Preparing students for doctoral studies

McNair Scholars Program

The mission of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program is to prepare first-generation college students with financial need, or from traditionally underrepresented groups, for Ph.D. programs by expanding their undergraduate experience at Cal Lutheran University to include scholarly research and funding, faculty guidance, professional networks and associations, staff support, and community-based peer-support.

The program is open to full-time undergraduate students from all disciplines.  Applications are being considered as they are submitted until the program reaches full capacity.


Is a Doctoral Degree in your future?

If you interested in pursuing a doctorate, the McNair Scholars Program at Cal Lutheran will get you closer to your goal. We are seeking high-potential students interested in gaining knowledge and skills leading towards successful entry into graduate programs and completion of doctoral degrees.

Program Overview

Each year, 25 students are selected to participate in the two-year McNair Scholars Program. The structure of the program is as follows:

Faculty Mentorship

Each student is matched with a faculty member who is committed to providing guidance as McNair Scholars produce research and prepare for graduate school enrollment.

McNair Seminar

Spring Semester: McNair Scholars enroll in a 2-credit course to learn research skills and begin defining their research projects. Scholars also participate in postbaccalaureate readiness sessions (graduate school exploration, funding graduate school, personal statement, GRE prep, etc.)

Summer Research Fellowship

Scholars participate in a 5-week, residential program focused on research production. Scholars participate in weekly seminars and meet with their faculty mentors regarding their research projects. Scholars also participate in cultural enrichment and social activities. Scholars present their research during the McNair Research Symposium.

McNair Capstone Seminar

Fall Semester/Spring Semester: Scholars work towards disseminating their research. Scholars will participate in symposia and conference presentations and will also work with their Faculty Mentors to publish their research. Some Scholars will receive travel assistance to present their research at conferences.

Graduate School Tour

Scholars receive travel stipends to visit graduate schools of interest.


For more information, contact:

Francisco Fuentes: 
Xilen Ramirez:
Phone: (805) 493-3322
Office: Swenson 114