Prospective Students


Candidates for the McNair Scholars Program at Syracuse University for fall 2021 must meet the following guidelines:

  • Strong interest in graduate education and scholarly research.
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Undergraduate student at Syracuse University with at least 48 credit hours (sophomore standing) and a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average by July 2021
  • Must meet at least one of the following federal eligibility criteria:
    • A first-generation college student (natural or adoptive parent(s) has/have not received a bachelor’s degree) who meets federal income guidelines based on taxable income. See the bottom of this page for more on determining income status and what to submit.
    • Underrepresented in graduate education by ethnicity (defined federally as Black/African American, Hispanic, Native American/Alaskan Native and/or Pacific Islander)


The McNair Scholars Program is a competitive program. Eligible students interesting in participating in the program must submit an application with eligibility documentation and two letters of recommendation.

To apply:

  1. Please note that while applying you’ll be asked for the following:
    • A resume (or document listing of 2-4 extracurricular activities).
    • A statement of research as described in the application.
    • A personal statement as described in the application.
    • Your or your household’s relevant tax information (2020 taxable income, Line 15 of 2020 1040 federal tax forms)
  2. Choose two individuals to complete your recommendations and send them each a link to the recommendation form.
  3. Complete the McNair Program Application Form (including eligibility information)
  4. If applicable, mail relevant tax documentation to the McNair office (see bottom of this page).
Apply Now

Deadline Extended: Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Income Eligibility and Status

To determine income status, first determine if you are:

  • dependent: a student who depends on parent/guardian(s) for financial assistance and is therefore listed as dependent on their federal income tax forms.
  • independent: a student who meets certain legal requirements to receive federal financial aid to pay for college based on the student’s ability to pay.

When applying, you must indicate if you meet or do not meet the taxable income guidelines per number in family.

  • If you meet income guidelines and you are also a first-generation college student, you must submit pages 1-2 of 2020 federal 1040/1040-SR tax form. Do not email or electronically submit tax forms. Please mail a copy to:
    McNair Scholars Program
    419 Sims Hall
    Syracuse, New York 13244
  • If you meet income guidelines but you are not a first-generation college student, you will be considered under the underrepresented category. You are not required to submit federal tax forms.
  • If you are a first-generation college student but do not meet income guidelines, you will be considered under the underrepresented category. You are not required to submit federal tax forms.

If you are uncertain about your eligibility (first generation college student or income verification, please contact the program director, Christabel Sheldon.