McNair Scholars Program Overview

What is the McNair Scholars Program?
The McNair Scholars Program is a comprehensive program structured to prepare undergraduates for successful careers as graduate students, professors, and professional researchers.  This preparation is offered in the form of  academic and personal counseling, advising, tutoring, faculty mentoring, workshops, and completion of a research project. 

Scholars attend monthly meetings/workshops focused on subjects pertaining to the process of applying to graduate school, succeeding in graduate school, career exploration, and becoming a more informed member of the university community. 

During the summer Scholars attend a Colloquium to prepare them for their research project. The Scholar is then ready to complete the 8-week Summer Research Internship with the guidance of a faculty mentor.  Upon completion of their research, scholars write an article with abstracts for submission to the McNair Scholars Program.  Scholars present their papers at regional and national conferences and are then published in the UCO McNair Scholars Journal.

During the Scholar's Senior year, the program focuses on the process of applying to graduate schools.  Seminar topics include such things as how to write a personal statement and how to ask faculty for letters of reference.  Students are encouraged to visit prospective campuses and consult with faculty and professionals in their chosen fields. 

How do McNair Scholars benefit from the program?
In addition to the seminars and research opportunities, McNair Scholars benefit from a wide range of other services.  Foremost is the advice and assistance of the McNair Scholars staff, who are available for consultation on all matters pertaining to the undergraduate progress, future graduate experience, and academic career thereafter.  McNair staff help with the process of choosing schools, review application materials with the Scholar, and help find resources for financing a graduate education.  The McNair staff will arrange for advanced content tutoring in undergraduate classes, free of charge, if needed.

The McNair staff will facilitate making contacts within the scholar's area of academic interest.  In addition, the Program may be able to offset expenses for scholars presenting papers at conferences, visiting prospective schools, or meeting with professionals in their chosen fields.  The program also supports scholars by offering training and access to technology important to their success in academics, including desktop computers for use in the McNair office, laptops that can be checked out for use on campus and off, PowerPoint software and projectors for slideshow presentations, digital cameras for capturing still and video images, and zip drives and CD burners for storing large amounts of data.

The research and presentation experience gained by McNair Scholars prepares them to succeed in graduate school, but also strengthens their applications, helping them to get into the programs of their choice.  Through participation in social and cultural activities, scholars gain a better understanding of diverse cultures, including the culture of academia.  They also benefit from getting to know other high-achieving students bound for graduate study, as the McNair group forms a learning community to support higher academic achievement.

Status as a McNair Scholar entitles students to take advantage of a number of incentives while applying to graduate schools around the country, including fee waivers for applications and special fellowship opportunities.   

Furthermore, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), in recognition of the McNair Scholars Program's mission and success in helping underrepresented students excel in higher education, has made a GRE fee waivers available each year to participating students.

What is expected of a McNair Scholar?
McNair Scholars are expected to participate fully in the program.  The terms of the program are spelled out in a series of contracts signed by the scholar.  Full participation includes attendance at monthly meetings and mandatory seminars; completion of the Pre-Research Colloquium, and the Summer Research Internship.

Any scholar who refuses to sign or fails to uphold the terms of a contract may be removed from the program or placed on probationary status.  Scholars are expected to maintain the academic standards of the program and to work at developing the skills necessary for success in graduate school. 

To review eligibility requirements and to download the application for admission, please go to Application page.

For more information about this program:

McNair Scholars Program
Chambers Library 2nd Floor, Room 221
100 North University Drive, Box 95
Edmond, OK 73034-5209
Phone : 405-974-3600

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