2020-2021 McNair Scholars Program Application

Applications for the 2020-2021 cohort of McNair Scholars are open!  Students who are first generation college students from low income families, or are members of underrepresented groups, and who plan to pursue the Ph.D. degree, please TAKE NOTE!!

Please read through this whole page before accessing the application at the bottom. 

For more details about the UNT McNair Scholars Program, visit the Program Information page. You will find information on eligibility, benefits, and responsibilities to the McNair program.

Checklist for a Completed Application (Item 1 - 5):

1. Online McNair Application

2. Essay (Part of the Online Application)

  • A short (800-1000 word) personal essay.  Please include responses to all of the following (in no particular order):
    • The longstanding goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to allow students to transition from undergraduate studies directly into doctoral programs in their chosen disciplines.  Describe why you would like to pursue a Ph.D. in that field. 
    • Describe in as much detail as possible both your tentative plans for research and your career goals.
    • Given your background (low income and first generation college student, and/or a member of federally recognized underrepresented group), discuss some of your specific educational needs.
    • Address the specific advantages that you think being a McNair Scholar will provide you.  
    • Explain your understanding of the goals of the McNair Program, and why you think its assisting you in preparing for doctoral studies to achieve your goals will also serve the national McNair program.

We encourage you to virtually utilize the UNT Writing Center (https://writingcenter.unt.edu/online-tutoring). Writing Center staff will help you edit and revise your personal essays. The McNair staff has contacted the director of the UNT Writing Lab, and she and her staff look forward to helping you!

3. Two Recommendations

You will need 2 recommendations. Your references cannot submit recommendations until after your application has been submitted. Once you submit your application, each reference will be emailed a recommendation form and answer several questions about your overall ability as a student, your potential in graduate school, and your aptitude to do research. 

4. Unofficial academic transcripts from UNT or previous institute

  • Access via MyUNT for unofficial transcript or contact your previous institution(s)
  • Submit via mcnair@unt.edu

5. IRS Tax Transcript for income verification

  • You will need your 2019 IRS Tax Return Transcript (TRT) if you are a dependent student, or your own IRS Tax Return Transcript if you are an independent student. To find out if you are a dependent or independent student, please click here.
  • IRS Tax Return Transcripts can be accessed online or by phone. Use the directions provided by UNT Financial Aid & Scholarships to request your IRS Tax Transcript as soon as possible. Requests mailed generally take a week to 10 days to be received. To access your family or your tax transcript from IRS, click here.
  • Submit your IRS Tax Return Transcripts via email, after you have blacked out all but the last 4-digits of any SSN# included on the TRT, to mcnair@unt.edu.


Click HERE to open the 2020-2021 McNair Application. The application is fillable and can be completed electronically but you must download it, save it, open it, and then complete it. Otherwise it will not let you sign digitally. 

If you have any questions, please send your inquiry to McNair@unt.edu.