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Discovering the Future, TAMS graduates help achieve national science, research goals, by Nancy Kolsti
Summer 2008      


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How can my son or daughter become a TAMS student?

Your 10-year-old reads National Geographic Kids, wants to belong to the science club and prefers Marie Curie to movie stars. Add straight A's every school year without much effort, and you're wondering if he or she could be a future student at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. According to Brent Jones, the academy's director of admissions, the best applicants to TAMS are dedicated and focused, exemplary in conduct and active in a range of extracurricular activities.

Jones gives the following tips for prospective TAMS students and their families:

  • Begin preparing for admission as early as seventh grade, if possible.
  • Take as many pre-Advanced Placement courses as your school permits. Jones notes that the admissions staff takes into account that availability of accelerated courses varies considerably across school districts.
  • Have wide-ranging interests. Participate in extracurricular activities such as math or science clubs, summer math camps and science fairs. Run for offices in such clubs and organizations.
  • Maintain the highest grades possible, especially in math and science. TAMS has no required minimum grade point average for admission, but obviously higher grades trump lower ones.
  • Plan to complete Algebra I and II and Geometry by the end of your sophomore year. Many prospective students apply while still taking Algebra II.
  • Take the SAT before or during your sophomore year. Aim for an SAT score that compares favorably with scores earned by college-bound seniors who plan to major in math or science. (Use the math scores earned by current TAMS students as a reference.) TAMS requires no minimum math or overall SAT score for admission.
  • Visit TAMS on a Preview Day to inspect the academy and tour the campus.

TAMS applicants with competitive SATs and positive teacher evaluations on their admissions forms receive invitations to UNT for interviews and math exams. Applicants are interviewed in groups of four or five students in a non-threatening environment. The interviewers ask non-academic questions to get a glimpse of the students' characters, career aspirations and activities.

New TAMS students are admitted in two groups. Early decision applicants — those who apply by early January — are interviewed in late January and notified in February. Other applicants are interviewed in March or April and notified in early May.


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