Undergraduate UMBC students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply to the McNair Scholars Program.


Applications must meet either one of the two criteria:

  • First Gen and Income Eligible
    • First-generation college student means: (1) an individual neither of whose natural or adoptive parents received a baccalaureate degree; or (2) an individual who, prior to the age of 18, regularly resided with and received support from only one parent and whose supporting parent did not receive a baccalaureate degree; or (3) an individual who, prior to the age of 18, did not regularly reside with or receive support from a natural or adoptive parent.
    • Income eligibility is established by the U.S. Department of Education, https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/incomelevels.html);


  • A member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education (as defined in the Code of Federal Regulation). The following ethnic, and racial groups are considered underrepresented in graduate education: Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native (as defined in section 7306 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)), Native Hawaiians (as defined in section 7207 of the ESEA), and Native American Pacific Islanders (as defined in section 320 of the HEA).

Additional criteria:

  • Academic Progress will be holistically considered (no minimum GPA or credits)
  • Plan to continue immediately to graduate school and persist to earn a Ph.D.
  • Submit Online Application (See informational document)
  • Complete Group Interview Process (Open to All Applicants)
  • Complete Individual Interview Process (Invitation Only)
  • Based on application and Group Interview results, applicants will be invited for an in-person interview. McNair Staff will take all recommendations to make the final selections

GEPA Compliance: The program makes special efforts to recruit and select students and staff who are members of underrepresented groups, and does not discriminate on basis of gender, race national origin, color or disability.

If you meet all of the criteria above, click here to join our McNair family!