McNair Scholars Program

Ronald McNair

Interested in pursuing a PhD?

If you are a junior, low income and first generation college student or underrepresented minority student, and are interested in continuing your education to earn a PhD, the McNair Scholars Program is for you!

The McNair Scholars Program is named after the late Ronald E. McNair who perished on the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 (picture above).

Wayne State University McNair Scholars Program, established in 2004, champions excellence in academics   and leadership by providing financial and academic support to talented students who strive to excel in research and scholarship both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program is one of the Department of Education's Federal TRiO Programs that seeks to improve effective preparation for doctoral study to low-income, first generation college students and students from groups that are underrepresented in graduate education.

The main components of the program include:

  • Conducting original research under the guidance of a faculty mentor 
  • Receiving training in writing, communication and graduate school preparation
  • Financial support and travel opportunities that include presenting research at conferences
  • Visiting top-choice graduate schools and attending cultural activities.

The McNair Program is rigorous and requires that students take their commitment seriously. McNair Scholars are recruited each year during their junior or senior years and move through the program as they finish their baccalaureate degree. During this time, McNair aids in preparing the scholars for graduate study by demystifying the graduate school application process and providing the students with a simulated graduate school experience. It should be the goal of each McNair Scholar to attain a PhD within ten years of graduating Wayne State University.