The Computing Scholars Honors Program

At The University of Texas at Dallas

The Computing Scholars Honors Program is an intense Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Degree Program. This program was created for exceptionally gifted students who wish to pursue a demanding course of study enriched throughout with research experiences. Graduating Scholars will be prepared for multiple career opportunities including a research position at a major university or a leadership role in industry.

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The Program

This program began in the fall of 2013 within a Computer Science Department that has been in existence for 35 years. It is one of the largest CS departments in the nation and is ranked among the top CS departments in the USA with average SAT scores of entering freshmen higher than any public university in Texas. We rank third in the nation for the numbers of students graduating with MS degrees.

Eligible undergraduates and graduate students are assisted in finding summer and full-time internships within all the top computer companies in the United States. Our placement rate is extremely high. UT Dallas Computer Science Graduates are highly sought after by major companies.

The Computing Scholars Program has a specially designed curriculum based on fundamental mathematical and scientific principles.

The courses integrate discussion of current research, recent discoveries, and open problems into a rich logical progression of firmly related topics.


Admission to the program is mainly by invitation and will be limited to no more than 30 students per year. The selection committee also entertains nominations from parents, teachers, and others familiar with an applicant's academic standing.

The first step is to apply for admission to the Undergraduate Degree Program in Computer Science. Students of exceptional academic standing may be offered an Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES) by the Office of Undergraduate Education. AES Awardees may also be offered placement in the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, the Collegium V Honors Program, and the Computing Scholars Honors Program. These programs are all complementary.

Each March and April the Computing Scholars Program Selection Committee reviews AES Scholarship Awardees, National Merit Finalists, and nominees who are about to graduate from high school programs that achieve excellence in Science and Mathematics. Among these applicants, those who have successfully completed a full and challenging high school curriculum, will have achieved high scores on the SAT or ACT tests, and will be about to graduate with high class rank will be invited to take an entrance exam. The first 30 students who pass the exam will be offered admission to the Computing Scholars Honors Program.

Students interested in the Computing Scholars Honors Program but are not offered admission by the time they begin their first semester of study at UT Dallas may apply to bridge into their program during their first/second semester of study. Selected students will be invited to take the entrance exam. Those will pass the exam will join the Program in the following long semester. Bridge students who have taken the regular sections of CS 2305, CS 2340, or CS 3305 by the time they join the Program may earn honors credit for these courses by taking (and passing) bridge exams. Bridge exams are offered every long semester.


Students accepted into the program are called Computing Scholars. Computing Scholars are challenged throughout every course in their major and related studies. They will master a wider, more theoretically based curriculum, than is possible in our current BS in Computer Science Program. They will enjoy small classes along with other Computing Scholars, taught by the best Computer Science Faculty. They will interact regularly in various formats with research professors and their graduate students. Successful participants will graduate with the added distinction of a Computing Scholars Honors Diploma.

Computing Scholars can request access to the Computer Science Honors lab.

Social events will be organized for Computing Scholars throughout the year. During these events, Computing Scholars will have a chance to socialize with each other and learn about ongoing research projects in the Computer Science department via talks given by UT Dallas faculty members.

Those Computing Scholars who participate in the Fast Track Program will graduate with the BS Degree and a significant number of credits toward their MS Degree.

Those interested in further study beyond the MS Degree will be encouraged to apply to the PhD Program.


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Computing Scholars must at all times behave in a manner compatible with the high privileges and responsibilities of the Computing Scholars Program.


Computing Scholars must keep the Office of the Director informed of current local address, telephone number(s), and email address(es). They must check their UT Dallas Email daily and respond within one day to messages and requests from the Director's Office.

Events and Travel

Computing Scholars will be expected to attend certain events at the discretion of the Program Director. These events may include monthly dinners or luncheons with faculty, talks and lectures given by Distinguished Speakers at the University of Texas at Dallas or some other location in North Texas. There may also be required participation in conferences and other events within the contiguous 48 States of the USA. The University will provide transportation and pay all pre-approved expenses incurred during any Computing Scholars Program related travel.

All travel must first be approved by the Program Director in response to submittal of a Travel Request Form.

  1. All airline tickets must be purchased through the University's Travel Agent.
  2. The President of The University must approve all foreign travel and requires six weeks' notice. Thereforeall requests must be submitted to The Program Director with at least seven weeks' notice. Late requests will not be submitted to the Office of the President.

Academic Standing

The first responsibility of Computing Scholars is to their academic studies. Computing Scholars must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 in their major studies and must complete at least 15 hours of study toward their degree each semester. They must be Computer Science Majors.

Probationary Status

Computing Scholars who fail to maintain the above requirements for Academic Standing may be given Probationary Status. A Computing Scholar with Probationary Status may be required to take a reduced course load and must earn a GPA of at least 3.75 in their major courses during each probationary semester until that GPA rises to 3.5 or above.

Computing Scholars are also Academic Excellence Scholars. Those with Probationary Status in the Computing Honors Program may be required to attend the AES Student Success Program or other programs deemed suitable by the Director.

Dismissal from the Computing Scholars Program

A Computing Scholar whose GPA falls below 3.0 or who fails to meet the continuing requirements of Probationary Status may lose the status of Computing Scholar.

Such students will be eligible to continue in the regular Computer Science Degree Programs.


Honors sections are available for the following Computer Science courses. Note that each honors course is offered once a year.

Honors courses offered in the Fall semester include: CS 1200 (Introduction to CS and SE), CS 2305 (Discrete Math for Computing I), CS 3341 (Probability and Statistics in Computer Science and Software Engineering), CS 3345 (Data Structures and Algorithmic Analysis), CS 3354 (Software Engineering), CS 4348 (Operating Systems Concepts), CS 4349 (Advanced Algorithm Design and Analysis), and CS 4375 (Introduction to Machine Learning).

Honors courses offered in the Spring semester include: CS 2340 (Computer Architecture), CS 3305 (Discrete Math for Computing II), CS 4337 (Programming Language Paradigms), CS 4341 (Digital Logic and Computer Design), CS 4365 (Artificial Intelligence), and CS 4384 (Automata Theory).

Course Sequence

Computing Scholars will work closely with the Program Director's office to schedule their courses each semester. They will be required to take a particular sequence of major courses during their first four semesters.

Graduate Level Classes and the Fast Track Program

At the discretion of the Program Director, Computing Scholars may be allowed to take graduate level classes. They may also participate in the Fast Track Program in which graduate level course credit counts toward their undergraduate degrees.

Graduating with Honors

To graduate with Computer Science Computing Scholars honors, Computing Scholars must (1) earn at least 30 hours of Computer Science Computing Scholars credit by completing either honors courses with a grade of C+ or above or graduate courses with a grade of C or above; (2) have a Computer Science GPA of at least 3.5; and (3) have an overall GPA of at least 3.2.