Do research at UCSD! UCSD McNair Program now accepting applications!

Dear Students,

As we welcome you to UCSD for the start of a new academic year here, I want you to know about an opportunity to do research under the mentorship of a UCSD faculty member in your field of study starting in January — and to get paid for doing it next summer.

If you are a UCSD undergraduate considering a career as a researcher or university professor, I encourage you to consider applying to the UCSD McNair Program.  My name is Tom K. Brown, and I’m the coordinator of UCSD’s McNair Program, which provides opportunities for first-generation college students from low-income families and students from underrepresented ethnic groups to prepare for graduate research and professorial careers.

I’m sending this message to announce that we are now accepting applications for admission to the 2014-2015 UCSD McNair Program.  The program facilitates research experience under the guidance of a faculty mentor in the winter and spring quarters of 2014 and during an 8-week summer program from late June through mid-August of 2015.  In the summer, thirty McNair students in all academic fields receive a $2,800.00 research stipend, free on-campus housing, and a free GRE preparatory course.  McNair Scholars also participate in a series of seminars designed to prepare them for graduate study and careers in research.

Currently-through October 24th – we are accepting applications for admission to the Program.  We seek applications from students who are juniors or seniors at UCSD in 2014-2015 (all majors welcome).  Applications may be submitted online (see below for details).

To be eligible for the UCSD McNair Program, students must be UCSD juniors or seniors in the Winter Quarter of 2015 (90+ units) and must be either (1) a first-generation college student from a household qualifying as “low income” by Federal standards or (2) a member of an ethnic group underrepresented in American universities (African American, Native American, Chicano/Latino or Pacific Islander).

Applications are due on October 24th for the 2014-2015 McNair Program and should be submitted online.  To submit an application, find the UCSD McNair Program website at (  Once there, click on “Application Process” and then click on the links to complete and submit the application.

The application requires a letter of recommendation (preferably by a faculty member from UCSD or from a previous school if you recently transferred to UCSD), tax records of from the most recent year, and a statement of purpose (among other requirements) and so students should begin the application process as soon as possible.  Students may save their work on the application and then return to complete and submit it at a later time.

Thank you very much for your attention!  I look forward to receiving your application.  Feel free to contact me by email, by telephone, or in person if you have any questions about the McNair Program or about the application procedure.


Thomas K. Brown, Ph.D.
Telephone: 858-534-2937
Room 206, Old Student Ctr. B
La Jolla, CA 92093-0311


Frequently Asked Questions about the UCSD McNair Program Application Process:

Q: Does everything have to be turned in by the Oct. 24th deadline?

A: Your online application is due by 11:59pm on Oct. 24th but we can accept supporting materials (the letter of recommendation and tax documents) through the following Thursday (Oct. 30th) at 5:00 pm. If for some reason you feel that you must submit the application later than Oct. 24th, or if you are not sure that your letter of recommendation will arrive by Oct. 30th, please contact Thomas K. Brown (see below for contact information).

Q:- Must the letter of recommendation be written by a professor ?

A: It is helpful for your chances of admission but it is not necessary. The most important thing is that the person writing the letter should be someone who knows you and your work and who has a strong basis for assessing your potential as a researcher and doctoral student.

Q: I transferred to UCSD this year, and so I don’t yet know any professors here. Is it OK to submit a letter of recommendation from someone at another school?
A: Yes. Indeed, if you have recently transferred to UCSD from another college or university, it is expected that your letter will probably be written by someone from that school.

Q: My income (and my family’s income) is low enough that we’re not required to file an income tax return. What should I do instead of submitting a copy of the tax return?

A: In lieu of the tax return, write a letter explaining that you (and your parent(s) or guardian, if you are financially dependent) are not required to file taxes. Also state the reason that you are not required to file an income tax return. Upload the letter in lieu of the tax forms with the online “Income Verification Form.”

Q: In order to be eligible, does my cumulative GPA have to be 3.0 or higher?

A: Not necessarily. If your overall GPA is above 2.75 but less than 3.0 you can be admitted provisionally. If you are admitted under these circumstances we will work with you to help you bring your GPA up to 3.0 or higher. As long as you make good progress towards that goal and meet all other program requirements, you can continue in the program. If your GPA is below 2.75, you may still have a chance of being admitted into the program if you have special circumstances which help to explain your lower GPA.

Other questions? Feel free to contact Dr. Tom K. Brown:

Room 206 Old Student Center B

Telephone: 858-534-2937