Program Overview

History of the Program

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, also known as the McNair Scholars Program, is a federally funded Department of Education program. It is part of the federal TRIO program whose purpose is to address the lack of representation of disadvantaged groups in higher education.

The program was created as an amendment in 1986 to the Higher Education Act with the first programs beginning in 1989.


University of Wisconsin-Stout McNair Program

The UW-Stout program provides a two year experience designed to:

  • Encourage students from groups often underrepresented in graduate programs to pursue master's and doctoral degrees
  • Promote outstanding, specific activities, resources and support to encourage students to pursue graduate studies
  • Develop skills critical to success at the graduate level including definition of goals, undergraduate research opportunities, and student/faculty mentor relationships

Individual program costs are provided at no cost by the McNair Scholar Grant and include:

  • A paid summer research experience or internship
  • McNair related materials
  • GRE preparation 
  • Registration and travel costs for a least one conference
  • Travel costs for at least one graduate school visit

Specific eligibility requirements apply.

Ronald E. McNair, PhD

Ronald E. McNair, an African American physicist and astronaut died in 1986 along with 6 other astronauts when the space shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after liftoff. A more comprehensive biography for Ronald McNair is available here.