ATEC Undergraduate Advisors guide current UTD students through the degree requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. Advisors help students understand the different ATEC pathways and courses within the degree in relation to their aspirations.
Academic Probation is the second rung on the academic standing ladder (with Academic Good Standing being the first). All students start out on the first rung of Academic Good Standing. When a student's overall GPA falls below a 2.000, the student moves to the second rung and is placed on Academic Probation. If a student on Academic Probation cannot meet the Probation requirements, the student moves to Academic Warning (the third rung).
Academic Suspension is the fourth rung on the academic standing ladder (with Academic Probation being the second, and Academic Warning being the second). If a student on Academic Warning cannot meet the Warning requirements, the student moves to the fourth rung and is placed on Academic Suspension. The first time a student is placed on Academic Suspension, it will be for one semester. At the end of the semester, the student may petition for readmission, which is decided by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies within the student's major. If the student is readmitted, the student will be readmitted on Academic Warning. If the student again cannot meet the Warning requirements in the returning semester, the student will once again be placed on Academic Suspension. The second time a student is placed on Academic Suspension, it will be for one academic year. The same readmission petition requirements apply for students seeking to reenter after a full year of suspension.
Academic Warning is the third rung on the academic standing ladder (with Good Standing being the first, and Academic Probation being the second). If a student on Academic Probation cannot meet the Probation requirements, the student moves to the third rung and is placed on Academic Warning. If a student on Academic Warning cannot meet the Warning requirements, the student will be suspended from UTD for one semester. If a student on Academic Warning meets the Warning requirements but is unable to increase their overall GPA to 2.000 or above, the student will be allowed to continue on Warning for one more semester. If the student is still unable to increase their overall GPA to 2.000 or above by the end of the second Warning semester, the student will be suspended from UTD for one semester.
In ATEC, administrators determine the direction of the ATEC program and what courses will be offered each semester. In certain exceptional circumstances, advisors may refer students to work with an administrator on a particular issue.
Advising Peer Mentor
Advising Peer Mentors are current ATEC students who have been trained to assist current and prospective students in navigating the ATEC pathways. As Advising Peer Mentors, they meet with students to assist with schedule planning and registration, demonstrate advising technology, discuss the program with prospective students, and develop and implement programming for their peers. Additionally, they run our front desk, answering the phone and email, checking in students for appointments, and assisting with paperwork.
An appeal is a formal request for an exception to an existing policy. Appeals typically have a specific process that must be followed, depending on the policy involved. Most appeals begin with your academic advisor.
An application-based course is one that can only be taken by students who have applied and been accepted into the course prior to the beginning of registration. Emails are sent to all ATEC students prior to registration, detailing which courses require an application and what materials (portfolio, etc.) are required to apply. Students who do not apply for an application-based course, or apply but are not accepted, cannot register for the course.
This word has several definitions, depending on the context. The primary way you'll see this word used is in reference to several state-mandated "check-ins" during your undergraduate career. The state requires departments to check up on student progress several times throughout the student's degree. Currently, ATEC conducts three audits: Pathway Check-in, Capstone Check-in, and Graduation Audit. The Pathway and Capstone check-ins are performed asynchronously through a survey and email response. Students fill out the survey questions on their own time, and their advisor will respond to their answers after submission. For Graduation Audits, contact your advisor directly.
The Capstone course (ATCM 4398) is one of three ways of completing the Capstone Project, the other two being Honors Capstone and Senior Seminar. To enroll in the Capstone course, a student must be selected by a faculty member during the Capstone selection process for one-on-one work. During the semester, the student will work on their Capstone Project individually, with support and guidance from the faculty member supervising that student. Students enrolled in the Capstone course are required to participate in two Capstone Critique sessions during their enrollment semester.
Capstone is the final "senior project" within ATEC. Students graduating in fall or spring will complete their Capstone during their graduating semester. Students graduating in summer will complete their Capstone during the spring semester immediately prior to their graduating summer. The Capstone project must build upon skills acquired during a student's time at ATEC, and must be both involved enough to merit 3 upper-level credit hours and narrow enough in scope to be completed by an individual student in one semester. The three courses that can be used to complete the Capstone project are Senior Seminar, Capstone (course), and Honors Capstone.
A catalog is a university's official statement of policy, procedure, and academic offerings. It includes academic policies, a listing of all courses each department can offer (note: it does NOT include any listing of which courses are being offered in a particular semester), and the degree requirements for each major and pathway. The university publishes a new catalog every year, but students are assigned a catalog based on the year they entered UTD. Changes to degree requirements in a new catalog will not impact students assigned to earlier catalogs: students stay "on" their entering catalog until they graduate, unless an exceptional circumstance applies.
Census Day is typically the 12th day of class each semester, and it is the last day to drop a class without the class appearing on the student's transcript. After Census Day, students will receive a "W" on their transcript for withdrawing from a class.
A college or school is a division within a university that has its own policies, procedures, staff, and facilities. Schools may, but do not have to, include multiple departments. ATEC is the only school within UTD, in fact, that only includes one department.
The Core Curriculum is a statewide requirement for all Texas public institutions. There are nine categories of Core, and the state decided the focus for eight of the nine categories, which means classes in those categories are likely to be the same across Texas public institutions. For the ninth category (090), each school is allowed to choose the focus areas they want to include. Core classes are the most common type of class transferred into UTD from other institutions.
A corequisite is a class that must be taken EITHER before the class in question OR at the same time as the class in question. For example, if CS 1335 is a corequisite for ATCM 3310, a student who wants to take ATCM 3310 must have either already completed CS 1335 prior to enrolling in ATCM 3310, or enroll in CS 1335 and ATCM 3310 in the same semester. See also Prerequisite.
Coursebook is a UTD website that offers a way to view all the courses provided by a specific department within a specific term. It also provides a way to use advanced search techniques to find course offerings.
The course code is a 5-digit number that uniquely defines a specific section of a course. Because this number is unique across all the courses being offered at UTD, it's an important part of registering. Students need to include this number in any email registration request.
The course number is a 4-digit number that defines a specific course within the UTD catalog. The first digit of the number tells you whether the course is upper-level or lower-level. The second digit of the number tells you how many credit hours the course is worth. For example, the course number for ATCM 2365 Game Design Fundamentals is "2365."
Credit hours are a university's way of defining the study requirements for a degree. A Bachelor degree at UTD requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, 51 of which must be upper-level. Each credit hour corresponds to roughly one hour of class per week, and anywhere from 1-5 hours of homework outside of class per week. A full-time student must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester to maintain full-time status.
A degree is a certification that a student has complete the university requirements listed for that degree. UTD offers two undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. Each major within UTD will specify whether students will receive a BA or a BS upon completion of the program. If a student declares a major that results in a BA and declares a second major that results in a BS, that student will receive two degrees (two diplomas) and is said to be a "double degree" student. If a student declares two majors that both result in the same degree, the student will receive one degree with both majors listed, and is said to be a "double major" student.
A degree plan is a specific set of requirements that must be completed for a student to receive the degree associated with the degree plan. The degree plan a student completes must match the degree listed for the student in Orion in order for the student to receive the degree. Degree plans are specific to both majors and pathways, so the specific courses required to graduate will change depending on the major and the pathway.
A department is a group of faculty and courses within a school that all relate to the same area or field. A department may or may not have a major associated with it, and some departments may have multiple majors that require courses within the department. For example, Computer Science is a department within the School of Engineering and Computer Science. There is a major directly associated with that department (Computer Science) but students from other majors, like ATEC, are also required to take courses within the Computer Science department.
Some ATEC courses require "department consent" before you can register. Usually, there are two reasons we require department consent. Some courses are so popular across campus that they would fill up with students in other majors, taking seats away from ATEC students who need those courses to graduate. In that case, we put department consent on the course to ensure ATEC students can register before allowing non-ATEC students to fill those seats. The second reason department consent might be required is for Topics courses. The topics offered within a Topics course might change from semester to semester, and thus the prerequisites change. Department consent allows us to ensure that every student who enrolls meets those minimum requirements. To request department consent and have an advisor manually enroll you, use the Email Registration Request process through ATECadvising@utdallas.edu.
Each major within UTD will specify whether students will receive a BA or a BS upon completion of the program. If a student declares a major that results in a BA and declares a second major that results in a BS, that student will receive two degrees (two diplomas) and is said to be a "double degree" student. For more information, see Degree.
Each major within UTD will specify whether students will receive a BA or a BS upon completion of the program. If a student declares two majors that both result in the same degree, the student will receive one degree with both majors listed, and is said to be a "double major" student. For more information, see Major.
Drop is the term used when a student leaves a class before Census Day (usually the 10th day of classes each semester). When a student drops a class, the course will not appear on the student's transcript in any form. Depending on the date of drop and how many courses the student is dropping, students may be able to get a full or partial refund. Deadlines can be found on the Academic Calendar.
Email Registration Request
Students are generally expected to register themselves for their classes. However, there may be times when a student is unable to do so because of restrictions on the course or errors in the system. Students can request that an advisor manually register them for the class by sending an email registration request to ATECadvising@utdallas.edu. Students should include the course prefix (ex. ATCM), course number (ex. 2305), section number (ex. .001), and five-digit course code (ex. 27689). Students must type out this information: screenshots are not acceptable.
A student's enrollment appointment is the date and time at which that student may begin registering for classes for a given semester. Registration for fall and spring semesters is staggered, to give priority to students who are closer to graduation and thus have fewer options left in their degree plans. Therefore, each student is assigned a specific time at which they may begin registering. This is not a physical appointment. Students can find their enrollment appointments in Orion Student Center.
Excessive hours is a state of Texas policy that limits the number of credit hours students can take while receiving in-state tuition. It is not a limit on enrollment: students may continue taking courses after reaching excessive hours, but they will be charged out-of-state tuition. For students who first started taking college classes after Fall 2006, they are allowed up to 150 total credit hours of in-state tuition for a Bachelor degree. Transfer students will receive an excessive hours worksheet at Transfer Orientation, and can ask to update that worksheet with their advisor if they are concerned. Students who entered as freshman may also check with their advisor to see if they are approaching the excessive hours mark.
Faculty (also known as professors or instructors) are the people you see at the front of your classes! Almost all ATEC classes are taught by faculty, who are also available to students as an ongoing resource for portfolio review, class questions, skill building, and eventual questions about Capstone.
FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and it is the primary regulation governing who can access a student's academic record. FERPA requires that advisors only share academic record information with the student, or with the student's written permission. FERPA is the reason advisors do not take phone calls, since we cannot verify a student's identity over the phone. FERPA is also the reason advisors cannot share a student's information with that student's parent(s), without written permission from the student.
Focus Foundation Course
In ATEC, a focus foundation course is the entry-level course for a given area of study. Focus foundation courses include, but are not limited to, Computer Animation Processes, Critical Media Research Theories, Game Design Fundamentals, Sound Design, and Survey of Digital Fabrication. The ATEC degree plan only requires students to take one focus foundation course. If students elect to take more than one, which may be necessary if a student plans to take advanced coursework in multiple ATEC areas, the additional focus foundation courses will be considered extra courses that don't move the student towards graduation.
Free electives are courses that are used to move forwards towards graduation, but are chosen by the student rather than the department. This is not a separate UTD requirement. It's just ATEC's way of helping students keep track of two other requirements: the 120 Hour Total Requirement, and the 51 Hour Upper-Level Requirement. All students have to reach a minimum of 120 hours to get a Bachelor degree. Of those 120 hours, a minimum of 51 must be at the 3000- or 4000-level (upper-level). In order to make it easier to track those numbers, ATEC provides students with the exact number of boxes they need for lower-level electives (usually 0 or 1, depending on the degree plan) and the exact number of boxes they need for upper-level courses in order to reach 51 total hours. Free electives that don't specify "upper-level" can be any course that starts with 13xx, 23xx, 33xx, or 43xx. Upper-level free electives must start with 33xx or 43xx. Free electives can be from any department on campus.
A student is full-time if they are enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a fall or spring semester, or 6 or more credit hours in the summer. Financial aid options may be different for part-time and full-time students.
To graduate, a student must complete all listed requirements for their major and pathway, as they are listed in Orion. Completing the requirements for a different major or pathway will not allow a student to graduate: the list of courses they took must match the requirements listed for their officially declared major and pathway.
A hold is a tool used by UTD to ensure students complete certain required tasks. In ATEC, students are likely to encounter several different types of holds: audit holds, which require completing a survey when a student reaches their Pathway and Capstone Check-ins; Cannot Register Online, which requires students early in their career to get their upcoming course selection approved by their advisor; Academic Status holds, which require students not in good academic standing to get their upcoming course selection approved by their advisor; and department holds, which are used in special circumstances and are explained via email to affected students. In order to release the hold and regain access to whatever the hold is blocking, students must first complete the activities tied to the hold (such as submitting a survey or emailing their course selections to their advisor).
Students with an overall GPA of 3.500 or higher and a Major GPA of 3.750 or higher may seek Major Honors status through the Honors Capstone course. Registration in Honors Capstone would replace registration in either Capstone or Senior Seminar, and will be accompanied by additional requirements. Details on Honors Capstone can be found here.
A student who has a compelling reason for being unable to finish the requirements for a course may petition for a temporary grade of Incomplete. Students must have already completed at least 70% of the course material in order to seek an Incomplete, and the decision as to whether to provide an incomplete is at the instructor's discretion. The instructor and student will work together to determine deadlines for outstanding coursework, with the understanding that the university will require a final grade no later than 8 weeks into the subsequent semester. If a student fails to turn in the outstanding coursework by the determined deadlines, the student may receive a final grade of F. Students must submit a form to their instructor to petition for an Incomplete, which can be obtained by contacting the student's advisor.
Independent study is a course under a faculty member's direction. Students who are seeking further knowledge outside of offered courses may work with a full-time ATEC faculty member to create an independent study. Independent studies vary in hours between 1 and 3 hours. Per catalog, undergraduate students may take independents studies for 20% of their total hours completed at UT Dallas. However, the ATEC-specific independent study (ATCM 4V96) may only be taken for a maximum of 6 hours of credits, and will count as an upper-level free elective. The Independent Study form is available here.
Internships are a way to earn course credit for relevant work experience. In ATEC, all internships count as Upper-Level Free Electives. ATEC students may enroll in ISAE 4V50 for 1 - 3 hours of course credit per semester that they are employed in an internship. ATEC students may earn a total of 6 hours of credit for ISAE 4V50. In order to earn course credit for internships, students must contact the Career Center prior to beginning the internship in order to complete the necessary paperwork and enroll in the internship course.
Latin honors are Latin phrases used to indicate how well a student performed in their classes at UTD compared to their classmates, based on overall GPA. Each school sets their own GPA requirements for each level of Latin Honors. The three levels are cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude. Latin Honors are calculated three times, but only the last time is official. Your advisor will calculate your eligibility during your Graduation Audit, which is based on all reported grades at that time. The Registrar's Office will calculate again after grades have been released for the semester prior to graduation, which will be the calculation used at the graduation ceremony and in the graduation program. The Registrar's Office will calculate one final time, after all grades have been released in the graduating semester. The final calculation represents the true Latin Honors associated with that student's degree.
Lower-level classes are courses whose Course Number begins with a 1xxx or 2xxx. Most lower-level courses on the ATEC degree are part of the Major Requirements. The Free Electives sections on the ATEC degree plans specify how many elective courses, if any, are permitted to be lower-level.
A major is a student's officially designated field of study, corresponding to a set of requirements that leads to a particular degree. Each major will have one or more degree plans associated with it, depending on whether that major includes multiple pathways. The major is included on the transcript but is not printed on the diploma. Some majors may have special requirements that a student must meet before the student can officially pursue that major; taking the required classes is not sufficient to complete the major if the student has not officially designated that major in Orion. Students who entered ATEC prior to Fall 2017 have official majors of either "Arts and Technology" or "Emerging Media and Communication." All students who entered ATEC in Fall 2017 or later have the official major of "Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication."
An ATEC-specific type of Honors, with specific GPA and course requirements. See Honors Capstone for details.
"Major Requirement" refers to two sections within the ATEC degree plan, focused on ATEC courses. The lower-level Major Requirements are foundational classes required by all students on that pathway. They are meant to provide a basis for advanced study in ATEC, and share some similarities across pathways. Upper-level Major Requirements are specific to pathways and are comprised of a list of advanced courses required for all students on that pathway.
A minor is an optional secondary designated field of study. A minor has a set of requirements associated with it, usually totaling a minimum of 18 credit hours. Minors may require certain classes that have prerequisites that aren't officially required by the minor: students must complete all prerequisites to take minor classes, even if those prerequisite classes do not count on the student's degree plan. Some minors may have special requirements that a student must meet before the student can officially pursue that minor; taking the required classes is not sufficient to complete the minor if the student has not officially designated that minor in Orion.
Non-academic withdrawal is a process through which a student can withdraw from all classes during a given semester, based on external (non-academic) factors that are preventing the student from doing their best. Students must provide documentation of the external factors. If the withdrawal is approved, the student will be withdrawn from all classes in that semester. If the student wants to stay enrolled in one or more classes, a separate appeal must be filed. Non-academic withdrawals will not count toward the six withdrawal limit.
UTD's online system for records. Orion includes Student Center, financial and tuition information, and links to other resources like email, parking, and eLearning.
Orion Student Center
See Student Center.
A student is part-time if they are enrolled in less than 12 credit hours in a fall or spring semester, or less than 6 credit hours in the summer. Financial aid options may be different for part-time and full-time students.
A pathway is a specific set of degree requirements associated with a subset of a particular major. Students who share a major but have different pathways will have different degree requirements: completing the degree requirements for a different pathway will not result in a degree, just like completing the degree requirements for a different major than is in Orion will not result in a degree. Some pathways have special requirements that a student must meet before the student can officially pursue that pathway; taking the classes required by a certain pathway is not sufficient to complete a degree if the student has not officially designated in Orion the pathway associated with the requirements they completed. Several ATEC pathways require an application in order to be admitted onto the pathway. Information about the pathway application process can be found here.
A portfolio is a set of work samples by a student, carefully chosen to reflect the student's highest skill levels in relevant areas. Portfolios may contain artwork, class projects (as long as the student has gone back and improved upon what they originally submitted), coding, writing, and any other creative or technical works created by the student and applicable to their chosen field. Portfolios are often, but not always, hosted online in well-designed, easy-to-navigate portfolio websites. Portfolio tips are available here.
The course prefix is a shorthand for the department offering the course. For example, courses within ATEC use the "ATCM" prefix. Other examples include Creative Writing (CRWT), Marketing (MKT), and Software Engineering (SE).
A prerequisite is a class that must be taken before the class in question. For example, if ATCM 2301 is a prerequisite for ATCM 2335, a student who wants to take ATCM 2335 must have already completed ATCM 2301 prior to enrolling in ATCM 2335. If the student is actively attending ATCM 2301 and wants to register for ATCM 2335 for the following semester, they can. Orion automatically assumes the student will receive credit for ATCM 2301 and allows the student to register for ATCM 2335 in the upcoming semester. See also Corequisite.
Prescribed Electives is a section of the ATEC degree plan wherein students get to choose courses from a short list of options. Prescribed electives are chosen by the faculty to relate to the field of the pathway. Students starting in Fall 2017 or later must take five Prescribed Electives, two of which must be at the 4000-level.
Schedule Planner is a tool provided by UTD that helps students identify which sections of their chosen courses they can take without any time conflicts. Students can also list work and break times, so they can see what is available during times that work with that student's schedule. Schedule Planner can be accessed through Orion. The Registrar has created a PDF Walkthrough, as well as a Schedule Planner video.
A school or college is a unit within a university that brings together one or more related departments for shared administration. Advising is typically done on the school level: there is one undergraduate advising office per school. Most schools at UTD contain multiple departments, offering a range of majors for their students to choose from. ATEC, however is like Australia: it is a school, a department, and a major, all in one!
Senior Seminar (ATCM 4397) is one of three ways of completing the Capstone Project, the other two being Honors Capstone and the Capstone course. To enroll in Senior Seminar, a student must complete the Capstone proposal process. Senior Seminar is the only Capstone Project option that does not require selection by a faculty member. During the semester, the student will attend class weekly with other students. Students will present their progress regularly in the course and will receive feedback on their project from their instructor and classmates.
Student Center, sometimes called Orion Student Center, is UTD's primary tool for keeping track of official student records. Students will use Student Center to register for classes, check class schedules, view grades, manage holds, see their enrollment appointment, view transfer credits and check the Transfer Equivalency Guide, and more.
Subplan is the term used by the Registrar's Office as a synonym for Pathway. For more information, see Pathway.
A substitution is an alternative course determined by the department to satisfy a requirement that would normally only be satisfied by a different course. Substitutions are rare and are usually only provided in exceptional circumstances. Students who believe they have an exceptional circumstance requiring a substitution should contact their advisor.
Three Course Repeat Rule
The Three Course Repeat Rule, or three-peat rule, is a state of Texas policy that limits undergraduate students to three grade-bearing enrollment attempts for any specific class. A student attempting the same class for the third time will be charged out-of-state tuition for that particular course. Courses cross-listed under more than one course prefix are considered the same course.
A student's transcript is the official listing of courses and grades the student has taken at a particular institution. Students can request official transcripts through the Registrar's Office, but they can also view their unofficial transcript through Orion. Transcripts may be required for applications for jobs, scholarships, and grad school, among other things.
The Texas Success Initiative, or TSI, is a set of three requirements to ensure students are college-ready before pursuing college-level coursework in reading, writing, and math. There are several ways to prove readiness, including the TSI test, transcripts from other institutions, and SAT/ACT scores. Students who have TSI holds can contact their advisor to see what their next step should be. Certain coursework may not be available to students who have not yet passed all sections of the TSI.
Upper-level classes are courses whose Course Number begins with a 3xxx or 4xxx. All students pursuing a bachelor's degree at UTD must complete 51 upper-level hours. Therefore, Free Electives on the ATEC degree plans specify how many courses have to be upper-level in order to prevent students from taking lower-level classes that do not move them towards graduation.
Upper-Level Free Elective
See Free Elective.
When a course fills up completely, students are sometimes able to put themselves on the waitlist to get priority registration if and when an enrolled student drops the class. When a seat opens, the first person on the waitlist is automatically enrolled. Situations that may prevent automatic enrollment include: the student is already enrolled in another section of the class and did not use the "Drop If Enroll" function, the student has a hold on their account, the student is already enrolled in more than 15 hours (or more than 12 hours for students not in good academic standing) and did not use the "Drop If Enroll" function, or the student is already enrolled in a class that conflicts with the time of the waitlisted course and did not use the "Drop If Enroll" function. Students should make sure none of those circumstances apply before adding themselves to a waitlist. The "Drop If Enroll" function allows students to specify that if they reach the top of the waitlist and a seat opens, the system should first drop a different class for the student (such as another section of the same course, or another course that has a time conflict with the new course) before enrolling the student in the new course. This option must be selected while the student is adding themselves to the waitlist, and cannot be performed after the student is already on the waitlist.
Withdraw is the term used when a student leaves a class after Census Day but before the beginning of the "WL" period, as listed in the Academic Calendar. When a student Withdraws from a class, the course will appear on the student's transcript as a "W." There is no grade associated with a W, and the student's GPA will not be affected in any way. Typically, students are not able to receive any refund for withdrawals. Students must have written permission from their instructor in order to withdraw during this period. Students are limited to six withdrawals from Texas state institutions.
Withdraw Late is the term used when a student leaves a class after the beginning of the "WL" period, as listed in the Academic Calendar. When a student withdraws from a class late, the course will appear on the student's transcript as a "WL." There is no grade associated with a WL, and the student's GPA will not be affected in any way. Typically, students are not able to receive any refund for late withdrawals. Students must have written permission from both their instructor and their advisor in order to withdraw during this period, and only the Registrar's Office is able to perform the withdrawal. Students are limited to six withdrawals from Texas state institutions.