Below are responses to the three most common questions that students have asked regarding the TSS program. Do not hesitate to seek additional information about the TSS program, or UTPB in general, so that you can choose the best possible college that suits your career goals. For additional information, please note the following specialized contacts.
What does the $10k TSS program cover?
The TSS program allots $10k to cover the cost of tuition and fees (housing / meal plans not included) for the 120 SCH required for a student to earn a BS degree in one of the five identified STEM majors. Texas Science Scholars need to make progress toward graduation in four years, less for transfer students. To maintain their TSS tuition and fee award, students need to complete 30 SCH in the first year that meet the degree plan requirements, 60 SCH by the end of the second, and 90 SCH by the end of the third. The $10K-TSS tuition and fee award is granted in $2500 per year increments. It is intended to cover the cost of tuition and fees in order to remain in good standing within the TSS program. The $2500 may be used for up to 30 SCH in the academic year (fall, spring, and summer), all of which must meet degree requirements. Students who exceed 120 SCH in order to earn the degree are required to pay for the excess SCH at the regular tuition and fee rates.
Do I have to major in one of the five designated academic programs?
The short answer is “Yes”. You must declare one of the five majors (or one of the degree tracks within the major) to be eligible for the TSS program. You may change your major at any time within the TSS program and still maintain your TSS eligibility. For instance, you could initially declare your major as Mathematics and then change it to Geology. Obviously, if you change your major to another discipline other than chemistry, computer science, geology, information systems, or mathematics, you will no longer be eligible to receive the benefits of the TSS program.
Does a TSS recipient need to choose a Minor course of study in Biology or one of the five TSSP disciplines?
The answer is “Yes.” There are a couple of exceptions: 1) Some degree plans do not include a minor, such as the chemistry track and the geology paleontology track, and 2) The degree in Information Systems stipulates that students must Minor in Business, which is covered within the TSS program.
For degrees that do require a Minor such as Geology, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Chemistry, the TSS student must earn a minor in Biology or choose one of the five science disciplines such as chemistry, computer science, geology, information systems, or mathematics.
Can I change my major after being admitted into the TSS program?
Yes, you can change your Major after being admitted into the TSS program but you must choose one of the other designated TSS science disciplines. This will enable you to maintain the TSS eligibility and tuition/fees financial support. If you wish to change to a major outside of the TSS program disciplines, then see the answer to question #5.
What happens to the financial support if I change to a major not included in the TSS program?
You would no longer be afforded the $2500/year for tuition and fees which is the basis of the TSS program. However, if you have received financial support from the TSS program, then you would be eligible to receive financial assistance from other scholarships such as the Freshman Merit or the Freshman Grant. If you have maintained a good academic standing (GPA ≥ 3.00) while in the TSS program, then you would be eligible to apply for financial assistance after changing majors.