- Be sophomores or first-semester juniors.
- Have a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA.
- Hold U.S. citizenship or permanent U.S. residency.
- Be income-eligible (according to federal guidelines) and be a first-generation college student or be a member of a traditionally underrepresented group in higher education (African-American, Native-American, Alaskan-Native/American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander or Hispanic/Chicano/Latino).
- Intend to pursue graduate studies leading to a Ph.D. (This program is not open to students pursuing medical or law degrees)
- Also, students who have transferred from a community college are encouraged to apply.
- Opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor on a paid summer research project.
- Each Scholar receives a $2,100 stipend for the summer (provided all program policies are adhered to).
- Opportunity to present research at a national McNair symposium, as well as other research conferences.
- The opportunity to receive incentives such as waivers of application fees and fellowships from universities across the country seeking McNair Scholars for entrance into their graduate programs.
- The opportunity to visit universities offering doctoral programs.