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What is a McNair Scholar?

The prestige of being a Cornell McNair Scholar is shared by only a dozen students or so each year. Cornell, as a McNair Program host, stands among UC Berkley, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Purdue, Texas A&M, and Howard University to name a few. The program is designed to prepare undergraduate scholars for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society.