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Since the McNair Scholars program has been designed to support only 27 SSU undergraduate students per year, acceptance into the program is competitive.

There is no formal deadline at this time; however, space in the program is limited, so submit your application as soon as possible. We accept applications on a rolling-basis until all spots are filled. 

The ideal candidate for our program is a student who has completed 60-semester units and meets the eligibility requirements below; however, if you are interested in the program and have not yet reached junior status, please contact us so that we can help you prepare to apply.

If you have any questions about the program, please reach out to us at any time. We look forward to meeting you and helping you to develop and educational and career path that best fits your needs, goals, and interests.


  • To be considered for the McNair Scholars Program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Currently enrolled at SSU as an undergraduate with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Completed at least 60-semester units by the Spring semester of the academic year in which you apply for the program
  • Intention to pursue and complete a master's degree and/or a Ph.D.
  • AND be one of the following:
    • A low-income AND a first-generation college student of any ethnicity OR
    • A member of one of the four ethnic minority groups underrepresented in graduate education: African American, Latino/a, Native American, or Pacific Islander

Not sure if you qualify? Please email us at for more information about eligibility for the program.

Please note: Students pursuing a professional degree such as a nursing degree, J.D., M.D., MBA, etc., are not eligible to participate in the McNair Scholars Program.

How to Apply

To apply to the McNair Scholars Program, please submit the following materials:

  • McNair Scholars Program Application (PDF)
  • Unofficial or official transcripts from SSU and/or any other institution where you have earned more than 20 units of academic credit.
  • A recommendation from a faculty member in your major (or minor) is required as part of the application process. Please download, save, and email the McNair Faculty Recommendation form (PDF) as an attachment to your recommender, asking that they return the completed document directly to Dr. Daniel Malpica: If you are unable to get a recommendation from faculty in your major (or minor), please contact us to discuss other options.
  • Two short essays (Please attach your typed responses to the following prompts in separate documents (500-1000 words each). Please make sure to answer each component of the prompt in your response. 
    • Essay #1: Explain your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree. If selected to be a McNair Scholar, what research topic(s) would you be interested in researching and how is this research related to your educational/career goals? How will the McNair Scholars Program assist you in making your educational/career goals possible? Please specify your projected timetable for obtaining the Ph.D.
    • Essay #2: Tell us your story (your family background, journey to college, challenges you have faced and overcome, etc.). How has your personal background prepared you for the rigors of the McNair Scholars program as well as graduate-level study.


Please name your files consistently using the following naming convention: Last Name_First Name_Title of Document (e.g. Malpica_Daniel_Application, Malpica_Daniel_Essay 1)

Submitting Your Application

Your completed application and supplemental materials should be emailed to Dr. Daniel Melero Malpica, McNair Director, at

Program Requirements

In order to be prepared and competitive for graduate school programs, all McNair Scholars program participants must:

  • Attend regularly scheduled weekly workshops.
  • Meet individually with McNair program advisors for assistance with graduate school applications on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
  • Meet all program deadlines, including the submission of three (3) Research Report Forms detailing the progress of your McNair research project.
  • Make consistent progress on a research project each year in the program.
    This research project will be tailored to the participant’s graduate school interests/goals and developed with the guidance of an SSU faculty member after the participant is accepted into the McNair Scholars program.
  • Present McNair Scholars research at SSU’s annual research symposia.
  • Submit a scholarly research article under the guidance of a Faculty Mentor each academic year, which will be published in the annual McNair Scholars Research Journal.
  • Earn and maintain GPA of at least 3.0 by the beginning of the fall semester of the graduating senior year.