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Carolina Higher Education Opportunity Programs Office (CHEOP)
385 Manning Drive,
SASB South Building,
Suite 2301
Campus Box # 8010 Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Phone: (919) 962-1281 Fax: (919) 966-6109

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Welcome to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Ronald E. McNair Scholars program!


The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 201 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair Scholars are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to present graduate school as a real possibility for these students, thus increasing graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society.

Mission Statement

The mission of the UNC-CH McNair Scholars Program is to provide 25 undergraduate students the support they need to advance into doctoral programs in their chosen field of study. The program assists McNair Scholars in building their repertoire of knowledge and skills needed to interpret and access the professional graduate education culture. The overall objective is to increase the number of Ph.D. recipients throughout the nation and to achieve this goal, we continue to serve as a bridge between undergraduate and doctoral programs.

Program Description

The UNC-CH McNair Scholars Program, established in October 2009, typically recruits in the early fall for sophomores, who will stay committed to the program until graduation. It provides a supportive and encouraging community, exposing students to the joys of research and scholarship and enabling them to develop close professional relationships with faculty mentors that will continue into graduate education.

To support this goal, the program will offer:

  • Eight week paid summer research program
  • Research courses
  • Interactive workshops and seminars
  • Travel to present research nationally
  • Graduate school tours
  • Faculty mentorship
  • Counseling and advising sessions
  • GRE Prep Classes & One (1) Paid GRE Test
  • Cultural events and activities
  • Networking opportunities
  • Support for publishing research findings
  • Opportunities for personal and academic development