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Application Process

Overview of the Application Process

Penn State McNair conducts a comprehensive application process that ensures interested undergraduate students are a good fit for the program and satisfy program eligibility requirements according to McNair regulation (§647.3). Each fall semester McNair works to recruit new scholars to fill slots vacated by graduating seniors.

Prior to starting the process interested students must attend a scheduled McNair information session and/or meet with McNair staff by appointment to learn about the program’s scope and purpose. For more information contact the McNair program office at (814-863-1095) or email the program at

To be considered for Penn State McNair , students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

• U.S. citizen or permanent resident .
• Be a low-income student who is also first-generation and/or an underrepresented student in
  graduate education.
• Enrolled as a full -time student at Penn State-University Park.
• Be in at least sophomore standing.
• Have a minimum GPA of 3.00.
• Have a strong desire to enroll into graduate school the fall following completion of the
  bachelor’s degree and to achieve a Ph.D. within ten years of completing the bachelors.

Program Application

Completing the program application is a time investment. Applicants must provide personal, financial, and academic information. Applicants must also submit a personal essay, arrange for two letters of recommendation. Applicants may be requested to provide additional information at the discretion of the McNair program director. 

When directed by McNair staff, applicants will be provided the link to complete the online program application. Only completed applications will be considered. False information will disqualify an application.

New Scholar Selection

Applicants who complete the online application are required to participate in a 30-45 minute interview with the Penn State McNair Admissions Committee. After interviews, final selections are made, and McNair staff will notify all candidates of their status as quickly as possible. Successful candidates become McNair Scholars in December - January and start program activities immediately.


Contact Penn State McNair at (814) 863-1095 or email the program at with any questions.

This page was generated on June 16, 2024 at 5:36 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.