Cleveland State University

TRIO McNair Scholars Program

Program Information

The TRIO McNair Scholars Program provides students with critical academic, research, and professional experiences to enhance their competitiveness in gaining admission to graduate programs. Participants are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have demonstrated strong academic potential in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) disciplines, Health Sciences and Nursing.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the program, you must be either:

  • A student of any ethnicity, who is BOTH a first generation college student (neither parent nor guardian received a bachelor's degree) AND considered low-income according to federal guideline (see guidelines)


  • A student from an under-represented group in higher education [i.e., Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawiian, Pacific Islander]

In addition, you must be:

  • Enrolled at Cleveland State University
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • A major in STEM disciplines, health sciences, and nursing
  • Maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.8 as freshmen and sophomore
  • Able to demonstrate academic potential for graduate studies and express interest in a Ph.D

Faculty Support

Each scholar will be assigned a faculty discipline mentor and faculty out-of-discipline mentor

Discipline Faculty Mentor

  • Defines research topic
  • Teaches laboratory techniques
  • Guides research program
  • Guides research presentation
  • Informs about faculty careers
  • Provides direction during summer research

Non-Discipline Faculty Mentor

  • Assists in definition of research topic
  • Offers interdisciplinary perspectives of STEM
  • Offers interaction with faculty
  • Provides guidance during summer research


  • Faculty mentor and graduate assistant mentor
  • Non-disciplinary faculty mentor
  • Interdisciplinary seminars
  • GRE prep course
  • Research methods course
  • Development of research program
  • Independent study credit
  • Eight week summer research institute (for 10 selected scholars who have completed junior year)


Activities to prepare for doctoral study

  • McNair writing program
  • Conference attendance and presentation
  • Interpersonal communications development and community building
  • Internship opportunity
  • Social gatherings

Activities to prepare for entry into graduate school

  • Graduate school preparation program
  • Financing graduate education seminar
  • Family outreach
  • Personal portfolio counseling and follow-up

Why pursue doctoral education?

As our world makes a transition from a manufacturing society to a highly technical and information-based economy, new talent must be nurtured to meet this need. As a McNair Scholar, your skills will be enhanced through:

  • Community-based research opportunities on diverse topics
  • Opportunity to learn all components of pursuing graduate education
  • Participation in a close-knit community that will become a life-long network during your academic pursuits
  • Seminars and workshops that provide an understanding of how earning a doctorate degree in STEM can change your life
  • Financial support for undergraduate research as well as graduate education