McNair Scholars Program USC

Prospective Students

What's Your Passion?

Are you passionate about pursuing graduate-level studies, perhaps a Ph.D. Program? Are you passionate about engaging in research in an area of great interest to you? Are you interested in receiving mentoring from USC's outstanding professors and graduate students? Would you like to be a professor or researcher one day? If so, consider the USC McNair/Gateway Scholars Program. Program participants are equipped with the necessary tools that assist them in maximizing their undergraduate experiences as they equip for graduate school. We have a two-year program that is an unforgettable experience. We promise! As we prepare you to become a professor or researcher at the college and university levels, and, generally, as a professional in society, you will learn the necessary information and acquire the critical skills to help you become successful in your future. Since 1996, the inception of the program, more than 300 USC undergraduates have participated in McNair. Many of these former participants have acquired a graduate-level degree (e.g., masters and doctoral degrees), a good number of them are still pursuing studies at the graduate-level, and several have become established and accomplished professionals. By joining McNair/Gateway you become part of a family network at USC and a national network that spans across the U.S. over 200 programs at various colleges and universities. Now, we challenge you to take the next step by becoming a McNair/Gateway Scholar! Provide us with the opportunity to assist by helping you get to the next level in your academic and professional career. So, what's your passion? Researching some topic? Becoming a professional? Preparing for graduate studies in an area of interest to you? Refer to the program eligibility information and requirements noted below. Below, you will also learn how to apply.

Submit an online Application

Submit an online application at

Attend a McNair/Gateway Scholars Program Information Session

Learn about program benefits, interact with current scholars, and enjoy refreshments. Refer to the flyer for details.


Who Can Apply?

  • Must be a USC Student enrolled full-time with at least sophomore, junior, or senior status
  • Seniors planning to walk in May 2014 are encouraged to apply!
  • Unfortunately, Seniors planning to walk in December 2014 are not eligible
  • Minimum of 60 units completed by end of Spring semester
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident status
  • Motivation to obtain a doctorate degree
  • Aspirations for an academic or research career
  • Either first-generation college student & low-income or member of an underrepresented ethnic group (African American, Mexican American/Chicano, Hispanic/Latina/o, Native American, Asian Pacific Islander, Native Alaskan or Native Hawaiian). Click here for details.
  • Attend or enroll in AMST 392: Undergraduate Research Methods (Spring semester)
  • Available to participate full-time in the Summer Research Institute
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident Status

* Low-income guidelines are established by the federal government. Please refer to to determine if you meet this criteria.

** First generation college is defined by the Federal government as a student who has not resided with or received primary support from a parent who has received a BA degree or equivalent.

*** The US Department of Education considers students who are African American, Mexican American/Chicano, Hispanic American/Latino, Native American, Asian Pacific Islander, Native Alaskan or Native Hawaiian to be underrepresented in higher education.

What Will I Do?
What Are the Benefits?
Apply Now!