About the McNair Program

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is an exciting effort designed to encourage low-income individuals who are first-generation college students and/or traditionally underrepresented in graduate education to pursue doctoral study. The McNair Program funded by the U.S. Department of Education, proposes to motivate and prepare promising students for graduate study. Named for the Challenger space shuttle crew member, the Ronald E. McNair Program serves as a living memorial to a man who overcame insurmountable odds to be awarded his Ph.D. in physics and later, to realize his dream of becoming an astronaut for NASA.

At California State University, Fresno, the McNair Program is divided into six components:

  • One-week Summer Session of Orientation to the McNair Program and to university teaching and technology.
  • Fall Semester Seminar Series and Research Institute designed to enhance knowledge about graduate school requirements, to refine research skills, and to prepare for the GRE.
  • Spring Semester Meetings for McNair Scholars and submissions of research proposals.
  • Summer Session Intensive GRE Workshop.
  • Eight-week paid Summer Research Project for selected students under the guidance of a faculty mentor at California State University, Fresno.
  • Fall and Spring Semester Follow-up geared toward the completion and filing of graduate school applications.

As a result of participating in the McNair Program, McNair Scholars will gain demonstrable research skills, acquire valuable knowledge about graduate education and how to access it, and increase their chances of applying for and being successful in doctoral study. In addition, McNair Scholars will become familiar with the research environment of a major university and establish a supportive network of scholarly professionals and peers. McNair Scholars will be responsible for the completion of a carefully planned research assignment under the direction of a faculty mentor for which they may be selected to receive a stipend of up to $2,700 to defray costs of participation in the summer research project. Upon completion of the program, McNair Scholars will continue to enjoy access to McNair seminars, lectures, and assistance with the graduate application process. Two hundred dollars is available to offset application process costs for scholars applying to two or more academic doctoral programs.

The Ronald E. McNair Program at California State University, Fresno, benefits from the joint-sponsorship of the Division of Graduate Studies and the Division of Student Affairs. The facilities of both offices are made available to McNair Scholars to ensure their continued educational advancement. The McNair Program provides scholars with a comprehensive program of support and preparation for graduate study.