How to Get Into UT Austin - Admission Requirements & Tips

May 21, 2024
8 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/21/24

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

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 32nd among top national universities and 9th 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: 31%

UT Austin’s acceptance rate is 31%, making admission highly competitive. In a recent cycle, only about 18,000 students were accepted out of about 60,000 applicants. To ensure you stand out from the other applicants, you’ll need to put together a well-thought-out application.

Here’s some more info about UT Austin’s acceptance rate trends: 

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2023-24 66,109 N/A 31%
2022-23 59,767 18,770 31.4%
2021-22 66,043 18,989 28.8%
2020-21 57,241 18,291 31.95%

How Hard Is It to Get Into UT Austin?

It is not easy to get in, as UT Austin has a 31% acceptance rate. As a Public Ivy, 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 Statistics

UT Austin Average GPA: 3.84

UT Austin’s average GPA is 3.84. However, there’s no minimum GPA requirement to apply. 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. You should aim for the highest GPA you can achieve. 

UT Austin Average SAT Score: 1360

The average SAT score of incoming UT Austin students ranges between 1230 and 1480. This means that the median SAT score would be around 1360. 

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.

UT Austin Average ACT Score: 32

Successful students at UT Austin had ACT scores in the range of 29-34. This makes the average ACT score 32. If you have an ACT score that falls in the upper half of those ranges or higher, submitting it could favor you. Make sure you prepare well to get a competitive score. 

Getting these high SAT/ACT scores requires the right tools and prep. Here are former Dartmouth admissions member Dominique's five tips for acing your test:

“Step one is always, always, always take a diagnostic test. Usually, students go in undecided, not sure what they want to take. The biggest thing that you really, really need to do in this first round is take it super seriously. Pretend it is test day; time yourself, sit somewhere where you're going to be able to focus where you have no distractions; really get a good sense of what it is like.”
“Create a study plan and stick with it. Taking time to sit down and write down or write in your Google calendar dedicating some time slots to take those practice exams or to do questions is going to make a difference in moving forward." 
“Identify your weak areas. The biggest thing is don't waste your time doing things you already know how to do.”
“Burnout is real. It's okay to take a step back and to rest, re-energize, and start again the next day, but the important thing is that you're at least continuing to try to study and review these concepts."
“Work with someone who knows what they're doing. Even if you're able to just hire someone and work with them for two, three sessions to go through that diagnostic test with them and break everything down.”

What is UT Austin Looking For In Applicants? 

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. 

Here’s some more info from their Common Data Set on how UT Austin evaluates applications:

Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Rigor of secondary school record X
Class rank X
Academic GPA X
Standardized test scores X
Application essay X
Recommendation X

Non-Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Interview X
Extracurricular activities X
Talent/ability X
Character/personal qualities X
First generation X
Alumni/ae relation X
Geographical residence X
State residency X
Religious affiliation/commitment X
Volunteer work X
Work experience X
Level of applicant’s interest X

UT Austin Admissions Requirements 

Getting into UT Austin requires impressive scores. Competitive applicants have SAT scores of at least 1480, ACT scores of 34-35, and GPAs above 3.84. On top of stellar scores, successful applicants tend to excel in their program-related courses and have memorable essays!

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. 

Your application must include the following:

  • $75 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:

UT Austin Application Deadlines

An important aspect of applying to college is staying on top of key deadlines. Here are some important dates you’ll need to know when applying to UT Austin. 

Application Step Deadline
Applications open August 1
Priority deadline to apply November 1
Regular deadline to apply December 5
Priority decisions released February 1
All decisions released March 1

UT Austin Regular Decision Deadline

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

UT Austin Priority Deadline

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. 

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. 

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.

How to Improve Your Chances of 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. Despite this, we’ve helped countless students become Longhorns and receive acceptance letters just like this:

Here are some tried and true tips to help increase your chances of getting into this college!

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

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. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this complex process alone! Our team of counselors knows exactly how to make your application stand out and tell your unique story. Take it from Carter, a recent UT Austin admit:

With so much advice out there, Carter felt overwhelmed and unsure of which advice he could count on. After meeting his admissions expert, he knew he could count on her.

According to him, with a counselor on your side, “you essentially get what is the best of all worlds—you get that conventional wisdom that is then applied to your own personal applications across the board, and you have such a large support system. It really is unique in the college admissions space.”

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.

You’ll also be required to answer several short answer prompts in no more than 40 lines or about 250-300 words (about one paragraph). Here are the prompts: 

  • “Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?
  • Describe how your experiences, perspectives, talents, and/or your involvement in leadership activities (at your school, job, community or within your family) will help you to make an impact both in and out of the classroom while enrolled at UT.
  • The core purpose of The University of Texas at Austin is, ‘To Transform Lives for the Benefit of Society.’ Please share how you believe your experience at UT Austin will prepare you to ‘Change the World’ after you graduate.”
  • Optional: “Please share background on events or special circumstances that you feel may have impacted your high school academic performance.” 

Looking for some inspiration to get started on your essays? Use our free tool to explore over 190 successful supplemental essays:

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 32nd best national university by U.S. News and World Report. It also ranks 9th in top public schools.

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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