2020-2021 McNair Scholars Program Application

Applications for the next cohort of McNair Scholars starts now!  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!!

Applications are accepted through November 23, 2020. Please read through this whole page before accessing the application at the bottom. 

Recommendations must be submitted by November 30.

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. We encourage you not to wait until the deadline to submit your application, since references may not have an opportunity to complete the information! Please note: incomplete applications and/or applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. 

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.


Application and Selection Process


Additional Information

Application Closes

November 23, 2020, 11:59 PM



November 30, 2020, 11:59 PM

DON'T wait until you have submitted your application to ask for a recommendation. Contact your recommenders as soon as possible to confirm their participation. It is in your best interests to submit your application well before the deadline because only when we get your completed application will we send an email to your recommenders requesting that they complete an online recommendation form for you. Their deadline for completing that recommendation form is very tight, and if you wait until the last minute your recommender may not be able to get it done on time.

Preliminary  Interviews via Zoom

Upon receipt of completed application

During these virtual interviews, the McNair staff will discuss your elibility and the program's expectations for participation. Based on these interviews, selected applicants will move forward to the final interviews.

Final Interviews via Zoom

Tentatively early December

The McNair Selection Committee, comprising UNT faculty members and McNair alumni, will conduct 30 minute virtual interviews with each of the selected applicants via Zoom. The Selection Committee makes recommendations on the final selection of applicants for the McNair Scholars Program.

Selection Decision Announced

Tentatively early December

Applicants will be notified via email of final selection decision.

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.