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University of Wisconsin–Madison McNair Scholars Program

Developing leaders through Graduate Education


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LaRuth McAfee, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean, Diversity, Inclusion and Funding, and Director, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

229 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive


Maya Holtzman

Associate Director, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

408 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive


Dana-María Baldwin

Graduate Student Advisor, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

408 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive


UW–Madison Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Program) creates a bridge between undergraduate and graduate education. The McNair Scholars Program supports eligible undergraduates in acquiring the knowledge, skills and capacities necessary to successfully navigate the rigors of Ph.D. studies through immersion in research and a variety of scholarly activities. Students who join the McNair Program join a community of peers. Each year, highly qualified students are selected from a pool of eligible applicants. 

The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society.

This program is funded by the US Department of Education TRIO grant and accepts applications first generation college students from low-income circumstances and targeted minority applicants in STEM majors. UW-Madison is funded to serve 28 students, each year. For details, please see Eligibility Criteria.

About Dr. Ronald E. McNair

In January 1978 NASA selected Ronald E. McNair to enter the astronaut cadre as one of the first three African Americans selected. In 1986, McNair and his six crew members died in an explosion aboard the space shuttle Challenger. In his memory, members of Congress provided funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program to encourage low-income, first generation college students to enroll in graduate studies. Learn More »

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