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Freshman Admission

Freshman applicants should take advantage of the detailed information and resources available through the Be a Longhorn Freshmen Web site. The site offers the latest details about freshman admission application requirements; information about the factors considered in making admission decisions; secure access to personal information like application status and admission decisions; details about academics, financial aid, housing, and more; event information and registration for freshman applicants; and an online counselor finder.

Eligibility to Apply

To be eligible to apply for freshman admission to UT Austin, an applicant must be on track to graduate under the high school coursework requirements defined in the state’s Uniform Admission Policy. Applicants must complete at least the Recommended High School Program; the Distinguished High School Program is also an option. The Recommended Program requires students to complete at least 26½ units of high school credit in grades nine through twelve. The Uniform Admission Policy is defined in sections 51.801 through 51.809 of the Texas Education Code.

Exemptions are available for students who are not able to complete the Recommended High School Program even though they attend schools that offer it and for students who attend high schools that do not offer the program, including private Texas high schools and high schools outside Texas. Achieving certain benchmarks on either the SAT or the ACT may also serve as an exemption. An applicant claiming an exemption must (1) submit a certification/exemption form completed by a high school counselor; and (2) meet UT Austin’s minimum high school coursework requirements. No student is exempt from the University’s minimum coursework requirements.

Additional information, including details about coursework requirements and exemptions and printable certification/exemption forms, is available online at http://bealonghorn.utexas.edu/freshmen/admission/hs-courses/.

Admission deficiencies. Some applicants who claim an exemption from the high school preparation requirements above may be required to complete the University’s deficiency process in order to meet UT Austin’s minimum coursework requirements. Applicants who appear to be deficient after applying for admission are notified by the Office of Admissions that they must submit additional information through an online process. Notified students who fail to complete the deficiency process will not be considered for admission.

Admitted students must complete the coursework required to remove a deficiency before they enroll at the University. A deficiency in foreign language must be removed by earning credit for foreign language or classical language courses numbered 506 and 507 (or the equivalent) or by earning a passing score on the appropriate placement examination given by the University. A deficiency in mathematics must be removed by earning credit for Mathematics 301, College Algebra, or Mathematics 303D, Applicable Mathematics, or an equivalent transfer course. For all other subjects, one semester of college credit is required to remove a deficiency of one year or less of high school credit.

Freshman Application Procedures

To be considered for admission as a freshman, the applicant must submit the following items by the deadline:

  1. A completed US Freshman ApplyTexas Application, including at least two required essays.
  2. An official high school transcript showing coursework information through the end of the junior year along with one of the following: a) an indication on the transcript showing rank and class size; b) a statement from the high school that it does not rank its students; or c) a statement from the high school showing the applicant’s class rank and the class size. In order for a student to qualify for automatic admission, the high school must report the student’s rank as prescribed by section 51.803 of the Texas Education Code.
  3. A completed Supplemental Information form submitted online, providing responses to all required items.
  4. Documentation showing that the applicant is on track to meet high school coursework requirements or that the applicant is requesting an exemption; applicants who claim an exemption must submit a certification/exemption form as described above.
  5. An official test score report for the SAT Reasoning Test, including the student-written essay, or for both the ACT Assessment and the ACT Writing Test. Scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to be considered official.
  6. The application processing fee or a request for an exemption, described in the section Application Processing Fee.

A freshman applicant may not disregard any part of his or her academic record, including college credit earned as dual credit. Such coursework must be reported on the ApplyTexas application, and the applicant must submit official transcripts of the coursework.

Freshman Application Review Process

The Office of Admissions uses an individualized, holistic review process to consider each completed freshman application. Applications from students who qualify for automatic admission are reviewed to determine majors. Applications from students who are not eligible for automatic admission are reviewed to determine admissibility and to make decisions about majors.

The following items are considered during holistic review:

  1. Class rank
  2. Strength of academic background
  3. SAT Reasoning Test or ACT scores
  4. Record of achievements, honors, and awards
  5. Special accomplishments, work, and service both in and out of school
  6. Essays
  7. Special circumstances that put the applicant’s academic achievements into context, including his or her socioeconomic status, experience in a single parent home, family responsibilities, experience overcoming adversity, cultural background, race and ethnicity, the language spoken in the applicant’s home, and other information in the applicant’s file
  8. Recommendations (although not required)
  9. Competitiveness of the major to which the student applies

No specific class rank, test score, or other qualification by itself—other than automatic admission based on section 51.803 of the Texas Education Code—ensures admission.

Admission decisions are made on the basis of the information submitted as part of the student’s application. Applicants who believe that supplemental items will help convey information about their qualifications are encouraged to submit such items with their applications. Supplemental items often included with applications are expanded résumés of accomplishments and extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and letters addressing an applicant’s special circumstances.

Admission Decisions

The Office of Admissions reviews complete freshman applications to determine which students will be offered admission, either through automatic admission based on Texas law or through holistic review, and to make decisions about majors for all admitted students.

Texas applicants eligible for automatic admission. Section 51.803 of the Texas Education Code defines the rules that govern automatic admission to Texas universities. Under these rules, the University is required to use automatic admission to fill at least 75 percent of the spaces available to Texas residents in each entering freshman class.

Each September, the University informs school districts of the rank that will be required to earn automatic admission to the University in the next application cycle. On September 15, 2012, the University notified school districts that it will automatically admit students in the top 7 percent of their high school classes to summer/fall 2014 and to spring 2015.

Applicants not eligible for automatic admission. To be considered for freshman admission, applicants who are not eligible for consideration under the provisions of section 51.803 of the Texas Education Code must normally have graduated from or be on track to graduate from high school and have met the high school preparation requirements.

Holistic review for applicants who are not eligible for automatic admission is used to identify students who will be offered admission and to make decisions about their majors. As a state-assisted institution, the University reserves 90% of its spaces for Texas residents per Texas law; 10% of the spaces are reserved for out-of-state and international students.

For information about the decision process, application review, automatic admission, and how review works for different categories of applicants, visit Be a Longhorn’s Freshman Admission Decisions section.

Alternative paths to admission. As part of the freshman admission decision process, the Office of Admissions may invite a limited number of students to join the freshman wait list. The University also works to identify and develop alternative admission programs that offer prospective students a clear path to completion of an undergraduate degree at the University. These programs encourage applicants who are not admitted as freshmen to begin their studies at another of the state’s colleges or universities. Such programs provide the academic and administrative support students need to successfully complete the program’s requirements and to prepare them for transition to full-time enrollment at UT Austin with the goal of on-time graduation. In addition, applicants not admitted as freshmen are encouraged to consider the undergraduate transfer application process, which offers some students a better option for admission.


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