NOTICE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sonoma State University has transitioned to remote instruction for FALL 2020. Employees are working remotely in almost all departments. Email is the best way to communicate with the McNair Scholars Program staff. Please see the SSU COVID-19 site for more information.       

Welcome to SSU's McNair Scholars Program

The McNair Scholars Program at SSU helps 27 undergraduate students per year prepare for and get accepted into graduate school. The primary objective of this program is to place more historically underrepresented students in Masters and PhD programs.

Program Activities

Graduate School Application Assistance:
In order to ensure that every part of the graduate school application is as strong as it can be, McNair provides workshops and indiviudal advising on choosing the right graduate school programs, writing effective statements of purpose, soliciting good letters of recommendation, improving GRE scores, and locating sources of funding.
Research Opportunities:
Being engaged in research at the undergraduate level is one of the best ways to both be a highly competitive applicant and develop the kinds of abilities needed to succeed in graduate school. For this reason, SSU faculty work individually with McNair Scholars, guiding them through the process of designing and developing a research project to be presented at our annual symposium and published in our academic journal. Faculty mentors may also include McNair Scholars in other academic activities such as professional conferences. Participants who meet all program requirements will receive a stipend of up to $2,800 upon completion of the research project.
Travel Opportunities:
McNair Scholars may receive funding to travel to professional conferences and present their research. They may also visit campuses where they are applying to graduate school in order to increase their chances of getting accepted or to make informed decisions about the best graduate school program to enter.


Students from all grade levels and undergraduate majors are encouraged to apply. In order to be eligible for the McNair Scholars program, students must be an undergraduate enrolled at SSU and fit into at least one of two eligibility categories:

1) Be a low-income student and a first-generation college student of any ethnicity,


2) Be a member of at least one of the four ethnic minority groups underrepresented in American graduate schools— African-American, Latino/a, Native American, or Pacific Islander.