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Each student must complete a degree audit during the semester they complete 45, 75 and 90 hours.  These audits serve as check points to ensure that all necessary paperwork is complete and the student is on-track for graduation.  Important information is shared during these audits depending on the number of hours the student has completed. 

90 Hour Audit

  • Checking graduation requirements and progress
  • Policies regarding students in their last year (taking classes off-campus, etc.)
  • Texas Tuition Rebate
  • Capstone
  • Fast-Track
  • Honor’s
  • Excessive Hours Policy

For students with well-defined goals and motivation, independent study provides a way to earn academic credit while pursuing a topic or project of particular interest.  Undergraduate students may take independent study courses as part of their curriculum up to a maximum of 20 percent of their total hours completed at U.T. Dallas.

The subject of an independent study may arise from a student’s own experience and interests or may derive from a class.  A course of independent study might comprise a research topic culminating in one or several papers, a series of readings accompanied by short papers or an annotated bibliography, artistic explorations in the visual arts or creative writing, or other academically appropriate activities.

Students considering a course of independent study should identify for themselves their area of interest and contact a faculty member appropriate to this area of interest to act as faculty supervisor.  Normally, a student should approach a faculty member with whom he or she has already taken at least one class.  Students should note that faculty members are under no particular obligation to accept students for independent study, since these are always an addition to the faculty member’s teaching load.  Therefore, students should be prepared to demonstrate that they are capable of defining, organizing, and completing an independent course of study.

Once a faculty member has agreed to supervise a course of independent study, the student and faculty member should come to a clear understanding of the nature and scope of the project and its goals.  In some cases, this will involve frequent and regular meetings; in others, the student may meet with the faculty supervisor only a few times during the semester.  In all cases, however, the requirements of the independent study should be clear to both parties and specified in writing in the Application and Registration for Independent Study form.

To register, students should complete an Application and Registration for Independent Study form. Students should turn in their completed Independent Study form to their respective academic advisor.

Normally, our tenured and tenured-track School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication faculty members supervise independent study. Visiting faculty, senior lecturers, part-time lecturers, and teaching assistants do not usually take on independent study, though in certain circumstances, senior lecturers may agree to act as a faculty supervisor.  Students may consult with an ATEC academic advisor to determine who are ATEC tenured and tenured-track faculty.


The University of Texas at Dallas offers several graduate programs in all areas of study. Arts and Technology specifically offers MA, MFA, and PhD in Arts and Technology, and a MA in Emerging Media and Communication.

A student should look at completing graduate studies if they wish to pursue additional research opportunities, would like to teach at the university level, or if they are returning from the work force and want to gain new skills in our ever changing technology environments.

All information about application requirements, deadlines, and fees can be found on the Enrollment Services website.


A Demo Reel/Portfolio is a compilation of your best work and is one of the main keys to getting a job. Here are some crucial things to do and think about when creating your demo reel/portfolio.

  • Think about what you would like your main focus to be on, modeling, texturing, virtual environments, etc.
  • Consider your strengths and show case them!
  • Start early! Even if you do not have much material yet, you want to start working on pieces to include and to get in the habit of it.
  • Format — most companies prefer a website or DVD.
    • DVD - Be sure that your DVD works and plays automatically (employers do not and will not search through files).
      • If you send in a DVD be sure it is clearly labeled and a cover letter and resume is also included. Send a straightforward professional looking packet. Have the Career Center review your resume several times before you send it.
    • Website — use your first and last name for your domain name if possible, make sure that your domain name makes sense, is easily accessible, and makes a good impression. If you pick something that is not your name, ask faculty their opinion on what you should use.
  • Criticism — don’t take it personally, take it and do something productive with it!
  • Selective — choose the work you want to showcase carefully. Put your best work first and DO NOT use the assignment from class that everyone else did (model of a cricket, etc.). Employers are looking for something unique, original, and that stands apart in creativity, talent, and technique.
  • Breakdown — include a breakdown of your reel, what exactly you worked on, title and element and be sure to give others credit where credit is due.
  • Review — have your demo reel/portfolio reviewed several times by faculty and staff.
  • Rejected? — be persistent and keep improving. Many people working in the industry had to keep improving their work and apply to the prominent companies several times before being hired.

The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) Major Honors offers eligible students the opportunity for advanced creative and scholarly work and recognition within the School.

School of ATEC Major Honors Eligibility Requirements
  • UT Dallas Cumulative GPA of at least 3.5
  • Major GPA of at least 3.75

Major Honors Requirements:
To be considered for School of ATEC Major Honors, students must complete the following:

ATEC Majors
  • Individual Honors Capstone project
  • Supplementary paper (5-page minimum)
  • Presentation is strongly recommended  
EMAC Majors
  • Individual Honors Capstone project
  • Supplementary paper (5-page minimum)
  • Presentation at EMAC Capstone Celebration
    **Honors with distinction reserved for winner of top Capstone project.**

Individual Honors Capstone Project:

  • Discuss Capstone project idea with potential faculty supervisor 1 to 2 semesters before graduation.
    • ATEC majors are strongly encouraged to take an Independent Study with their potential faculty supervisor prior to their Capstone semester in order to further develop their Capstone project idea.
  • ATEC majors: Complete the Capstone Independent Study Application the semester before Capstone enrollment to receive approval from and confirm your faculty supervisor.
  • EMAC majors: Complete the Capstone Application Packet the semester before Capstone enrollment to be assigned your faculty supervisor.
  • Faculty supervisor must be a full-time faculty member teaching within the student’s major.
    • Tenured member of the faculty or a faculty member on the tenure track
    • Non-tenure/tenure track faculty members will be allowed to supervise an Honors Capstone under exceptional circumstances
  • Student will consult with faculty supervisor to determine appropriate second reader.

Supplementary Paper:

  • Topic of paper will be determined with assistance by the faculty supervisor.
  • Must be a minimum of 5 pages

Registering for Honors Capstone:

  • Consult with academic advisor semester before Capstone enrollment to discuss Major Honors eligibility.
  • Complete the relevant Capstone form for your major (noted in the Individual Honors Capstone Project section above).
  • Once your faculty supervisor is determined, complete Honors Capstone Application form.
    • Consult with faculty supervisor to determine appropriate second reader.
    • Obtain signatures from both faculty supervisor and second reader.
    • Turn completed form in to assigned academic advisor.
  • Student will then be registered by their academic advisor for 3 SCH under the Honors Capstone course number for their major – ATEC 4399 or EMAC 4399.

Submission and Evaluation of Honors Capstone:
Once the Honors Capstone and paper have been submitted, the awarding of Major Honors distinction will be up to the discretion of the faculty supervisor and second reader. If the faculty supervisor and/or second reader determine the project is below the quality necessary for Major Honors but merits a passing grade, the student will receive that grade and fulfill the Capstone degree requirement but will not receive Major Honors distinction.

Final evaluation of the student’s Honors Capstone project and paper by the faculty supervisor and second reader is due to the ATEC Interim Dean by the first day of the final examination period for the semester. Students must submit a copy of their Honors Capstone project and paper to the ATEC Interim Dean by the last day of the final examination period for the current semester. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for final examination period dates. All Honors Capstone projects must have a title, and all written work must include formal citations.


Your capstone should reflect your accomplishments and expertise as it relates to your focus area within ATEC. You should start thinking about what type of project you would like to work on for Capstone at least a year in advance. What you do during the semester you are enrolled in Capstone should be the development of a significant product and learning experience worthy showing to a high-end company or client.

Graduating next semester? Once you complete your registration for your last semester, you will also need to submit a graduation application by the deadline posted on the Academic Calendar.

  • Step 1: Let the Advising Office know you plan on graduating next semester
  • Step 2: Once the advisor updates your status, submit your graduation application
  • Step 3: Review the Graduation Checklist

If you are interested in participating in the graduation ceremony make sure to RSVP by the deadline listed on the Graduation Checklist page. (Please note that the commencement ceremony is not mandatory.)