The McNair/Gateway Scholars Program provides services aimed at promoting undergraduate student success through mentorship experiences, graduate school preparation, research training, career development, and a series of academic skills building initiatives. Participants are awarded competitive stipends and scholarships throughout their participation in the program. Students acquire mentoring from professors, graduate students, and professional staff members. The USC Office of Undergraduate Programs provides administrative oversight for the program and makes available opportunities for all students to participate in an array of academic, co-curricular, and funding programs. The academic focus of the program complements the services and other resources available to all students through the USC Student Affairs Division. Participating students, referred to as McNair Scholars, begin the program by taking a Research Methods Course in the Spring. Year-round and during the Summer Research Institute (SRI), McNair Scholars are advised by USC faculty members, Ph.D. students, and program advisors and administrators.
The McNair Scholars Program is a U.S. Department of Education Federal TRIO Program. The core components of the USC McNair Scholars Program include a Spring Research Methods Course, Summer Research Institute (SRI), Cohort Residential Life & Cultural Program, Annual Research Symposium & Poster Session, GRE Test Preparation, Travel Grant Awards for Conference Attendance & University Visitations, and Year-round Seminar Series and Academic & Career Advising.
In addition to offering an undergraduate-level TRiO Program, USC also administers high school and middle school TRiO initiatives including Upward Bound and Talent Search Programs. These programs provide year-round pre-college academic services to youth from public schools surrounding the university.