Are you a motivated undergraduate student at Bemidji State University looking to further your education and achieve your dreams of obtaining a Ph.D.?

Named in honor of the late Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D., an African-American physicist who tragically lost his life in the Space Shuttle Challenger mission, the nationwide McNair Scholars Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education prepares students for success in graduate school.

Our program offers a stimulating and supportive atmosphere that encourages learning and growth, both personally and professionally. We are dedicated to helping you reach your ultimate goal of obtaining a Ph.D. within 10 years of graduating from BSU. With our comprehensive services and resources, you’ll have the support you need to reach new heights in your academic and career journey.

Program Benefits

Bemidji State is the only Minnesota State institution to offer the McNair Scholars Program. As a McNair Scholar, you’ll have access to a wealth of resources to help you succeed.

  • Courses to prepare scholars for research and presentations
  • Experience conducting research with a faculty mentor
  • Fee waivers for graduate applications
  • Academic and career counseling
  • Personal statement and CV development
  • Stipend for conducting summer research
  • Funding for travel to graduate schools
  • Opportunity to present at a national conference


Annually, 25 undergraduates who are interested in pursuing graduate studies participate in the BSU’ s McNair Scholars Program. To be eligible, you must:

  • have a GPA of 3.0
  • be a U.S. citizen or have a permanent residency visa
  • be a first-generation college student who meets low-income guidelines OR be from an ethnic group underrepresented in graduate education (African-American, Chicano/Latino, Native American/Alaskan or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander)
  • intend to pursue a Ph.D. after graduation


Ready to apply? Submit an application through our online form or print and complete a paper application.

We look forward to reviewing your application. Applicants will be contacted for an interview. If you have any questions, please contact the TRIO McNair Scholars Office and we will be happy to assist you.

Additional Forms