The Mathematics and Science Academy (MSA) was established by the 79th Texas Legislature in May 2005. It was designed as a commuter program at the University of Texas at Brownsville for high school-aged students who are gifted in mathematics and science. Students take classes from UTB faculty with current UTB students, but are provided with more supervision and guidance than traditional college students.
The establishment of this innovative program stemmed from national concerns among educators about anticipated shortages of students who would be sufficiently well prepared in mathematical and scientific problem solving. Recognizing that American youth would need to compete in an increasingly technological society, several states opted to create alternative educational programs that would attract students to the field of mathematics and science as well as offer bright, motivated young people an accelerated education in these areas of study.
Mathematics and Science Academy differs from other state-supported math and science schools in that the academy offers students the opportunity to complete two years of college concurrently with the last two years of high school.