The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Ronald E. McNair
Ronald E. McNair

The McNair Scholars Program is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Its purpose is to support undergraduate students’ scholarly activities throughout the academic year and summer. John Jay College is funded to serve 27 students per year.

The objective of the program is to encourage low-income and first generation students (as well as students from underrepresented populations) to pursue graduate study, provide academically enriching experiences and mentoring to prepare students for graduate school admission and eventual doctoral study.


McNair Celebrated 25 Years at John Jay!

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at John Jay College celebrates its 25th Anniversary at the college. The Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to prepare talented undergraduate students for graduate study toward a Ph.D., specifically first-generation undergraduates and students from groups underrepresented in Ph.D. Programs. It is named after Dr. Ronald E. McNair, the MIT trained Physicist turned astronaut who died in the Challenger Space Shuttle tragedy in January of 1986.

John Jay received its first McNair grant in 1992 and welcomed its first cohort of scholars in the spring semester 1993. During its tenure at John Jay, the McNair Program has served 336 Scholars in 25 cohorts to date. The program boasts an over 70% success rate of McNair Scholars being accepted to graduate school within 2 years of graduating from John Jay. In addition, the Program has had several prestigious fellowship winners:  NSF Fellowship winners for three years in a row from 2014-2016 (Nikoleta Despodova , John Jay Ph.D. program in Psychology and Law; Susybel “Roxy” Pimentel, University of Cincinnati Ph.D. Program in Public Policy; and Jamel Love, Rutgers University Ph.D. Program in Political Science); a Marshall Scholar (Nico Montana); as well as a White House Fellow (Wizdom Powell), and a Ford Foundation Fellowship Honorable Mention. To celebrate the occasion, the McNair Program will hold a series of events during the Spring 2018 semester. These include:

February. 2nd – 3rd NY/NJ Metro McNair Research Conference & Graduate School Fair

March 26th – McNair Alumni Panel – “What can you do with a PhD outside of Academia?”
Rm. 630 Haaran Hall – 1:40-2:50pm

March 27th  - McNair Mentor Reception
Rm. 630 Haaran Hall – 5pm-7pm

April 20th - McNair Alumni Reception
9th Floor Conference Room – New Building

April 30th - McNair Roundtable as part of John Jay’s Research and Creativity week
9th Floor Conference Room – New Building

May  17 - McNair Awards Banquet - TBA

Special Aspects of the Program
  • Workshops and Activities. McNair Scholars will participate in workshops, seminars, classes, and other scholarly activities designed to enhance their academic abilities. They will also complete a research course prior to a summer research internship. In addition, they will participate in activities designed to build personal skills that will facilitate their transition to graduate school.
  • Research and Mentorships. Each McNair student will select a faculty mentor from the discipline in which he/she hopes to pursue graduate study and will receive a stipend after conducting research under the guidance of that mentor. Students may also have the opportunity to attend professional conferences with their mentors, where they may meet distinguished scholars and learn more about their chosen fields.
  • Graduate School Admission Preparation
    McNair Scholars will receive individual and group services to facilitate their successful entry into graduate school. Included in this will be extensive Graduate Record Examination preparation and help with the graduate school application process. Scholars will also receive financial aid counseling, career counseling, and personal counseling.


Letters of recommendation from faculty mentors and research experiences listed on the resumé will enhance the student’s standing in the competition for graduate school admission.

Many graduate schools waive application fees and offer special fellowships to McNair Scholars.

Our Scholars

Every year, the U.S. Department of Education sponsors 15-20 McNair scholars at John Jay College. Learn more about the McNair Scholarship recipients and their research:


Our Mentors

The McNair program has a robust and diverse representation of mentors from various disciplines, including Economics, Psychology, Philosophy, Political Science, African American studies, English, Sociology, Law & Police Science, and History. Learn more about the McNair mentors and their research:


McNair News and Events

Second-year McNair Scholars presented their research at the annual Atlanta and Buffalo Conference this summer. More>

Second-year McNair scholars presented their research during the Research Week held at John Jay College from April 29 to May 3rd. On the last day of that week, they presented their research at the McNair Roundtable. More>

Congratulations to the McNair scholars who got accepted to the graduate programs.More>

Two of our McNair Scholars were accepted for prestigious placements to pursue graduate degrees abroad in England. More>

A McNair scholar has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship. More>

On Friday, April 13, McNair Scholars participated in the 6th Annual McNair Bowling Event. View pictures.

From March 14-17, 2013, several McNair Scholars presented their research at the University of Maryland’s National Research Conference in College Park, MD. More>
View photos here. (Videos coming soon).

McNair Newsletter & Journal

The McNair program publishes a biannual newsletter and an annual journal that highlights a full list of McNair activities and scholars’ achievements. Learn more about the past achievements of McNair scholars and alumni:


For more information about the program, contact McNair Program assistant Ms. Nazia Fyazi at or 212.237.8765.