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Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science

The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) is a two-year residential early college entrance program serving approximately 380 Texans at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. It is a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology.

Each year TAMS admits approximately 200 new students following their 10th grade year of high school. These students are entered into full-time college studies and proceed to earn two years of college credit that is transferable in some situations while at the same time earning a high school diploma. Typical TAMS students receive both a high school diploma and more than 60 college credits, allowing them to potentially enter university with enough credit to qualify as a junior.


Core subjects required for graduation with a TAMS diploma are biology, chemistry, physics (mechanics and electromagnetism), mathematics (precalculus and calculus), English literature, US history, and political science. Students are also required to attend a weekly seminar, which includes presentations covering academic topics like research opportunities and nonacademic topics like etiquette.

All core courses must be taken at TAMS/UNT during the fall and spring semesters. All courses, including electives, must be taken in standard format — that is, none can be taken on-line or by correspondence. The minimum cumulative GPA required for graduation is 3.0. Students whose GPA is drops below this threshold are dismissed from the Academy, and the number of elective courses that a student may take in a given semester is dependent upon his or her GPA.

Tuition and fees

TAMS students are responsible for paying for room and board in McConnell Hall and a TAMS "program charge" (which amounted to $1,300 during the 2007-2008 academic year). Tuition and all other fees are paid for by the TAMS program. Textbooks are lent to the student for free for the duration of the relevant course. In earlier years the program was free of charge, with the exception of room and board. Funding cuts by the state in 2003 led to the addition of the "program charge."

Research, scholarships, and awards

Students at TAMS are encouraged to take the opportunity of conducting research under the guidance of a professor either on or off-campus during the school year as well as the summer. The TAMS Summer Research Scholarship is offered to about 60 students per year to fund these research pursuits. In the past, amounts up to $4000 have been granted, though due to recent budget cuts the scholarship for the '05-'06 summer was reduced to $3000. Students' research may be recognized by professors listing a student as co-author of a papers or by awards at competitions such as Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Science and Technology and the Intel Science Talent Search. A number of students also compete for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

TAMS graduates often pursue post-graduate education, often in the sciences or mathematics. The total amount of scholarship money offered to TAMS graduates annually is generally eight to nine million dollars, two to three million of which is accepted.

Student life

Clubs and events

TAMS students participate in the UNT community through activities such as community service projects and tutoring. TAMS has a number of student activities and events, ranging from academic clubs like Mu Alpha Theta and JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) to performance groups like Academy Players (theatre) and Dull Roar (music). There are also many community service activities available in which students can participate, like HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere). In addition to clubs, the McConnell Hall Association functions as a part of the UNT Residential Hall Association. Also, one student is voted to represent TAMS in the UNT Student Government Association each year.

Students may also participate in yearly or more frequent events such as proms and talent shows.

McConnell Hall

All TAMS students live in McConnell Hall. The hall consists of three floors, segregated by gender. The hall is furnished with two common rooms (the Smitty Study and Mac Café), a kitchenette, and multiple meeting rooms. Besides serving as a study area during quiet hours, the Smitty Study serves as a public recreation room, featuring ping-pong, free chocolate chip cookies, pool, and foosball. Mac Café is one of the common rooms in McConnell. It host various student activities, and also serves as a gathering place for both academic and social activity.

Disciplinary system

TAMS students are subject to a set of rules, including a curfew, as set by the administration, subject to review by the Judicial Board or the administration. Some areas of Denton and Dallas are restricted at night, while others are completely off-limits at any time (e.g. bars that serve alcohol).

Infractions are documented by TAMS staff, and students are assessed a number of disciplinary points for each infraction. Points are accumulated by each student over his or her enrollment, although they may be appealed. Violations such as quiet hour disturbance are not given any leniency, but three documentations for the same offense must be recorded in thirty days before any actual points are accumulated. More serious violations, however, such as the use of illegal or restricted substances are strictly enforced.

Notable Alumni


External links

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