Winthrop University: Winthrop McNair Scholars - Application

McNair Scholars

If you are considering graduate study, explore the McNair opportunity. We help outstanding undergraduates who meet federal eligibility criteria become competitive for, get admissions and funding offers from, and prepare to succeed in graduate and professional programs. To receive priority consideration, students must submit completed Parts 1 and 2 of the application by 5 pm, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022 and ensure two professional references submit complete recommendation forms by 5 pm Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Details and forms are included below.


Info Sessions - Here are events where you can learn more about McNair. 

  • OPEN TO ALL Interested Undergraduates, Faculty, and Staff - Refreshments provided at in-person events
    • Discussion Focus: Program Purpose and Eligibility
    • Discussion Focus: Application Questions
  • For College of Business Students: Tuesday, 10/4 @ 11 am – Thurmond 210
  • For First Generation College Students: First Gen Networking Event, Thursday, 9/29, 11 am – 12 pm in Richardson Ballroom
  • For EAGLE STEM Scholars: Wednesday, 9/28 @ 2 pm – Sims 209

Are you eligible to be a Wintrop McNair Scholar?

If you are interested in participating in the Winthrop McNair Scholars Program, but do not know if you are eligible, complete the online survey ASAP or email to inquire about your eligibility.

Only apply if you can say "yes" to all of the following.

  • I am interested in pursuing a PhD, another doctorate, or a master's degree. 
  • I am a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident, or meet another citizenship requirement.*
  • I am either or both
    • a first generation college student* from a low-income family*   OR
    • a college student from a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in graduate education.*
  • I am available to participate in the McNair summer research internship all day every weekday. The summer research internship runs mid-May through mid-July.
  • I have a GPA of 3.0 or better and am enrolled at a four-year college or university in SC.
  • I will have completed my sophomore year (at least 54 credit hours) by the beginning of the next summer.
  • I will graduate at least one semester after the next McNair Summer Research Experience.

*Visit the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at this link and this link to see federal eligibility criteria and key definitions. The definitions below are quoted from the CFR and most recent Annual Performance Report (APR) instructions found here (  

First generation college student

The term “first generation college student” means—
(A) an individual both of whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree; or
(B) in the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree; or
(C) an individual who, prior to the age of 18, did not regularly reside with or receive support from a natural or adoptive parent (this third definition is added, to those specified in the CFR, from the McNair APR instructions at

 Low-income individual 

The term “low-income individual” means an individual from a family whose taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of an amount equal to the poverty level determined by using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census. See

Groups underrepresented in graduate education

The following ethnic and racial groups are considered underrepresented in graduate education: Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native (as defined in section 7306 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)), Native Hawaiians (as defined in section 7207 of the ESEA), and Native American Pacific Islanders (as defined in section 320 of the HEA).

To apply, complete and submit Parts 1 and 2 of the application and have two professional recommendations submitted on your behalf. 

    Links to the three components of the current application are below.

  • Part 1 - Part 1 will be used to establish your eligibility for the program.  You must answer the questions and submit the online survey.  Do this before completing the rest of the application. Print/screenshot this survey page, sign it, and include it with your other application materials. To guarrantee priority consideration, submit by 5 pm 10/17/22. 
  • Part 2 - Part 2 includes the Applicant Form and Recommendation Forms which are available for download by clicking on the links below. Follow the directions in the part II Applicant Form. Submit all application materials via email to or in an envelope to the Program office (McNair Scholars Program, 104 Dinkins Hall, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733). Check out "Summer Research" to see examples of recent McNair research projects and awards. To guarrantee priority consideration, submit by 5 pm 10/17/22.  
  • Two Recommendations: Well in advance of the deadline, ask two or more references to complete and submit the recommendation form below. To guarrantee priority consideration, two complete recommendations forms must be received by 5 pm 10/24/22.  

Eligible sophomores and juniors at Winthrop and other SC colleges and universities are encouraged to apply (see eligibility info below). In addition to Winthrop students, our program has served students at Clemson, College of Charleston, Columbia College, Limestone, and Wofford.  

To learn more about the program or your eligibility after you have reviewed this website, join one of our drop-in sessions or contact the program at Please contact if you are interested in arranging or attending a Winthrop McNair info session. You can also learn about the program by checking out our program flyer.

Last Updated: 9/29/22