Prospective Scholars

 Applications will open in the Summer of 2020

Program Benefits

The program provides a challenging and supportive environment that is conducive to learning and personal/professional development.

We offer students:

• Individualized academic and personal support from McNair staff
• Involvement in a cohesive community of scholars and educators
• Experience conducting research
• Participation in summer research experience while receiving a scholarship of up to $2,800, tuition for the academic credits earned from the research experience, and assistance with room and board.
• Faculty, graduate student, and peer mentoring
• Opportunities to participate in research conferences and visit graduate schools
• Assistance in locating and applying to graduate schools
• Workshops on the graduate school application process, financial aid, scholarships and fellowships
• GRE preparation

Program Eligibility

Before starting the application process, please ensure you meet ALL of the following eligibility criteria:

  • I intend to pursue a Ph.D. or Ed.D (professional degrees such as MD, JD, MBA, PharmD, etc. are not eligible)
  • I intend to enroll in graduate school immediately after graduating UCF
  • I am a low income* AND first-generation college student (neither parent or legal guardian completed a bachelor’s degree) OR I am a member of a group underrepresented in graduate education (Black/African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic/Latino).  
  • I am a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
  • I have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • I am enrolled full-time as an undergraduate student at UCF
  • I have a minimum of 60 credit hours
  • I have at least four semesters left before graduation (excluding summers)
  • I am able to participate full-time in a summer research experience at UCF or an external institution in the summer prior to graduation
* If you get a Pell Grant through financial aid, this indicates you could qualify as low-income.. To find out the low-income guidelines established by the department of education click here

If you are still unsure whether you qualify for the program or if the program would be a good fit for your specific circumstances, please check out our FAQ or contact us at

Applying to the Program

Application Form

  • Before you begin completing this on-line form, please make sure you look through the entire application and have access to all the information required.  
  • This application does not have a ‘save’ feature, which means you must fully complete the form in one session and submit.  We highly recommend that you complete all of your required statements in a separate saved word document, and then copy/paste the text into the application form.
  • The application will require you to: 
    • Fill out academic, financial and demographic information
    • Know your parents highest level of educational attainment 
    • Know whether you were awarded a Pell Grant or Work Study in your most recent financial aid award letter
    • Upload a resume or CV
    • Know the top three graduate program you plan to apply to
    • Write a short statement of research interests (250 words) and a statement of purpose (1000 words)
Letters of Recommendation 
  • Please ensure that you complete the information required in Letters of Recommendation.  You will need each recommender’s name, title, department, e-mail address, and phone number.
  • Recommendation letters should be completed by college faculty and staff members who can best discuss your ability for academic success and your motivation to attend graduate school (Transfer students may have recommenders from previous institutions).
  • Ensure you complete your application as soon as possible to give your recommenders the time they need to complete their letters.  Recommenders will be contacted through e-mail and provided access to the form where they can upload their letter.  All recommendations must be completed by the application deadline.
  • Tips for asking for recommendation letters:
    • Contact your prospective recommenders promptly and ask they if they would be willing to recommend you for the McNair Scholars Program
    • Provide them with information about the program, why you feel this is a good fit for you, and your resume or CV
    • Let them know they will be sent a link where they will be able to copy/paste their evaluation of you
    • Provide them with the application deadline. Let them know your target date for completing the application. Send them a reminder of the application due date a couple of days before the deadline
    • After they complete your recommendation, write them a thank you card and keep them updated of your status.

For assistance on how to formulate resumes and personal statements consult the
Writing Center and Career Services at UCF.


What is the McNair Scholars program? 
The University of Central Florida McNair Scholars Program is dedicated to preparing low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented undergraduate students for graduate education leading to a Ph.D.

Who is eligible for the McNair program? 
Read the eligibility section of our website and see if you are eligible to apply for the program.

Are there any financial advantages to the McNair program? 
During the summer research experience, Scholars receive a scholarship of up to $2,800, tuition for the academic credits earned from the research experience, and assistance with room and board.

How can I apply? 
You have to submit an on-line application form to the program within the specified deadline. The next round consists of interviews by the selection committee. Applications are typically available late summer and are due late September to early October.