For many university students, advanced degrees and graduate school may seem a distant goal. For first generation, minority and financially challenged students, continuing their education past the baccalaureate degree may seem virtually impossible.
The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.
Founded in 1996 in honor of Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D., the laser physicist and Challenger space shuttle astronaut, the McNair program is designed to help increase the number of underrepresented students in graduate programs and, ultimately, help diversify the faculty in college and universities and those employed in various areas of science.
The McNair Scholars Program helps undergraduate students interested in all types of doctoral degrees and from all majors, but students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in Engineering and Computer Science are particularly sought.
The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to help first-generation, low-income students, especially students who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education, gain access to graduate education and earn doctoral degrees (Ph.D., Psy.D, Ed.D.)
To achieve that goal, our scholars will:
The McNair Scholars Program prepares undergraduate students by providing individual and group services designed to enhance successful entry into post-baccalaureate education. McNair Scholars Program staff and faculty mentors meet with scholars to provide them guidance toward achieving this goal. Scholars are provided with opportunities to attend seminars and conferences.
Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the McNair Scholars Program:
Every spring and fall semester, the McNair Scholars Program at St. Mary’s University produces a new issue of the Scholarly Times, an academic newsletter highlighting McNair student research, conferences, accolades, and more. We invite you to read our collection of newsletters below.
Do you have questions or need more information on the McNair Scholars Program?
Jennifer Zwahr-Castro, Ph.D.
McNair Scholars Program Director
Samadhi Metta Bexar, Ph.D.
McNair Scholars Program Assistant Director