Iowa State University McNair Program


The Iowa State University McNair Program prepares qualified undergraduates for entry to graduate school and completion of a doctoral degree.  The primary goal of McNair is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from disadvantaged and underrepresented populations.  McNair Scholars are afforded many opportunities during their two years of active participation.  Activities and services range from working with a professor on a research project to knowing how to survive the critical first year of graduate school.

The Iowa State University McNair program is fully funded by the university.  Our program still follows the same federal guidelines of all TRIO programs funded by the US Department of Education.  We continue to function as a sister program to the three TRIO programs at ISU which are Student Support Services, Upward Bound, and Talent Search.  We have an Advisory Council in place which provides review and leadership to the ongoing development of a strong program.

Applications are accepted for fall admission only and open on February 1st of each year and close on April 1st.  For those who are selected, interviews are scheduled immediately after the deadline and admission decisions are made prior to the close of spring semester.


During their two years in the program, scholars take four McNair courses that meet weekly for two hours, one per semester.  The first year classes focus on academic research training.  Second year deals with graduate school topics.  Below is a timeline of course content and main program events.




In addition to the required classes, the following services and activities are offered to McNair Scholars:

  • Training to do scientific research through faculty mentorship
  • Graduate student mentoring
  • In-depth assistance with the graduate application process
  • Assistance with poster and oral presentations
  • Travel to national McNair conferences for professional development and to present research
  • Funding to travel for graduate interviews visits
  • Paid tutoring
  • Assistance with graduate application fees
  • GRE preparation and fee assistance
  • Opportunity to interact and bond with other ISU undergraduates from across campus
  • Connection with a national community of McNair scholars

If you are interested in obtaining more information about admission, requirements, or about the ISU McNair Program services, click here.  To apply to the program, click here.