After UT Austin received 66,043 applications in 2021, a growing number of prospective students are keeping the UT Austin admissions team busy. And it’s no secret as to why: because of its standout programs in Architecture, Business, and Geology, coupled with its location smack in the middle of one of the best places to live in the US, more and more high schoolers are asking how to get into UT. It’s no surprise then that the school is becoming increasingly competitive, with the UT Austin Acceptance rate being 29%.
If you’re planning to apply, then this guide to the UT Austin admission requirements will help you understand how to craft a standout UT Austin application.
TABLE OF CONTENTS(click to skip ahead)
- How hard is it to get into UT Austin?
- UT Austin acceptance rate
- UT Austin GPA Requirements
- UT Austin SAT Score Requirements
- UT Austin ACT Score Requirements
- What does UT Austin look for in students?
- UT Austin Application Deadlines
- UT Austin Supplemental Essay Prompts
- UT Austin Essay Tips
- UT Austin Major-specific Supplemental Essays
How hard is it to get into UT Austin?
It is very difficult to get accepted to UT Austin. People who successfully get into UT Austin tend to have impressive extracurricular activities, with roughly 80% of applicants having held at least one leadership role in a high school organization or activity. In addition to that, roughly 9% of the class of 2025 was the valedictorian or salutatorian of their high school. So if you get a group of ten Longhorns together, chances are pretty good that one of them was a top performer at their high school.
UT Austin Acceptance Rate
The UT Austin acceptance rate is 29%, making it a fairly competitive school. Acceptance rate is an indication of how competitive a school is, but it is also an indication of how popular a school is. To get into a school like Austin, you will need to excel in almost every major college application factor.
UT Austin Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision, and Transfer Acceptance Rate
UT Austin doesn’t offer early action or early decision admissions—though it does offer a “priority deadline” of Nov. 1. UT Austin doesn’t release data on whether students who submit by the priority deadline are accepted at a higher rate, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to apply early. UT Austin’s regular decision acceptance rate is 29% because it received 66,043 applications and accepted 18,989 students. UT Austin is a widely popular school to apply to, and is getting more popular with each passing year.
The Transfer acceptance rate is 29% because it received 7,966 applications and accepted 2,306 students.
UT Austin GPA Requirements
The GPA requirements data for UT aren’t publicly available, but it’s safe to assume you will need a very high GPA (as in, 3.5 - 4.0 unweighted), and will likely want to be graduating well within the top half of your class in order to get into UT Austin. If your GPA is lower than suggested at the time you apply, you may have to perform above average on your standardized tests. If your grades aren’t as high as they could have been due to life experiences or hardship, you should consider writing about it in your additional information section.
UT Austin SAT Requirements
The SAT requirements for UT Austin are a 1230 to 1480 composite score, combining the reading and math sections together. You will need a very high SAT score in order to get into UT Austin. If your SAT is lower than suggested at the time you apply, you may have to perform above average on your other standardized tests or have spectacular extracurricular activities to compensate. If your grades aren’t as high as they could have been due to life experiences or hardship, you should consider writing about it in your additional information section.
|UT Austin SAT Distribution||Reading||Math|
What SAT score is required for UT Austin?
While not strictly a requirement, applicants should score between 1300 to 1400 on their SAT to be strong candidates for admission to UT. Having less than this will require compensating by using a substitute ACT score or having an above-average GPA. Though SAT or ACT scores are not required for admission to UT Austin, they are encouraged.
UT Austin ACT Requirements
The ACT requirements for UT are a 30 composite score combining all English, mathematics, reading, and science sections. You will need a very high ACT score in order to get into Austin. If your ACT is not what you’d hoped by the time you apply, you may have to make it up by having an above-average grade point average. If your ACT wasn’t as high as you’d like because of difficulties or hardship, you should consider writing about it in your additional information section.
UT Austin Average ACT: 30
|UT Austin ACT Distribution||Composite Score|
What ACT score is required for UT Austin?
Applicants should score between 28 and 32 on their ACT to be strong candidates for admission to this school. Having less than this will require compensating by using a substitute SAT score or having an above-average GPA.
What does UT Austin look for in students?
The biggest thing UT Austin focuses on is a genuine commitment to their core values. Sure, competitive grades and test scores will help your chances, but here’s the thing: even applicants with those impressive numbers have gotten rejected. So how do you stand out? Show how you and UT will make a great team.
But you might be asking, “how do I know if me and UT fit together?”
Start by exploring UT Austin’s mission and values, both through its mission statement and through what it outlines in its vision and goals. You might notice, for example, that a lot of the language they use in their mission and vision center on the public good. They talk about their work being for “the benefit of society” and a desire to be “a catalyst for positive change in Texas and beyond.” Reading between the lines there, you can glean that UT wants students who “achieve excellence” not merely for its own sake, but for a greater, more societal purpose.
How do you see yourself aligning with this mission and these values? What parts of your story demonstrate that you have already worked toward these things, and that UT Austin is the place for you to take your next steps? How will you and the UT community make great partners in trying to solve the world’s problems?
How else can you demonstrate that you and UT Austin fit together? Think about your answers to these questions:
Have you taken on some level of public responsibility in the past? Maybe you’ve led some change or initiative in your school or community? How can you let UT Austin know that?
Where have you taken initiative in your education, and how will you continue to do so?
Where have you explored your earnest love of learning? Where have you pursued something for the sake of your own curiosity?
How and why have you supported your community?
UT Austin Application Deadlines
The UT Austin application deadline for regular decision is December 1. Note that although UT Austin does not offer Early Action or Early Decision, they do offer a priority deadline. The priority deadline for UT Austin is November 1. Below is a table showing the deadlines for each of the steps of the UT Austin admissions process.
|Notification Plan||Application Material||Application Deadline|
|Priority Deadline||Submit Test Scores||November 9|
|Priority Deadline||Submit Application and Financial Aid Application||November 1|
|Priority Deadline||Admissions Decisions Released||February 1|
|Regular Decision||Submit Test Scores||December 9|
|Regular Decision||Submit Application||December 1|
|Regular Decision||Submit Financial Aid Application (if still pending)||January 15|
|Regular Decision||Admissions Decisions Released||March 1|
UT Austin Early Decision, Early Action Policy
UT Austin does not have an Early Decision or an Early Action admissions process. It does, however, offer a priority deadline. Applying by the priority deadline enables applicants to receive their admissions decision one month sooner than those who applied by the regular decision deadline.
UT Austin Supplemental Essay Prompts
To complete UT’s supplemental essay requirements, applicants must write responses to four short answer questions, each being 250-300 words. In addition, applicants are invited to fill out an “expanded resume.” This is optional, but we encourage you to complete one. The prompts are below, and you can find an in-depth guide to writing essays for them at the UT Austin supplemental essay guide.
Topic A: Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today? (500-700 words)
Required Short Answer 1: Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major? (maximum 40 lines, or approximately 250-300 words, typically the length of one paragraph)
Required Short Answer 2: 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. (maximum 40 lines, or approximately 250-300 words)
Required Short Answer 3: 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. (maximum 40 lines, or approximately 250-300 words)
Required Short Answer 4: Please share background on events or special circumstances that you feel may have impacted your high school academic performance, including the possible effects of COVID-19 (maximum 40 lines, or approximately 250-300 words)
OPTIONAL (BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) EXPANDED RESUME
You may choose to submit an expanded résumé offering additional information about all of your achievements, activities, leadership positions, and student employment.
UT Austin Essay Tips
Though the number of supplemental essays may be overwhelming at first glance, take solace in the fact that they’re fairly common questions. They’re pretty much variations on these popular themes: “Why major?”, “Why us?”, “Community”, and “Covid”. This is especially good news if you’re writing supplemental essays for multiple schools, because it means you’ll likely be able to combine aspects of your supplemental prompts responses.
No matter which short answer question you’re responding to, it will be important that you’re crystal clear on how your values align with those of UT Austin. Social responsibility and academic excellence are recurring ideas amongst their core values and mission statement, so you’d do well to focus on specific ways you’ve embodied those ideas in your own life. Ultimately, they’re looking for applicants who are interested in contributing to the mission of the school, so the more clearly you can show how you will do so, the better.
UT Austin Major-specific Supplemental Essays
If you’re interested in applying to the UT Schools of Architecture, Art History, Nursing, or Social Work, you’ll have to write an additional essay, too. The requirements for each essay are detailed below:
College of Fine Arts, Department of Art and Art history
In 500 words or less, please tell us about a time when an artwork, artist or art teacher impacted your life. How did this inspire you to pursue an education in the arts?
School of Architecture
Inherent in the design disciplines the capacity to impact the world around us. What does the opportunity to develop such capacity mean to you and your approach to your college education? Please limit your response to 250-300 words.
School of Nursing
Discuss the factors that have influenced your desire to pursue a career in Nursing.
How have your academic and extracurricular activities prepared you to pursue a degree in Nursing?
Steve Hicks School of Social Work
Discuss the reasons you chose Social Work as your first-choice major and how a Social Work degree from UT will prepare you for the future.
Special thanks to Nick for writing this blog post.