Comets to the Core – FAQ

How do I know if I am required to complete this project?

The Comets to the Core program will be required for freshmen who start in fall 2017 or later. Students will receive emails informing them of the requirement to their utdallas.edu email address, as well as an assignment email.  The emails may appear to come from utdallas.edu or [email protected]  If you have difficulty accessing your university email account, visit the Office of Information Technology website.

 When will I receive my assignment?

Students will receive their detailed assignments in an email from [email protected] in early August.

How will I know who is in my group?

You will receive your group assignments (and appropriate contact information) in an email from [email protected].

 What if I don’t like my group members?

Teamwork is one of the major components of this project and while we do not expect you to always get along with every group member, we do ask that you put the project first and work to resolve any personal issues as best as you can.

How will I communicate with my team?

Initially you will communicate via email, but you will be notified of other tools and resources for communication.

How long will the project take?

You will be given six weeks to complete the project. The expectation is that the first three weeks will be limited to online communication and preliminary research, whereas you will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face and finalize your project during the last three weeks.

What is the purpose of the three-week online communication period?

The three-week online communication period gives students the opportunity to engage in online collaboration—a skill widely used in the workforce—while simultaneously allowing students to conduct independent research prior to their first face-to-face meeting.

What is the deadline for completing this project? 

The deadline for the Comets to the Core project is dependent on your start date.

Project Start Date Deadline
August 2nd September 13th
August 21st October 2nd
September 6th October 18th

Where will this project be turned in?

Students will submit their projects via the assignment portal. Directions on how to access the assignment portal were sent to your UT Dallas email account, along with the assignment details. If you are unable to locate these instructions, please contact [email protected].

What are the specific requirements for this project?

Please see the project assignment details on the Comets to the Core page.

Will I have access to any resources?

Your assignment details will also provide a list of resources that are available to you and your team.

How will the project be evaluated?

Students will vote on the top five best proposed solutions at the end of their Freshman Seminar course in the fall. Students will be asked to rank projects according to specific criteria related to practicality, usefulness, and feasibility. Groups identified as having one of the top five solutions will present their project during Research Week in the spring.

Will this project affect my GPA?

The Comets to the Core project will not be graded and it will not affect students’ GPAs; however, it is a graduation requirement. Students who do not submit their projects will have a hold placed on their account and will not be able to register for the spring semester. Additionally, student projects will be used to measure students’ oral communication, teamwork, personal responsibility, and social responsibility, which the University will use to inform the content and delivery of its core curriculum.

What happens if my project is ranked as one of the top five solutions? 

If your peers rank your project as a top solution, your entire group will present your proposed solution at research week in the spring semester (usually during early April).

What happens if my project is ranked last by my peers? 

There is no consequence for being ranked last.

Will I be asked to complete this project for a second time at the end of my four years? Will the topic change or stay the same? Will my group change?

Students who are native to UT Dallas (i.e., have not attended any other institution) will be asked to complete the Comets to the Core project for a second time during the fall semester of their junior year. This will allow students to apply the skills they have acquired while at UT Dallas. The selected problem will change each year, so students will work to solve a new problem during their junior year. Group membership will also change, as some students will switch majors or leave the University.

How does this project relate to UNIV1010 and UNIV2020?

The Comets to the Core project is a required component of UNIV 1010 and UNIV 2020, both of which are requirements for graduation. UNIV 1010 is the course designation for the first phase of the Comets to the Core project, which is to be completed within the first few weeks of students’ first semester at UT Dallas. UNIV 2020 is the course designation for the second phase of the Comets to the Core project, which is to be completed within the first few weeks of students’ fall semester of their Junior year.

Please direct any additional questions you may have to [email protected]