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Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
Associated University University of North Texas (UNT)
Location Denton, TX
Creation Date 1988
Typical Starting Grade Level 11th
Program Length 2 years
Residential Yes
Issues High School Diploma Yes
Results in College Degree No
Students Accepted per Year 200
Estimated Cost per Year $5,600
Restrictions to Enrollment Must be a resident of the state of Texas to apply.
Admissions Dates Deadline for Early Decision - January 6
Other Submission Groups’ Deadlines - April 11, March 31
On campus interview - Various dates January-April
Website http://www.tams.unt.edu/
Email Address becker@tams.sch.unt.edu: Melissa Becker, Admissions Secretary
Phone Number Voice: (800) 241-TAMS
Fax: (940) 369-8796
Mailing Address Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
University of North Texas
P.O. Box 305309
Denton, TX 76203-5309

Application Procedure

Online Application available at http://www.tams.unt.edu/appl/Onlineintro.htm

Printable Application available at http://www.tams.unt.edu/appl/2003Application.pdf

Minimum Requirements:

  • Completed Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry prior to enrolling
  • SAT I score of 1100, with 600 in the math portion

Application Requires:

  • A personal essay
  • Recent SAT scores
  • Transcripts
  • 3 teacher evaluations (English, Science and Math)
  • Counselor or Principal statement
  • Personal Interview
  • During the interview visit, applicants will also take a mathematics evaluation test.
  • Interest, enthusiasm and maturity are considered during acceptance deliberations.

Accepts multiple rounds of applicants, until class is filled. Applicants not accepted in one round may be deferred and re-evaluated in later rounds.

Program Description

The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS), like its little sibling TALH, is a high school replacement program that results inhigh school diploma after completing two years of college. This program also has the distinction of being the largest early entrance program in the country and the first to embrace the 2-year high school replacement model.

TAMS is designed to provide a good grounding in science and mathematics, and prepare students to continue their undergraduate education in science or engineering at some of the best universities in the country. Like TALH, this program is partially state subsidized and consequently restricted to only residents of the state of Texas.

An informational video prepared by the Academy can be seen at http://media.unt.edu:8080/ramgen/cmp/TAMS/TAMS.rm

Living Environment

All and only TAMSters live in the massive McConnell Hall, which is centrally located on UNT’s campus. The building contains: a study area, a game room, a computer lab, laundry facilities, kitchen, HAM radio room, music practice room with piano, and various other general purpose rooms. Student rooms have a phone lines and two high-speed ethernet connections to the internet. Depending on the part of the building bathing and restroom facilities may be shared amongst 2, 4, or an entire wing worth of people. Males and females are distributed over different parts of the building, and are limited in the degree they can intermingle outside of public areas. However students of the opposite sex may spend time in each other’s rooms for a few hours each day provided the door remains open.

Each wing of each floor has a live-in “Resident Assistant” who is responsible for the needs of students in his or her section. Additionally, more senior “Resident Directors” and other onsite staff see to the needs of the community as a whole. Resident Assistants run weekly “wing meetings” to distribute information and promote activities. Staff run a number of socialization events throughout the year, including such things as sports events, quiz bowls, museum trips and other activities.

The adjacent Bruce Hall cafeteria provides buffet eating on weekdays under the standard meal plan. On weekends, students who have purchased a “7-day” meal plan must walk to the more distance Kerr Hall, but still receive unlimited servings. Other dining halls spread around campus provide a limited number of specialty options.


In order to graduate from the academy, students must pass the following classes and have at least 3.0 GPA overall (B average):

  • One year introductory major’s sequence biology with lab
  • One year introductory (or honors) major’s sequence chemistry with lab
  • One year introductory major’s sequence physics with lab
  • Mathematics through at least Calculus II
  • Two years of academy approved English courses
  • One year of United States History
  • One semester of Texas or US Political Science

Biology and chemistry are taken in the first year with physics in the second year. Mathematics and English courses are typically taken throughout the two-year academy program, while history and political science requirements can be met anytime after the first semester (provided good academic standing, described below). Regular attendance of classes is mandated as Academy policy, and excessive absence from class may be grounds for dismissal from TAMS, regardless of GPA. Additionally, some professors include attendance as a portion of the grade. All courses, except for some math and some English classes, are taught to a mixture of regular university students and TAMS students. The TAMS only classes are meant to quickly cover material which most college students would have already encountered in high school. All classes, mixed and not, earn college credit.

Students who maintain a 3.0 semester and cumulative GPA with no grade of D or F in the previous semester are considered to be in good academic standing and may (and are generally expected to) take one or more elective courses. Electives may be chosen from any course the university offers for which a student has the prerequisites. Common choices are advanced mathematics and organic chemistry, but humanities and more exotic classes are often taken. Graduates will complete at least 57 credit hours of college work, but because of electives more typical numbers are around 70.

TAMS students pay no tuition for any classes they take whether required or elective. The Academy issues textbooks to students and expects them to be returned at the end of the year, unless the student chooses to purchase the book from the Academy (usually at a discount compared to book store prices). Students are however responsible for any other outside materials (e.g. paper, art supplies, etc) required for their classes. Some need-based scholarships are available for students for whom this would be a hardship.

Students who don’t meet the 3.0 GPA requirement, or get D’s or F’s in required classes face academic probation and ultimately the possibility of dismissal from the academy. Students on probation aren’t allowed to participate in a number of extracurricular activities or take elective classes. Free tutoring and full-time academic counselors are available to all TAMS students. Ultimately though, the opinion of the Academy is that students who cannot maintain at least a 3.0 GPA “would be at a greater advantage by returning to the high school environment” (Academics, TAMS Website).

Social Activities and Events

Unlike many of its counterparts, TAMS is a very large program with nearly 400 students in residence at any one time, and because of this a large number of clubs and activities are organized entirely within the TAMS community. As of this writing there are 18 recognized TAMS clubs and 5 service organizations, though those numbers fluctuate from year to year, as new organizations are created and old ones are dissolved. Each recognized club works with a staff member known as a “Program Advisor” in order to organize and orchestrate events. Most student organizations also receive a funding allowance from TAMS and may do additional fundraising. The current list of organizations is as follows:

  • Clubs
    • Academy Players
    • Classical Sciences Society
    • FACES (Cultural Club)
    • Dull Roar (Music Society)
    • JETS (Junior Engineering Technological Society)
    • Key Club
    • Masters of Entertainment
    • Medical Leaders of Tomorrow
    • Mu Alpha Theta (Math Society)
    • Robotics
    • Scoop (Newspaper)
    • Yearbook
  • Academy Service Groups
    • Ambassadors
    • After Prom Committee
    • McConnell Hall Association
    • Judicial Board
    • Peer Academic Counselors
    • Residential Computing Consultants
    • Student Life Advisory Board
    • Student Council
    • Students Taking Active Role of Support

In addition, TAMSters may participate in university clubs provided the events and activities in those clubs would not cause the student to violate TAMS rules (for instance, alcohol policy or curfew). However, the majority of TAMSters find sufficient opportunities locally that they are not interested to joining UNT organizations. In fact, there are so many organizations that most everyone that is interested in holding a leadership position is able to find one. TAMSters are forbidden from joining fraternities and sororities or attending any of their functions.

In addition to the clubs themselves, there are a number of traditional events run by the Academy. Most notable among these are New Student Orientation (several days of discussions and social events), Frog Night (where seniors take new students out and show them around), Ring Ceremony (where class rings are presented), Prom, ProGrad (a senior celebration before graduation), and Graduation. Resident Assistants and Program Advisors also put on a number of other events over the course of each year, according to student interest. Some of these are limited to a particular wing or group of wings in order to promote solidarity.

Sponsoring University

Colleges and universities are typically grouped based on the highest degree that they regularly award, which in the case of University of North Texas is the Doctoral degree.

UNT publishes facts and information about their university at: http://www.unt.edu/pais/untproud.htm

Online Videos about UNT available at: http://www.unt.edu/prospect/video/

Form for requesting more information about UNT: https://web2.unt.edu/inquiry/inquiry2.cfm

Quick Facts about UNT:

Website http://www.unt.edu/
Founded 1890
Academic Calendar Semester
Setting Suburban (Denton, TX)
Undergrad Student Body Size 21,059
SAT 25/75 Percentile 960-1210
Student Faculty Ratio 18 to 1
Number of Majors Offered 106
Student Body Diversity White - 73%
African American - 10%
Hispanic - 9%
Asian American - 4%
International - 3%
Native American - 1%

The above data may be as much as five years old. Number of majors may include 4-year pre-professional programs.

Denton is a city of 75,000 located 40 miles northwest of the major city of Dallas, TX (population 1,080,000) and 35 miles northeast of Fort Worth, TX.

For detailed comparison information and college rankings, we recommend America's Best Colleges published by US News & World Reports and available online at a cost of $10.

UNT Mission Statement:

“The University of North Texas is the largest and most comprehensive research and doctoral degree-granting institution in the North Texas area and the flagship of the UNT System. The University is committed to excellence in teaching and the discovery and application of knowledge through research and creative activities. As the educational leader in the North Texas region, the University is dedicated to the development of the area as the number one region in the nation.

The university:

  • achieves high-quality instruction, scholarship and service by:
    • fostering excellence and innovation in teaching and learning;
    • supporting research and creative activities that expand knowledge, strengthen undergraduate and graduate programs, and promote the application of knowledge for the benefit of society; and
    • assuming the primary leadership role in addressing community needs of the North Texas region and the state;
    • maintaining academic integrity through free and open inquiry including the examination of values;
  • stresses understanding and appreciation of the historical, intellectual, technological, scientific and cultural nature of the search for knowledge;
  • promotes the advancement and preservation of the arts;
  • nurtures development of students by providing continuing opportunities for intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and career growth;
  • supports a culturally diverse environment and advocates mutual respect for all members of the University community as they strive for excellence;
  • provides a high quality residential environment and opportunities for lifelong learning; and
  • enhances access to higher education through the use of emerging information and telecommunication technologies.

The university continues to expand its relationship with the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth; to develop the University of North Texas System Center at Dallas; and to cultivate partnerships with elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, other universities, businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of education and community life.”

- UNT Website


There are 8 testimonials available regarding the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. A randomly chosen one of these appears below, or you can see all the testimonials.

I was amazed to read the other testimonies about TAMS. Almost every single student I know was pleased with the program, and many were incredibly happy about their time there. The satisfaction survey, which is posted on the alumni site, reveals this.

Take time to talk to students currently enrolled in the program. It's hard, but if you work hard, you can do well. There's no shortage of tutors and support, and that is made very clear throughout your time there. However, it's also a wonderful place. In fact, I don't doubt that many students have a hard time balancing the opportunity to spend time with the most incredible peer group one has experienced with performance in the class (I had a hard time myself), and for this reason a few don't make the transition well. It's for those who are motivated, self-starters, and appreciate both having a good time and doing hard work.

The fellow above sums it up well: it's a great place, but you're ready to leave after two years. My best friends are still the ones I made at TAMS, even though I've been in the northeast for four years and I'm probably staying here another three. It's also easy to strike up new friendships or revive old ones with TAMSters who cross my path again: one of my best friends here is from TAMS, though we didn't know each other before she arrived.

That said, there are definitely a few people who come there each year not ready to handle it, either because they're bent on escaping from their parents, have psychological problems, or simply because they're not prepared to handle living away from their parents (and being able to accomplish a solid workload while away). It's similar to the transition to college, though with a better support structure, and there [... more]

- Cleve Doty, Student (Class of 2002)
Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science

Read the other TAMS Testimonials.

If you are familiar with this program it is also possible to tell your own story.


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This page was last modified 13:30 Friday, May 21, 2010

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