McNair Scholars Program

The RIT Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program serves a diverse group of talented RIT second- and third-year students who are interested in pursuing post-baccalaureate education. The RIT McNair Scholars Program provides an enriching scholastic experience that prepares eligible scholars for graduate education, with an emphasis on doctoral studies.


Applications are now open until February 12, 2024


Program Opportunities

Focusing on graduate school preparation, the RIT McNair Scholars Program demystifies the graduate school application process and provides students with a simulated graduate school experience, including research. Students work with a faculty mentor and are supported through the graduate school application and selection process. 

  • Engage in Research. Participants conduct scholarly research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Quality research projects provide a realistic picture of graduate school scholarship, while preparing students for the graduate school climate. Participants can conduct research during the fall and spring semesters, as well as an intensive 10-week summer research experience.
  • Develop and Deliver Professional Research Presentations. Summer research experiences conclude with students presenting their research at the RIT Undergraduate Research Symposium. Additionally, students have the opportunity to travel to conferences nationwide to present their research and to network with graduate school representatives, as well as McNair Scholars from across the country.
  • Attend Graduate School Preparation Seminars and Workshops. Students attend graduate school seminars and/or workshops that focus on specific topics designed to demystify the graduate school application process, including how to identify the graduate programs that fit their needs and interests, preparation for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and how to excel in graduate school.
  • Visit Graduate Schools and Meet with Graduate Faculty Members. Participants can travel to various graduate schools throughout the country to examine institutions and departments as possible graduate school destinations.
  • Textbook Loan Program.  Students are eligible to borrow a textbook from the program’s lending library, or have a limited number of books purchased for them each semester.


In order to be eligible for participation, an applicant must:

  • Be either a second- or third-year, full-time RIT student
  • Be interested in pursuing post-baccalaureate education, particularly a Ph.D.
  • Have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be either:
    • A first-generation college student (from families in which neither parent or guardian has obtained a bachelor's degree) and low-income (as defined by the U.S. Department of Education) OR
    • A member of an underrepresented minority group (African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Natives).


Faculty Advisory Board Members

James Hall

Dean of University Studies and Executive Director SOIS

Lea Michel


Robert Osgood

Associate Professor

David Wick

Associate Vice President for Research and Assessment

GEM Fellowship Program

The National GEM Consortium seeks to increase the participation of underrepresented communities (African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans) in master’s and doctoral STEM degree programs.

The National GEM Consortium seeks to increase the participation of underrepresented communities (African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans) in master’s and doctoral STEM degree programs. RIT is a GEM member university and participates in the GEM fellowship program. This fellowship program matches graduate students in applied science and engineering programs at participating to GEM employer partners, providing GEM fellows with relevant career experience and financial aid as they pursue their graduate degree.

The GEM fellowship application cycle opens July 1, 2024 and continues until early November. Apply on the GEM fellowship website

For questions or inquiries contact

The GEM fellowship program offers financial and training benefits to GEM fellows at both the master’s and Ph.D. levels through support provided by the GEM Consortium, GEM Employers, and RIT, as a GEM University.

GEM Fellow support includes:

  • Full tuition support
  • Stipend funding
  • Paid summer internship with a GEM employer member
  • Michael Zemcov, Associate Professor, COS
  • Christine Heusner, Project Manager, RGS
  • Lindsay Lewis, Sr. Assistant Director, Enrollment Management