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Preparing for Graduate School

Interested in Graduate School?

Student Joe Gaskill dressed in graduated robes holds his diploma while talking on phone
Graduate school is about structured exploration and analysis of a topic YOU value. The McNair Scholars Program offers the opportunity to learn and work in an environment that supports your graduate school pursuits by providing research opportunities. Your research is a reflection of your ideas and work, further shaped by the intellectual influences of professors and other students in your department. 

As rising seniors, Scholars will attend a 3-day graduate school “bootcamp” focused on the application process. Topics include grad school searches, statement writing, soliciting strong letters of recommendation, financing graduate education, preparing for the graduate school culture, and more. Additionally, Scholars receive test preparation and financial assistance for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which many graduate programs require for admission.

Summer Research

Student Anna Vang observes cell cultures in a lab settingResearch provides the opportunity to develop a mentoring relationship by working one-on-one with a faculty member, gaining extensive skills and knowledge in a specific discipline, exposure to methodological techniques, writing and public speaking practice, and attaining strong letters of recommendation. Studies show that students who participate in research “earn better grades, are more likely to graduate and are better equipped for graduate school or careers.”¹

The McNair Scholars Program helps students reach their graduate school goals by offering a unique research experience during their undergraduate degree. Participating students spend an average of 400 hours exploring their topics, developing a thesis, collecting and reviewing data, and preparing a formal presentation of their findings, under the mentorship of a faculty research advisor. Additional summer programming includes weekly cohort-building sessions, professional and academic development workshops, graduate school visit, GRE test preparation, and other cultural activities.

¹ Rix, K. (2023, September 27). How Undergraduates Benefit From Doing Research. U.S. News & World Report.