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
T: 512-232-6493
F: 512-232-2800


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The TIP Scholars program is a small academic community for students admitted to the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. This two-year program provides the benefits of a small college atmosphere while challenging students to take advantage of the opportunities offered at a large research institution. Among its benefits, it offers highly trained peer mentors, reserved seats in the most popular entry-level courses, linked courses for a ready-made peer network, and a dedicated academic advisor for individualized guidance.

Membership to the TIP Scholars community is by invitation only. UT Admissions and the Provost’s Office review applications from first-time freshmen admitted to the College of Natural Sciences and nominate students who would be a good fit for the community of scholars. The nomination committee uses a holistic review considering high school evidence of academic achievement in high school, commitment to learning and intellectual challenge, potential for leadership and effective collaboration, and appreciation for engagement in a strong academic and social community.

There is no cost to be a TIP Scholar!


The TIP 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 proven to propel students to academic excellence.

As a TIP Scholar, you are expected to:

  • Enroll in the TIP critical thinking course: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 think critically in a very complex world. TIP’s Critical Thinking for the 21st Century(UGS 303) is closely connected to the mentor team and helps hone intellectual skills that will be valuable for your academic, professional, and personal futures.
  • Be an active member of your mentor team: The core of the TIP Scholar community is your mentor team. 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 or academic bumps.
  • Take advantage of your resources: Mentors and advisors are not your only resources in TIP. All the TIP staff and faculty are eager to support your success and they know that doing well in your classes is just the beginning. The best way to make the most of your undergraduate career is by staying connected with the program to explore and participate in supplemental programming such as research, internships, study abroad experiences, community service, and a host of other opportunities.


We have a saying, “Once a TIP Scholar, Always a TIP Scholar”. Although our TIP family extends to current graduated professionals, you are an “active” TIP Scholar for the first two years at UT.

  • Year 1 TIP Scholars have the benefits of linked courses, peer mentors, a dedicated academic advisor, reserved seating in courses, and access to the TIP Commons student space.
  • Year 2 TIP Scholars continue to use the benefits of a dedicated academic advisor until they reach entry level requirements for their major and have access to select reserved seats and to the TIP Commons student space. Their peer mentor is now more a friend and their mentor team a circle of close friends who now meet informally at their pleasure. Some Year 2 TIP Scholars even go on to become peer mentors themselves.
  • Year 3 TIP Scholars and beyond progress to their home department for advising to further foster connections in their field, but are always welcome in the TIP Commons. At this point in their UT career, they are beyond the need for the courses reserved for TIP students and often have become mentors themselves for a variety of communities across campus. You can often see senior TIP Scholars socializing, studying, and providing informal advice on classes, professors, application and future planning with peers and active TIP Scholars in the TIP Commons. Once a TIP Scholar, Always a TIP Scholar.


Academics should be your top priority especially your first year at UT. For that reason, we typically ask Scholars to avoid belonging to multiple academic communities if expectations and resources overlap and are redundant. This is in order to make the most effective use of their time. There are some communities, however, that complement the TIP Scholars program and we encourage Scholars to participate if interested.

Examples of communities that would be redundant with the TIP Scholars program

  • Women in Natural Sciences (WINS)
  • Biology Scholars Program (BSP)
  • Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs)
  • Honors Programs (like Dean’s Scholars, etc.)

Examples of communities that would complement the TIP Scholars program

  • Freshman Research Initiative (FRI)
  • University Leadership Network (ULN)


UT has dedicated itself to making sure all incoming UT freshman will belong to a small learning community. Taking advantage of the exclusive invitation to make TIP Scholars your community is a personal decision.

The TIP Scholars community is one of the most celebrated, 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 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 call us at (512) 232-6493 or email us at if you have any questions before making your decision.