McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Prospective Students

USC Undergraduates--McNair-Gateway.jpg

Become part of the USC McNair/Gateway Scholars Program

Are you interested in pursuing graduate-level studies, perhaps even a Ph.D. program one day? Are you interested in learning how to conduct formal research and having the opportunity to engage in a real-world research project? Are you interested in receiving mentoring from USC's outstanding professors and graduate students? Would you like to know what it's like to be a professor and/or a Ph.D. student? If so, consider this program. The USC McNair/Gateway Scholars Program is recruiting students for the 2014-2015 Cohort. Students selected for the program become eligible for competitive stipends/scholarships. The program prepares students for graduate school, research experiences, faculty mentorships, symposiums and conferences, and publishing opportunities. The program provides professional development and invaluable networking experiences. Since 1996, the inception of the original McNair Program, more than 300 USC undergraduates have participated. Many of these former participants have acquired a graduate-level degree (nearly 130 master's and 50 doctoral degrees), a good number of them are still pursuing studies at the graduate-level (at least 50 -60), and several have become established and accomplished professionals.

Now, we challenge you to take the next important step in your USC experience by becoming a McNair/Gateway Scholar. We want you to experience the incredible level of academic and professional success that has been experienced by 300 USC undergraduates that have gone through the program. Become part of this Trojan legacy of success!

Submit an online Application (CLOSED)

APPLICATION IS CLOSED. The next application cycle for 2015-16 will become available in the Fall 2015 semester. Go here for the online application: You will be asked to use your USC login information (username and password). Applying early is highly recommended. Due date: November 10, 2014, 12 p.m. We recommend that you review all sections of the online application before beginning to work on it. Note the two essay prompts and all the other important information that you will be asked to fill in before submitting. Prior to entering your information online, we recommend that you copy and save the application as a PDF or Word document so that you can easily reference while not online. Doing this will allow you to prepare and gather all necessary information. REMINDER: A COMPLETED APPLICATION INCLUDES:

  1. Submission of an online application including the two essays
  2. The following supplemental documents can be emailed to or delivered to the McNair/Gateway Office, GFS 315 U:
  3. A resume/CV
  4. One faculty letter of recommendation (with official letterhead), second letter is optional
  5. Copies of 2013 Tax Information that shows Gross & Net Income
  6. Copies of USC STARS Report
Applicants: For supplemental documents being emailed as part of your application, please include the following SUBJECT LINE: "McNair/Gateway Application Materials: First Name, Last Name" -ex: "McNair/Gateway Application Materials: Tommy Trojan" Faculty Member: For the faculty member sending your letter (must have official letterhead) of recommendation via email to, please have him/her include the following SUBJECT LINE if possible: "McNair/Gateway LOR for Student's First and Last Name" -ex: "McNair/Gateway LOR for Tommy Trojan"

Attend a McNair/Gateway Scholars Program Information Session

Learn about program benefits, interact with current program undergraduates and faculty, and enjoy refreshments. Refer to the flyer below for details. RSVP for an information by submitting an email to

2014 McNair-Gateway Scholars Program Information Flyer.pdf

Who can apply? What's the program eligibility?

  • USC undergraduates enrolled full-time with sophomore, junior, or senior status (only seniors that will NOT be graduating Spring/Summer 2015 are eligible)
  • Cumulative USC GPA of at least 3.0
  • All USC undergraduate majors are eligible. Yes ANY MAJOR!
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident status
  • Strong desire to pursue graduate-level studies, especially at the Ph.D.-level
  • Strong desire to learn about how to conduct formal research and to engage in a real-world research project
  • Participate during the Spring 2015 Semester in a Research Methods Course/Graduate School Preparation Seminar (only on Tuesdays, 12:30 - 1:50 p.m.)
  • Participate during Summer 2015 in an Institute with a focus on Research Training, Graduate School Preparation, & Professional Development (only three days per week from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
  • AND must meet one of the following criteria: (1) First-generation College Student; (2) From a Low-income background (using federal income guidelines); (3) From an Underrepresented background in higher education (Black/African American, Chicano(a)/Mexican American, Latino(a)/Hispanic, Native American, Native Alaskan, & Pacific Islander). Please note that all students are eligible so along as they meet one of the aforementioned 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.

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

The US Department of Education considers the following students underrepresented in higher education: Black/African American, Chicano(a)/Mexican American, Latino(a)/ Hispanic American, Native American, Native Alaskan, and Asian Pacific Islander.

What Will I Do?
What Are the Benefits?

Program Transition from McNair to Gateway

    Please note that the McNair Program at USC is going through a transition and will soon be known exclusively as the Gateway Scholars Program. Hence, this is why we are referring to the program as McNair/Gateway this year. All that will change is the formal name and primary source of federal grant funding. The program mission, structure, services, rigor, and opportunities will remain the same. Review the various pages of the program's website in order to learn more. Refer to the program eligibility information and requirements below.

    For questions & additional information

      Email or cal (213) 740-8702 and direct your inquiry to Dr. Richard Andalon, Director & Associate Dean; David-James Gonzales, Ph.D. Candidate, Academic Coordinator & Advisor; or Mario Enriquez, MPA Candidate, Administrative Coordinator & Advisor.