Pre-McNair Academy

The Pre-McNair Academy provides academic counseling and research development mentoring to early career undergraduate students at Wayne State University. Participants in the Academy recieve tailored mentoring over the course of an academic year to apply and enter the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. Participants learn about the fundamentals of pursuing a doctoral degree, network with prospective faculty mentors, and become part of a community of emerging scholars.

Eligibility requirements

  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States of America
  • Freshman - sophomore status
  • Considered low-income and a first generation college student and/or a member of an underrepresented group in higher education, per federal regulations. To view regulatory eligibility policies click here.
  • Interested in earning a Ph.D. in a field of study
  • There is no GPA requirement for application into the Academy

Upcoming events

101: Getting into graduate school workshop and McNair application overview

Tuesday September 24, 2019 11am-12:30pm, snacks provided!

Student Center Room 358

This workshop provides an overview of the fundamentals required to sucecssfully apply to graduate school programs. Students receive planning support and gain inisght into the McNair Scholars Program application process which provides intensive coaching to apply to graduate school.





Past Events

We cordially invite you to the final Pre - McNair Academy workshop of the semester: 

Cultivating Faculty Relationships: A Hands-On Workshop  

WHEN Wednesday November 28, 2018 1:00pm - 2:30pm  

WHERE Student Center Building Rm. 289  


Bianca Suarez, PhD 

Dwight McDonald 

The goal of this workshop is to prepare students to engage with faculty on campus. We know that students can sometimes experience anxiety when reaching out to faculty. Thus, we want to help demystify this process and support students in gaining an understanding of why research mentoring relationships matter for career planning. We look forward to seeing you and your students there! 

With faculty remarks provided by: Dr. Donyale Padgett, Associate Professor, Department of Communications 


Academy requirements

All participants must commit to active participation in the following components:

  • Meet twice per semester with the McNair Ambassador to recieve tailored academic counseling
  • Participate in four annual workshops which include the following:
    • Pre-McNair Academy orientation: What is graduate school? During orientation students learn what graduate study entails. Students hear from current graduate students and McNair Scholars about their experiences and recieve instruction on how to develop a research-oriented undergraduate plan of study.
    • Getting into graduate school 101: This workshop provides an overview of the fundamentals required to successfully apply to doctoral programs. Students recieve academic planning support and gain insight into the McNair Scholars Program application process.
    • Cultivating faculty mentor relationships 101: This workshop provides an overview of the importance of finding and cultivating a faculty mentor relationship. Students learn tips from current WSU faculty on how to approach faculty and recieve strategic insight on how to find faculty mentors with aligned research interests.

Through active participation in the Academy, students increase their ability to successfully apply to the McNair Scholars Program.

To learn more, contact us at 313-577-5050 or via email at