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Lorraine and Tom Pangle, Co-Directors BAT 2.116, C4100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6648

CTI Freshman Program

The CTI Freshman Program is designed for first year students in any college of the University who would like to pursue the Certificate Program in Core Texts and Ideas and begin the study of the great books in a small learning community. Students will take one great books course each semester, taught by a leading UT faculty member, which will both count towards the CTI Certificate Program and satisfy one of their UT core requirements. CTI Freshmen will be assigned to common discussion sections in these courses and will be encouraged to form informal study groups. Throughout the fall, they will also have shared weekly meetings in a small learning community of 20 students or less, led by an undergraduate peer mentor.


Here are the four options CTI Freshmen will have for 2014-15 (one course each semester):


Fall 2014

Spring 2015


UGS 303 Ideas of the 20th Century (meets signature course requirement) Daniel Bonevac CTI 302 Classics of Social and Political Thought (meets social science requirement) Daniel Burns


UGS 303 Ideas of the 20th Century (meets signature course requirement) Daniel Bonevac CTI 310 Introduction to Ancient Greece (meets visual and performing arts requirement) Karl Galinsky


CTI 310 Introduction to Ancient Greece (meets visual and performing arts requirement) Adam Rabinowitz

UGS 303 Shakespeare and the Pursuit of Happiness (meets signature course requirement) Doug Brewster

CTI 310 Introduction to Ancient Greece (meets visual and performing arts requirement) Adam Rabinowitz UGS 303 Sex and the Russian City (meets signature course requirement) Tatiana Kuzmic

Note: every freshman must take one UGS signature course and can only take one.

Course syllabi for most of these courses can be found at


In weekly meetings led by a peer mentor, CTI Freshmen may tour campus facilities, attend cultural events on campus and around Austin, learn about strategies for success in college, workshop their essays, have lunch with a professor, go out for movies or hikes, and learn leadership skills. CTI Freshmen will also be able to meet and get to know other students who love to discuss books and ideas through the Jefferson Book Club, Jefferson Center public lectures, and undergraduate coffee hours in the Jefferson Student Lounge.


Q: How does the CTI Freshman Program differ from the Jefferson Scholars Program?
A: Both programs allow students to begin pursuing the Certificate Program in Core Texts and Ideas in their first year. The Jefferson Scholars Program is a demanding program for talented students who are already skilled writers and readers of challenging texts. They take two CTI courses at a time, usually in small classes that require extensive writing and oral participation. The CTI Freshman Program is a more flexible program that creates small learning communities within large courses and gives students from many different backgrounds the tools they need to excel in rigorous college courses.

Q: Can a student be in both JSP and the CTI Freshman Program, or apply to one after completing the other?
A: No, both programs are only for entering freshmen.

Q: If I have AP credits that meet some UT core requirements, can I use these credits and still be in the CTI Freshman Program?
A: Yes. Many of our students come in with extensive AP credit and we will work with you to tailor a course of study that builds on the credits you have and helps you fulfill the requirements you need. Every freshman needs to take a signature course. If you have AP credits in social science (e.g. economics), you may claim it and still take CTI 302 if you wish, in which case CTI 302 will count as an elective. If you have AP credit in fine arts, you may claim that and still take CTI 310, in which case that will count as an elective. If you have already satisfied both your social science and fine arts requirements and are looking for other alternatives, you can begin with UGS 303 Ideas of the 20th Century in the fall and we will help you find an appropriate alternative course in the spring.

For more information on AP credits and how they work at UT, visit

Q: What are FIGs, and how is the CTI Freshman Program different from a FIG?
A: FIGS (Freshman Interest Groups) are programs that students can sign up for at summer orientation. Each FIG contains 20-30 students who share between one and three fall courses together, sometimes grouped around a particular theme. They also have a 1-hour meeting each week through the fall, led by a peer mentor, which introduces them to campus resources and learning strategies. The CTI Freshman Program is similar in structure but runs all year. It is distinctive in that its courses are great books courses that lead to the CTI Certificate, it has a focus on leadership, and it gives students unique opportunities to get to know their professors and teaching assistants over lunches and in other informal gatherings.

Q: Can a student be in both the CTI Freshman Program and a FIG?
A: You’ll already have a small peer-led learning community in the CTI Freshman Program, so you don’t need to join a FIG to get that experience. Also, most FIGS include a signature course, and you can take only one signature course, so if you join one of these FIGs you can’t do any of the great books signature courses in our program. Occasionally joining a FIG is the only way to get into a group of freshman classes that you need (especially for science and engineering students who register late in the summer). If that’s the case, you can do both programs, but you should try to find a FIG that doesn’t have a signature course and you’ll probably want to choose just one small learning community, since they do many of the same activities.

Q: What academic and social opportunities will CTI Freshmen have after their first year?
A: You will have open to you the full range of CTI courses for finishing the certificate program. At the end of your freshman year you will receive priority advising and will be assisted in putting together a program of study that complements your major and your interests. You can continue getting to know other CTI students through the Jefferson Book Club, Jefferson Center public lectures, and coffee hours in the Jefferson Student Lounge. If you achieve a 3.5 GPA, you will also have access to CTI honors courses and will be eligible to apply for the Jefferson Junior Fellows Program.

Q: How do I apply for the CTI Freshman Program?
Send your name, college, EID, and a paragraph on why you would like to be in the program to Professor Lorraine Pangle, co-director of the Jefferson Center, at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the summer until space in all of our courses are filled.

Q: I have already been admitted to the CTI Freshman Program. What do I need to do next?
A: Reply to the email offering you admission and pay your UT deposit by May 1, if you have not already done so. Register for an orientation session. Then click the button below to enroll in the program and pre-register for the course options you prefer. When you come for orientation, you will need to attend a CTI information session. Here you will be cleared to register for your fall course and you will be able to sign up for a learning community, discuss your program with an advisor, and meet other CTI freshmen. The schedule for these information sessions is as follows (all sessions will be in WAG 201):

First session: Thursday, June 5, 2-3 pm
Second session: Tuesday, June 10, 2-3 pm
Third session: Tuesday, June 17, 2-3 pm
Fourth session: Tuesday, June 24, 2-3 pm
Fifth session: Tuesday, July 1, 2-3 pm
Sixth session: Tuesday, July 8, 2-3 pm

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