University Resources for McNair Scholars

Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, one of the astronauts who perished with the Challenger mission, this Federal TRIO Program for U.S. Citizens and permanent residents assists eligible first-generation undergraduate students from low-income families to prepare for and enter graduate and Ph.D. programs. Participants of the McNair Scholars Program include academically talented, low-income, first-generation students, and students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in graduate programs.

As a McNair Scholar at the University, you have access to many resources that can enhance your University experience.

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Programs, Conferences, and Fellowships

The McNair Scholar Request for Application Fee Waiver

The Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO) offers a waiver of the application fee ($75) to McNair Scholars. To qualify, students must meet eligibility requirements and complete the Request Form for a Waiver of the Application Fee at least two weeks before your program deadline.

The Application Cycle for a Fee Waiver Request for AY 2021-2022 is now closed. 

Application Fee Grant for Fall 2022

  • The deadline for Fall 2021 applicants to submit a Request for a Waiver of the Application Fee request to the GSDO is December 15, 2021 at 12:00 pm CST. 
  • Applicants must begin their request for a fee waiver by December 17, 2021 at 12:00 pm CST
  • If your program’s deadline is earlier than December 17, 2021, be sure to submit your fee waiver request at least two weeks before the deadline and notify our office at as soon as possible to ensure the fee waiver is applied before the deadline. 
  • Application fees will not be paid after the program deadline.

In order to be redeem your waiver of the application fee, please be mindful of the following:

  • Admission applications must be completed by January 1, 2022 at 12:00 pm CST or by the graduate program deadline, whichever date comes first.
  • Only one fee waiver is offered per person.
  • If your program’s deadline is after January 1, 2022 and you need more time, you can opt to pay and submit your own admissions application without a waiver.

You can request a waiver of the application fee if:

  • You are a McNair Scholar.
  • You have an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or above.
  • You are entering graduate school for the first time or have not received a post-baccalaureate degree.

Fee waiver request information

Only one application fee waiver will be allowed per student to apply to a University of Minnesota Graduate School program. Students may opt to apply to more than one program; however, only one application fee can be paid by our office.

The Application Fee Waiver does not apply to the following professional programs, which are not administered by the Graduate School:

  • UMN College of Veterinary Medicine
  • UMN Carlson School of Management
  • UMN Medical School
  • UMN Law School
  • UMN School of Public Health
  • The School of Public Health has its own McNair Scholar fee waiver process. Please contact Emily Dunsworth or visit SOPHAS for more information.
  • For Psychology Ph.D. McNair Prospective Students: due to the high volume of application fee requests, please refer to the Psychology McNair Webpage for information on how to obtain a possible departmental application fee grants.

Helpful Additional Resources for Prospective McNair Scholars

Dove Fellowship

The Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowship is administered by the Graduate School Diversity Office. At least two DOVE fellowships will be awarded to McNair Scholar nominees each year.

Professional Education Diversity Fellowship

McNair Scholars are eligible for the University’s Professional Education Diversity Fellowship. This fellowship is intended to assist professional degree programs in promoting a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas through the recruitment and support of academically excellent students with diverse ethnic, racial, economic, and educational backgrounds and experiences.

National McNair Conferences

The University of Minnesota attends McNair Scholar Symposiums around the country to attract McNair Scholars.


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UMN McNair Summer 2021 Visitation Program


We hope you all are healthy and staying safe. Due to the current University of Minnesota policies regarding COVID-19 we have decided to cancel our in-person events. Since you indicated, however, that your McNair Programs have gone remote the Graduate School is pleased to invite your scholars to one of our new interactive virtual "Applying to Graduate School" presentations.

We ask that you make reservations at least one month prior to the desired date of your visit. We will thereafter send an invitation to have your students register so we will be able to give them Zoom instructions as well as pertinent materials and information that will help with the presentation. Once you complete the form, we will be able to send you an email confirmation.


Please note that due to limited space available (n=150 McNair Scholars) for each presentation, date selections are on a first come, first serve basis. 

Dates of Events:

  • Tuesday, June 29 - 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 13 - 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Virtual Presentation Agenda

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Applying to Graduate Schools Presentation (to include Graduate School staff and invited Graduate Program Coordinators). The presentations are interactive, so your students will have the opportunity to ask questions.


To sign up for one of the virtual presentations, please complete the following online form:

To confirm your programs interest in participating, please complete the following online form by Friday June 4, 2021

Scholars will be required to register individually. Once you complete the form, we will send you an email with more information regarding student registration, Zoom instructions, as well as pertinent materials and information.

If you need assistance in selecting an appropriate program, please contact

Faculty/Staff Appointments

Graduate School Programs Brochure

Please note that your students are still encouraged to set up remote meetings (if available) with faculty and staff in their desired program(s) to discuss research interests and learn more about the program.

To set up a remote appointment for specific programs, please go to the Twin Cities Graduate Programs website. Select the desired program and click on “Program At-A-Glance” in order to obtain the contact information of the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). We encourage you to start with the GPC.

Students interested in the field of Psychology should be aware that the University of Minnesota has a wealth of programs that may be appropriate for your visit. This Psychology Brochure lists some of our graduate programs in the field of psychology.

Students interested in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics; Integrative Biology and Physiology; Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics; Microbiology, Immunology & Cancer Biology; Neuroscience; Pharmacology) please contact:

Danielle Watt, Ph.D. - Director, Office of Biomedical Graduate Research, Education And Training (BGREAT), University of Minnesota 742 Mayo MMC293, 420 Delaware St. SE | Minneapolis, MN 55455-0341, 612.301.2768 | |

Students interested in the School of Public Health, please contact: Emily Dunsworth, Coordinator for Student Recruitment & Engagement, School of Public Health, D305 Mayo, 612-625-0498,,

If you need assistance in selecting an appropriate program, please contact .