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McNair FAQ

How do I apply?
The link to our application can be found on this website. It should be read, fully completed, and turned in electronically to us. Please be advised that our Program application is lengthy and will require a variety of data and information that will require time to locate and complete. It would be best to give yourself ample time to complete the forms, get the letters of recommendation, and supply supplementary information.

How do I access the application portal?
You must use your student account to access the FIU AcademicWorks portal.

Do I qualify?
To qualify for the McNair Scholars Program, you must be an FIU student enrolled in an undergraduate degree-seeking program who is considered low-income as defined by the U.S. Department of Education and a first-generation college student (where neither parent has completed a four-year degree) or a member of a group underrepresented in higher education as defined by the U.S. Department of Education  (African-American, Hispanic-Latino, Native American, and Alaskan, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian). You must have also completed 60 credits by the time of application and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00.

How do I obtain a copy of my Student Aid Report (SAR) for this application?
To access a copy of your Student Aid Report, you must first log on to the FAFSA website as if you were going to fill it out or make a correction. From there, you need to click on the relevant application year, which should be the most recent information you have sent to FAFSA. After that, you should have the option to view or print your SAR. You will want to save it as a PDF form and upload it on your application through the FIU AcademicWorks portal.

I am a graduating senior. Can I still apply?
The Program works most effectively with students who are entering their junior year. Under special conditions, seniors may apply and be considered depending on their graduation date. If you are a graduating senior, contact McNair staff to assess your viability as an applicant.

I do not have a 3.00 GPA. Can I still apply?
We do not recommend applying if your GPA is less than 3.00, which is the minimum to be a competitive applicant to graduate programs. In addition, since many extracurricular activities are provided to assist with your transition to graduate school, we recommend that students focus on raising their GPA rather than acquiring additional responsibilities.

Can all majors apply?
No, the McNair Scholars Program is only open to students who major in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Dietetics, Nutrition, Health Services Administration, or Criminal Justice.

Can I apply if I already have a bachelor’s degree?
No. The program focuses only on working with students working on their first bachelor’s degree.

What if I am not sure I want a Ph.D.?
The McNair Scholars Program is designed for only students who intend to earn a PhD or EdD. It is not for students who want to attend a professional school like law, medical, pharmacy, business, etc.

I am interested in study abroad. Will this affect my application?
Several McNair Scholars have participated in study abroad. This will not affect your application or, if admitted, your status as a McNair Scholar.

When should I expect to hear back after having applied to the Program?
Students should hear back within two to four weeks of the application deadline.

When should I start preparing to apply to graduate school?
The McNair Scholars Program suggests applying at least one year in advance. We encourage all students in our Program to begin preparing for the graduate school application process during their junior year.

How will I pay for graduate school?
Many graduate students get comprehensive funding packages, and the McNair staff will prepare you to be competitive for institutional and extramural funding opportunities.

Is this a scholarship?
No, this is a research and graduate school preparation program. The McNair Scholars Program does, however, offer a summer stipend for independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor, as well as travel funds for scholarly conferences and graduate school fairs.

How will the stipend affect my financial aid?
The stipend may affect your financial aid if you receive funding through National Science Foundation-associated grants or other financial aid. Please contact McNair staff if you believe this stipend may affect financial aid.

Do I have to attend graduate school at FIU?
No. McNair Scholars are encouraged to apply and are accepted by graduate schools nationwide.

Do I need to take the GRE?
Most graduate programs in the U.S. require current GRE scores. The McNair Program offers free GRE preparation materials to help you practice for the exam.

What are some of the benefits offered by the McNair Scholars Program?
A GRE prep book, travel to conferences and graduate school fairs, academic and professional workshops, a paid research internship, and course credits, among many other benefits.

Am I a good fit for the Program?
If you are sure you want to earn a PhD or EdD, you are an absolutely good fit for the Program. The Program provides a stipend, paid travel to scholarly conferences, a one-year academic research internship, funding for independent research supplies and materials, and comprehensive academic advising.

Does it matter if I have already done research or participated in a research mentorship program?
Research through another program can provide a head start for McNair. It can also provide an opportunity to work with diverse faculty members.

Does the McNair Scholars Program require its students to pursue a PhD or EdD immediately after obtaining the B.S. or B.A. (and skip the M.S. or M.A. program)?
No. The Program expects scholars to apply to Master’s and PhD or EdD programs during their senior year as undergraduates. The Program does, however, expect Scholars to obtain a doctoral degree within ten (10) years of attaining their bachelor’s degree. Scholars, however, are strongly encouraged to participate in any graduate program immediately after completing their bachelor’s degree.

Are students interested in a combined PhD with another professional degree program allowed to apply to the McNair Scholars Program?
Yes. The McNair Scholars Program is specifically designed to assist undergraduates in entering a PhD or EdD program. Any other professional endeavor is the sole responsibility of each individual.

I have even more questions. Who should I contact?
Call our office to schedule an appointment with our Program Coordinator or Director, who can provide further information about the McNair Scholars Program.