Skip to main content or Skip to navigation

The University of Texas at Austin

Freshman applicants to the University of Texas at Austin can be admitted to the university in two ways: automatic admission based on Texas law and admission based on holistic review of a complete application.

Automatic Admission

If you’re a Texas applicant, we’ll initially review your application to determine if you qualify for automatic admission under Texas law. If you do, you’ll be automatically admitted to the university.

Rules about Automatic Admission

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has established rules that govern which students qualify for automatic admission.

Texas law doesn’t guarantee admission to a specific major. Your application will go through holistic review to determine the major to which you'll be admitted.

Holistic Review

The Office of Admissions uses holistic review:

  • To determine which major automatically admitted applicants will be admitted to
  • To make admission decisions for all applicants who are not automatically admitted to the university (i.e., Texas applicants who do not qualify for automatic admission, out-of-state applicants, and international applicants)


During holistic review, we consider academic achievement, personal achievement, and special circumstances.

Academic Achievement

Class Rank

Class rank demonstrates how you compare to your peers in a given academic environment. Rank is an important factor for all applicants, even those who are not eligible for automatic admission under Texas law.

If you graduate from a non-ranking high school or an atypical high school (if you were home schooled, for example), it is still possible for you to be considered for admission. Your school will need to send us information about its ranking policy and provide us with a school profile to help us consider your academic achievement without an explicit rank for you.

Test Scores

Although test scores aren’t everything, considered with other academic information they can be a meaningful indicator of academic ability.

  • No minimum test score is needed for an applicant to be considered for admission.
  • No score by itself, no matter how high, guarantees admission to any applicant.
  • If you submit more than one official score report, the Office of Admissions will use the score from a single test date that will benefit you the most when your application is reviewed.
  • The Office of Admissions does not combine scores from different test dates (a critical reading score from one test date with a mathematics score from another test date, for example) to come up with a better score.

SAT Subject Test Scores

SAT Subject Test scores are not required when applying for admission. However, any information submitted as part of an applicant’s record, including any submitted test scores, may be considered during the evaluation of an individual application.

The university does use certain SAT Subject Tests for placement. Scores are used to determine which university courses are appropriate for entering students.

High School Coursework

When making admission decisions, we look positively upon students who show their commitment to academics by taking the most rigorous coursework available to them. Level of coursework taken is considered in context with the availability of coursework in your high school.

Visit the Required High School Courses page for details.

Personal Achievement

Written Essays

Your two essays offer an opportunity for you to provide insight about what matters to you. Use the essays you submit to show off your skill as a writer but also to display your creativity and your ability to think through issues and problems.

Take the time needed to write clearly and reflectively. Your essays will be read and reviewed holistically (rather than with a red pen in hand) to evaluate the quality of your writing and to uncover personal information about you.

For help in writing your essays, visit the Hints & Tips page.

Activities Information (Your Resume)

One indicator of likely college success is the extent of a student’s involvement in his or her community. As a result, it’s important for your resume information to show your long-term commitment to and leadership in extracurricular activities, community service, and work and employment experiences. Include details about your talents, honors and awards.

We encourage you to submit an expanded resume if you need to do so to provide us with a complete picture of your activities.


Although not required for a complete application, sometimes a well-written recommendation from someone who knows you well can enhance your application. Such recommendations can provide additional information about your personal and academic achievements or about things you may not have been able to tell us about yourself. Applicants who don't submit recommendations are not penalized.

Special Circumstances

What are special circumstances?

Special circumstances in an applicant’s life sometimes help an application reviewer to get a clearer picture of the applicant’s qualifications. The special circumstances we consider include:

  • Socioeconomic status of family
  • Single parent home
  • Language spoken at home
  • Family responsibilities
  • Overcoming adversity
  • Cultural background
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Other information in the file

How to tell us about special circumstances

If you’d like us to consider a special circumstance in your life, you may submit Essay S or send us a letter detailing your situation.

If you’d prefer that someone else tell us about the circumstances, have that person write a letter on your behalf. Sometimes a letter from a doctor or a counselor is also appropriate when communicating details about an individual situation.

Updated Thu, 2013-07-11 07:45 | Top

Ask Admissions

Contact us

The University of Texas at Austin
Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 8058
Austin, TX 78713-8058

More contacts and locations