The University of Texas at Dallas (also referred to as UT Dallas or UTD) is a public research university in the University of Texas System. The main campus is in the heart of the Richardson, in the U.S. state of Texas, Telecom Corridor, 18 miles (29 km) north of downtown Dallas. The institution, established in 1961 as the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest and later renamed the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (SCAS), began as a research arm of Texas Instruments. In 1969 the founders bequeathed SCAS to the state of Texas and Governor Preston Smith signed the bill officially creating the University of Texas at Dallas.
UTD offers over 133 academic programs across its seven schools and hosts more than 50 research centers and institutes. With a number of interdisciplinary degree programs, its curriculum is designed to allow study that crosses traditional disciplinary lines and to enable students to participate in collaborative research labs. Entering freshmen average math and critical reading SAT scores are among the highest of the public universities in Texas and 1270 for 2012. The Carnegie Foundation classifies UT Dallas as a "comprehensive doctoral research university" and a "high research activity institution". Research projects include the areas of space science, bioengineering, cybersecurity, nanotechnology, and behavioral and brain sciences.
UT Dallas owns approximately 710 acres (2.9 km2) of generally contiguous land in Richardson, Texas consisting of 445 acres (1.80 km2) for campus development and another 265 acres (1.07 km2) adjacent to the main campus. From 2007 the university has added or started construction on more than 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of new facilities including the first academic structure in Texas to be rated a LEED Platinum facility. A $30-million campus landscape enhancement was completed in late 2010 and an additional $15-million campus landscape development phase is scheduled to begin in 2013.
The school has a Division III athletics program in the American Southwest Conference and fields 13 intercollegiate teams. Student activities include more than 225 registered organizations and students provided more than 20,000 volunteer hours at community agencies in 2010. The university has a nationally recognized debate team, recruits worldwide for its chess team and the only school in Texas to field teams in all three of the major pre-law competitions. For the spring 2012 commencement the university granted 1,198 graduate and PhD degrees and 1,437 undergraduates degrees.
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