What is McNair?
The McNair Scholars Program at Washington State University prepares first-generation/low-income students, and students from underrepresented backgrounds in graduate education for their future doctoral studies. The McNair Scholars Program at WSU is recognized as the university vanguard in preparing undergraduates for graduate education. The McNair Scholars Program at WSU provides program participants with graduate education preparation activities and services to include faculty mentored research experiences, coursework focused on the culture of graduate education, and academic and career counseling.
What type of research does one conduct?
Research is dependent on each individual scholar and the scholar’s faculty mentor. A scholar must define his/her research interests and seek the help from a faculty mentor of his/her choosing in conducting the research.
Can I pursue a Master’s Degree instead of a Ph.D. with the help of McNair?
Yes, however preparing for PhD programs is the emphasis of the program.
How does McNair prepare you for doctoral education (PhD)?
Through providing research experience, graduate school preparatory courses, entrance exam preparation, mentorship, conference participation, a publication in the McNair research journal among other benefits.
Does McNair provide financial assistance?
Yes. McNair provides a research stipend plus a room and board allowance for Scholars who are selected to participate in the McNair summer research experience. McNair Scholars may request and submit travel grant proposals to cover some travel costs associated with travel to research conferences and graduate visitation programs. Application Fee Waivers for graduate programs may also be provided.
If you’re not in McNair, can you still go to graduate school?
Yes, being a McNair scholar is not a requirement to be admitted into graduate school, but it does help.
What are additional benefits of McNair?
For many students, graduate education seems unattainable. The McNair program helps scholars break through the barriers they face in higher education to reach the potential as future graduate students. McNair gives scholars the resources needed to be successful. Consequently, scholars not only get into graduate programs, but are retained in and graduate from them. As a scholar, you gain an extensive network of colleagues that include other McNair scholars at WSU and across the nation, and with faculty who are in support of McNair. McNair scholars are recognized nationally for their commitment to their education and their diligence in performing to the best of their ability.
Is McNair hard or time-consuming?
Yes. McNair is definitely not easy and requires time commitment. Besides staying on top of research projects, the interdisciplinary course requires the completion of various assignments. This can occur through acceptance into highly competitive summer research programs, scholarship/research awards, and acceptance into the graduate program of their dreams. Additionally, there are also many other benefits such as the monthly cohort-wide events that encourages supportive and empowering relationships with other McNair scholars and alumni.
What you get out of the program is what you put into the program. Likewise, your success in graduate school will depend on your dedication and how hard you are willing to work. McNair is hard and it is time-consuming, but if you’re motivated and take graduate education seriously, McNair is the right program for you.
How often do you meet with the McNair Staff?
You meet one-on-one with McNair staff at least once every two weeks.
Will McNair prepare me to go to medical, law, or veterinary school?
Unfortunately, no. McNair prepares students for PhD programs. The main goal of our scholars must be to attain a PhD (research degree), not a professional degree (MD, JD, MBA, PharmD, etc.).
Will McNair pay for my graduate education?
No. However, McNair will teach you how to identify, apply and obtain valuable funding resources (i.e., grants, scholarships, fellowships and assistantships) that will get your graduate education fully funded. It is rare to see a McNair alum who is not getting their graduate education paid for because of the level of preparation given to McNair scholars in identifying these opportunities. For the most part, students will be able to secure enough financial assistance to fund their entire graduate education thanks to these opportunities.
Am I eligible to participate?