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McNair Scholars Program Frequently Asked Questions


1) What if I'm not sure I want to get a Ph.D.?

Many students at the sophomore and junior levels are unsure whether they want to get a Ph.D., but some know that advanced study is necessary for their major career fields. Others think they "might" be interested and figure they have nothing to lose by being part of the McNair program.

2) How much does the program cost?

The program does NOT cost you a cent. Expenses, such as research supplies, campus visits, and conference costs are paid by the program.  HOWEVER, IT DOES "COST" YOU TIME and EFFORT and COMMITMENT!

3) How is the McNair program funded?

The McNair Scholars Program is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education to the University of Central Missouri. Funding is approximately a quarter of a million dollars annually.

4) What is expected of McNair scholars?

Because the program works with only 28 students annually, you will be expected to take this opportunity seriously and to capitalize on the opportunities afforded. You will be expected to attend all seminars, go on campus visits, and meet often with your faculty mentors and program personnel. You will be expected to meet ALL deadlines in the schedule.

5) How long does the program last?

From entry into the program until baccalaureate attainment, for most students this will be approximately two years.

6) What if seminars and meetings conflict with other obligations?

You are provided a calendar of activities before you apply and asked to carefully check it against your personal schedule. Because you must

"be there" to benefit from the McNair activities, you will be expected to clear other obligations in order to attend all program activities.

7) Can I be in the Honors College and the McNair program at the same time?



8) When do I apply?

Recruitment usually takes place each fall, but if you are interested in McNair, contact the McNair Academic Coordinator immediately.

9) How do I select a mentor and what do they do?

You will work most closely with your Research Mentor. The Research Mentor will help you write a proposal to compete for one of the fourteeninternships. If you receive an internship, the Research Mentor will closely supervise your project during the summer and will co-publish your results with you. It is important that the faculty person you select as your Research Mentor be able to meet with you on a regular basis. Your Research Mentor must be on campus during the summer months. It is a good idea to select a Research Mentor whose research interests are similar to yours and who will provide support as you learn the process of doing research.

The Department Mentor will meet with you monthly to discuss the Graduate School Self Analysis, transcripts, GPA, academic strengths and weaknesses as they relate to graduate study. He/She will also help you explore your chosen field of graduate study, programs, leaders, organizations, and publications influential in that field. The Department Mentor will assist you in the creation of a portfolio containing items you will need when completing applications for graduate study. It is a good idea to select a Department Mentor who has knowledge of your chosen field of study and who can assist you in evaluating and comparing various graduate programs.

The Library Mentor serves as your personal library resource guide. Through group and individual meetings, you will learn how toobtain the resources needed to conduct research in your selected field. The goal is to become "information literate" and efficient in using all library resources. The Library Mentor will provide individualized research-related consultation necessary for you to obtain the resources necessary for you to complete your research project. Library Mentors are assigned.

10) What kind of research do McNair scholars do?

There are many types of research because our students come from many different majors. Your research may include scientific lab experiments,

critical reviews, surveys, or other procedures as determined by you and your Research Mentor.

11) How much is the stipend for the summer internship?


12) How and when is the internship stipend paid?

Six bi-monthly payments, May-August. Payments are tied to the completion of program requirements.

13) What if I want to be in the program but can't do the internship?

That's OK. The research internship is only one part of McNair. The goal of McNair is preparation for doctoral studies and includes other opportunities, such as information seminars, visits to other campuses, and working with faculty on educational planning and information literacy.

14) What campuses do McNair scholars visit?

We typically visit the graduate schools at the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, and others, depending on student interest. During a graduate school visit, students have an opportunity to tour the campus and meet with faculty in their major areas.