Graduate Admission

A summary of the general requirements, application fees, deadlines, and procedures for graduate admission follows. Prospective students should refer to the Graduate Catalog for further information.

Requirements

General requirements for admission to the Graduate School are

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution. The Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) will determine eligibility for admission in consultation with prospective graduate programs.
  2. A grade point average of at least 3.00 in upper-division (junior- and senior-level) coursework and in any graduate work already completed.
  3. An official score for the Graduate Record Examinations General Test (GRE), unless otherwise specified by the graduate program to which the student is applying. The McCombs School of Business requires master’s and doctoral degree applicants to submit a satisfactory score for either the GRE or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Applicants to dual or combined degree programs with the School of Law must submit a satisfactory score for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as well as for the GRE or GMAT. International  students whose native language is not English must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For more information on which countries qualify for a waiver of this requirement, as well as programs that do not waive the requirement, please visit the Graduate School's website. Applicants should consult the graduate advisor for the program of interest to learn which test the program requires.
  4. Adequate subject preparation for the proposed major. Evidence of adequate preparation varies by program, but examples include letters of reference, auditions, samples of work, and personal statements.
  5. A recommendation for acceptance by the Graduate Studies Committee for the proposed major area.

Applicants may apply simultaneously to more than one graduate program, but they may enroll in only one program, with the exception of applicants admitted to dual degree programs. All complete applications are forwarded to the Graduate Studies Committee(s) for the proposed area(s). Admission decisions are based on a careful review of all aspects of the applicant’s file including standardized tests, undergraduate grade point average, letters of recommendation, research and teaching experience, etc. Scores on standardized tests such as the GRE are not the sole criterion for making an admission decision or ending consideration of the application. Information about admission criteria for each graduate program is available from the graduate advisor.

When there are more qualified applicants than can adequately be instructed by the faculty or accommodated in the facilities, the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) for the proposed area may deny admission to students who have met the prescribed requirements. GSC admissions recommendations to the graduate dean are final; there is no appeal. All admissions must be approved by the graduate dean.

Applicants who feel that their grade point averages or test scores are not valid indicators of ability should explain their concerns in a letter to the graduate advisor of the program to which they are applying.

Admission Tests

The Graduate Record Examinations General Test (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are offered at testing centers throughout North America and at selected international sites. Current information about GRE and TOEFL test dates, locations, and registration procedures is published by the Educational Testing Service. Similar information about the GMAT is published by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is administered in more than 120 countries and is available off-site in additional countries. Information about IELTS test dates, locations, and procedures is published on their website.

Applicants to dual or combined programs with the School of Law must also take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), administered by the Law School Admission Council. Information about the LSAT is published by the Council.

Graduate School Select Admission Program

The Graduate School Select Admission Program allows graduate programs to recommend academically outstanding University undergraduates for admission to seek a graduate degree in a State formula-funded degree program. Students are normally nominated in the junior year, and programs are encouraged to limit their nominations each year to one or two outstanding undergraduates.

Nominations are forwarded to the Graduate School by the program’s graduate advisor or graduate admissions office with the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee. Undergraduate candidates may be extended an offer of admission and financial aid as early as the junior year, conditional upon completion of the baccalaureate degree. Application and transcript fees are waived; some graduate programs may waive submission of GRE scores. Admitted students may enroll in graduate courses at undergraduate tuition rates during the senior year and reserve the courses for graduate credit.

Additional information about the Graduate School Select Admission Program is available in the Graduate School and from the graduate adviser of the nominating graduate program.

Conditional Admission

Almost all of the students who are admitted to the Graduate School have qualifications equal to or better than the minimum standards outlined in Graduate Admission Requirements. However, a Graduate Studies Committee may recommend, with the consent of the graduate dean, that a student be admitted to the Graduate School with conditions. The Graduate Studies Committee may require the student to maintain a certain grade point average or to take a certain number of semester hours of coursework. A conditionally admitted student may also be required to remedy deficiencies in undergraduate preparation by taking upper-division or graduate courses. The graduate advisor notifies the student of these conditions at the time of admission. The Graduate Studies Committee petitions the graduate dean for removal of conditions once the conditions have been met.

A student who does not fulfill the conditions within the specified time may be barred from subsequent registration in the Graduate School. If the student changes his or her major before the conditions have been fulfilled, the conditions remain in effect unless the graduate advisor for the new program, on behalf of the Graduate Studies Committee, petitions the graduate dean and receives approval for them to be changed.

Students admitted with conditions are not eligible to be graduate student academic employees, except under rare and unusual circumstances and with the approval of the graduate dean.

Admission as a Nondegree Student

A person who would like to take graduate coursework without becoming a candidate for an advanced degree may apply for admission to a graduate program as a nondegree student. Admission as a nondegree student is not available in all graduate programs. Enrollment as a nondegree student is normally limited to one year.  Nondegree students are not eligible to be teaching assistants, assistant instructors, graduate research assistants, academic assistants, assistants (graduate), or tutors (graduate).

The applicant must submit an application and transcripts of all college coursework to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC); Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores are not required unless otherwise specified by the graduate program. International students whose native language is not English must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless otherwise exempt.  Admission must be recommended by the Graduate Studies Committee for the program and approved by the graduate dean.

A graduate nondegree student who later wishes to seek a graduate degree must meet the requirements for admission, submit all required materials and items by the program’s deadline, and must pay the usual application fee. A degree-seeking student may petition to have applied to the master’s degree up to six semester hours of graduate credit earned while he or she was a graduate nondegree student.

Exchange students. A graduate student who is admitted to the University through a reciprocal exchange program is classified as a nondegree student. An exchange student may not register for more than two long-session semesters and one summer session. The transferability of academic credit to the student’s home institution is determined by the home institution.

An exchange student who wishes to take a graduate course must obtain the approval of the instructor and of the graduate advisor for the program that offers the course, must meet all course prerequisites, and must meet any other requirements affecting nondegree students. An exchange student may later apply for admission to the University as a degree-seeking graduate student. To do so, he or she must submit the usual test scores, application fee, and other required material by the graduate program’s deadline.

Exchange students admitted as graduate nondegree students. If a graduate nondegree exchange student is later admitted to the Graduate School as a degree seeker, the Graduate Studies Committee may ask for the graduate dean’s approval to include on the student’s master’s degree Program of Work up to six hours of graduate coursework that he or she completed as a graduate nondegree exchange student. All requirements related to courses that may be counted toward graduate degrees apply, including rules concerning courses counted toward another degree.

Exchange students admitted as undergraduate nondegree students. If an undergraduate nondegree exchange student is later admitted to the Graduate School, graduate courses that he or she took as an undergraduate nondegree exchange student may not be counted toward a graduate degree.

Recommended Application Dates for Graduate Study

Each graduate program sets its own application deadline. Applications typically open on September 1 for the following year. Few graduate programs admit new students for the spring semester; those that do generally have deadlines no later than October 1. Deadlines posted are the dates by which all documents and test scores must be received. It is the applicant’s responsibility to meet the deadline set by the graduate program. A list of program deadlines is published by the Graduate School. Applicants should complete and submit their applications, as well as all supporting documents, well in advance of the application deadline. Certain items, such as test scores, take several weeks to arrive and applicants should plan accordingly.

To apply for financial aid in the form of gift aid, which includes grants and scholarships, and self-help aid, which includes student employment programs and long-term loans, applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More information about these programs and deadlines for filing the FAFSA are published by Financial Aid. Information is also available by mail from The University of Texas at Austin, Office of Financial Aid, P O Box 7758, Austin TX 78713-7758.

Individual graduate programs may also offer financial assistance to their students in the form of assistantships or fellowships. For more information about these programs and deadlines for applying to them, applicants should contact the graduate program of interest. Financial aid decisions are made soon after program application deadlines, and applicants whose materials have not been received may not be given full consideration.

Fellowships

University fellowships, which are administered through the Graduate School, are awarded to both new and continuing graduate students in most academic areas. Students must be nominated by their graduate advisers for any fellowship administered by the Graduate School, but many award decisions are made at the college or program level. Additional information on University fellowships is published by the Graduate School.

University recruiting fellowships for entering graduate students are awarded on the basis of scholastic excellence and adequate preparation for graduate study in the student’s chosen field, as shown by his or her academic record and letters of recommendation. University fellowships for continuing students are awarded on the basis of the student’s record since entering the Graduate School, including performance in relevant coursework and research or creative activity, letters of recommendation from University faculty members, and the endorsement of the graduate adviser; financial need is also considered. There are additional specific qualifications for many of the competitive fellowships awarded by the University and by graduate programs.

Generally, fellowships require no service from the recipient. Many major fellowships provide for payment of nearly all tuition in addition to the stipend. Recipients of certain graduate fellowships of $10,000 or more per year are eligible to participate in the University's staff group health insurance plan. Note that access to the plan is provided, but funding may or may not be included depending on the fellowship award.

Application Processing Fee

All applicants to the Graduate School must submit a nonrefundable application processing fee along with their credentials. Applicants may apply simultaneously to more than one graduate program; a fee may be charged for each application. An applicant may be eligible for a waiver of the fee on the basis of documented financial need. Applicants may consult with the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) to determine eligibility for a waiver.

US citizens, permanent residents, and University undergraduates. The fee for applicants to the Graduate School is $65. The fee for applicants to the full-time, working professional, and executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs is $200. The fee for applicants to the Master in Professional Accounting (MPA) program, including students in the integrated BBA/MPA program, is $125. Applicants applying to a dual-degree program with the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program will pay only the higher of the application fees.

International applicants. The fee for applicants who are not citizens of or permanent residents of the United States is $90. The fee for applicants to the full-time, working professional, and executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs is $200. The fee for applicants to the MPA program is $125. Applicants applying to a dual-degree program with the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program will pay only the higher of the application fees.

Enrollment Deposit

Some graduate programs require students to pay a nonrefundable enrollment deposit upon admission to indicate that they accept the offer of admission. For students applying to dual degree programs, one deposit serves to confirm the student’s intention to enroll in both programs. When both programs require a deposit, only the higher fee is required. The deposit is applied to the payment of fees when the student enrolls. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for assistance to cover the deposit.

An enrollment deposit is assessed in the following graduate programs:

Programs Degree Deposit
AccountingMPA$950.00
Business administrationMBA, full-time$2,000.00
Business administrationMBA, working professional and executive$2,000.00
EconomicsMA, Option III$2,000.00
Radio-television-filmMA, MFA, PhD$200.00
Social WorkMSSW, PhD$150.00
School of ArchitectureM Arch I, M Arch II, MAAH, MID I, MID II, MLA I, MLA II, MSAS, MSCRP, MSHP, MSSD, MSUD, PhD in ARC, PhD in CRP$350.00