Fast Track Programs: Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Fast Track program?
- What is the Fast Track Plus program?
- What is the Fast Track Premium program?
- Which Fast Track program is right for me/my students?
- Where are the programs conducted?
- What are the benefits of the program?
- How long are the programs?
- What is the minimum required number of weeks for enrollment?
- What courses are provided by the University of Texas?
- Will I get a certificate from the University of Texas?
- Will I earn college class credits from the program?
- Is test prep included in the program?
- Will the TOEFL/GRE/GMAT be waived if I enroll in this program?
- How much does the program cost?
- If I am unable to pay for my own tuition, can someone else (a family member or friend) support me?
- Do I need to get a student visa to attend the program?
- How do I secure housing in Austin?
- Is there a minimum academic requirement for enrollment?
- How do I apply? What documents do I need to submit to apply?
- Is there an application deadline?
- When will I find out if I have been accepted?
What is the Fast Track program?
The Fast Track program is an intensive English language learning program that helps students accelerate their language skills through intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, skills-enhancing seminars, and bridge courses. Programs are designed to facilitate a smooth matriculation to a university environment.
What is the Fast Track Plus program?
The Fast Track Plus program provides the same elements as the regular Fast Track program, plus enrollment in university courses taught at The University of Texas at Austin. First, students complete ESL classes; qualifying participants then enroll in as non-degree seeking students in summer courses at UT Austin. Upon successful completion of courses, students will receive transferable university credit.
The Fast Track Premium program allows participants with demonstrated English proficiency to take university summer courses at UT Austin as non-degree seeking students, receive transferable university credits, and participate in academic readiness seminars.
Fast Track programs should be selected based on students' English proficiency and academic trajectory. To compare the features and requirements of each program, please see our program comparison chart (pdf).
Programs are held in Austin, Texas, home of The University of Texas at Austin. Classes and seminars are conducted at The University of Texas at Austin and with the Intensive American English Institute, an internationally recognized provider of intensive language instruction.
The University of Texas at Austin is a top-tier public university located in the Texas capital of Austin, one of America’s most dynamic, innovative and multicultural cities. The university is among the largest and most respected in the nation with more than 150 research units and 170 graduate degree programs, internationally recognized faculty, and students from more than 100 countries.
Students improve academic English skills, engage in university-level coursework, and develop reading and critical thinking skills needed to be successful in a college or university environment. Programs are designed to facilitate smooth matriculation to a university environment.
Program length is customizable. Fast Track and Fast Track Plus students typically take one or two semesters (16 or 32 weeks) of ESL classes. Fast Track Plus students will then take one or two summer sessions (6 or 12 weeks) of university coursework. Programs can be as short as 16 weeks or as long as one year.
The minimum Fast Track enrollment period is one semester (16 weeks).
University of Texas at Austin faculty provide two kinds of courses: monthly seminars (available to all students in all Fast Track programs), and UT summer courses (available to Fast Track Plus and Premium students only).
All Fast Track students take one, two-hour seminar per month delivered through The University of Texas at Austin Global Initiative for Education and Leadership. Seminars are offered year-round. Each seminar provides a unique opportunity for students to develop their academic and leadership skills, and is taught by leaders in their fields. Sample topics include:
- Survive and thrive in the U.S.
- Reading and writing strategies
- Communication skills
- Effective study skills
- Maximizing mental agility
- Time management and life coaching
- Applying to U.S. universities
- Flourishing in the university classroom
- Professional and leadership training
Fast Track Plus and Premium students enroll in one or more University of Texas at Austin academic courses offered during the summer. They have the option to take three to six credit hours (equivalent to one to two courses) each summer session. Tuition pricing varies based on credit hours and number of sessions. Students receive transferable university credit.
Fast Track Plus students may enroll in core courses in a variety of subjects; Fast Track Premium students may enroll in any Liberal Arts courses offered during the summer, barring courses with limited enrollment and/or prerequisites.
All Fast Track students receive certificates of program completion from The University of Texas at Austin.
Fast Track Plus and Premium students receive transferable university credit upon successful completion of UT summer coursework. When enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin, Fast Track Plus students enroll as non-degree seeking students, meaning they are enrolled in UT courses for transferable university credit, but they are not pursuing a degree at the university. Students do not receive a degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
The ESL portion of the program will help prepare students for the TOEFL exam.
A TOEFL waiver is offered to students at participating universities/colleges. Students enrolled in Fast Track Plus are required to take the TOEFL for summer enrollment in University of Texas courses. The ESL courses include test preparation.
Pricing varies based on the length of enrollment. The Fast Track program is currently $8,950 for one semester (16 weeks). The Fast Track Plus program currently ranges from approximately $14,000 for one semester plus summer course tuition (~28 weeks) to $24,000 for two semesters plus summer course tuition (~44 weeks). UT summer tuition for Fast Track Plus and Premium students is paid separately at the time of registration. Tuition rates vary annually based on credit hours and number of sessions. Summer 2013 rates are $5,942 for 3 credit hours and $8,774 for 6 credit hours per session (equivalent to one-two courses).
- Visa/immigration document processing fees
- Language proficiency testing (if applicable)
- University application fees (if applicable)
- Program orientation
- Program costs and materials
- Program coordinator support (if applicable)
- Health insurance
Pricing does not include:
- Room and board
- UT summer tuition (paid separately at the time of registration)
- Additional tutoring support
Yes. If someone else agrees to support a student during his/her time in the US, he/she will need to write a Sponsor Letter and provide a recent bank statement showing a balance of at least US $8,000 (plus $2000 for each dependent child or spouse, if applicable). House of Tutors will need the Sponsor Letter and bank statement to issue students an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility. The student must also take those documents to the embassy or consulate when applying for a visa.
Yes, a visa is required for entry into the Fast Track and Fast Track Plus programs. We will assist enrollees with the documentation needed to apply for a student F1 or J1 visa.
Housing is not included or provided by this program. However, we have arranged for students to work with Study Abroad Support, an organization that can facilitate the housing search and setup.
In Austin there are several private apartment and dorm options within walking distance or public transit of the UT campus and the ESL school. With sufficient advanced planning and deposits, they provide lodging and meals.
We recommend Study Abroad Support, which offers streamlined housing support and management for international students in Austin. They work with local dorms and apartment complexes to provide customized housing options for student groups, and provide personalized help with housing applications and leases. They also furnish the apartments including bedding, towels, and pillows, and arrange for utilities including cable, internet, water, and gas (as needed).
In addition, Study Abroad Support can provide arrival support including airport pickup, transportation and introduction to students’ housing sites, and a day trip around Austin to arrange a cell phone contract, open a bank account, buy necessities, and open an electricity account (which can only be done in person in Austin). Students will also be given a welcome packet, which includes maps, transportation details, health and safety information, and other critical guides.
There is no minimum academic requirement for the Fast Track program. For Fast Track Plus and Premium, students will eventually need to score a 550 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS to be eligible for UT summer course enrollment. We recommend the following scores for Fast Track Plus and Premium program entry:
- 500 TOEFL or 5.5 IELTS recommended for program entry with two semesters ESL instruction (32 weeks)
- 525 TOEFL or 5.5 IELTS recommended for program entry with one semester ESL instruction (16 weeks)
- 550 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS is required for UT summer course enrollment
How do I apply? What documents do I need to submit to apply?
In order to apply, you will need to submit the following documents:
- Completed Fast Track application. (Application deadlines are rolling; allow 1 to 3 months before program start for visa processing.)
- Photocopy of passport
- $100 application fee
- Statement of Purpose: 3-4 sentences written by the student explaining why they want to study English and/or take classes at The University of Texas at Austin.
- Recent bank statement (less than one year old). This must show the account holder's name in English characters and at least US $10,000 (plus $2,000 for each dependent, if applicable) in the account.
- Sponsor letter (if the student will not be paying for their own living expenses). This letter must include a recent bank statement from the sponsor (see above), the account holder's name, their relationship with the student and the name of the student. This letter must state that the sponsor will cover any living expenses (rent, tuition, and so on) while the student is in the United States.
- TOEFL exam score of at least 550 for UT summer term admission (Fast Track Plus and Premium only). Deadline: May 1st.
- English transcript (Fast Track Plus and Premium only). Deadline: March 1st.
Is there an application deadline?
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but students should allow sufficient time to secure a visa before the start of the term and space may be limited. The visa process can take 1 to 3 months.
In addition, students in the Fast Track Plus and Premium programs will need to formally apply for the UT summer term. This application will be facilitated by the program and completed once students are in Austin taking intensive English classes. The first part of the UT summer term application is due by March 1st and requires students to submit an English transcript. The second part of the UT summer term application requires a TOEFL score of 550 submitted by May 1st. For instructions on how to apply, please see below.
We will let you know as soon as possible.
No, UTGI does not have the authority to offer conditional admission. Admissions requirements for The University of Texas at Austin are determined by the Office of Admissions, and/or by individual departments. Since UTGI cannot offer conditional admission, it is best to contact individual departments and programs with questions about their admissions policies.
Please contact us at FT@austin.utexas.edu for more information.