Undergraduate Catalog 2024-2025

McNair Scholars Research Program


Program Overview

Website: www.unco.edu/mcnair/

Email: mcnair.scholars@unco.edu

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program provides eligible undergraduate students with effective preparation for doctoral study through research and scholarly activities, a summer academy, seminars and workshops, mentoring, and assistance with graduate school admission processes. The program offers opportunities for mentored undergraduate research.

As a member of the federal TRIO family of programs, the McNair Scholars Research Program is dedicated to increasing doctoral degrees among currently underrepresented groups. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need or members of a group traditionally underrepresented in graduate education.

Established in 1995, UNC currently hosts the longest-running McNair Scholars Program in Colorado. Admission is highly competitive; approximately 15 students are selected each year.

Program Opportunities

  • Formulate individualized professional development plans to help achieve undergraduate and graduate academic goals
  • Design and conduct independent research projects with guidance from faculty mentors and McNair staff
  • Deliver poster and oral presentations at local, regional, and national conferences
  • Receive guidance in crafting curriculum vitae and graduate admissions essays, identifying internship opportunities, and identifying sources of funding for graduate programs
  • Receive financial assistance to support participation in the summer research academy and research seminars, completion and presentation of research, and application to graduate school

Program Summary

The McNair Scholars Research Program consists of

  • an 8-week Summer Research Academy (June-July)
  • an advanced library research and writing course (1 credit)
    • a research seminar (2 credits)
    • a research proposal writing seminar (2 credits)
  • a graduate school preparation course (1 credit)
  • an intensive week in May to jump-start the graduate school application process
  • workshops and events intended to introduce academic culture, celebrate accomplishments, and encourage continued personal, professional, and academic development

UNC McNair Scholars are automatically accepted in the Honors Capstone-Only Program to finalize their projects with 2 credits of HON 451. Students completing the Honors Capstone-Only program receive notation on their transcripts.

Program Eligibility & Applications

  • Rising juniors and seniors with a 2.75 or higher GPA
  • First-generation college students with financial need


  • Members of populations underrepresented in graduate education (Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, American Indian/Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander).
  • American citizen or US permanent resident
  • Committed to completing a doctoral degree.

Applications are available online; the deadline for applying is approximately February 15. Students are encouraged to apply during the spring of their sophomore year.

Additional Information

Detailed information is available at the McNair Scholars Research Program website: www.unco.edu/mcnair, by visiting the office in Michener L-75, or by emailing mcnair.scholars@unco.edu.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is primarily funded through a U.S. Department of Education grant.

Program Requirements

LIB 251Research as Inquiry: Exploration for Beginning Researchers


UNIV 431McNair Scholars Research Studies I


UNIV 432McNair Scholars Research Studies II


UNIV 433McNair Post Baccalaureate Preparation Seminar