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TIP Office
Flawn Academic Center (FAC) 334

Mailing Address
Texas Interdisciplinary Plan (TIP)
Flawn Academic Center (FAC) 334
2304 Whitis Avenue, F2500
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712

tipdesk@austin.utexas.edu
T: 512-232-6493
F: 512-232-2800


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Who are TIP Scholars?

What are the goals of the TIP Scholars program?

What does it mean to be a member of TIP Scholars?

Why this emphasis on Critical Thinking?

What resources do TIP Scholars have at their disposal?

As a TIP Scholar, what is expected of me?

Do I have to join TIP Scholars if offered a position?

Who are TIP Scholars?
The Texas Interdisciplinary Plan (TIP) Scholars are incoming first-time freshmen admitted to the College of Natural Sciences selected to be part of a challenging and supportive academic community. TIP Scholars are exceptionally motivated students who are committed to their own learning. TIP provides students with a small college atmosphere while at this large research institution.

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What are the goals of the TIP Scholars program?
TIP Scholars has three primary goals for its students: (1) to achieve academic excellence, (2) to transition successfully to UT and (3) to reach their individual potentials at this University and beyond. All activities in TIP Scholars – from academic peer mentoring to academic advising – are focused on these goals.

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What does it mean to become a member of TIP Scholars? 
When students decide to join TIP Scholars, they are accepting a unique opportunity to become part of a small academic community within this large research institution. Like all other UT students, TIP Scholars pursue a course of study in their area of academic interest. TIP Scholars, however, begin this experience by taking courses with a cohort of peers with similar interests and a collection of professors dedicated to their excellence. This cohort experience, combined with a variety of academic opportunities through peer mentoring, dedicated academic advisors, and free tutoring in the TIP Scholars Learning Lab, makes the TIP Scholar experience a unique and beneficial way to establish a solid and successful footing at the University.

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Why this emphasis on Critical Thinking? 
TIP Scholars take a signature course in critical thinking which emphasizes being an educated and discerning member of today’s society. Fulfilling a core requirement for any degree at UT, the TIP critical thinking course involves the mastery of important intellectual skills and abilities that are essential to excellence in any academic discipline and in the world beyond. This seminar was designed to ensure that all TIP Scholars would develop the facility to think and write critically, become more intellectually persistent, more proficient in questioning, and better able to think clearly and logically about their studies and the world around them.

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What resources do TIP Scholars have at their disposal? 
TIP scholars have access to a collection of extraordinary resources.

First, TIP scholars have help in registering for their classes. Many courses are restricted to TIP Scholars or have reserved seats.

Second, each first-year TIP Scholar is matched with an Academic Peer Mentor – a talented, experienced upperclassman dedicated to supporting their mentees’ pursuit of academic excellence and enhancing their transition to UT.

Third, TIP Scholars have access to free tutoring in many of their major entry-level courses in the TIP Scholars Learning Lab. The TIP Scholars Learning Lab is free and is available nearly every night of the week.

Fourth, TIP Scholars take many of their courses with faculty who will get to know them by name and work to ensure each student’s individual excellence.

Finally, TIP Scholars have access to a dedicated group of TIP staff members and advisors who are ready to assist them with any question or problem.

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As a TIP Scholar, what is expected of me? 
The staff have lots of experience in working with students, and over the years we’ve learned a few things. We know that students who take responsibility for their own academic success are the most likely to excel at this University. The program is designed to provide experiences that have been proven to springboard students to academic success.

As a TIP Scholar, you are expected to:

  • Enroll in the TIP critical thinking seminar: All UT freshmen are required to take a freshman signature course (Undergraduate Studies – UGS) as a core requirement for their degree. TIP has this course already lined up for its Scholars and the focus is exploring what it means to thinking critically in a very complex world. TIP’sCritical Thinking for the 21st Century (UGS 303) is tightly connected to your mentor group and helps hone intellectual skills that will be valuable for your academic, professional, and personal futures.

  • Be an active member of your mentor group: The TIP Scholar community revolves around your mentor group. Cultivating the community starts with cultivating your team. Being an engaged and responsible member of this team will seed your network at UT and make for an amazing first year experience.

  • Partner with your TIP advisor for academic planning: TIP has its own academic advisors that are experts in the freshman experience and what it takes to graduate on time. They are your go-to people for academic planning, celebrations of success, and concerns about personal and academic bumps.

  • Take advantage of your resources: Mentors and advisors are not your only resources in TIP. All the TIP staff are eager to watch you succeed and they know that doing well in your classes is just the beginning. Staying connected with the program to learn about and participate in supplemental programming such as research, internships, study abroad experiences, community service, and a host of other opportunities is the best way to make the most of your undergraduate career.

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Do I have to join TIP Scholars if offered a position?
All incoming UT freshman will belong to a community of some kind and taking advantage of the exclusive invitation to join the TIP Scholars community is a personal decision. The TIP Scholars community is one of the most resource-rich programs in the College of Natural Sciences and both students and staff recognize the significant perks and support provided by this program. Seldom do students choose not to accept the offer of a position in TIP Scholars but they certainly can make that decision. Whatever decision is made, we want to be sure you are making an informed decision, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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