McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

About The McNair/Gateway Scholars Program

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a student academic services initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the University of Southern California. Through an array of academic affairs initiatives and student services, the program provides educational and career advising, academic skills building workshops/seminars, research training and other research-related opportunities, graduate school preparation, mentorships, summer programs, opportunities to participate in national-level academic and professional conferences, and scholarships and other supplemental funding. Eligible students include a select group of undergraduates from first generation college backgrounds, low-income households, and historically underrepresented minority communities. Currently, McNair programs exist at 200 colleges and universities nationwide. At USC, the program is administered by the USC Office of Undergraduate Program in collaboration with units across the university.In critical ways, the program complements USC's core academic, student affairs, and diversity programs.

USC staff and faculty work closely with participants as they complete their undergraduate requirements and encourage them to enroll in graduate programs. All academic disciplines are eligible, including the arts and humanities, social science, natural science, engineering, public health, and business. The program tracks students' progress all through their undergraduate years until the the successful completion of advanced degrees. The goal is to increase the attainment of graduate-level degrees, specifically Ph.D. degrees and other doctorates. The program aims to diversify the student bodies at the graduate-level and the professoriate ranks.

According to stipulated regulations and program practices, USC McNair must provide the following services: opportunities for research or other scholarly activities; summer internships; workshops and seminars designed to prepare students for graduate-level study, specifically the doctorate; academic tutoring; academic counseling; and advising designed to assist students with securing graduate-level admission and financial assistance. Furthermore, the program may provide the following: counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy of students; mentoring programs involving faculty members and graduate students; and exposing students to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged populations.


At USC, each Scholar is recognized upon their selection for the program and at the time they graduate from the university. While in the program, every Scholar is awarded a $2,800 stipend to support a full-time research agenda throughout the summer while working in collaboration with a USC faculty mentor. Additionally, Scholars are eligible for program-sponsored summer housing through their McNair scholarship, with a value up to $2000. Throughout their participation in the program, exceptional Scholars can also receive between $500 to $1000 for research conference travel and university visitations. In short, USC McNair is a year-round rigorous program that provides meaningful academic experiences and important financial resources.

Note: During the fall of 2014, the Research Gateway Scholars Program was initiated by Dr. Gene Bickers, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs, and Dr. Richard Andalon, Director of the McNair Undergraduate Program and Associate Dean with the USC Graduate School. The program builds upon the best program practices and remarkable success of the USC McNair Scholars Program, which operated from 1995 - 2014. The hope is to secure a new McNair Grant in an upcoming competition to resume program operations. Visit the new program website at: