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Attention eligible undergraduates aspiring for a Ph.D.: Dive into our McNair Scholars program! Unlock workshops, research internships, faculty mentorship, leadership opportunities, funding, and more—essential tools to elevate your educational journey. Let's make a difference together!

Recommendation Form

Eligibility Requirements & Criteria

Attention OSU students, including transfer students! If you're a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and meet the criteria below, don't miss the chance to apply for the McNair Scholars Program.


Applicants must meet either one of the following criteria:

(i) Be the first in your family to attend college, regardless of your race or ethnicity, and have a low family income as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.

(ii) Represent an underrepresented group in graduate education, including Alaska Native, American Indian, Black/African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, or Native American Pacific Islanders, as per the Code of Federal Regulations.


In addition to the criteria above, students must: 

(i) Reach junior or senior standing by completing at least 60 credits

(ii) Maintain a stellar cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

(iii) Envision an immediate transition to graduate school and desire to earn a Ph.D.


The McNair Scholars Program is exclusively for those aiming for a PhD, not applicable to those pursuing only a Master's or professional degrees like MD, JD, DVM, PharmD, PsyD, DNP, and more.

  • A complete application consists of: 
    • Craft a compelling Statement of Purpose
    • Showcase your achievements with a dynamic CV
    • Provide necessary eligibility documents:
      • Permanent resident card or equivalent
      • Verification document confirming first-generation low-income status obtained by program staff from the financial aid office.
    • Secure two impactful recommendations directly submitted by your references
  • Statement of Purpose Guidelines

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


    Clearly articulate why you aspire to be a McNair Scholar for a successful transition to graduate school. Share insights into your family background, educational journey, passion for your field, and career goals. Craft this statement with care—writing a compelling, concise purpose requires careful planning and revision.

  • Recommendation Guidelines

    Secure TWO recommendations for your application. The first from a faculty member assessing your academic work, research potential, and motivation for graduate school. The second can be from a personal mentor, advisor, employer, or supporter. First-year transfer students can obtain recommendations from faculty at their previous institution.

  • Additional Application Materials

    Ensure all materials are completed and uploaded in the relevant section of the online McNair Application.


    Current OSU Unofficial Transcript

    McNair Authorization for Release of Records Form

    McNair Program Participation Agreement Form

  • The term first-generation

    A first-generation college student is someone who (1) has parents without a baccalaureate degree; (2) before 18, lived with and received support from only one parent without a baccalaureate degree; or (3) before 18, didn't regularly reside with or receive support from a natural or adoptive parent.

  • The term low-income

    "Low-income" means an individual whose family's taxable income for the previous year did not surpass 150 percent of the poverty level. Check the current Federal TRIO Program low-income levels.


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