Apply to the Program

The UNL McNair Scholars Program is a select, competitive honors program seeking top scholars who demonstrate sound academic performance, strong potential for graduate school achievement, and a desire to pursue a career in which a doctorate is required.

Accepting applications for the Fall 2024 Cohort.

See eligibility section for dates specific to the 2024-25 cohort.

Application Deadline for the Fall 2024 Cohort: April 15, 2024.


Eligibility is as easy as ABC: Academics, Biography, and Commitment. If each of the following statements is true for you, there is a place for you in UNL's McNair Program.


  • I am currently enrolled as a full-time student in an undergraduate degree program at UNL.
  • I can verify excellent undergraduate academic achievement; my GPA is at least 3.0.
  • I am a freshman, sophomore, or junior and I will have completed 52 credit hours of undergraduate work before May 30, 2025.
  • My expected graduation date is December 2025 or later.


  • I am a citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States.
  • I am (A) a first-generation university student who also has a demonstrated need/income level established by the U.S. Department of Education or (B) a member of a group underrepresented in graduate education (African American/Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian and/or other Pacific Islander (with an affiliation with the United States).
  • I am scholastically competitive and ambitious.


  • I am willing to participate in all McNair sponsored events until I graduate with my bachelor's degree, including the 2024-25 academic year colloquia and the 2025 McNair Summer Research Experience in Lincoln.
  • I am committed to a career path in which a Ph.D. is required.

Dates in this eligibility section will be updated each time we begin accepting applications for a new cohort.

Unsure whether you qualify?

See the Frequently Asked Questions. If you have additional questions about the program or the application process, contact Carol Boehler for more information. We'll provide an overview of the McNair Scholars Program at UNL, visit with you about your long-term academic and professional career interests, and explain the application process in detail.

Applying to the Program

Part 1: Application Form

McNair Application Form

Before you begin this webform, be sure you have:

  • Your NUID number. This 8-digit number is printed on your NCard.
  • Two faculty members (or one faculty member and one advisor) who have agreed to serve as recommenders, and a valid email address for each.
    • Let them know that they will be contacted by email and asked to complete a short online form. Instead of a full letter of recommendation, this form involves ratings and a brief evaluation statement.
    • Valid email addresses are essential; otherwise recommenders will not receive our automated email messages and will be unable to recommend you.

Part 2: Supporting Materials

  • Statement of Purpose — After you submit your online application, you will receive a link to submit your personal statement. In this statement, you should discuss your research interests, as well as your academic and career goals.
  • Tax Forms / FAFSA — Complete the top portion of the form and email it to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid,, after completion of the current year FAFSA.
  • College Transcript — Order your electronic transcript from the Office of the University Registrar and have it sent to:
  • Two Recommendations — If you've talked to your recommenders ahead of time, you won't need to do anything extra. Instructions are automatically emailed to recommenders when you submit the application form.