Degree In Three is designed for students to earn their degree over a course of three full academic years and fast track to their future. This is not a coordinated program offered by the college. Students are encouraged to pursue any degree and major (BS or BSA) offered by the College of Natural Sciences. Given that Degree In Three is an expedited degree plan, students are expected to come in with AP, IB or college credit and a high level of academic maturity.

Students should:

  •       know what career, professional school, or graduate school they want to pursue
  •       have incoming college credit from AP, IB, or dual credit
  •       have researched all majors at UT and know which one they want to pursue

The benefits of Degree In Three:

  •       Financial Reasons: Completing a degree in three years will save you and your parents’ money. Flat out understandable!
  •       Career/Future: There are many students out there that know they want to go straight into a career, medical school, graduate school, etc. You will have the chance to start on your future earlier.
  •       Travel Abroad: This will give you the opportunity/time to explore different cultures across the world. It could be a mission trip, research abroad, study abroad....endless opportunities.
  •       Year Off: Spend the year you would normally be in school to do what you want like work, travel, or relax.

What should I consider?

  •       Heavier course loads: The fewer hours of college credit brought in, the number of hours taken would increase per semester (including summer). Sample degree plans are based off of 15 HRS fall/spring semesters and 6 HRS summer coursework. You may even take winter courses outside of UT!
  •       Research: College of Natural Sciences encourages all their students to immerse themselves into research during their time in undergrad. By taking on more coursework, students pursuing Degree In Three may lose the opportunity to research under a top ranked research institution.
  •       Work/Life Balance: Because of a heavier course load, students may miss out on extracurricular activities, social events, participating in organizations, and/or volunteering. Students who pursue Degree In Three should demonstrate academic excellence.

Check out example three-year degree plans »

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to apply to get into Degree In Three?

Degree In Three is NOT a program, therefore no application needed. Students will not receive any particular involvement with a program. Degree In Three is created so that students are able to graduate early to pursue future dreams. Students will make an appointment with Jaclyn Nguyen, once they have started their first semester at UT. This is only for College of Natural Sciences students.

How many credits should I come in with?

We encourage students to bring in as many credits as they can. The more incoming college credit, students may have a lighter semester course load. Incoming credit will help students satisfy elective hours in almost all cases. Refer to Sample Degree 4-Year Plans for suggested number of incoming credit hours.

If I’m pre-health, does Degree in Three include all my pre-reqs?

Not necessarily. Please check with Health Professions Office website for pre-requisites for professional schools. Some professional schools will specify additional coursework that students will need to take outside of a degree plan. It will be in the student’s benefit to consult with Health Professions Office regarding taking pre-requisites at a four-year institution versus claiming credit.

Can I take more courses in the summer to lighten my course load during the fall/spring?

Summer and winter enrollment is a great way to relieve course load for the fall/spring semesters. Refer to Sample Degree 4-Year Plans for suggested summer course work. Winter mini-mester is another option for students.

Does Degree in Three look good for application to graduate program?

Students should speak with schools of interest to see how a Degree in Three will look like. In most cases, we encourage our students to dedicate four full years to experiential learning that will make students a competitive applicant to graduate programs. Please contact graduate coordinators/advisors or Career Design Center for additional information.

What will my semesters look like?

Students can expect taking higher number of course hours compared to the average student per semester, including summer/winter enrollment.

Can I apply to college honors programs such as Deans Scholars, Health Science Honors, or Polymathic Scholars?

Students who decide to pursue Degree In Three are not encouraged to apply for college honors programs. Honors programs’ curriculum span over the course of four years.

Is this similar to SHAPE Program?

SHAPE is not being replaced by Degree In Three. There is no program curriculum with Degree In Three.


Sample Degree Plans  

These are examples of degree plans that will allow you to graduate in three years. If you do not see a degree plan for your major, or if you’ve started on one of the plans below but have taken different courses, please visit with your academic advisor to create an individual plan that will allow you to graduate in three years.

12-14 BS Chemistry Three Year Plan

12-14 BS Biochemistry Three Year Plan

12-14 BS Biology: Neurobiology Three Year Plan

12-14 BS Physics Three Year Plan

14-16 BSA Biology with Pre-Health Certificate Three Year Plan (Option 1)

14-16 BSA Biology with Pre-health Certificate Three Year Plan (Option 2)