Frederic TraylorJanuary 29, 2019
The EPPS Fast Track program not only made it easier to integrate into more rigorous courses but also let me meet new people in my graduate courses as I went, rather than be thrown into a classroom with people I hadn’t known before.
Taking the Fast Track to a Master’s Degree
Frederic Traylor BA’18 was a freshman sociology major when he first heard about Fast Track option offered at the School of Economic, Political and Policy Studies (EPPS). The option, which allows qualified undergraduates the opportunity to take graduate-level classes, seemed far away to him at the time.
Taking a statistics and research design course the following spring got the ball rolling and eventually inspired Traylor to Fast Track into a Master’s in Social Data Analytics and Research (SDAR). In May 2020, only five years after first enrolling at UT Dallas as an undergraduate, Traylor hopes to graduate with an MS in SDAR.
Fast Tracking allowed Traylor to ease into the graduate program by taking only a couple of courses at a time while still enrolled in undergraduate courses.
“The EPPS Fast Track program not only made it easier to integrate into more rigorous courses but also let me meet new people in my graduate courses as I went, rather than be thrown into a classroom with people I hadn’t known before,” he says.
Many of his classmates have been in the workforce for several years, giving people in the Fast Track program a unique advantage since they were able to share their experiences and offer a better understanding of how classroom lessons translate into the real world.
Traylor eventually parlayed his own experience into a Summer 2018 internship with the Pew Research Center where he worked on a study titled “Comparing Survey Sampling Strategies: Random-Digit Dial vs. Voter Files.” He is currently working as a graduate assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Education, coordinating undergraduate research programs.
Academically qualified students with a minimum GPA of 3.50 are encouraged to consider the Fast Track option. Undergraduate students who are admitted to the Fast Track program may take a maximum of 15 specified semester hours of approved graduate courses in EPPS during their senior year. These graduate hours may be used to complete the bachelor’s degree and to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree.
Students interested in the Fast Track program should consult with their undergraduate academic advisor and complete an application form. Students must apply prior to the final 30 credit hours of work for their bachelor’s degree.