Freshman applicants should take advantage of the detailed information and resources available through the Freshman Admissions Web site.
Eligibility to Apply
To be eligible to apply for freshman admission, an applicant must:
- Have graduated or be on track to graduate from high school or receive a GED and
- Not have enrolled in another college or university after graduating from high school or earning a GED.
In addition, Texas applicants who believe they may be eligible for automatic admission must meet or be on track to meet the high school coursework requirements defined in the state’s Uniform Admission Policy or coursework that is equal in content and rigor. Public high school applicants must graduate under the state's Foundation High School Program with a distinguished level of achievement, or the Recommended or Advanced High School Program; the Distinguished Program is also an option. The Uniform Admission Policy is defined in sections 51.801 through 51.809 of the Texas Education Code.
High school coursework exemptions are available for Texas applicants who attend private high schools or Department of Defense high schools who may be eligible for automatic admission. An applicant claiming an exemption must (1) achieve certain benchmarks on either the SAT or the ACT and (2) meet UT Austin’s minimum high school coursework requirements. Submitting a certification/exemption form completed by a high school counselor may also serve as an exemption.
No student is exempt from the University’s minimum coursework requirements: four units of language arts, two units of a single foreign language, three units of mathematics at the level of Algebra I or higher, two units of science, three units of social studies, one and one-half units of electives, and one-half unit of fine arts.
Meeting the minimum requirements makes a student eligible to apply for admission, but exceeding the minimum is often necessary for applicants to be competitive for admission to many of the University's academic programs.
Under Texas law, graduates of unaccredited high schools may seek admission to the University.
Some applicants 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 achieving first-year college-level credit in a foreign or classical language 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, an applicant must submit the following items by the deadline:
- Application and essays. A completed US Freshman ApplyTexas Application, including at least two required essays.
- Transcript and rank. An official high school transcript showing coursework information through the end of the junior year along with information about the applicant's class rank and high school class size (usually noted on the transcript).
- Student Information form: A completed Student Information Form submitted online, providing responses to all required items.
- High school coursework or exemption information. Documentation showing that the applicant is on track to meet high school coursework requirements or is requesting an exemption; applicants who claim an exemption based on equivalent coursework must submit a certification/exemption form as described above.
- Test score. 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.
- Fee or waiver request. The application processing fee or a request for a fee waiver.
Additional information about applying for freshman admission, including details about reporting rank, high school coursework requirements, and testing requirements, is available on the Freshman Admissions Web site.
International applicants interested in applying for freshman admission should review the International Admission information in this catalog.
Reporting dual credit. 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:
- Class rank
- Strength of academic background
- SAT Reasoning Test or ACT scores
- Record of achievements, honors, and awards
- Special accomplishments, work, and service both in and out of school
- 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
- Recommendations (although not required)
- 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.
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, 2014, the University notified school districts that it will automatically admit students in the top 8 percent of their high school classes to summer/fall 2016 and to spring 2017.
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.
To be considered for admission to the Cockrell School of Engineering, the Jackson School of Geosciences, and the Environmental Science major in the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural Sciences, applicants who are otherwise eligible for automatic admission to the University must meet the calculus-readiness requirement. To be considered for admission to other math-intensive majors (mathematics, business, physics, or computer science), an applicant who is otherwise eligible for automatic admission to the University but does not meet the calculus-readiness requirement is offered admission to another major at the University.
Automatic admission for military/veteran applicants. Students who qualify for automatic admission to UT Austin at the time they graduate from high school and who join the military after graduation maintain eligibility for automatic admission for the period of time they serve in the military. Military or veteran applicants interested in enrolling at UT Austin following military service who have not enrolled in college-level coursework since high school graduation should apply for freshman admission. Such applicants are reviewed holistically with the freshman applicant pool to determine the major to which they will be offered admission. Qualified applicants who have enrolled in college-level coursework since high school graduation should apply for transfer admission.
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.
As a state-assisted institution, the University reserves 90 percent of its spaces for Texas residents per Texas law; 10 percent of the spaces are reserved for out-of-state and international students.
Alternative Paths to Admission
As part of the freshman admission decision process, the Office of Admissions may invite a limited number of fall applicants 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. In 2015, two such programs are in place.
Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment (PACE). PACE, the University's co-enrollment program with Austin Community College (ACC), offers selected freshman applicants who are not offered full-time admission to UT Austin an opportunity to co-enroll for one year at UT Austin and ACC.
PACE students spend the fall and spring semesters of their freshman year completing required transferable coursework at ACC and one course per semester in residence at UT Austin. Students who successfully complete the coursework requirements and attain the required grade point average are guaranteed admission into UT Austin's College of Liberal Arts when they transition to full-time status. PACE participants may request to compete for admission to majors in other colleges and schools when transitioning.
Information about PACE requirements for the 2015-2016 academic year are available on the PACE Web site.
The Coordinated Admission Program. The University of Texas System established the Coordinated Admission Program (CAP) as an opportunity for eligible applicants who are not admitted as freshmen to complete their undergraduate studies at UT Austin. CAP is offered to Texas residents who meet the University’s high school preparation requirements, complete a freshman application for admission to UT Austin by the required deadline, and meet the enrollment requirements of at least one of the UT System universities participating in CAP for the designated academic year.
CAP students spend their freshman year in residence at a participating UT System component institution other than UT Austin. Students who are offered participation choose from a list of institutions open to them when they complete the CAP agreement. The agreement also provides details about the requirements students must meet to successfully complete the program and obtain admission to UT Austin as regular students in the fall semester following their year in CAP. Students are guaranteed admission into the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin. CAP participants may request to compete for admission to majors in other colleges and schools.
Information about CAP requirements for the 2015-2016 academic year is available on the CAP Web site.
Whenever admission through CAP exceeds 60 percent of total external undergraduate transfer admission, a review of the CAP requirements for entry into UT Austin will be conducted and new requirements will be established as appropriate.