Jonsson School Fast-Track Program
This program enables exceptionally gifted senior undergraduate students to include master's-level courses in their undergraduate degree plans. When a successful Fast-Track student graduates with a BS degree, he or she is automatically admitted to graduate school at UT Dallas without need to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE). The number of hours required to complete the MS degree is reduced by the number of Fast-Track graduate hours completed with grades of B or better. So, for example, a Fast-Track undergraduate who passed 12 hours of well-chosen graduate coursework with grades of A or B would have only 33-12 = 21 hours of graduate coursework left in order to complete the MS degree.
This document explains the qualifications necessary to enter the program, the requirements to complete the program successfully and the procedures to be followed by Fast-Track students.
An undergraduate qualifies to be admitted unconditionally to the Fast-Track program if he or she meets all of the following qualifications:
- Has completed at least 15 hours at UT Dallas.
- Has repeated no more than 3 courses at UT Dallas and has repeated no course more than once.
- Is within 30 hours of graduation.
- Has an overall GPA for all college courses of at least 3.0.
- Has completed at least six of the following benchmark courses, corresponding to the student's major, with an average grade of at least 3.33:
|Computer Science||Software Engineering|
CS 2305 Discrete Math I
CS 2305 Discrete Math I
|Electrical Engineering||Telecommunications Engineering|
CE/EE/MECH 3300 Advanced Engineering Math
CS 2305 Discrete Math I
|Computer Engineering||Mechanical Engineering|
CE/EE/TE 3301 Electrical Network Analysis
CE/EE/MECH 3300 Advanced Engineering Math
Conditional admission may be granted if the applicant satisfies entry requirements 1 through 4 for unconditional admission (listed above), and has completed at least four of the benchmark courses with a GPA for those courses of at least 3.33.
Conditional Fast-Track students are expected to have completed at least six benchmark courses in one long semester after their conditional admission to the Fast-Track Program. Students who subsequently fail to meet all of the Fast-Track entry requirements will be removed from the program. Any graduate credits earned by that time will be applied only to the student's undergraduate degree, and none of the other benefits of participation in the Fast-Track program will apply.
Applying for Admission to the Program
Download the appropriate form (corresponding to your undergraduate major) from the list at the end of this document, or obtain it from the Office of Undergraduate Advising; submit the completed form to an undergraduate adviser. In return you will receive an e-mail indicating the decision of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (ADU). A signed copy of the ADU's decision will be inserted in your file.
Choice of MS Degree and Cross-Tracking
Fast-Track courses taken during the undergraduate senior year must be well chosen so that they satisfy the requirements of the BS degree AND those of the intended MS degree.
Fast-Track students who graduate with a BS in one program within the Jonsson School may request admission to a different MS program within the school. For example, CS seniors may elect to Fast-Track into any of the MS programs in the school: CE, CS, EE, MECH, BE, MSEN, SE or TE. At the time of graduation, students who choose to cross-track should see a graduate adviser to arrange for the change of major.
Preparing to Cross-Track
Students planning to cross-track should select MS courses from the list of prerequisite and core courses for their intended MS major. Students should take these graduate courses as guided electives (if possible) or free electives in their undergraduate degree programs. Note that the graduate prerequisite courses may also have prerequisites. A complete list of these dependencies must be considered before the student can be sure of the cost of cross-tracking. This research can easily be completed by studying the online catalog at http://www.utdallas.edu/student/catalog/.
It may also be possible to cross-track to an MS degree in another school at UT Dallas. See the ADU for details and advice.
Choice of Graduate Courses
Fast-Track undergraduates must consult the ADU each semester before deciding on their graduate courses. Only organized 5000 and 6000 level courses that can be used for credit toward the MS degree can be used as Fast-Track courses. An organized course is one that is advertised in the schedule for classroom (or online) delivery. Independent study courses do not qualify.
Fast-Track students may, with the advice of the ADU, fulfill some of their major course requirements, their undergraduate guided electives and/or their free electives by taking graduate-level courses. Those graduate courses should either be electives or required courses for their intended MS major.
Students should not take more than one 5000-level course in CS or two in EE because of limits on the number of 5000-level courses that can be used to satisfy the requirements of the corresponding MS degree. (Consult with a graduate adviser to ensure that the classes you plan to take can be used.) The following 5000-level classes cannot be taken by Fast Track students because they cannot be used for credit toward the MS degree or overlap with lower-level degree requirements:
|CANNOT TAKE THESE COURSES|
CS 5301 Advanced Professional and Technical Communication
In addition, students should not take pairs of equivalent courses as listed below; you can take the graduate version on the right instead of the undergraduate version listed on the left, but you cannot take both.
|FORBIDDEN PAIRS (5000 level)|
Algorithms and Data Structures
|FORBIDDEN PAIRS (6000 level)|
Object Oriented Design
Since the academic departments continually strive to improve the content of graduate classes, the above list is tentative/incomplete. Final decisions will be made by the adviser/ADU at the time of registration.
Some graduate classes that overlap in content with undergraduate classes can be used as substitutes for the undergraduate class but require prior permission of the instructor of the graduate class to enroll. (These classes are at a significantly higher level in content and/or expectation, and the instructor will determine if you are able to take them; obtain the instructor's approval prior to that of the ADU.) If you have taken the undergraduate class, you do not need permission of the instructor to take the graduate class (which can be used as a guided elective, free elective). These classes are listed below:
|GRAD COURSES REQUIRING PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR|
Limits on the Number of Graduate Courses
Before graduating with the BS degree, Fast-Track students must complete at least two and at most five Fast-Track graduate courses with grades of B or better. If a student takes x hours of well chosen graduate courses under Fast-Track rules and earns grades of at least B in these courses, the number of hours required to complete the MS degree will be reduced by x.
Applying to Take Graduate Courses
To register for graduate courses, you must obtain the ADU's signature on a special course registration form. You can obtain the form by clicking on the appropriate link below, or by visiting the Office of Undergraduate Advising. The ADU will check that you are eligible for the classes you list, that they fit into your undergraduate and graduate degree plans, and that you are not exceeding the 15-hour limit for Fast-Track courses.
Requirements for Staying in the Program
- You must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
- You are expected to get grades of B or better in your graduate courses. If you earn a grade of B-, C+, or C on a graduate course, that course will only count toward your undergraduate degree.
- You must pass at least two graduate courses with grades of B or better before you graduate with your BS degree.
- During your entire undergraduate experience at UT Dallas, including your period of participation in the Fast-Track program, you must not repeat more than three courses, and you must not repeat any single course more than once.
If at any time you fail to satisfy these requirements, you will be removed from the program. Any graduate credits earned will be applied only to your undergraduate degree, and none of the other benefits of participation in the Fast-Track program will apply.
Transition to the MS degree
Assuming that you graduate in good standing as a Fast-Track student, a graduate matriculation will have already been created for you. There is no need to apply for admission to graduate school; no application fee or letters of reference are required, and you need not take the GRE exam. The hours required for you to complete your MS degree will be adjusted according to the number of Fast-Track graduate hours you have completed with grades of B or better. Graduating Fast-Track students should see a graduate adviser to ensure a smooth transition.
Taking a Break Between the Two Degrees
The rules for re-admission apply to students who wish to take a break between their completion of the BS degree and continuation of their graduate studies. Students who take off three or more long semesters (not counting summers) will need to apply for admission to the graduate program and will lose their Fast-Track privileges (including waiver of the GRE requirement).
Taking Breaks During Graduate Studies; Minimum Course Load
Once you are a graduate student, you are governed by the rules for all graduate students. There is no minimum course load, and you can take breaks, as outlined in the graduate catalog, but you must complete your MS degree within six years. Consult a graduate adviser for more details.
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Jonsson School Fellows Get-Doc Program
PhD Fellowship Program for Top ECS Undergraduates
The Jonsson School offers an outstanding fellowship program for high-achieving seniors interested in pursuing graduate studies. This program is designed to encourage undergraduate students to pursue a PhD at the Jonsson School. Support is in the form of a research assistantship at the standard RA stipend* plus a tuition/fee waiver for full-time graduate load* and will be partially funded by the research supervisor and matching funds from the Jonsson School. (The Jonsson School will match the supervisor's contribution at a 2:1 ratio the first year, 1:1 in the second and third years, and 1:2 in the fourth year.)
This fellowship program provides an outstanding career option for high-achieving students who are interested in research. It is for continuing students who will complete at least 60 hours at the Jonsson School. (Transfer students with senior standing and at least 30 hours at UT Dallas will also be considered.) A minimum GPA of 3.5 is required for an application to be considered, and a tenure-track faculty member must agree to supervise the research and provide partial support for the award recipient. Awards will be based on several factors, including GPA, GRE scores, reference letters, performance in graduate classes (Fast Track) and involvement in research as an undergraduate.
For more information contact Simeon Ntafos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*If other fellowship, assistantship or tuition and fee support is available, it will offset the award so that the total amount received is equivalent to a Research Assistantship plus tuition/fee waiver for full-time graduate load; full-time load is nine graduate hours per long semester, six hours in summer.Back to top
Jonsson School Honors Programs (in the Major)
The following descriptions are from the Undergraduate Catalog
Honors Program in Computer Engineering
The Computer Engineering Program offers upper-division honors for outstanding students in the BS Computer Engineering degree program. This program offers special sections of designated classes and other activities designed to enhance the educational experience of exceptional students. Admission to the Honors program requires a 3.50 or better GPA in at least 30 hours of coursework.
Departmental Honors with Distinction may be awarded to students whose senior honors thesis is judged by a faculty committee to be of exemplary quality. Only students graduating with departmental honors are eligible. Details about the CE Honors Program and Departmental Honors with Distinction are available in the CE section of the online undergraduate catalog.
Honors Programs in Computer Science and Software Engineering
The Department of Computer Science offers upper-division Honors for outstanding students in both the BS in Computer Science and BS in Software Engineering degree programs. These programs offer special sections of designated classes and other activities designed to enhance the educational experience of exceptional students. Admission to the honors programs requires a 3.50 or better GPA in at least 30 hours of coursework.
Departmental Honors with Distinction may be awarded to students whose senior thesis or senior design project is judged by a faculty committee to be of exemplary quality. Only students graduating with Departmental Honors are eligible. For more details about the CS and SE Honors Programs and Departmental Honors with Distinction, visit the CS section of the online undergraduate catalog, or contact the Office of Undergraduate Advising (ECS South 2.502, 972-883-2004).
Honors Program in Electrical Engineering
The Department of Electrical Engineering offers upper-division honors for outstanding students in the BS Electrical Engineering degree program. This program offers special sections of designated classes and other activities designed to enhance the educational experience of exceptional students. Admission to the honors programs requires a 3.50 or better GPA in at least 30 hours of coursework.
Departmental Honors with Distinction may be awarded to students whose senior honors thesis is judged by a faculty committee to be of exemplary quality. Only students graduating with Departmental Honors are eligible. Details about the EE Honors Program and Departmental Honors with Distinction are available in the EE section of the online undergraduate catalog.
Honors Program in Telecommunications Engineering
The Telecommunications Engineering Program offers upper-division honors for outstanding students in the BS Telecommunications Engineering degree program. This program offers special sections of designated classes and other activities designed to enhance the educational experience of exceptional students. Admission to the honors program requires a 3.50 GPA in at least 30 hours of coursework.
Departmental Honors with Distinction may be awarded to students whose senior honors thesis is judged by a faculty committee to be of exemplary quality. Only students graduating with Departmental Honors are eligible. Details about the TE Honors Program and Departmental Honors with Distinction are available in the TE section of the online undergraduate catalog.Back to top