McNair FAQ

How can I tell if I am eligible for the McNair program?

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What is expected of me as a McNair Scholar?

As a McNair Scholar, you will be required to take part in academic year activities including attendance at recommended events, academic and development work in a Research Success Seminar and Graduate Success Seminar, and meet regularly with McNair staff. In addition, you will carry out at least one research project with a Morris faculty member prior to graduation from Morris.

Why should I even consider getting a PhD or EdD?

Going to graduate school to continue your education and obtain a terminal degree requires commitment and drive. Do you love to learn? Are you curious about the world around you, how things work and how we have come to be where we are at this point and time in the Universe? Obtaining a PhD or EdD brings with it a great sense of satisfaction along with deep knowledge in a subject that you are passionate about. People who have earned a PhD or EdD can hold positions of greater responsibility, respect—and, often, greater satisfaction—than those without the terminal degree. PhD/EdD holders often have more freedom in their jobs/positions and frequently earn higher salaries than those with the bachelors or masters degree. But getting a terminal degree is definitely challenging—that is why the McNair program exists. If you have the drive, commitment, and the passionate desire to learn, you should apply to become a McNair Scholar.

Can first-year students or seniors apply to become McNair Scholars?

You cannot be chosen as a McNair Scholar until you have earned at least 30 credits—but this does not mean you cannot participate in McNair programming that will make you a stronger candidate for acceptance as a Scholar. If you are a Senior by credits but have already had research experience and are planning one more year at Morris, you may apply. 

If I want to be a medical doctor (MD) or lawyer (JD), can I still apply to the McNair program?

Unfortunately, no—the McNair program does not support professional degrees. If, however, you are interested in a joint program that focuses on research (e.g. MD/PhD), then you would
still be eligible (provided you meet the other eligibility requirements).

What is the research requirement like?

As a McNair Scholar you will be required to work with a Morris faculty member to write up a research proposal and then work with your mentor to carry out the research during a funded 8-week summer research experience at UMM. One McNair-funded research experience is required but additional research experience—either during the summer or during the academic year—is encouraged.