Jonsson School Fast-Track Program
The Fast Track program enables gifted senior undergraduate students to include master's level courses in their undergraduate degree plans and gain automatic admission to graduate school at UT Dallas. In the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, students can pursue graduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering (MSEN), Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering, Systems Engineering and Management (SEM), and Telecommunications Engineering. The number of hours required to complete the MS degree is reduced by the number of appropriate Fast-Track graduate hours completed with grades of B or better. For example, a Fast-Track undergraduate who passed 12 hours of well-chosen graduate coursework with grades of B or better, would have only 33-12 = 21 hours of graduate coursework left in order to complete the MS degree.
Conditional Admission to Fast Track, Eligibility to Enroll in Graduate Classes:
An undergraduate qualifies to be conditionally admitted to the Fast-Track program and enroll in graduate
classes if he or she meets all of the following qualifications:
- Has completed at least 15 credit hours at UT Dallas.
- Has repeated no more than 3 courses and has repeated no course more than once.
- Has attained Senior status.
- Has completed (at UTD) at least four of the following benchmark courses (or their equivalents - e.g., cross-listed classes; different prefixes), corresponding to the student's ECS undergraduate
major, with an average grade of at least 3.5; or has completed six or more with at least a 3.33
GPA. (B+ average): (Note that all the benchmark classes taken at UTD are used to determine
eligibility; i.e., the 3.5 GPA standard applies to students with fewer than 6 benchmark classes;
the 3.3 GPA standard to students with 6 or more benchmark classes).
- Has at least a 3.0 GPA overall, and in the major.
|Biomedical Engineering||Computer Engineering|
ENGR 3300 Advanced Engineering Math
CE 3301 Electrical Network Analysis
|Computer Science||Electrical Engineering|
CS 2305 Discrete Math I
ENGR 3300 Advanced Engineering Math
|Mechanical Engineering||Software Engineering|
ENGR 3300 Advanced Engineering Math
CS 2305 Discrete Math I
CS 2305 Discrete Math I
|Systems Engineering & Management (SEM)||
Materials Science and Engineering (MSEN)
Use any ONE of the lists above
Use any ONE of the lists above
Only students that are conditionally admitted to the Fast Track Program may enroll in Graduate classes
as undergraduates. To enroll, the student must satisfy the prerequisite requirements of the graduate
class he/she plans to enroll in. Graduate courses can be taken to satisfy undergraduate requirements
only, as Fast Track classes or for Graduate use only.
Requirements for Staying in the Program:
- Maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 overall, in the major and in the benchmark classes.
- Get grades of B or better in graduate courses. If you earn a grade of B-, C+, or C on a graduate course, that course can only count towards your undergraduate degree.
- Do not repeat more than three courses, and must not repeat any course more than once.
If, at any time, you fail to satisfy these requirements, you will be dropped from the program. Any graduate credits earned can be applied only to your undergraduate degree, and none of the other benefits of Fast-Track will apply.
Admission to the Fast Track Program:
Admission to the Fast Track program occurs at the start of the graduation semester for the BS degree
and entails automatic admission to the selected graduate program. Students must remain eligible up to
that point and complete at least one graduate class with a grade of B or better. Additional requirements
may include completion of specific background classes (especially when cross-tracking - i.e. going from an undergraduate program to a different graduate program). At that time. the student will also declare how the graduate classes completed so far will be used ("Fast Track" or "Undergraduate Use only"; "graduate use only" classes must be so designated at the time of enrollment).
Obtain the appropriate form from the Office of Undergraduate Advising; submit the completed form to
ECS Student Services (ECSS 2.502). A signed copy of the form will be in your undergraduate file in the
Office of Undergraduate Education and also with the Graduate Program you elect to pursue.
To enroll in Graduate classes, you fill a "Petition for Undergraduates to take Graduate classes" (available
at ECSS 2.502) and get approval from the ADU. You will need approval from your target graduate
program as well (certifying that the selected classes are appropriate for the target graduate degree). You
can then register with your ECS advisor. Registration for semesters past your projected graduation will
be done entirely with the graduate program.
Choice of Graduate Degree and Cross-Tracking:
The most common choice is that Fast Track students will continue their studies in the corresponding
major at the Graduate level. An advantage of continuing with the same major is that the Graduate
classes you take are more likely to fit well into your UG degree requirements and you will have more
choices of classes to take (in terms of having the prerequisites). For maximum benefit, fast-track courses
should be well chosen so that they satisfy the requirements of the BS degree AND those of the intended
MS degree (note that many of the MS programs have tracks with different requirements). 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 major requirements or guided
electives (if possible) in their undergraduate programs (if not possible, use as a free elective is a less
attractive option). Note that the graduate prerequisite courses may also have prerequisites. This research
can easily be completed by studying the online catalog at www.utdallas.edu. It may also be possible to
cross-track to a MS degree in another School at UTD (see the ADU).
Choice of Graduate Courses: Each semester, Fast-Track undergraduates must consult the ADU before
deciding on their graduate courses. Only organized 5000 and 6000 level courses that can be used for
credit towards the MS degree can be used. An organized course is one that is advertised in the schedule
for classroom (or online) delivery. Independent study courses do not qualify. Students may, with th 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 also be required courses or electives for the intended MS major.
Students should limit the number of 5000 level course they take 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 advisor to assure that the classes you plan to take can be used). The following 5000 level classes can not be taken by Fast Track students because they can not be used for credit towards the Masters degree or overlap with lower level degree requirements:
|CANNOT TAKE THESE COURSES|
CS 5333 - Discrete Structures
Also, students should not take pairs of equivalent courses as listed below; you can take the graduate version on the right in place of the undergraduate version listed on the left, but can not take both.
|FORBIDDEN PAIRS (5000 level)|
Algorithms and Data Structures
|FORBIDDEN PAIRS (6000 level)|
Object Oriented Design
Since the Departments continually strive to improve the content of graduate classes, the above list is tentative. Final decisions will be made by the advisor/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/expectation/both 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 elected, free elective). These classes are listed below:
|COURSES REQUIRING PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR|
Applying to Take Graduate Courses
To register for graduate courses, you need approvals from both the ADU and the Graduate Program. You can obtain the form at the Office of Undergraduate Advising (ECSS 2.502). You can take graduate classes for undergraduate use only (limited to 12 hours), as Fast Track classes (limited to 15 hours), or for graduate use only (limited to 12 hours; the "graduate use only" option must be declared at the time of enrollment). Graduate classes taken under Fast Track (or for Undergraduate use only) appear in the student's Undergraduate transcript and contribute to the Undergraduate GPA. If a graduate class is taken "for Graduate Use only", it will appear in your Graduate transcript and contribute to your Graduate GPA.
Transition to the MS degree
Once admitted to Fast Track at the beginning of your graduation semester, you will soon have a graduate matriculation which will be used to sign up for graduate classes for semester(s) after your graduation with the BS degree. Failure to graduate with the BS will result in cancellation of your graduate matriculation and of your admission to graduate school. Those may be re-instated on a case-by-case basis and with the approval of both the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and the Graduate program.
Taking a Break Between the Two Degrees
The rules for re-admission apply to students that wish to take a break between their completion of the B.S. degree and continuation of their graduate studies. Students that take off three long semesters (or more - not counting summers) 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.
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 email@example.com.
*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 an Honors Program called Computer Science Computing Scholars (CS2). (CS2) is an intense Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Degree Program created for exceptionally gifted students who wish to pursue a demanding course of study enriched throughout with research experiences. The Computing Scholars Program has a specially designed curriculum. Courses integrate discussion of current research, recent discoveries, and open problems into a rich logical progression of firmly related topics. Course numbers for the Core Curriculum Requirements and Major Requirements are the same as those for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, but Computing Scholars take honors versions of the following courses: ECS 1100, CS 2305, CS 3305, CS 3340, CS 3341, CS 3345, CS 3354, CS 4141, CS 4337, CS 4341, CS 4348, CS 4349, CS 4384, and CS 4485.
Admission to the program is mainly by nomination and invitation. Those invited to join the Computing Scholars Honors Program will have successfully completed a full and challenging high school curriculum, will have achieved high scores on the SAT or ACT tests, and will be about to graduate from high school, or equivalent, with high class rank.
Successful participants will graduate with the added distinction of a Computing Scholars Honors Diploma.
For more information about this program students should contact the Computer Science Department leadership.
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