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If you are an eligible undergraduate interested in pursuing a Ph.D., we courage you to explore our program. McNair Scholars have access to workshops, research internships, faculty mentorships, leadership opportunities, funding, and more that make all differences as you advance through your education.

Recommendation Form

Eligibility Requirements & Criteria

OSU students, including transfer students, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and meet the criteria below, are encouraged to apply to the McNair Scholars Program.


Applicants must meet either one of the following criteria:

(i) First-generation college student of any race/ethnicity that also has a low family income level as established by the U.S. Department of Education; and/or

(ii) A member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate section, as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, i.e., Alaska Native, American Indian, Black/African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, or Native American Pacific Islanders


In addition to the criteria above, students must: 

(i) Have completed at least 60 credits before Summer 2021 (junior or senior standing)

(ii) Have a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA or greater

(iii) Plan to continue immediately to graduate school and persist to earn a PhD


The McNair Scholars Program is not open to students who only plan to pursue a Master's or a professional degree (e.g., MD, JD, DVM, PharmD, PsyD, DNP, etc.).


For more information on laws, regulations, and federal guidelines governing the McNair Scholars Program, visit Laws, Regulations, and Guidance.


  • A complete application consists of: 
    • Statement of Purpose
    • CV
    • Documentation of eligibility, as applicable: 
      • Copy of your permanent resident card or other documentation of permanent resident status
      • Copy of your 2019-2020 FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR)
      • Copy of your or your parent(s)'/guardian(s)' 2018 Federal Income tax return
    • Two recommendations (submitted directly by your references)
  • Statement of Purpose Guidelines

    All applicants must upload a 1-page statement of purpose (1-inch margins, 12pt font, single-spaced) addressing the following:


    Please explain why you believe you desire to become a McNair Scholar to transition into graduate school successfully. We are particularly interested in your family background, your educational experiences to date, your passion for your field of study, and your career objectives. We advise you carefully draft this statement. Writing a strong, clear, concise statement of purpose demands thoughtful planning and much revision.

  • Recommendation Guidelines

    Each applicant must have TWO recommendations. One letter should come from a faculty member (professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer) who can best assess your academic work, research potential, and motivation to attend graduate school. The second letter  can come from a personal mentor, advisor, employer, or supporter. If you are a first-year transfer student, you may obtain recommendations from your previous institution's faculty members.

  • Additional Application Materials

    Materials must be completed and uploaded into the online McNair Application within the applicable section. 


    Current OSU Unofficial Transcript

    McNair Authorization for Release of Records Form

    McNair Program Participation Agreement Form

  • The term first-generation
    A first-generation college students means: (1) a student neither of whose natural or objective parents received a baccalaureate degree; or (2) a student who, before the age of 18, regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, and whose supporting parent did not receive a baccalaureate degree; or (3) an individual who, before the age of 18, did not regularly reside with or receive support from a natural or an adoptive parent.
  • The term low-income
    The term low-income refers to an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount. Click here for current Federal TRIO Program low-income levels.


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