The University of Pennsylvania is proud to be the first Ivy League institution to host the prestigious Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. This Federal TRiO Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This project, also known as the McNair Scholars Program, identifies and prepares eligible students for graduate studies leading to the Ph.D. by providing research training and early scholarly experiences to high-achieving undergraduate Penn students. The program is named in honor of deceased NASA astronaut, Dr. Ronald E. McNair.
Students apply to the McNair Scholars Program during their sophomore year. The program comprises four modules: the Summer Research Institute, the Junior Academic Year Activities, a Summer Internship, and the Senior Year Graduate School Preparatory. McNair Scholars participate in research training and scholarly experiences through each of the four modules, as well as through other related activities, including performing research under the guidance of a faculty mentor, presenting their research at national academic conferences, and publishing their work in the Penn McNair Research Journal. See our latest Penn McNair Scholars Newsletter to learn about what our students are doing.
Benefits of being a McNair Scholar include:
- Faculty mentoring;
- Participation in a six-week, paid McNair Summer Research Institute;
- Research training and scholarly experiences, including free attendance and participation in national conferences;
- Graduate school visits and application fee-waivers;
- GRE preparation and fee-reductions;
- Counseling through the graduate school application process;
- Publication of your research in the Penn McNair Research Journal;
- Cultural Events
- A sincere desire to attain a Ph.D.;
- Junior or senior class standing (16 or more course units);
- A cumulative grade point average of 2.8 or above;
- U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status;
- Meet federal low-income guidelines AND be a first-generation college student OR be a member of a racial/ethnic group that is underrepresented in graduate education.
Applications are accepted from December through mid-February of each academic year.
Penn McNair Scholars