Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Q:  I am freshman (or sophomore, or junior), is it too early for me to apply?  Should I wait until my senior year?
A:  No.  The McNair Scholars program provides opportunities that increase our students’ level of preparation and competitiveness for graduate school programs.   Getting started earlier means more potential opportunities that we could create.


Q:  I am a senior.  Is it too late to apply? 
A:  No.  As long as you will be enrolled at SSU while applying to grad school, you can participate in the program.


Q:  Is the McNair program only for science majors?
A:  No.  We work with students from all undergraduate majors at SSU, including the humanities, social sciences, and STEM.


Q:  Do I have to do a research project in order to participate in the program?
A:  Yes.  The research project is one of the best ways to become a more competitive and better prepared graduate school applicant, so we insist upon it.


Q:  I don’t know what kind of research project I would do and/or I don’t have a faculty mentor.  Is that okay? 
A:  Yes.  In the past, we have worked with many students who did not have a faculty mentor and/or did not have a research project when they started the program.  We can help you find a mentor, and that mentor can help you develop a research project.  The research project will be tailored to your interests and academic/career goals.


Q:  Is the McNair Scholars program only for people interested in PhD programs?
A:  We work with students interested in masters and/or PhD programs.


Q:  I have no idea how to apply to graduate school.  Can you help me with that? 
A:  Yes.  That’s what we do.  Our workshops and individual advising are designed to help students select programs in which they are likely to thrive, and we help students put together the strongest application packages they can.


Q:  I have a question that wasn’t addressed here, what should I do?
A:  Contact Daniel Smith ( as soon as possible.