McDermott Scholars Frequently Asked Questions
Does applying for other scholarships or financial aid through UT Dallas affect my McDermott application?
No. There are no conflicts with students applying for other merit awards, including the Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES), or financial aid. It is recommended to accept an AES award when offered. This ensures a financial award package even if that student is not selected to be a McDermott Scholar.
Is the award need based?
No, the award is need blind. This is a merit-based scholarship.
Do I have to be nominated for the award?
No, students submit their own application and request recommendations using this link.
What are the requirements for applying?
The requirements for applying to the McDermott Program can be found here. Students must meet at least one of the minimum standardized test scores and be a first time college student.
Do I have to be from Texas to apply?
No. We accept applications from all around the world.
Is the McDermott Program major specific?
No. Scholars are allowed to major in any of UT Dallas’ four-year academic majors.
When should I apply for the McDermott Program?
Students should apply the fall before anticipated matriculation. Typically, this is during the fall semester of senior year.
What if I want to take a gap year after graduating high school?
If a student is planning to take a gap year after high school, they should apply during their gap year.
Is it possible to defer the McDermott Award?
No. Scholars matriculate in the year for which they have applied.
Can I participate in NCAA athletics while being a McDermott Scholar?
Yes, it is possible to participate in our NCAA Division III athletics while being a McDermott Scholar. If you are hoping to do this, you should notify the McDermott Program staff so that we can ensure we are following NCAA compliance.
Is the McDermott Application separate from UTD’s application?
Yes. UTD’s application is submitted through Apply Texas. The McDermott application can be found here.
Where should I send my standardized test scores?
It is not required to submit an official standardized test score to the McDermott Program. The score that is self-reported in the McDermott Scholars application can be verified through the official report that is submitted to UTD (SAT/PSAT code: 6897; ACT code: 4243). Please note, the McDermott Program does not have separate standardized test codes.
Do I have to apply to UTD before or after I submit my McDermott Scholars application?
Students should apply to UTD and the McDermott Scholars Program concurrently. Applications to UTD should be submitted by December 1 to ensure that the applicant is assessed for other merit scholarship opportunities (such as the Academic Excellence Scholarship). Admission to UTD is not admission to McDermott.
Do you super score the SAT or ACT?
The McDermott Program follows UT Dallas practice:
- UT Dallas DOES super score the SAT.
- UT Dallas DOES NOT super score the ACT.
How do I update my SAT/ACT score after I’ve already submitted my McDermott application?
Students should email a PDF screenshot of the official score report to [email protected] so that a McDermott staff member can update the score within the application.
- Students should also be sure to submit the new official score report to UT Dallas
- Applicants must have a qualified score by the application deadline to be considered. Updated score reports from qualified applicants will be accepted must be submitted no more than ten days after the application deadline.
I’m having technical issues with the online application, what do I do?
Click the “Technical Support” button within the online application, located at the top of each page.
Who should my recommenders be?
One recommender must be the high school counselor.
The other two should be individuals who can speak about the student’s unique qualities including academic performance, intellect, extracurricular undertakings particularly in leadership and volunteer service, and personal character.
It is important that recommenders are selected carefully. The McDermott Program relies on their input to enhance understanding of each candidate.
- Applicants must communicate clearly with these individuals about the importance of their recommendations and allow them sufficient time to thoroughly complete their recommendations.
What can a recommender expect?
Once recommenders have been named by the applicant, the application system will automatically send an email to the recommender requesting the completion of an online recommendation form. The recommendation must be submitted electronically via our online form.
High school counselors have the option to upload the applicant’s high school transcript and school profile to their recommendation form.
All recommenders have the option to upload a letter with their online form.
What if my counselor cannot upload my high school transcript?
It is the student’s responsibility to send a sealed official copy of their high school transcript (in addition to any transcript sent to UT Dallas) to the McDermott Scholars office:
The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 W. Campbell Road, MC17
Richardson, TX 75080
What steps should I take after submitting my application?
The online application system permits students and recommenders to submit their portions independently of each other. All materials must be submitted in order for an application to be reviewed.
Students should check their email and application system portal frequently to ensure all materials are submitted by the deadline.
Students should also follow up with their recommenders to ensure that recommendations will be submitted by the deadline.
Students should ensure their transcript is either uploaded by their counselor or mailed to the McDermott office by the deadline.
Can I visit the McDermott office?
The McDermott Program welcomes short meetings with prospective applicants. Email or call the McDermott Program to make an appointment.
If a student is unable to travel to campus, the McDermott Program staff would be delighted to visit with them via Zoom, phone, or email.
How will my application be evaluated?
Applications will be holistically evaluated based on the student’s demonstration of the four pillars of the McDermott Program: scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
How many applications does the McDermott Program receive?
In the last few application cycles, the McDermott Program has received about 500 completed applications by the deadline. Approximately 60 students are invited to attend Finalists’ Weekend, the final stage of the selection process.
To be selected as a McDermott Scholar, am I required to attend Finalists’ Weekend?
Yes. Attendance is mandatory. Finalists’ Weekend is the culmination of the selection process.
How many McDermott Scholars are accepted each year?
Historically, classes have typically ranged in size from 16-24 McDermott Scholars.
When will you announce the new class of McDermott Scholars?
The newest class of McDermott Scholars will be assembled during the month of April, and the official announcement will be published after May 1st.
Requirements & Expectations
What are the conditions I have to meet in order to remain in good standing with the McDermott Scholars Program?
Scholars are expected to uphold the pillars of the McDermott Program: academics, leadership, service, and character.
Students are expected to graduate with Collegium V Honors per the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College by making continuous progress towards graduation by completing a minimum of 15 credit hours each semester, and meeting the following minimum GPA standards:
- 1st year Scholar: 3.2 GPA
- 2nd year Scholar: 3.3 GPA
- 3rd year Scholar: 3.4 GPA
- 4th year Scholar: 3.5 GPA
Scholars are also expected to participate in extracurricular, educational, service and cultural activities, as well as special programming required by the Program.
Are Scholars allowed to change their major during the four years in the Program?
Yes. Many Scholars change their major after entering UT Dallas. Any change of major should be approved by an academic advisor so as not to interfere with the timely completion of a bachelor’s degree.
Do I have to live on campus while I’m a McDermott Scholar?
Yes. McDermott Scholars are required to maintain residence on. Exceptions for approved experiences, such as study abroad, internships, or research away from Dallas can be made.
- Do Scholars live together in Honors Housing or do some live in Living Learning Communities (LLC)?
How long is the McDermott Program?
The McDermott Program is a 46 month Program. This means that Scholars are required to participate in McDermott approved activities for 46 continuous months (8 long semesters and 3 summers).
Do Scholars have any personal time?
Scholars will have 2 weeks of personal time in the summer in addition to fall, winter, and spring breaks.
What are the McDermott cohort trips?
Program enrichment benefits include three cohort trips: Santa Fe, NM before the start of freshman year, Washington, D.C. at the conclusion of freshman year, and Austin, TX when the Texas legislature is in session.
What happens if, once selected, a Scholar decides they want to focus solely on one aspect of the Program (academics, extracurricular activities, professional development, service, or culture)?
Focusing solely on one domain is not in alignment with the Program’s goal of a well-rounded experience.
Scholar performance in all aspects of the Program will determine if that student remains a good fit.
If a Scholar decides to withdraw from the Program and continue at UT Dallas, the Program may work with the Scholar in their pursuit of educational support.
What if I want to work part-time while a McDermott Scholar?
The demands of the Program won’t allow you to work. A living stipend is part of the award for this purpose.
What if I want to work, get married, or have a family while I am a Scholar?
The demands of being a successful Scholar are incompatible with the demands of employment, married life, and familial responsibility.
Is study abroad an expectation of the Program?
Yes. Study abroad is a Program enrichment benefit that Scholars in good standing are expected to utilize.