McNair Scholars Program - About the Program

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Post-secondary Education awards The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program grants to institutions of higher learning. The projects are designed to prepare participants for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. Through the funding of an $1,125,000 grant awarded over five years (October 2007 - September 2012), the University of Southern Mississippi provide supports for eligible undergraduate students in preparation for admission into graduate programs.

McNair participants are undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have demonstrated strong academic potential. The university works closely with these participants through their undergraduate requirements, encourages their entrance into graduate programs, and tracks their progress to successful completion of advanced degrees. All academic disciplines are eligible.

Southern Miss Division of Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost provides administrative oversight for the program and offers the opportunity for the students to participate in an array of academic, leadership, cultural, and research activities. The core components of the Southern Miss McNair Scholars Program include a number of research methods workshops during the fall and spring semesters, the Summer Research Institute (SRI), the annual Research Symposium in October, intensive GRE test preparation, travel to national research conferences, opportunities to visit graduate programs, and assistance in applying for graduate school.

At Southern Miss, McNair Scholars receive a $2,800 stipend to participate in the program where they engage in original research under the mentorship of Southern Miss faculty advisors and graduate students. Students also receive a scholarship to pay for summer housing and tuition at the Summer Research Institute. At the conclusion of the summer, all McNair Scholars take the GRE, the cost of which is included in the Summer Research Institute. In the fall, McNair Scholars present their research findings to peers and faculty at a local symposium and most publish their work in the program's journal. Also in the fall, McNair Scholars become eligible for additional funding to present their research at national scholarly conferences and to visit prospective graduate school programs across the U.S.