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BNSF Early Leader Program

For over a decade, the Academy has enhanced conventional learning by challenging students to be problem solvers and ethical leaders. Focusing on integrity, courage, and impact, the Academy has developed outstanding alumni that are excelling in their professional careers. Now, thanks to a gift from the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF), the Goolsby Leadership Academy has created the BNSF Early Leader Program. This extension of the Academy will accept incoming business-intended freshman and is dedicated to strengthening the leadership ability of students. The program is designed to help students transition into Goolsby Scholars in their junior year, yet acceptance is not guaranteed.

In the spring semester of the freshman year, the students will have monthly activities, scheduled on a weekday or weeknight, which will vary depending on the semester. Activities include guest speakers, team building exercises, and field trips.

During the fall semester of the sophomore year, students will enroll in a special section of Communications in Organizations (LSHP 2302), taught by a Goolsby Academy faculty member. Additional non-class activities will be scheduled as well. During the spring semester of their sophomore year, the students will enroll in an Academy ECON 2306 Section.

To be considered for the freshman cohort, the student should enroll in UNIV-BU 1131 sections 03 or 07. Selections for the freshman cohort will follow the fall UNIV-BU 1131 semester; students selected for the freshman cohort will receive a $250 scholarship for the first semester (Fall) and starting in the spring semester/second semester would be $500.

To be enrolled in the sophomore cohort, the student should:

  • Have 20 - 35 hours of college credit.
  • Be a Business-Intended student or business major throughout the program while completing a business curriculum and making adequate progress toward a business degree.
  • Maintain 3.1 GPA.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment.
  • Scholarship: $500/per semester; $250 for first semester freshmen.

Residential Learning Community (First Year Students)

Are you a incoming first year student that is planning to live on campus at UTA?  Join the Business RLC to live and learn with like-minded students, make new friends, connect with faculty, and get a jump-start to your participation in the BNSF Early Leader Program.  The Business RLC is located in Arlington Hall and has both private suite and double rooms available. Spaces are filled on a first come, first served basis for those who qualify. Select the Business RLC when you complete the UTA housing application.  Learn more about living in a residential learning community by visiting this website.                

Contact if you have any questions.

BNSF Early Leader Program Classes

All BNSF Early Leader Program scholars are expected to complete a community engagement event in the Spring.


Principles and practice of effective communication with business organizations. Students will be exposed to theories of persuasion, argumentation and advocacy. Techniques to achieve group compromise and conflict resolution are also emphasized. A business professionalism lab is required. The grade for this course requires the completion of both the lecture component and the professionalism lab.

Prerequisite: 60 credit hours.

Steps to Apply

Step 1: Review the Application Information.
Step 2: Before applying, review the Application Walkthrough.
Step 3: Apply Now.

First semester UTA Students and Transfer Students

Meet the Scholars of the Goolsby Leadership Academy

Jarred Martin Goolsby Cohorts

Jarred Martin
2014-2016 Cohort
Major: Finance

View Cohorts