Chicana-Chicano Studies

Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program

“Before you can make a dream come true, you must have one.”
--Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D.

Dr. Ronald Erwin McNair was an African American physicist and astronaut who grew up in a poor Southern community.  Despite his circumstances, he was determined to pursue his dream of becoming a scientist.  In 1971, he graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics.  He subsequently enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, at the age of 26, earned his Ph.D. degree in Laser Physics.  Dr. McNair soon became a recognized expert in the field.  In 1978, NASA selected Dr. McNair for the space shuttle program.  He was a mission specialist aboard the ill-fated Challenger flight in 1986.

“A Path to the Ph.D. for CSUN Students”

Application (.doc) 

The Objective: The McNair Program helps CSUN students to pursue graduate studies toward a Ph.D.* We provide support mechanisms, including opportunities for students to define educational goals, to engage in research, and to develop the skills to ensure success in Ph.D. area studies.

The Path: Students will earn a stipend and participate in academic-year and summer activities until they graduate. Students will be matched with a faculty mentor who fosters research skills and guidance. McNair Scholars also partner with peers, faculty, and staff to learn new academic skills, expand their scholarly knowledge, and cultivate successful attitudes and values.

The Target Group: Current CSUN Undergraduate Students who have demonstrated their academic achievement and are interested in enrolling in a Ph.D. program with the intent of earning a Ph.D. At California State University, Northridge, the McNair Scholars Program will serve 25 students each year.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Completion of at least 59 semester units (junior standing).
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Verification of a family income level with the parameters set by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Major in a field targeted by the McNair Program. (Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Education.)
  • A first-generation college student and/or a member of a racial group or ethnic group underrepresented in graduate education.
  • Intent to pursue a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) after graduation

*This does not include professional degrees such as Law (JD), Medicine (MD), Veterinary Medicine (DVM). 


Dr. Renee M. Moreno
Associate Professor
Program Director
JR 120 B