How to Get Into UT Austin - Admission Requirements & Tips

Austin, TX
September 8, 2023
12 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 9/8/23

Wondering how to get into UT Austin? Here is everything you need to know to apply for the University of Texas, Austin! 

Two students smiling and talking

The University of Texas at Austin, or UT Austin for short, is a well-known university in the U.S. that offers excellent education. According to U.S. News and World Report, UT Austin is very highly ranked, landing at 38th among top national universities, 29th in best undergraduate teaching, and 10th in top public schools. It is one of the best colleges in the southwest.

If you are interested in this school, this article will tell you everything you need to know about how to get into UT Austin. 

UT Austin Acceptance Rate

UT Austin’s acceptance rate sits at 26.11%, making admission highly competitive. To ensure you stand out from the other applicants, you’ll need to put together a very well-thought-out application.

UT Austin Yield Rate

UT Austin’s yield rate, or enrollment rate, is 46.79%, about 20% higher than the acceptance rate.

How Hard Is It to Get Into UT Austin?

It is not easy to get in, as UT Austin is one of the more competitive schools in the U.S. Many admitted first-year students are some of the top students in their respective high school classes. Hence, UT Austin has high requirements for students looking to be admitted.

UT Austin Admissions Requirements 

There are two ways for college applicants to complete and submit their applications: Common Application or ApplyTexas. No matter which you choose, the requirements and review process for the application will be the same. UT Austin has no preferences; you may select the one more convenient. 

For summer and fall applications, the Common App and ApplyTexas open on August 1st. The spring application opens by March 1st. After your submission, you will receive a confirmation email containing your UT EID and MyStatus information to check your application status and next steps. 

For Common App and ApplyTexas, the processing time is two to three business days if you submit after September 1st. For applications submitted before then, you’ll get a confirmation of submission email by September 1st.

Your application must include the following:

  • Application fee
  • Essay
  • Short answer prompts
  • Your high school transcripts and class rank
  • Any college transcripts

In addition, there are a few other things that may be required depending on the situation:

Here are more details for each:

UT Austin GPA Requirements

UT Austin doesn’t have any GPA requirements for applying. Students can apply with any GPA score and anything else that plays a factor in deciding admissions. However, just because there are no requirements doesn’t mean admission isn’t competitive. For reference, UT Austin’s average GPA is 3.84.

UT Austin SAT/ACT Requirements

The SAT and ACT are completely optional for applying to UT Austin this Fall. If you wish to submit an SAT or ACT score, ensure it is high enough to make you look good.

Currently, the average SAT score for the admitted freshman ranges between 1230-1480, whereas the average ACT score ranges between 29-34. If you have an SAT or ACT score that falls in the upper half of those ranges or higher, submitting an ACT or SAT score could favor you.

Application Fee

The fee for applying is $75.00 for domestic applicants and $90.00 for international applications. This application fee is non-refundable. 

Short Answer Prompts

Common App or ApplyTexas applications will include short answer prompts that you are required to answer. Answers for each question are limited to at least 40 lines, which is about 250 to 300 words.

Your High School Transcript and Class Rank

All applicants must have at least one official transcript documenting all coursework undertaken during their high school career, the grades they’ve received, and their class rank. If your high school does not rank students, a statement from your school describing its policy, a copy of the school’s profile, and a GPA or grade distribution report are needed.

For international applicants, your official transcript must show that you’ve completed an accredited secondary school series equivalent to a U.S. high school. It must contain all your secondary school work and grades, starting with ninth grade and continuing through at least the end of 11th grade. 

Furthermore, if you’ve taken any important official examinations administered by a foreign international high school, you should also include copies. This includes graduation examinations and external exams such as the General Certificate of Education (GCE) “O” and “A” level examinations.

If your transcript is in a non-English language, you must also submit the complete and official English translations and the original non-English records. 

Any College Transcripts

If you have earned college credit (including dual credit) during your studies in high school, you must send an official and complete academic record that includes all your earned credits and a transcript that documents all coursework you did. 

Major-Related Documents

Some majors require you to submit additional items, so check the prerequisites to ensure you have everything needed. For example, you must submit documents proving calculus readiness for engineering, environmental and geographical sciences, biological sciences, and more.

Some Fine Arts programs also require applicants to complete auditions or submit portfolios and answers to additional short answer prompts specifically to the program. Specific requirements can be found on the official UT Austin websites, so make sure you’re fully prepared.

Permanent Resident Card

The permanent resident card is only a requirement for non-U.S. citizens with permanent resident status in the United States. If you match that description, you need to submit a copy of the front of your permanent resident card. You can do this once you’ve gained access to MyStatus after submitting your application.


If you’re an international applicant who does not satisfy either of these conditions: 

  • Come from a country where English is the sole official language and the primary conversational language of the country.
  • Graduated from a high school in the U.S. or in a country where English is the only official language after completing at least three years of study.

Then you must submit either an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score report that reflects whether you match the language and communication requirements. TOEFL iBT is preferred over IELTS. 

The minimum score acceptable for admission for the TOEFL is 79, and the IELTS is 6.5.

Please be aware that institutional TOEFL (ITP) scores or IELTS General Training scores are unacceptable. 

Expanded Resume

You can submit an expanded resume that documents additional information about your skills, achievements, activities, and employment or volunteering experiences. This is an excellent opportunity to convey additional important information that your other documents didn’t provide. If you submit a resume, you should include the following:

  • Details about what each activity involved instead of a general description.
  • A short list of your responsibilities and achievements (and once again, be specific!)
  • The amount of time you spent on each activity.

Ensure you paint the full picture when discussing past experiences and achievements so the admission committee has all the information. 

Letters of Recommendation

You may submit up to two optional letters of recommendation with your admission application. These letters may be from teachers, mentors, counselors, tutors, or people who know you well, either inside or outside your high school. 

Letters or recommendations should be able to give additional context or information to support your admission that is not already provided in your application or submitted documents. They should be written by those who know you well, so the information they provide is beneficial enough.

What Does UT Austin Look For In Students?

UT Austin looks for students who are not only academically excellent but also well-rounded people. They use a holistic review approach that takes into account any supplementary materials such as special accomplishments, achievements, and awards that demonstrate how you might contribute to the school community.

UT Austin Essay Prompts

All applicants must submit a required essay, either Topic A in ApplyTexas or the UT Austin required essay in the Common App application, depending on which platform you choose to submit your application with. Here is the essay topic for this year’s Summer/Fall and Spring applications: 

“Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?”

No matter which platform you choose to submit your essay and application, you should keep your essay between 500 to 700 words.

UT Austin Application Process and Deadlines

For regular application, students should submit the online application by December 1 and all additional required or optional application items by December 8. 

UT Austin also has a priority application that is only open to U.S. applicants. The deadline for priority application is November 1 for submitting the online application and November 8 for submitting all additional required or optional application items. 

Due to Texas law, applicants who are in the top 6% of their high school classes for this year’s summer/fall and spring are given automatic admission.

When Does UT Austin Release Decisions? 

UT Austin will release regular application decisions by March 1 to students who submit everything required before the corresponding deadlines.

Students who submit everything required before the priority deadlines will receive their admission decision by February 1, exactly one month earlier than regular applicants receive their decisions. However, on top of acceptance and rejection, priority applicants can get deferred, where they’ll be put in the regular applicant and evaluated again. 

UT Austin Tuition and Fees

UT Austin prides itself on providing “world-class education at an affordable cost.” Here is a table for Fall/Spring full-time undergraduates:

Expense Residents Living Alone Residents Who Live With Parents Non-Resident
Tuition $10,858-$13,576 $10,858-$13,576 $38,650-$46,498
Room and Board $13,058-$13,280 $4,170 $13,280
Transportation $1,618 $1,618 $1,618
Books and Supplies $724 $724 $724
Personal / Miscellaneous $3,148 $3,148 $3,148
Total Cost of Attendance $29,406-$32,346 $20,518-$23,236 $57,420-$65,268

Source:UT Austin

Tips for Getting Into UT Austin

So now you know the procedure on how to get into UT Austin, but how to successfully get into the school? UT Austin is quite a competitive school with a relatively low acceptance rate. Here are some tips to help increase your chances of getting into UT Austin!

Do Well on Courses Related to Your Program

Getting your GPA high is crucial to showcase your academic performance, but don’t just dive head first into getting high grades! The grades for courses that are more relevant to the subject of the program you applied for play a heavier role in your admission chances than other courses, as they reflect your abilities in that subject area.

For example, if you applied for an applied calculus program, then your mathematics grade is much more important than your art grade. This is because applied calculus is an advanced subsection of the field of mathematics, so your mathematics course showcases your competencies that are more relevant to applied calculus. 

Doing well in related courses also demonstrates passion and interest in the program. It shows the admission committee that you are willing to strive and go the extra mile to do well in that subject area. 

Write a Great Essay

Someone writing an essay

An application essay is your chance to tell the admission committee everything you want them to know about yourself. You can imagine that you’re directly conversing with the admission committee, describing your achievements, goals, skills and interests,  experiences, and anything else about yourself.

A successful essay answers the prompt in a way that makes you stand out amongst applicants and reflects that you show the qualities the school is looking for. Knowing what to write to achieve this relies on a lot of deep self-reflection. 

Think about this. In what ways do you stand out? What do you think you have that makes you different from others? What do you have that is different from your peers? 

One way to make yourself stand out is to write a story. Think about an experience, something you learned, or a major change that shaped who you are today and made you passionate about your education and future goals. Include details to paint a full picture. 

Another thing is to pay attention to what the university is looking for. According to UT Austin’s official website: “The University of Texas at Austin looks for applicants with a genuine commitment to its core values—learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity and responsibility.” 

In what ways do you have what they look for? Is it your passion? Your goals? Your abilities? Your personality? As mentioned before, showing you harbor the traits they want to see in an applicant is also recommended.

Increase Your Chances With Optional Materials

It is important to focus on making the mandatory documents as good as you can. But, if you want to maximize your chances, you should also spend time on optional documents, as a lot of them can be very valuable to your application and offer a boost you may need!

For instance, getting a high score on the SAT or ACT showcases your academic abilities in many areas, including but not limited to the following: 

  • Mathematical capabilities
  • Scientific capabilities
  • Reading comprehension and speed
  • Written communication
  • English language rules (such as grammar and syntax)
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Numerical reasoning

Letters of recommendation are important because they let the admission committee see who you are through the eyes of a trusted third party, such as a teacher or a counselor. Thus, letters are a way to make you look great. 

FAQs: Getting Into UT Austin

Hopefully, you have a better picture of what it takes to get into UT Austin. If you still need some clarification on how to get into UT Austin, check out our frequently asked questions. 

1. What is UT Austin Known For?

UT Austin is known for its leadership in computer science, entrepreneurship, engineering, and energy. It is currently ranked the 38th best national university by U.S. News and World Report. It also ranks 10th in top public schools, 14th in most innovative schools, and 7th in best business programs.

2. How Hard Is It to Transfer to UT Austin?

UT Austin’s transfer acceptance rate is 23.91%. The transfer application process, both internal and external, is very competitive and requires a high-quality application in order for you to be considered.

3. What Is the GPA Required for UT Austin?

UT Austin does not have any requirements related to GPA for application. Students may apply with any GPA they have. 

4. How Can I Increase My Chances of Getting Into UT Austin?

Do well in your courses, write your essay well, and make sure you have a vibrant profile that matches what UT Austin values. You can also use the optional documents to your advantage, as they can help you with the value they offer. 

5. Can I Get Into UT Austin With No Extracurriculars?

You can, but it is not recommended. Extracurricular activities show who you are outside of the classroom, which the admission committee values a lot. Thus, your extracurricular activities offer crucial information about who you are outside of academics. 

Extracurricular activities can serve as experiences or examples that showcase your personality, skills, growth, how you handled situations, and more. It can also be a great source for things to write about in your personal statements. So, getting into extracurriculars is highly recommended. 

Final Thoughts

UT Austin is a great school that offers many educational programs and degrees, each providing a promising future career for its students. If UT Austin is on your list of schools to apply to, this article has given you everything you need to know for the application process. Best wishes!

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