The McNair Scholars Program matches our scholars with near-peer graduate student mentors in addition to faculty research mentors. McNair Graduate Student Mentors are currently enrolled graduate students in doctoral studies programs across the CU Boulder campus. As young scholars only one step ahead of the McNair Scholars on the path to the PhD, our graduate student mentors provide increased access to guidance on the graduate school application and transition process through their own recent experiences entering into doctoral study. Having a near-peer graduate student mentor also provides an outlet for our scholars to pose questions and concerns about the pursuit of a doctorate that they may feel less comfortable approaching a faculty mentor to ask. Because these graduate student mentors are both peers and mentors, the advice and guidance they can offer to our scholars is both highly accessible and highly relevant to their immediate academic goals.

The McNair Scholars Graduate Student Mentors will be asked to:

  • Meet with scholars twice per semester over coffee to answer questions related to the graduate school application process, the transition into graduate study, mentors’ experiences in their program of study, and other aspects life as a doctoral student
  • Use their personal experiences to help guide scholars through the process of applying to doctoral programs and fellowship competitions
  • Provide support and encouragement to scholars as they navigate the transition from undergraduate to graduate study in their field

Interested in becoming a Graduate Student Mentor with the McNair Scholars Program? Email us at