Frequently Asked Questions

What is the McNair Scholars Program?

The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded program to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through research and other scholarly activities.

Is the McNair Scholars Program a scholarship?

No. The McNair Scholars is similar to a fellowship experience. You receive a stipend while conducting research. 

Do I have to attend Kent State for graduate school?

No. McNair Scholars do not have to attend Kent State for graduate school. Our scholars apply and get accepted into graduate schools nationwide.

I do not want to get my Ph.D. but I definitely want my Masters. Should I apply?

The McNair program objective is to prepare students for doctoral study, we encourage students to apply who are interested in attaining an advanced or terminal degree. 

Do I have to be in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) program to apply for the program?

We invite scholars from any and all majors to apply to the program. If you have interest in earning a doctoral degree, we encourage you to apply.

What if I am not first generation or low income?

If you identify as African American, Latinx American, and/or Native American, you are eligible for the McNair Scholars Program.

What is the Summer Research Institute (SRI)?

SRI is an 8-week research intensive program where scholars collaborate with faculty mentors to expand scholar’s knowledge and experience in research methods, academic writing and public speaking. SRI also includes graduate school visits, academic and personal counseling, and graduate school workshops.

Does the McNair Scholars Program assign research projects?

Scholars choose their research projects in consultation with the McNair Staff and their faculty mentor. This can be through designing their own research project or joining a faculty member with their current research.

Can I take classes or work during SRI?

We require our scholars to commit 30 hours of each week to research. In addition, SRI includes 10 hours of McNair programming weekly. This is a full-time job! We highly recommend that you do not work or take classes during the summer.

Does the McNair Scholars program assign mentors to scholars?

Scholars are responsible for finding their own mentors. McNair staff can support students in their search; however, students should be actively looking for a faculty mentor upon acceptance to the program.

I will be a senior in the spring. Can I still apply?

In order to be eligible for the program, you must participate in the Summer Research Institute and cannot graduate in August. Scholars must be enrolled as a full-time student in the following semester fall.

A timeline of the McNair process, broken down by semesters


  • Fall, Year 1 - Application
  • Spring, Year 1 - Interview
  • Fall, Year 2 - Research Methods I
  • Spring, Year 2 - Research Methods II
  • Summer, Year 2 - SRI [60 credit hours required]
  • Fall, Year 3 - Seminars
  • Spring, Year 3 - Seminars
As a McNair scholar what activities are required?

Scholars must take 2 semesters of research methods, participate in SRI, attend seminars during the fall and spring (depending on graduation), apply to 5 graduate schools, and participate in Comprehensive Success Planning .