Angela Vidal-Rodriguez, Director


The goal of the McNair Program is to increase the attainment of a Ph.D. by students from underrepresented segments of society. McNair participants are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have demonstrated strong academic potential. Program staff and university faculty members work closely with these participants through completion of undergraduate requirements, encourage their entrance into graduate programs, and track their progress to successful completion of advanced degrees.


Undergraduate students who intend to pursue a career that requires a Ph.D., and who meet the following criteria, may apply to the program:

  • Completed at least 60 credit hours

  • Status as a first-generation college student with income eligibility and/or a member of a group underrepresented in graduate education

  • A GPA of 2.8 or above

  • Strong desire to continue directly into graduate school shortly after graduation

  • US citizenship or residency

Program Participation

McNair Scholars conduct a summer research project under the direction of a faculty mentor. Mentors and Scholars attend professional conferences and work together on the presentation of their research. Regular meetings with the program Academic Specialist and Director guide Scholars through the completion of their undergraduate degree requirements and assist with graduate school selection and application. Workshops to support graduate school application include GRE instruction, library skills, and research presentations.

Complete program information is available in the McNair Scholars Program Office, B-141, by contacting the Program Director at (773) 442-4253, or at

NEIU-301M. Developing A Research Thesis. 1 Hour.

An integrative, collaborative, research-based introduction to the process of thesis writing. Each student conducts a focused search of the literature and prepares a research proposal in response to a specific, identified issue and is introduced to the elements of scholarly writing. Epistemological-and ethical issues of inquiry are explored.

NEIU-302M. College Teaching For TA's. 1 Hour.

A seminar class to introduce students to college teaching skills and prepare them for teaching assistanships. Class discussion, assignments, and activities focus on the theory and practice of teaching and learning at the post-secondary level. Students draw on their own college learning experiences to evaluate instructional techniques and materials for effectiveness and meaning.

NEIU-303. Preparing For Graduate Study. 1 Hour.