I earned my master's degree in the interdisciplinary program at UT Dallas. It was a wonderful experience. I was able to choose the courses that I wanted with no hassles or bureaucracy. I was able to choose my concentration (i.e., major) and two cores (i.e., minors). I was also able to choose electives without a hassle. I was able to read the syllabus before attending each class. I was sometimes able to email or call the professors to ask questions. The program coordinator named Becky is very informative and friendly. I really appreciated her friendly attitude. The majority of the other office staff were friendly and helpful. Although, one elderly office assistant came across as manipulative and sassy.
The only trouble I had was getting a scholarship processed in a timely manner. The paper work was backed up due to the office assistant who did not do her work fast enough. Although, she kept telling me a different story. I had to call several times throughout the semester to make sure that my scholarship processed and paid for my tuition. It took a lot of calls to fix the problem.
My concentration was in business management. I was able to take courses with plenty of flexibility with regard to registration. I found the online courses to be excellent. The professors were also excellent. The course material focused on practical and applicable topics. Most of the assignments were good. However, some assignments were busy work. The majority of the professors took the time to return phone calls and emails. They answered questions in a timely and respectful manner. I could tell that they wanted me to learn. Some of the classes will require you to do research outside of the lecture and textbook material. It seems unfair but I think a few of the professors expect you to go the extra mile which can be rough. So, expect to be challenged by some of your professors. You will have to learn some information on your own because the exams are somewhat standardized and predetermined. And some of the information on the exams is not covered in the lectures or book.
The best professors I had were Dr. Polze, Dr. Ziegler, Dr. Richard, Dr. Biswas, and Dr. Woldu. Dr. Biswas is sometimes very unavailable to answer questions. However, his lectures and insight are very practical. I took a public administration elective taught by Dr. Hassett and she was also excellent. I felt that my money was very well spent on those courses. I also felt very respected and appreciated in most of my courses. I did not feel like a number. Another excellent professor is Dr. Reed. He teaches a course on corporate relations. His style is laid back and very friendly. However, I believe I learned a lot through listening to his open ended discussions on corporate relations (i.e., public affairs, human resources, marketing, etc.) He also talked in depth about discrimination issues that occur in the corporate arena.
The University of Texas at Dallas has a beautiful campus for Texas standards. It is still a little plain and old fashioned. However, UT Dallas administration are trying to improve the aesthetics with forests, water ponds, a mist machine, spirit rocks that students can do their artwork on, and other interesting structures.
UT Dallas has excellent events for students, alumni, and the Dallas community. The sound of class event once a year features a concert, fireworks, and other festivities that are free and open to the public. UT Dallas has a comet calender that students and alumni can look at to determine what events they would like to attend. The campus offers many free events open to the public. They are often of very high quality. They are often very fun. Other times, the campus offers free lectures.
UT Dallas has an excellent art community. The artists do excellent work. They hold art receptions once a month that are free and open to the public in the art barn. Central Trak is another UT Dallas art space that is located in Dallas. Central Trak also holds free events, lectures, receptions, and art exhibitions several times a semester.
The Pub at UT Dallas severs beer and wine to the students. They also have karaoke, jazz dinners, poetry reading events, and Christmas parties. Once a year UT Dallas has a birthday party for Temoc. Temoc is the campus mascot. He is a comet. He makes a guest appearance for the students and anybody who wishes to attend his birthday party. UT Dallas occasionally invite famous comedians like Ralphie May to do a performance.
UT Dallas is trying to be more multicultural and progressive. I give them a lot of credit for trying to be inclusive of everybody who are different or who happen to be minorities. It can be very difficult to be a minority in Texas.
The students that I met are generally friendly. I didn't have too many problems with students acting snooty or malevolent. The professors do demand too much group work in a few of my courses which I think is a severe negative aspect to learning. In college group work should be limited and minimal. Independent work is the best way to learn. However, I still believe that I got an excellent education thanks to the interdisciplinary program. Their program helped me a lot because I was able to design my own academic path without any hindrances or problems. I believe UT Dallas is a far superior university to UT Austin. At UT Dallas students will actually learn the subjects and grow as people. That is what academics are all about.