Program provides year round services to prepare participants for acceptance into quality graduate programs of their choice.
- Workshops and seminars provide information on such topics as selecting a graduate school, the graduate school application process, graduate financial aid, library research skills, technical writing, polishing computer skills, strengthening academic skills, Graduate Record Examination preparation and more.
- Faculty research mentors help students formulate their research interests and develop their research skills.
- We provide individualized assistance to help students with their undergraduate academic needs (planning, counseling, tutoring, GRE preparation, and application process.) and to help identify graduate schools and special programs of interest. Also, we assist in admission to graduate programs of choice.
- Networking and making new friends with the same interests. Plus access to information and opportunities that one normally wouldn't hear about.
- A summer research internship for 18 students is provided during each summer. Benefits include working with a faculty mentor, a stipend (up to $2,800 summer research stipend) and up to 3 units of independent study credit.
We are happy to offer the following services to UC Davis McNair Scholars:
- Free tutoring
- Academic advising
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) preparation
- Funding for travel to research conferences
- Pre-graduate school advising
- Presentation assistance
- Presentation technology training
- A big study room
- Computer access
- E-mail access
- Class schedule planning
- Basic budgeting help
- Basic career counseling
- Mentoring by graduate students
- Help choosing a faculty research mentor
- Science writing assistance
- Publication opportunities
First-Year Sample Calendar
|Late Summer||Fall||Winter and Spring||First McNair Summer|
Applications are due by June 30 every year. If you want more information about how to obtain McNair application, click here. Application materials include:
- Personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation
- College transcripts
- Financial information
- McNair application
Our program has high expectations for our McNair Scholars. We offer full academic support throughout the year for our students so that they can maximize their potential and obtain their educational goals.
UC Davis offers two McNair Graduate Internal Fellowships to former McNair Scholars who have been accepted to a UC Davis PhD program. See the Graduate Studies website for details.
Other McNair Programs
A list of other funded McNair programs can be found at the Department of Education TRIO website.
- Program participants are expected to take part in all workshops and seminars, utilize individual support services whenever appropriate, maintain a 3.0 GPA or better and maintain full-time course load during the academic year.
- To facilitate their graduate school application, students develop a portfolio including a curriculum vitae, statement of purpose, electronic research presentation, and evidence of research and scholarly activity.
- All senior participants are expected to take the Graduate Record Examination and apply to graduate programs, as well as present their findings in a conference setting at least once.