Fast Track Program

 

The Fast Track Program permits qualified undergraduate students to begin work on the MAIS (Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies) degree before completing their bachelor's degree.

As a Fast Track student, a qualified senior may take up to 12 credit hours maximum of approved graduate courses - including MAIS 5300: Foundations of Interdisciplinary Inquiry and MAIS 5321: Library Research Skills - during their senior year (within 30 hours of graduation), which will apply to their undergraduate degree plans as either major or elective courses. To qualify for admission to the Fast Track program, a senior must have completed at least 36 credits of core courses in their major and have attained a GPA of at least 3.5 overall and in their major. 

Registration for graduate courses will be made in consultation with and approval from the MAIS Program Head, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies Associate Dean, and the Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Student who are non-IS majors will also need to obtain permission from the Undergraduate Dean of their respective majors. Depending on the student's undergraduate major, the graduate courses they complete may be applied as "major and related" or as "electives" on the undergraduate degree plan. 

Students who are interested in the MAIS Fast Track program should consult with their Academic Advisor and complete an application form. The best time to apply is immediately prior to the start of the senior year (within 30 hours of graduation). Completed applications can be submitted to the MAIS Program Head or to the MAIS Administrative Assistant and will be reviewed by the Fast Track Admissions Committee in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. 

Fast Track Admissions Requirements

  • Senior standing (minimum of 90 credit hours) and completion of at least 36 credits of core courses in the major.
  • Completion of upper-level undergraduate course that includes significant research-and-writing project (such as BIS 3320, LIT 3339, PPOL 4300, or equivalent) with final grade of B+ or higher;
  • Grade point average of at least 3.5 in coursework at UT Dallas, overall and in major;
  • Two letters of recommendations from faculty at UT Dallas who teach both undergraduate and graduate courses; 
  • Application essay (500 words minimum) detailing student's interest in the MAIS degree and concentration area(s), as appropriate;
  • Approval from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies Fast Track Admissions Committee (includes Dean of IS, Associate Dean of IS, and MAIS Program Head);
  • Students applying for the MAIS Fast Track do NOT need to complete the graduate application or the GRE that are required for the MAIS program for non-Fast Track applicants.

Application materials should be submitted to the MAIS Program Head or to the MAIS Administrative Assistant. Completed applications will be reviewed and admissions decisions will be made by the IS Fast Track Admissions Committee.  Fast track students from Interdisciplinary Studies majors are required to obtain approval from the MAIS Program Head, the Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies before enrolling in graduate courses. In addition, Fast Track students from non-Interdisciplinary Studies majors will need to obtain approval from the Undergraduate Dean of their respective majors before enrolling in graduate courses. 

Fast Track Completion Requirements to Maintain Graduate Status

  • Selection of up to 12 hours of graduate course work, including MAIS 5300: Foundations of Interdisciplinary Inquiry and MAIS 5321: Library Research Skills;
  • Completion of all graduate course work taken as an undergraduate with a grade no lower than a B in each course;
  • Graduation (undergraduate) with a grade point average of at least 3.5 overall;
  • Admission to the MAIS Program by the Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies, Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies, and MAIS Program Head; at the time of admission, the appropriate number of successfully completed graduate credit hours will be certified and will then be allocated toward the appropriate MAIS degree requirements; 
  • Successful completion of all MAIS Fast Track requirements.

While in the Fast Track Program

  • Within a single semester, a Fast Track student can take a maximum of 2 graduate classes; 
  • Students enrolled in the Fast Track program will be evaluated in the same manner as graduate students; 
  • Graduate courses taken by a Fast Track Student will appear on both the undergraduate and graduate transcripts and will count in the cumulative earned hours and GPA for both the undergraduate and graduate academic careers;
  • Graduate policies apply to all Fast Track students;
  • Fast Track students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher in all undergraduate and graduate coursework;
  • Fast Track students may not enroll in graduate level independent study, research, or internship courses - such courses can only be taken after completing the undergraduate degree and fully transitioning to the MAIS program.

If a Fast Track student wishes to delay continuing with the master's program immediately after completing the bachelor's degree, the Fast Track student could follow the readmission procedures.  A MAIS Fast Track student can only delay the master's degree continuation for one academic year (two long semesters).  If the Fast Track student does not return to the MAIS program within one academic year to resume the MAIS degree requirements, their actions will be interpreted as withdrawing from the university and that student will be dismissed from the MAIS program.  If they then wish to resume their MAIS studies at a later date, they will need to formally reapply to the MAIS program.