The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is named in honor of the late Challenger space shuttle astronaut and laser physicist. Funded through a grant from the United States Department of Education, the objective of the McNair Program(s) are to increase the numbers of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented minority undergraduates who pursue Ph.D. degrees and go on to careers in research and teaching at the University level.
Students at the University of Rochester have the option of applying to either our academic year program or our summer program. Academic year program applicants apply during the first semester of their sophomore year. Summer program applicants apply during the spring semester of their sophomore or junior year. Students from outside institutions can only apply to the summer program.
Academic Year Program
The two year program is comprised of a series of colloquia designed to help students identify appropriate graduate programs, gain admission to them, and secure financial support. Participants complete a series of assignments, including writing the personal statement; the program culminates with each scholar completing a semester-long mentored research project. Other program supports include intensive writing assistance, GRE preparation, graduate school visits, study group sessions, and help locating summer research opportunities.
The Summer Research Scholars spend June and July at the University of Rochester conducting research under the guidance of a faculty mentor in fields that can lead to the Ph.D. Scholars prepare intensively for the Graduate Record Exam and take a course entitled “The Culture of the Academy.” Students present the results of their research projects at a university-sponsored conference, and have the opportunity to present at disciplinary conferences.
Each participant in the summer program receives a stipend, room and board on campus, and travel expenses. Preference will be
given to students who have completed the junior year.