Students standing on staircase with ribbon-winning research posters

Felicia Blodgett-Duran earns first place ribbon in DEI for her research poster at URC 2024

The McNair Scholars Program prepares talented, highly motivated UNH undergraduates for entrance to PhD programs in all fields of study. The goals of the program are to increase the number of first-generation students with financial need and/or underrepresented students in PhD programs, and ultimately, to diversify the faculty in colleges and universities across the country. McNair Scholars participate in unique programming and educational activities designed to give them a competitive edge when applying to graduate school and to prepare them for success in their pursuit of a Ph.D.

We are still accepting applications:

McNair Scholars Program Application

McNair participants are recognized throughout the nation as dedicated students who have taken extra steps in preparing themselves for the graduate and doctoral experience. Although successful completion of the McNair Program depends on personal commitment and hard work, there are many ways in which research fellows can benefit from participation:

  • Opportunity to conduct and present research during the summer and academic year under the guidance of a faculty mentor
  • Assistance in understanding the culture of graduate school, guidance in selecting the right graduate school, preparing applications, and financing graduate programs
  • Opportunities to present and publish research
  • On-going consultation and support from faculty mentors and staff to help ensure success in making the transition from undergraduate to graduate education
  • Inclusion in a national database of McNair scholars that is submitted to the majority of graduate programs within the U.S.
  • Workshops and credit courses (i.e. GRE preparation) designed to prepare scholars for postgraduate study
  • Participation in social and cultural events held throughout the year
  • Funding for graduate school visits and travel to professional conferences related to academic interests and research
  • Help in securing graduate school application fee waivers from over 600 participating institutions

Sophomore and junior students in good academic standing who wish to engage in undergraduate research are encouraged to apply.  Carefully review the eligibility requirements below.  McNair Scholars Applicants must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have achieved the following academic standing at the time of application*:
    • Sophomore (must have achieved junior status by the start of the summer component) or
    • Junior (must not be graduating for at least one more academic year)
    • First-semester senior (who already has verifiable, academic research experience)
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0
  • Have a strong interest in doctoral study and a willingness to consider a career in academia as a scholar or researcher**.
  • Be a first-generation student (meaning neither parent has received a four-year, bachelor’s degree) who is economically disadvantaged (as determined by the US Department of Education criteria), or be a student from a group that is underrepresented in graduate programs (African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander or Native American).

*Are you a freshman and have an interest in pursuing the McNair Scholars Program in the future? Learn about the Pre-McNair Scholars Program by viewing the “Pre-McNair” section.

**Please note that individuals whose sole interest is obtaining a professional doctorate such as the Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Juris Doctorate (JD), or Medical Doctorate (MD) are not eligible for the program, unless interested in the possibility of a dual degree (JD/PhD, MD/PhD, etc.). Individuals with such interests are encouraged to apply.

Interested in Applying? Please complete an official application which includes the following components:

  • Complete an official application form (download PDF). Detailed application instructions are included.
  • Personal Statement (1 page, double-spaced) which includes an: (1) explanation of your academic and career goals; (2) description of your research interests/research proposal.
  • Two completed and sealed recommendation forms/letters. These letters must come from faculty, preferably in your major.
  • Official (sealed) transcripts from all colleges attended (if the school will not issue a sealed "official" transcript to you, then ask them to send it directly to our office).
  • Copies of the appropriate Federal Income Tax forms (as detailed on the application form)
  • Copy of most recent Student Aid Report
  • Copy of Permanent Resident I.D., if necessary
  • Signature release form (see application form)


Please submit your completed application package to the McNair Scholars Program, Hood House, Room 203 (or by email to, no later than September 30.  Applications accepted after September 30 will be accepted on a rolling basis.