Student Diversity, Engagement and Success

McNair Scholars

Upcoming Events

March 2021

Saturday, March 13th

11:00am - 12:30pm

Sociocultural Event: Vibez Creative Arts Space Virtual Paint n' Sip

Saturday, March 20th

11:00am - 12:30pm

March McNair Monthly Forum: Teach Everyone About Money w/ Sunny Atkinson

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program realizes the value of diversity among researchers and scholars in academia. It aims to prepare undergraduate students who have demonstrated strong academic potential for the rigor of doctoral studies. Through its participants engaging in research and other high impact educational practices, the McNair program intends to diversify the professoriate and other research-intensive careers. 

A central feature of the program is the mentoring provided by UW-Whitewater faculty, where each scholar receives guidance in working on an undergraduate research project, as well as regular contact with a professional role model during their first summer and academic year. Scholars participate in a research internship during their second summer at a university, regional or national research center. This program promotes:

  • Research and scholarly activities
  • Enrollment in graduate programs
  • Continued enrollment in graduate programs
  • Doctoral degree attainment


The Life of Ronald E. McNair

Dr Ronald McNair portraitRonald Erwin McNair was best known for his illustrious service to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Dr. McNair was born October 12, 1950, in Lake City, South Carolina. He attended North Carolina AT&T State University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1971 with a BS in Physics. Dr. McNair then enrolled in the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1976, at the age of 26, he earned a Ph.D. in Physics. Dr. McNair became a recognized expert in laser physics while working as a staff physicist with Hughes Research laboratory. He was selected by NASA for the space shuttle program in 1978 and was a mission specialist aboard the 1984 flight of the shuttle Challenger. Ronald McNair was tragically killed in the Challenger accident in 1986. After his death, members of Congress provided funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program to encourage college students to enroll in graduate studies.


  • Completed online Application
  • Writing Sample (Maximum 5 pages)
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (at least one MUST be from a UWW Professor)
  • Copy of 2019 federal tax return (usually 1-2 pages long) that shows adjusted gross income, taxable income, and signature


Follow the link to complete the online application. Please answer every question completely and accurately. Supplemental documents are also required to successfully complete the application. Be sure to include your name on all uploaded documents.

To be uploaded at the end of the online application in the Supplemental Items section:

  • Signed copy of parent’s 2019 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ Income Tax Return or yours if you are an INDEPENDENT student. BE SURE TO BLOCK OUT SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS PRIOR TO UPLOADING
  • Spring 2020 Unofficial Transcript
  • Writing sample of a 2-5 page course paper that was completed within the last year

To be EMAILED to

  • A total of 2 letters of recommendation. AT LEAST ONE MUST BE FROM A UW WHITEWATER PROFESSOR


Once your application and supporting documents have been successfully submitted, you will meet with the McNair Director to review eligibility and application materials


If your application is approved by the McNair Director, you will advance to the next phase by completing a formal interview with the McNair Advisory Committee.


If you are selected by the McNair Advisory Committee, you will be offered a position in the incoming 2021-2023 McNair Scholars Cohort. Thereafter, you will sign the McNair Scholars Program Participation Contract, attend an orientation, and enroll in the 1 credit online McNair Spring Seminar.