We’ll show you how to get into grad school and best prepare you to succeed.

If you want to be part of the next generation of scientists, researchers, or professors, this program is for you. Read on to learn about the wealth of opportunities and services the McNair Scholars Program provides.


Learn the Ropes

We’ll teach you about the research experience. You’ll attend seminars given by graduate student mentors who’ll walk you through the research process from design through implementation. They’ll offer advice on selecting a faculty research mentor.

Do the Research

You’ll immerse yourself in the research experience, spending eight weeks under the guidance of your chosen faculty mentor. During this summer internship, you’ll get a $3,000 stipend and a $300 supply allowance. You’ll complete a research paper and present your findings at the IU McNair Research Symposium. You’ll present your research at a statewide conference (IUURC) and have the option to attend national conferences where you’ll present your research to faculty and your peers.

Get Ready for Grad School

In the summer before your senior year, you’ll participate in a grad school boot camp. You’ll learn about the application process, financial aid, and survival skills for graduate study. We’ll help you focus on writing fellowship proposals, your personal statement, and your academic resume.

You’ll participate in an eight-week GRE (Graduate Record Exam) prep course during the summer, and you’ll get one free GRE general exam or subject test. You’ll need your test scores to apply to grad school.

Get Paid to Learn

While you’re a McNair Scholar, you may be eligible to receive undergraduate tuition awards based on financial need. We’ll help you sort out your options.

As a senior, you’ll receive funding to visit the top graduate schools on your list, where you’ll be able to talk with faculty and graduate students. What better way to learn about the programs you’re interested in?

More than 300 colleges and universities across the country waive graduate school application fees for McNair Scholars. That’s $45 to $75 per application. Additionally, many schools offer multi-year fellowships for McNair Scholars who are accepted to their graduate programs.


You’ll be required to participate in activities that will help you as a graduate student. You’ll also be able to take advantage of optional services.

  • Academic Skill Development and Enhancement—sophomore through senior years

    • Complete a needs assessment that covers critical reading, critical thinking, time management, basic research, interpersonal skills, metacognition (thinking about thinking), organization, writing, teaching, and presentation
    • Develop an individualized plan based on assessed needs
    • Identify academic difficulties through an early warning system
    • Participate in monthly meetings with McNair staff to check your academic progress
    • Work with your assigned tutor
    • Attend one cultural event each semester
    • Do individual work on critical writing, thinking, and reading skills
    • Audit or enroll in an undergraduate course in any area identified in your needs assessment
    • Participate in career counseling
    • Participate in personality/career testing
    • Visit the campus academic support center
  • Professional Development in Research—after your sophomore year

    • Participate in a pre-research seminar
    • Do a summer research project (8 weeks, 40 hours/week)
    • Write a research paper
    • Present your research at the IU McNair Research Symposium
    • Do semester research projects using other campus funding
    • Present your research at conferences
  • Professional Development in Teaching—after your junior year

    • Participate in teacher training
    • Take part in microteaching, a form of training that puts you in real teaching situations, allowing you to better understand how to teach
    • Do a teaching internship or observation
    • Participate in college teaching workshops
    • Shadow an associate instructor (AI) or professor
    • Do an additional teaching internship or observation
  • Graduate School Application Support

    • Attend senior summer camp
    • Participate in an individual consultation on personal statement
    • Visit graduate schools
    • Take a GRE general exam course (8 weeks)
    • Participate in practice interviews
    • Take advantage of fellowship application support
    • Audit a graduate level course

Find Out If You Qualify

The benefits are great, but are they right for you? Read on to find out if you’re eligible to join this elite program.

  • Are you a full-time student at IU Bloomington with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75—or better yet, 3.0 or above?
  • Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States?
  • Are you:
    • A first-generation college student with a low income level?
    • OR a member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education (Black (non-Hispanic), African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, or Native American Pacific Islander)?
  • Are you seriously interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or research-intensive doctorate degree? (Note that the McNair Scholars Program isn’t available to students interested in pursuing a professional degree such as law, medicine, dentistry, or optometry; an M.F.A. in fine arts or creative writing; or an M.B.A.)

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you qualify. Now take the next step. Apply to be a McNair Scholar »