“Changing the Face of Doctoral Education”

The Renowned McNair Scholars Program is a U.S. Department of Education TRIO Program.


205-996-1561 (phone)

205-934-8887 (fax)

Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm

Sterne Library - Room 222-H1

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The application process is still open.
Apply today!

Applications for the Spring cohort are due by November 20. Applications for the Fall cohort are due by April 13 (first date) OR by July 24 (second date).

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, all applications should be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Got questions about our program? We hold information sessions every Monday on Zoom from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. with a live staff member or current McNair Scholar.

Information Session (via Zoom)


The purpose of the Ronald McNair Scholars Program is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society. We are NOT a scholarship program.


The benefits of our program include:

  • Opportunities for research and other scholarly activities
  • Summer internships
  • Seminars and other educational activities designed to prepare students for doctoral study
  • Free tutoring
  • Free printing
  • Assistance with personal statements
  • Academic Counseling
  • Activities that assist students in securing admission and financial assistance for enrollment in graduate programs
  • Education or counseling services that improve financial and economic literacy of students
  • Mentoring programs involving faculty members at institutions of higher education
  • Exposure to cultural events and academic programs
  • GRE preparation
  • Graduate School Tours

Interested Applicants

Unfortunately we do not offer scholarships. Program benefits are listed above. Students who are interested in this program must be:

  • a first-generation college student – with a limited income
  • a member of an underrepresented group in graduate education (African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Native Pacific Islander)

Additionally, students must:

  • be a citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S.
  • be a sophomore, junior, or a senior who is enrolled full-time at UAB
  • have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA
  • have an interest in conducting research (research is required one or two summers with the program)
  • be a student who is committed to attending graduate school and earning a doctorate degree. (Students must be interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or Ed.D. only. We are seeking students who are interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in a concentrated area: Art, Biology, Chemistry, Math, History, English/Literature, Foreign Languages, Business, Psychology, Sociology, Engineering, Computer Science, Education, Philosophy, Physics, Theater, Music, Anthropology, MD/Ph.D., etc.)
    Majors that are excluded include JD, PharmD, MD, PT, OT, DNP, and DDS. See staff for additional exclusions.


Interested applicants may complete the application below:

Below you will find the recommendation form for prospective applicants:

Faculty Mentoring

Are you a faculty member at UAB who is currently conducting research and interested in mentoring students? Come join our team!

Faculty members are the key to quality research for our scholars and our program. Faculty mentors will provide individualized attention on all aspects of the student's research activities, as well as some academic and career advising. Faculty mentors will benefit by making a difference in a scholar’s life by assisting students in developing professional work habits, research skills, and personal relationships to assist them in future doctoral pursuits.

Please click the application below if you are interested in finding out more about the qualifications, training, and experience needed to become a faculty mentor.

About Dr. McNair

Dr. Ronald E. McNair (1950-1986) was born and raised in Lake City, South Carolina. He came from a low-income family but was determined to excel in academia and life. He graduated as the valedictorian of Carver High School in 1967, and in 1971, he received his bachelor’s degree in Physics, magna cum laude, from North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C. In 1976, at the age of 26, he received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ronald McNair was nationally recognized for his work in laser physics and was one of the thirty-five applicants selected by NASA from a pool of ten thousand. In 1984, McNair became the second African-American to make a flight into space. He was a mission specialist on the space shuttle Challenger. He was a member of the crew when the Challenger exploded nine miles over the Atlantic shortly after take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 18, 1986.

Dr. McNair exemplified excellence and was the recipient of several honorary doctorates, fellowships and commendations. He had a sixth degree belt in karate and was an accomplished saxophonist. Dr. McNair was also a dedicated husband and the father of two children, Reginald Erwin and Joy Cheray.

  • Dr. Ronald E. McNair
  • Dr. Ronald E. McNair
  • Crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger
  • Dr. Ronald E. McNair
  • Dr. Ronald E. McNair


The McNair Scholars Program is an award winning program. Please see our achievements below:

Micah Williams
2nd place, Oral Presentations
UAB Fall 2020 Expo

Veronica Mixon
3rd place, Oral Presentations
UAB Fall 2020 Expo

Kiana Little
3rd place Oral Presentations
UAB Fall 2020 Expo

Kiara Aaron
1st Place, Health Sciences Division
UAB Fall 2019 Expo

Jasmine Cunningham
3rd place, Oral Presentations
UAB Fall 2019 Expo

Tammara Westbrook
1st place, Division of Education
UAB’s Summer Expo 2019

Sari Terrazas
3rd place, Oral Presentations
UAB’s Summer Expo 2018

Sari Terrazas
1st place, Poster Presentations
SAEOPP 2018 McNair/SSS Scholars Research Conference (Atlanta, GA)

James Boyett
1st place, Oral Presentations-Division of Health Sciences
2018 McNair/SSS Scholars Research Conference (Atlanta, GA)

Student Testimonials

  • "McNair Scholars’ program is a program like no other. Take advantage of the resources while they are there and the networking opportunities that Dr. Russell provides. An opportunity like this is rare and should be taken seriously. It is not common to be able to speak directly with Deans and Presidents of graduate schools and universities, but McNair provides this. McNair scholars truly are the standard!"

    Jasna Williams, McNair Alumni - Fall 2020

  • "Being a part of the McNair Scholars Program is a great achievement, so take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you. Even if you believe that it is not within the range of your professional goals, still take advantage because you never know who or what is out there, and it may be the one element that allows you to become who you are destined to be. The McNair Scholars Program rocks! "

    Dorelle Wilson, McNair Alumni - Fall 2020

  • "Take this program serious, and utilize all the resources given to you from the workshops, the GRE preps, the campus visits, the amazing staff, and the research. USE IT!! It is there for you to be successful in pursuing your Ph.D. Do not waste your opportunity to get accepted into some of my most amazing programs in the country. Show up and show out because you are going to be great!"

    Trishuna Holt, McNair Alumni - Fall 2020

  • "The McNair Scholars Program opened many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Specifically, research mentorship and conference presentations. The experience has been invaluable, and I have been extremely fortunate to have it."

    James Boyett, McNair Alumni - Spring 2020

  • "The McNair program has afforded me countless opportunities. From weekly GRE Prep to the McNair Conferences, this program clearly defined what I needed to do in order to achieve a doctorate degree. I thank the McNair Program for its investment in me as well as the preparation the program has given me."

    Orielle Caudle, McNair Alumni - Summer 2020

  • "As a McNair Scholar, it is important to understand and take advantage of the resources that are being provided to you as a McNair scholar. Most importantly, attending conferences and meeting new people, being familiar with your cohort, and working with your mentor will help you a lot in your career and sets you aside from a lot of people."

    Kiara Aaron, McNair Alumni - Summer 2020

  • "The McNair Scholars Program has been immensely helpful with helping me understand and decide the direction for my future and with learning about the many resources that can help me succeed. Dr. Russell and the others show that they want the students to succeed and just knowing this keeps inspiring me to push forward."

    Jacobi McGrew, McNair Alumni - Summer 2020