McNair Scholars Program

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at Wellesley College

Photo of Ronald E. McNairWellesley College is a proud participant in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a federally funded TRIO Program that supports students from low-income, first generation, and historically underrepresented groups in successfully preparing for and entering doctoral study.


  • Membership in a supportive community of like-minded academic peers
  • Attend McNair Research Conference with your cohort
  • Access to Graduate Preparation Course (WRIT 325)
  • Summer Research Funding
  • Workshops on Graduate Admissions and Funding
  • Personal and Academic Counseling
  • Network with Faculty Mentors
  • Attend National and Regional Conferences
  • Present Research at Conferences
  • GRE Training Opportunities
  • Graduate School Application Fee Waivers
  • Transcript Fee Waivers for non-professional Graduate School Applications

                                         TO APPLY CLICK HERE


  • Build rich, collegial mentoring relationships with Wellesley McNair Scholars
  • Be a positive impact in the STEM careers of Wellesley McNair Scholars
  • An opportunity to participate in a scholars program that can support the diversity mission of many faculty research grants


A Brief Bio: Kid with Big Dreams

Born on October 21, 1950, Ronald E. McNair worked hard throughout his high school days inspired by his family and a teacher who saw his scientific potential. He graduated in 1971 with a Bachelors of Science in Physics from North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro). He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at age 26 he earned a Ph.D. in Laser Physics. He was given an honorary doctorate of science from Morris College in 1980 and honorary doctorate of science from University of South Carolina in 1984.

Dr. Ronald E. McNair distinguished himself as a Presidential Scholar, a Ford Foundation Fellow, a National Fellowship Fund Fellow, and a NATO Fellow. His first space shuttle mission launched successfully from the Kennedy Space Center on February 3, 1984. Dr. Ronald E. McNair was the second African American to fly in space.

After his death in the Challenger Shuttle accident on January 28, 1986, Congress provided funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. This program encourages low-income and first-generation college students to expand on their opportunities by enrolling in a Ph.D. program.