Texas Tech University

McNair Scholars Program

The McNair programs are supported through a TRiO grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Initially funded in 2017, this grant aims to facilitate academic and professional success among qualifying students. The program's funding was successfully renewed in 2022, continuing its mission to provide vital educational resources and support.

McNair Scholars

The McNair Scholars Program is a two-year program that prepares first-generation and low-income and/or underserved undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair provides a series of workshops on the research process, culminating in an eight-week summer research program. Scholars work with their faculty mentors to complete a research project that simulates graduate-school-level work.

The program also prepares participants for applying to graduate school through a series of workshops on the GRE, writing a personal statement and CV, funding and navigating graduate school culture. McNair provides research funding and travel funding for conferences and graduate school visits. Additionally, scholars receive GRE fee reductions and graduate school application waivers for more than 200 schools nationwide.

McNair Explorers

The McNair Explorers Program is a year-long exploratory program for first- and second-year first-generation students. It introduces them to undergraduate research, leadership opportunities and graduate school resources while preparing them to apply to the McNair Scholars Program and other undergraduate programs and opportunities at Texas Tech.

Our Mission

The McNair Scholars and Explorers Programs at Texas Tech University aim to prepare first-generation, low-income, and underserved undergraduates for graduate and doctoral studies through research, workshops, and mentorship.

Our Vision

We envision a future where first-generation, low-income, and underserved undergraduates thrive in their academic pursuits. The McNair Scholars Program aspires to be a catalyst for educational achievement and empowerment. Through nurturing mentoring relationships, fostering undergraduate research opportunities, and comprehensive preparatory workshops, the program aims to enable scholars to excel in their chosen fields and successfully attain their doctoral degrees.

Faculty Mentors

Faculty mentoring is one of the most critical aspects of the McNair Scholars Program. Mentors are asked to commit their time, share knowledge and insights, and guide McNair Scholars through the research process to the completion of a research project. Mentors are also asked to provide full support to McNair Scholars for the duration of their undergraduate career by introducing relevant fields and professional networks, and assisting with the graduate school process.

Interested in applying to be a faculty mentor?

Start Mentor Application

Student Eligibility Requirements

Highly motivated and disciplined rising juniors who are:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • First-generation AND low-income and/or historically underserved students in graduate education
  • In good academic standing (3.0+ GPA desired)
  • Any major
  • Desiring to pursue graduate studies, especially at the Ph.D. level

Apply to the McNair Scholars Program

For additional information, please contact:

LaTricia Phillips, Ph.D.


Campus Access & Engagement