One of eight federally funded TRIO Programs, the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program (the McNair Scholars Program) offers effective preparation for doctoral study to low-income, first-generation college students and students from groups underrepresented in graduate education. McNair Scholars participate in extensive undergraduate research internships in their field of interest. Currently, 153 McNair Programs serving 4,482 students are funded at colleges and universities across the United States.
The program is named for physicist Ronald E. McNair, whose many distinctions include being a Presidential Scholar, a Ford Foundation Fellow, a National Fellowship Fund Fellow, and a NATO Fellow. He was also a sixth degree black belt in karate and an accomplished saxophonist. Selected by NASA for the space shuttle program in 1978, his first space shuttle mission launched successfully from Kennedy Space Center in 1984. Two years later he was selected to serve as mission specialist aboard the ill-fated U.S. Challenger space shuttle. Dr. McNair was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. After his death, members of Congress provided funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. Their goal was to encourage low-income and first-generation college students, and students from historically underrepresented ethnic groups to expand their educational opportunities by enrolling in a Ph.D. program and ultimately pursue an academic career. The program is dedicated to the high standards of achievement inspired by Dr. McNair’s life. Click here to read NASA's biography of Dr. Ronald E. McNair.
Click here for more information about the McNair Scholars Program at the University of Delaware.
"Defy and simply ignore any of the inevitable obstacles that will impede your pursuit of your goal.” —Ronald E. McNair