The McNair Scholars Program is one of the federal TRIO programs. It is named in memory of astronaut and Space Shuttle Challenger crew member, Dr. Ronald E. McNair, who was the first in his family to go to college and ultimately earned a Ph.D. in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The ECU McNair Scholars Program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and has been continuously funded and active on the ECU campus since 1991.

The purpose of the ECU McNair Scholars Program has been to prepare low income, first generation college students, and students from other groups underrepresented in graduate education, for doctoral study. The ECU McNair Scholars Program provides twenty-eight undergraduates in the math & sciences fields with opportunities to participate in an paid internship either at the Robert S. Kerr Research Center in Ada, Oklahoma or on East Central’s campus. The internship is to be completed their senior year. McNair Scholars attend seminars and workshops on topics related to graduate school preparation; complete a research project under the guidance of a mentor; and have the opportunity to present their research at local, regional and national conferences; they also receive benefits such as graduate school application fee waivers; GRE fee waivers, and mentorship.


  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • First generation and income eligible student OR a member of an underrepresented group in graduate education.
  •  African American, Hispanic, Native American or Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
  •  Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75*

Want to learn more about the McNair Program, click here and a staff member will be in contact with you shortly!

McNair Current Scholars

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Contact Us

McNair Scholars Program
Fentem Hall Building
Room 339

Mailing Address
McNair Scholars Program
East Central University
Box S-76
Ada, OK 74820

Yul Dotson

Bridget Hilburn
Academic Coordinator

Jamie Pittman
Office Manager