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McNair Scholars

Ph.D. Options

What Can I Do with a Ph.D. in...(this is not a full list)?

Accounting Anthropology Art History Biology
Chemistry Communications Economics Education
Engineering English World Language Geography
Geology History IT & Computer Science Law & Justice
Mathematics Music Philosophy Physics & Astronomy
Political Science Psychology Sociology Theatre

A Few Things to Keep in Mind When Applying to Graduate School

  1. It typically takes students 5 to 7 years to obtain a Ph.D.
  2. Have a list of schools you are interested in and gather as much information as possible (this is covered in MCNA 302).
    Visit the schools you want to attend and talk to current graduate students about the program.
  3. Remember to plan for all your expenses such as application fees, GRE fees, travel expenses, etc. Many of these are not covered by the McNair Program.
    Many fees, however, can be waived or reduced for McNair Scholars.
  4. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY for the GRE. You cannot expect to do well on the exam without studying.
  5. Acquire strong references for your application.
  7. Not ready for a Ph.D. program right away? It's okay. Check out these Bridge Programs as another possible option to reach your Ph.D.


Want to try something different for Graduate School?

There are several different options for those who wish to follow a less than traditional path in graduate school. These options include over 800 accredited online Ph.D. programs, overseas programs and Department of Defense Colleges.

*** This is not all the possibilities out there.
It is intended as a summary of possible options to help you during your graduate school search.***

Online Programs Overseas Programs Defense Colleges

An important thing to be wary of: Degree Mills!!

Degree Mills are institutions who are not recognized by an accreditation organization. Be sure that the school you are interested in has a nationally recognized accreditation or the degree you earn could be just a piece of paper.

Ways to check for Accreditation:

  1. Council for Higher Education Accreditation
  2. The Dept. of Education's list of Regional & National Accrediting Agencies
  3. The Dept. of Education's Searchable Database of Accredited Institutions is a search engine that searches only accredited programs. This site searches both online and on-campus programs.

There are multiple English language programs available
for students who wish to study abroad for their Ph.D.

Study Across the Pond
is a free service that
helps students with the entire process from requesting information
to filing out the visa
forms, free of charge
for their member
colleges in England, Scotland, and Wales.
is a search engine that searches only
accredited programs.
This site searches
both online and on-campus programs along with overseas programs. 
is a free service that can help with searching through programs
offered in the UK
along with Australia,
New Zealand, Ireland, and Canada.
Masters Degree is a free comprehensive guide written by a group of academics and post-graduate students covering everything you need to know about earning your master’s degree successfully.

List of Dept. of Defense
as compiled
from information
available on the web.
Check with individual programs for up to
date information.

Department of Defense
Colleges have more
strict requirements:

  1. Must be a government employee or
    personnel. Government contractors DO
  2. For full-time study: nomination from
    the Flag/Genera/
    SES officer of
    your command.
  3. For part-time
    study (1 or 2
    classes at a time):
    need a form filled out from your immediate supervisor okaying attendance should the class occur within normal working hours & with a plan for making up any lost work hours.
Funding Options Funding Options Funding Options

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

The FAFSA can help provide student loans just as it does with undergraduate study.

There are several scholarships, fellowships, & assistantships available. Check with Financial Aid Office of your prospective graduate school for more options.

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Many overseas schools have undergone the process to receive Federal Funds through the Direct Loan Program.

To check and see if your program qualifies, search for school codes from the FAFSA website and highlight "Foreign Country" in the "state" field.

The Marshall Scholarship:

This scholarship is for U.S. students who wish to study in the United Kingdom.

The deadline is typically in the Fall of the year prior to the year you are wishing to study. See the website for more details.

There are additional funding opportunities for international students from individual Universities. These funds are limited though and have early deadlines.


Part-Time Students:

Typically students pay for the class up front

Submit proof of final grade to command

Command reimburses student

Full-time Students:

Full funding provided (may also continue to receive regular paycheck)

Need to be nominated by the Flag/General/SES officer of your command



List of Research Doctoral Degrees other than Ph.D.

The Ph.D. is the most frequently awarded doctorate degree in the United States but there are many other research doctorates out there.

Here is a comprehensive list of degrees that will satisfy the McNair Scholars doctoral criteria.

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) Doctor of Musical Education (D.M.E.) Doctor of Ministry (D.Min./D.M.) Doctor of Modern Languages (D.M.L.)
Doctor of Music Ministry (D.M.M.) Doctor of Medical Science (D.M.Sc.) Doctor of Nursing Science(D.N.Sc.) Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.H.)
Doctor of Physical Education (D.P.E.) Doctor of Public Health (D.P.H.) Doctor of Professional Studies (D.P.S.) Doctor of Design (Dr.DES.)
Doctor of Religious Education (D.R.E.) Doctor of Recreation (D.Rec./D.R.) Doctor of Science (D.Sc./Sc.D.) Doctor of Science in Dentistry (D.Sc.D.)
Doctor of Science and Hygiene (D.Sc.H.) Doctor of Science in Veterinary Medicine (D.Sc.V.M.) Doctor of Sacred Music (D.S.M.) Doctor of Social Science (D.S.Sc.)
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Doctor of Canon Law (J.C.D.) Doctor of Juristic Science (J.S.D.) Doctor of the Science of Law (L.Sc.D.)
Doctor of Rehabilitation (Rh.D.) Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.)  


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