For each McNair program, at least two-thirds of the participants must be low-income and first-generation college students. The remaining participants may be from groups that are underrepresented in graduate education. Students must have the following requirements:
- Students must be Low income as defined by the US Dept. of Ed. AND First-generation college student, OR Member of an underrepresented group in graduate education - Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native.
- Student must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, enrolled full-time and in good standing with the university.
- Student must be a sophomore over above and have a declared major in the College of Science and Engineering, College of Education or the College of Liberal Arts. (Other majors may be considered on an individual basis.)
- Student must be a US Citizenship, permanent residency or resident/citizen of US protectorates.
- Student must desire to pursue a PhD after graduation. This program is not geared toward students who plan to pursue degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or law.
Sophomore students who have not yet met all of the requirements to enter the program may be designated as McNair Rising Scholar and participate in a number of activities that will prepare them for full participation in the Research Experience when they have earned junior standing and help them begin to explore possibilities for graduate education.