Frequently Asked Questions

Will participating in the Program cost me anything?

No, it will only cost you your time and dedication. We will cover the costs of any McNair required materials, you will not pay tuition dollars for McNair workshops or classes, and we will even cover reasonable research costs during your summer project. We will cover travel costs and registration fees for at least one conference. We will even pay for your attendance to social and cultural events (i.e. plays, musicals, concerts, guest lectures, non-American restaurants, etc.) with other McNair Scholars. We are here to make academic life more enriching for you, not more expensive.

Is this a scholarship?

No. This is a scholars program that will require your time and effort, most importantly, a summer research internship.

What if the workshops or research conflict with my other class times?

The research project can be conducted as a 499 or Independent Study course within your major, so that you can receive units for your efforts. Scholars are required to attend monthly group meetings, but if your work or course schedule prevents you from making the meetings, you can arrange to meet one-on-one with the Director. Scholars are also required to meet on a weekly or biweekly basis with the Academic Coordinator for advisement, however the AC's schedule is flexible. The time and effort you invest in the program will benefit you for years to come.

What majors are eligible to participate in the Program?

The Department of Education created this program to identify students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in Mathematics, Science or Engineering. However, we presently serve students in a number of disciplines, the greater number being Mathematics and Science majors.

Are part-time students eligible to become McNair Scholars?

The requirements state that you have to be enrolled at CSUF and hold a full-time status (12 units or more).  

What if work, family, or other commitments conflict with the summer research internship?

We understand that students have lives. We also understand that we are all about preparation for graduate school. Somewhere there must be a balance between your commitments outside academics and your commitment to furthering your education. We can make reasonable, and limited, amendments to your participation on the summer program. But the summer program is a taste of what graduate school will be like for you. As you will have to manage your time and energy in graduate school, you will do the same in the McNair Summer Research Internship.

Can anyone write my letter of recommendation?

The McNair Staff prefers that you have a letter of recommendation from a Faculty member that is familiar with your academic progress.

May I choose my own mentor?

By all means! We do ask that your primary mentor be a CSUF faculty member with a doctorial degree. If they have not yet obtained their PhD, they may serve as your secondary mentor working along side your primary mentor.

I'm a senior. Is it too late to become a McNair Scholar?

No, but you may not be able to fully participate. You may, for example, not be able to do the summer research program. If you are a senior, we need to have you in the Program at least the summer BEFORE you graduate

I'm a sophomore. Can I still become a McNair Scholar?

We are happy to include sophomores in our services and programs, though you cannot, by definition, be a full McNair Scholar. Full participation should begin in the fall of your junior year. You will have to wait for full participation in the summer research program and certain other seminars, but other services are readily available to you. We're glad you're already thinking of graduate study, and we will encourage and facilitate your further consideration.