Application Status: (2023 - 2024) ~ Open

Before You Start the Application

To apply to the program please check the Eligbility Requirements and see if you’re eligible. If you are, please read through the application process and follow the steps. If you have any questions refer to FAQ located on this page, or contact us. Our program’s information will be located on the Contact Us page.

Information sessions will be available at the beginning of each Fall. Here you will be able to ask about elligbilty, application requirements, and any other questions you might have about the program, or enrolling in it. However, you may also contact our program Coordinator at McNair.

Informational Sessions

Informational sessions occur each fall semester with varrying dates. If you are unable to attend a session please email our Program Coordinator located on the Contact Us page.

Coming Soon (will be during September)...

Eligbility Requirements

To be eligible for TRIO (McNair) Program services, federal guidelines dictate that students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be both low-income and first-generation to complete a baccalaureate degree OR be a member of a group underrepresented in graduate education.
    • Groups considered include: African American, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native.
  • Must be current U.S. citizenship or permanent U.S. residency. 
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a formal degree program at San Jose State University on a full-time basis.
    • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
    • Completed at least 60-semester units at the time of entry.
  • Intend to pursue a Ph.D. after graduation.
    • This program is not open to students pursuing professional degrees such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, management, or law.
  • Students who have already completed a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science are not eligible to participate in the program.

Selection will be made on a competitive basis from those applicants who best meet the purposes of the program as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. Specifically, at least two thirds of the individuals participating in the McNair project must be low income individuals who are first generation college students.
No more than ten percent of the participants will be enrolled in a graduate master's degree program of study at the time of their selection to the McNair project. Applicants who best meet the federally mandated guidelines will then be selected on the basis of their potential for pursuing doctoral studies and their ability to benefit from program.

Application Process

  1. Write a Personal Statement for Your Application
    Essay Requirements
    • Double-spaced
    • Size 12 times new roman font
    • Three pages in length (with page numbers)
    What the Essay is about:
    • What are your academic and career objectives?
    • What are your research and career interests?
    • Why do you think a doctorate is essential for pursing these interests?
    • How whould TRIO McNair help you achieve your professional and academic goals?


  2. Recommendation Letters (You may recieve one from a current/former professor)

    • Must be from a current or former Professor at any college or university
    • Provide two separate letters of recommendation
    • A third letter is available but is optional (may be from an employer, counselor, or professor)
    • Those who will recommend for you must send their form to the given email: 


  3. Research Experience Statement (if applicable)

    • Describe previous research you might have conducted
    • OR describe any honors you have received to date


  4. Resume OR Curriculum Vitae (CV) (this is optional)


  5. Other Necessary Attachments

    • A clear photo of yourself
    • Official Transcripts (from all colleges attended previously or current)
    • Income verification such as:
      • Tax returns from previous year
      • AND Financial Aid Reward Letter (available on your one.sjsu portal)
      • AND Student Aid Report (SAR)


  6. Once you have competed your essays and gotten your other necessary attachments, please fill out the McNair TRIO Application linked below.
    You will attach all of the files necessary to the application when prompted. 

                                 APPLY HERE

What to Expect After Applying

Processing applications generally takes 1 - 3 weeks; however, if you have questions about your application status, you may contact our Program Coordinator. If you are missing any supplemental materials, you will be informed which documents are still needed in order to complete your application.

What to Expect After If Accepted

If your application is accepted, you will receive an email to begin the interview process. If you are accepted into the program, you will be sent a DocuSign with details on your responsibilities to maintain good standing in the program, as well as an add code for our mandatory Spring UNVS 125M course. Please be sure to fill this out in a timely manner.

  • Price for Class: Free
  • Credit?: No-Credit on transcript
  • Mandatory for McNair: Yes, is mandatory for this program

Application FAQs