TAMS Academic General Information

Course Requirements by Track

All core courses must be taken at TAMS/UNT during the Fall, Spring, or the 10-week or 5-week Summer semesters, but TAMS does not provide financial support or course materials during Summer semesters. Courses taken in Summer semesters count in a student’s cumulative GPA, so students should be wary of which course(s) they take during the Summer. No courses completed at other colleges or universities will be accepted in lieu of the required core courses. Although TAMS discourages students from attempting courses offered in unconventional formats or settings, students can ask for permission from the Associate Dean of TAMS to enroll in these unconventional courses. On the other hand, students cannot enroll in correspondence courses and TAMS does not recognize credit by exam (e.g., AP, IB, CLEP) to satisfy any TAMS core requirements. Except in research courses, TAMS students cannot take classes using the Pass/Fail Option. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate from the TAMS program.

[Core course = Any course specifically listed in the TAMS curriculum, including courses that begin with prefixes BIOL, CHEM, CSCE, ENGL, HIST, MATH, PSCI, PHYS. For the pathways beginning for the Class of 2023, all courses listed during the first four semesters of the TAMS program are considered core courses.]

Requirements for Graduation with Honors Diploma

The requirements for Graduation with an HONORS DIPLOMA are:

  • Cumulative GPA for the four semesters is at least 3.5
  • Grades of A or B in every course, including elective courses
  • No classes have been duplicated
  • No more than six (6) unexcused class absences per year
  • No more than 30 disciplinary points at any time during your tenure at TAMS
  • A minimum of 80 hours community service, with 40 of these completed by the end of the first year
  • Recommendation of the Academic Counselor

NOTE:  Since grades for the fourth semester are not available at the time of graduation, only those students who are eligible based on the first three semesters will be allowed to wear the Honors Medal for the ceremony and be listed in the program as Honors Graduates. If the fourth semester grades make a student eligible for the Honors Diploma, the medal and the diploma will be mailed to the student mid to late summer.

Elective Courses

Depending on availability and a student’s track/pathway, students may enroll in an elective course during the second semester if:

(1) The student is not on Alert status for behavioral or academic reasons; and
(2) The student has a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher.

In addition to one elective course, a student may enroll in a 1-hour research course or a 1-hour course, but not both.

NOTE:  Academy students MUST enroll in at least 12 hours each semester.

Textbooks

TAMS provides textbooks or electronic resources containing course textbooks for math, science, computer science, and engineering courses. Students check out these books or electronic codes from Ms. Hoffman during the first 8 days of the semester, and students must return these books/codes either at the end of the semester or at the end of the academic year during final exam week. Students are required to pay for lost, stolen, or damaged books and materials.
Additionally, beginning with the Class of 2022, TAMS provides each student with a $300 book voucher at the UNT on-campus book store to purchase the remainder of a student’s books (ENGL, HIST, PSCI, or approved elective courses). Students are not permitted to purchase any non-textbook items with the book voucher.

TAMS does not provide textbooks or materials for summer school enrollment.  For questions concerning textbooks, please contact tamstextbooks@unt.edu.

Class Schedule and Registration

The TAMS Academic Office will register incoming students in their first semester courses based on a student’s selected track/pathway and on placement test scores. During the first semester, students will select courses for their second semester, but students must complete the Class Advising Worksheet for approval by the Academic Counselor. Students may not enroll in classes that begin after 7:00 p.m. or in classes (other than labs) that meet more than two hours at a time, and students must have at least one class meeting each day of the week (M-F). Students must enroll in at least 12 hours each semester. A student’s parents are responsible for reimbursing the Academy for schedule change fees or late registration fees.

Class Attendance, Conduct in the Classroom, and Academic Disciplinary Points

Research studies have shown that attending class is vital to a student’s learning and general academic success. TAMS expects students to attend all classes, recitations, labs, and other required academic activities; TAMS also expects students to be active participants in their learning. Students who exhibit disruptive behavior or show disrespect to professors, lab assistants, other members of the teaching community at UNT, and/or classmates are subject to disciplinary sanctions.

Because the Academy expects students to attend classes and other academic activities, TAMS personnel often take attendance in courses in which TAMS students are enrolled.

Absences

  1. Students who are absent from any class, lab, recitation, or other requiredactivity when attendance is taken will receive 5 Academic points. In order to appeal these points, students must provide a written note from a doctor describing the student’s illness and the required treatment (prescription, etc.). A phone call from a student’s parent/guardian is insufficient to “excuse” the absence.
  2. Students will not receive Academic points for missing class(-es) in the following instances:
    1. Participating in a Student Life-approved, TAMS-sponsored, and TAMS-chaperoned event/competition.
    2. Presenting (not simply attending) papers and/or posters at academic conferences—TAMS must receive written documentation of the students’ acceptance.
    3. Invited to compete in or won competitions in order to advance to events related to their TAMS academic track—TAMS must receive written documentation of the invitation and the Associate Dean must approve.
    4. Second-year students’ invited to interview at universities—TAMS must receive written documentation confirming the invitation.
    5. In addition to receiving approval from TAMS Academics and their professors to miss class(-es), students must also adhere to Student Life rules and regulations governing travel and being away from McConnell Hall and the UNT campus.

Consequences of point accumulation:

  • Students who accrue two absences MUST meet with the TAMS Associate Dean.
  • Students earning more than 10 Academic Points in any given semester will not be allowed to participate in competitions or events that cause them to miss any classes during that semester.
  • Students earning more than 15 Academic Points in any given semester must check in at the front desk every day at least thirty minutes before their class(es). Students may also be subject to an earlier in-room curfew.
  • Students earning 30 or more Academic Points during their first year will forfeit their ability to be a club executive, senior mentor, or participate in NHS.
  • Students serving in executive or leadership positions who accumulate 30 or more Academic Points will be required to resign their positions and will not be allowed to travel to off-campus competitions.
  • Students accruing 60 or more Academic Points during their tenure at TAMS will be ineligible for the Honors Diploma.
  • Please be aware that (a) class absences, reported by the student or not, or (b) failure to report class absences, or (c) disruptive classroom behavior, put a student at high risk of dismissal from TAMS.
  • Whenever it appears that class absences are excessive or the classroom behavior of a student is disruptive, the student will be required to meet with the Associate Dean, who may (a) assess additional sanctions; (b) place the student on academic probation and impose a disciplinary contract; and/or, (c) recommend dismissal from the Academy.

Dropping or Retaking a Class

A student who drops a core course without consulting the Academic Counselor or the TAMS Associate Dean faces dismissal from the Academy. Students may drop non-core classes only with permission of the TAMS Associate Dean, and students may be responsible for reimbursing the Academy for tuition and fees as well as the cost of the textbook/materials. Students whose transcripts show dropped or repeated courses are at risk of being denied admission to prestigious universities or of being less competitive for academic scholarships. Students who voluntarily withdraw from the Academy before the end of the semester may be required to reimburse the Academy for all registration fees. A core course, such as Political Science or History, taken out of the recommended sequence will be counted as both a core class and an elective. Hence, if a student takes a core class out of sequence, they will not be allowed to drop the class.

Grades of "I" (incomplete)

First-year students who receive a grade of "I" (incomplete) must complete the work required for removal of the "I" prior to June 1 in order to be invited to return to TAMS for the second year. Second-year students who receive a grade of “I” cannot graduate from TAMS or receive an official transcript until they complete the work to remove the “I.”

Grade Reports and GPA Computation

Each Academic Counselor will email mid-semester grade reports to each student’s parents’ email addresses on file with the TAMS administration. The University will post each student’s course grades for the semester online. The student’s GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of semester credit hours (sch) attempted. The grade of A is worth 4 grade points for each credit hour, B is worth 3 grade points for each credit hour, C is worth 2 grade points for each credit hour, D is worth 1 grade point for each credit hour, and F is worth 0 grade points. An example for GPA computation is given below:

 

Biology 3 credit hours A 12 grade points
Biology lab 2 credit hours B 6 grade points
Chemistry 3 credit hours B 9 grade points
Chemistry lab 1 credit hour A 4 grade points
Calculus I 4 credit hours A 16 grade points
English 3 credit hours B 9 grade points

GPA = (total number of grade points) ÷ (total number of credit hours) = (56) ÷ (16) = 3.5

Academic Integrity

Students in the Academy are expected to maintain the highest level of honesty and integrity in academic pursuits, whether within TAMS, UNT and/or external competitions and events. Academic departments have specific policies concerning academic dishonesty, which are described in course syllabi. Any violation of such policies—whether within a UNT course and/or a course, research opportunity, or competition external to UNT—or any other form of academic dishonesty, will be reported to the Academy. According to UNT’s Code of Student Conduct, Student Academic Integrity, Policy 06.003, acts of dishonesty include, but are not limited to, cheating or plagiarism as described below:

The term “cheating” includes but is not limited to:  (1) Falsification of any information (including attendance) for the purpose of receiving points in a course;  (2) Use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations;  (3) Dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or,  (4) The acquisition, without permission, of tests, aids (e.g. illicitly developed study guides), or other academic material belonging to a faculty or staff member of the university.

(1) Use of any unauthorized assistance to take exams, tests, quizzes, or other assessments;
(2) Use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments;
(3) Use, without permission, of tests, notes, or other academic materials belonging to instructors, staff members, or other students of the University;
(4) The acquisition, without permission, of tests, aids (e.g. illicitly developed study guides), or other academic material belonging to a faculty or staff member of the university;
(5) Dual submission of a paper or project, or resubmission of a paper or project to a different class without express permission from the instructor;
(6) Falsification of any information (including attendance) for the purpose of receiving points in a course; and/or,
(7) Any other act designed to give a student an unfair advantage on an academic assignment.

“Plagiarism” means use of another’s thoughts or words without proper attribution in any academic exercise, regardless of the student’s intent, including but not limited to:

(1) The knowing or negligent use by paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement or citation;
(2) The knowing or negligent unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or by an agency engaged in selling term papers or other academic materials.

The Academy also considers dishonest behavior—characterized as “sabotage” in UNT’s Code of Student Conduct—if a student provides information about another TAMS or UNT student(s) or any student(s) at another educational institution(s) for the purpose of gaining personal advantage and/or harming the other student(s). Whenever a real concern exists about another student’s actions, TAMS requires a student to file a complaint with the TAMS administration so that an investigation can be conducted.

Students with a documented case of academic dishonesty whether within TAMS, UNT, and/or an external competition(s) or event(s) may be dismissed from the Academy or not invited to return to the Academy for the following semester/year. Likewise, students who willfully fail to report cases of academic dishonesty and/or any acts of unethical behavior are subject to the aforementioned sanctions themselves.

Academic Alert (formerly "Academic Probation")

Students are placed on academic probation in the following circumstances:

  • The semester GPA at the end of the Fall semester of the first year is below 3.0 but not less than 2.7. (Any student whose first semester GPA is less than 2.7 will be dismissed from the Academy).
  • A grade of D is assigned in any course (students who receive an F in any course will be dismissed from the Academy).
  • Students may be placed on academic probation if the Directors feel it is in the best interest of the student.

While on academic probation, the student: (a) must meet with the Academic Counselor once each week; (b) must work with assigned tutors; (c) may not hold any leadership office in UNT or TAMS organizations; and/or (d) loses privileges as determined by the TAMS Associate Dean.

Dismissal or Withdrawal from the Academy

Students are dismissed from the Academy for the following academic reasons:

  • The semester GPA is insufficient based on the GPA policy described in the TAMS Handbook
  • A first-year student placed on Academic Alert at the end of the Fall semester does not make academic progress by the end of the second semester based on the GPA policy described in the TAMS Handbook
  • A second-year student whose GPA is insufficient at the end of the third semester based on the GPA policy described in the TAMS Handbook
  • Documented cases of academic dishonesty
  • Disruptive or disrespectful classroom behavior that is not corrected immediately
  • A student who drops a core course
  • A student who receives a grade of F in any course

Students who withdraw from the Academy for any reason may not enroll as a student at UNT until their class graduates from TAMS.

NOTE:  The TAMS Administration will review each student's academic and disciplinary record at the end of each semester. TAMS reserves the right to make decisions about whether or not a student continues at the Academy, depending on individual circumstances. Simply meeting GPA requirements does not guarantee an invitation to return to TAMS.

Recommendations for Academic Success

Because university courses are much more intense, move at a very fast pace, and assume immediate recall of prior knowledge, it is imperative that students adopt a more rigorous study pattern than is required in a traditional high school. In fact, students should not view TAMS/UNT as a high school at all. Grades for most courses are assigned based on only three or four exams, and most courses require a comprehensive final examination. Classes generally meet either two or three times per week and, although homework is assigned, it is not necessarily collected and graded. In order to be successful, it is imperative that Academy students:

  • ATTEND ALL CLASSES
  • Enjoy learning. Be disciplined and responsible. Pay attention to the teacher in class and DO NOT be distracted by electronic devices.
  • Do all assigned work and study ahead, including reading your assignments before class/li>
  • Rewrite class notes and outline text material
  • Prepare homework the same day that it is assigned
  • Study each subject every day regardless of how many times the class meets per week (study each subject 30-90 minutes each day – studying is like taking medication in that you spread it out and don’t do it all at once!)
  • Form study groups and participate actively in the study sessions
  • Visit professors during their office hours
  • Begin to prepare for exams a week in advance
  • Visit the various resource centers and tutorial services on campus to receive additional help. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Talk to the Academic Counselor or the TAMS Associate Dean about any concerns you have.
  • Get plenty of rest, physical exercise, and good food!

College Advising, Applications, Letters of Recommendation, and Scholarships

Academy students may be applying for admission to other institutions and for scholarships during the Fall semester of their second year. It is essential students begin filling out these applications no later than the summer prior to the second year. Seminar presentations and workshops about the application process are given by the College Advisor. Applications typically require letters of recommendation from faculty and the TAMS staff, so students should become acquainted with faculty and with TAMS staff so that recommendation letters can be stronger and reflect the unique characteristics of the student. Attitudes and classroom behavior that exhibit respect for authority, alertness, promptness with assigned work, imagination, and eagerness to learn are important characteristics to cultivate. Students should give faculty and staff ample time to prepare recommendation letters—at least one month before the deadline for submission—and students should express appropriate gratitude to those who write recommendation letters.

Numerous scholarship opportunities are available for Academy graduates who have high SAT scores, outstanding grades, strong initiative, clean disciplinary records, and good communication skills. These opportunities include the Regeneron Competition (for second-year students), the Goldwater scholarship, the Morris Udall Scholarship, National Merit Scholarships, along with many merit or need-based scholarships given by the admitting institution. Official UNT transcripts are required for university and scholarship applications, and students can (a) request that UNT’s Registrar Office located in the Eagle Student Services Building send transcripts to the appropriate institutions, or (b) enjoy the service provided by the TAMS College Advisor by obtaining a copy of the UNT transcript and giving it to TAMS College Advisor.

Fall Convocation

The Fall Convocation occurs on the first Wednesday of the semester and officially begins the new academic year; all students are required to attend. Numerous students will be presented with scholarships, and students will hear inspirational messages from the Dean and a TAMS alum.

National Honor Society

Eligible second-year students will be invited to join the National Honor Society at the beginning of their second year. Qualifications for induction and for continuing membership in NHS are:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • No more than 30 disciplinary points at any time during your tenure at TAMS
  • Attendance at the Fall Convocation
  • Dedication to scholarship, leadership, service, honesty, integrity, and truthfulness
  • Payment of required dues (non-refundable) by the date given in the letter of invitation 
  • NHS recognition at graduation requires 50 hours of community service, with 25 of these completed by the end of the first year

TAMS Commencement

Second-year students will participate in a graduation ceremony during the final exam week of their fourth semester. Questions about the commencement ceremony should be directed to the TAMS Dean’s Office (phone: 940-565-3606).

PSAT and SAT I

All first-year students are required to take the PSAT/NMSQT during their first semester at the Academy. College Board uses the exam to identify National Merit Scholarship candidates.

Although students took the SAT or ACT prior to enrolling in the Academy, students may elect to take either or both of the tests again during the Spring of the first year or early in the Fall of the second year. Registration information can be found online, and students should be careful to choose a date when the exam is offered in Denton, unless a travel weekend is used to take the exam at home. Students should register early to take the SAT since testing sites fill quickly. STUDENTS MUST NOT REGISTER FOR THE SAT ON THE WEEKEND OF FINAL EXAMS.

After Graduation from TAMS

State legislators ask for various sets of data as a means to justify continuing to fund the Academy. One question always asked is where are your graduates and what are they doing. We can usually report that about 80% of our graduates are pursuing degrees and careers in mathematics or the sciences. Hence, please keep in touch with TAMS after graduation regarding your schooling and/or career. Graduates are encouraged to join the TAMS Alumni Association, and drop in for a visit when back on campus.

Disability Accommodations

The University of North Texas is an equal opportunity institution and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. Students with disabilities are required to register with the University Office of Disability Accommodations in order to make use of their services and to receive accommodation. For further information, contact the Office of Disability Accommodation in Sage Hall.

Summer School

Some Academy students choose to take courses during the Summer, either at UNT or elsewhere. With permission from the TAMS Associate Dean, students may elect to complete a core course during the Summer, but TAMS recommends that students use Summer school to take non-STEM course.