University of Texas at Austin – Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements

The University of Texas at Austin is a public flagship research university. Located in the heart of the city, UT Austin’s urban campus spans a vast 431 acres, with 18 different colleges/schools, 17 libraries, 7 museums, and 15 career centers. 

Founded in 1883, the school currently has a total enrollment of over 50,000 undergraduate students. 

Over the course of its 140-year long history, the school’s alumni network has grown to include over 482,000 graduates. 

The UT Austin community thus includes over half a million past and present students, plus over 3,000 faculty members.

With 156 undergraduate degree programs in over 170 areas of study, 237 graduate and doctoral degree programs, and a total of over 12,000 different course offerings, UT Austin provides a broad, diverse array of opportunities for its students. 

Notable alumni include astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson, Academy Award-winning director Wes Anderson, singer-songwriter Janis Joplin, and Kevin Durant, NBA player for the Brooklyn Nets.

The school’s sports teams, called the longhorns, compete in the NCAA Division I.

Read on to learn more about the University of Texas at Austin, including details about the admission process, acceptance rates, applications requirements, and more.

UT Austin Acceptance Rate

UT Austin
Public domain photo by Daderot via Wikimedia Commons

The acceptance rate for the 2020 admissions cycle for the University of Texas at Austin was 31.8%, making the school highly selective. 

However, it is essential to note that UT Austin automatically accepts any students who are in the top 6% of their graduating class at a high school in the state of Texas. 

Additionally, Texas state law mandates that 90% of UT Austin’s student body must consist of state residents.

Because of this law and the automatic acceptance process, a sizable portion of the applicant pool has a 100% chance of being admitted to the school. This artificially inflates the acceptance rate for all other students. 

During the 2020 admissions cycle, UT Austin received 57,000 first-year applications.

About 36,000 applicants were in-state, while around 21,200 were out-of-state students. 

Of the 36,000 in-state applicants, 13,700 were admitted automatically, while the remaining 22,300 were reviewed in the school’s holistic admissions process. 

Only 2,300 of the 22,3000 in-state applicants not eligible for automatic admission were accepted, while the other 20,000 Texas resident applicants were rejected.

This means that UT Austin’s acceptance rate for in-state applicants who are not automatically admitted is only 10.3%. 

UT Austin Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate for out-of-state applicants for the first-year class of 2024 at UT Austin was 8%. 

Of the 57,2000 total applicants, 21,200 were from out-of-state. All UT Austin applicants who are not Texas residents are subject to holistic review, regardless of class rank or any other qualifications. 

1,700 of these out-of-state students were offered admission, while the other 19,500 applicants were rejected, which matches the calculated 8% out-of-state acceptance rate previously mentioned.  

On top of this, UT Austin gives 500 recruited athletes special consideration in the admissions process, regardless of whether they are from in-state or out-of-state. 

This means that this group of athletes is generally accepted at higher rates than other out-of-state applicants.   

GPA for UT Austin

UT Austin
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

The average high school GPA of first-year students who are admitted to UT Austin is 3.8. In other words, in order to be a competitive applicant, students should earn mostly As in high school, with very few Bs. 

This high standard puts UT Austin in fourth place in the rankings for the highest average GPA for incoming freshmen among all colleges in Texas. 

75% of UT Austin first-year students were in the top 10% of their graduating class, while 91% were in the top 25%. 

This means that an overwhelming majority of those who get accepted to UT Austin fall within the upper quartile of their high school class, indicating that admission to the college is very selective.  

That being said, UT Austin does not explicitly require a specific minimum high school GPA for undergraduate applicants. 

On the other hand, in order to be eligible for admission consideration for one of the school’s graduate degree programs, applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent foreign degree program with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

Those who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may still submit an application if they also submit a letter to the school explaining why the GPA they earned is not reflective of their academic potential. 

SAT & ACT Requirements 

SAT or ACT test scores are not required for the fall 2022 UT Austin application cycle. This decision was made in order to ensure that difficulties with standardized test-taking due to the COVID-19 pandemic do not affect the ability of prospective students to apply to the school.

When filling out UT Austin’s online application, students can indicate whether or not they would like to submit test scores to be considered as part of their application. Students who choose to submit optionally test scores must do so by the application deadline. 

These optional SAT or ACT score submissions can serve as one among the many items considered in the holistic application review process at UT Austin. 

The school has stated that standardized test scores are just one of many ways for students to demonstrate their academic potential, so those who feel as though their test scores indicate good academic performance are encouraged to submit them. 

It is unknown whether UT Austin will require SAT or ACT score submission for first-year students for the fall 2023 application cycle and beyond.

Other Requirements and Admission Tips

UT Austin Waggener Hall
Michael Barera, University of Texas at Austin (Waggener Hall), CC BY-SA 4.0

The University of Texas at Austin application can be completed through the Coalition Application or the ApplyTexas application. 

There is a nonrefundable $75 application fee due at the time of applying, although fee waivers are also available. For international students, the application fee is $90. 

The application includes some short answer prompts that applicants must answer along with an essay.

Applicants must submit an official high school transcript, including all completed coursework and their class rank. 

Students who have earned college credits while in high school through AP classes or dual enrollment must send a request to their previous institution to send their official transcript for the credits earned directly to UT Austin. 

Additional required materials vary depending on the applicant’s intended major, as some programs of study have different prerequisites. 

Students are required to submit any additional items required for the majors they indicate as their first and second choice on their application. 

Essays for UT Austin

The University of Texas at Austin requires that prospective first-year students complete one essay as part of their application bundle. The essay is to be between 500 and 700 words in length, which is about two to three paragraphs.

The essay topic for the fall and spring of 2022 prompted applicants to tell their story, including any unique challenges or opportunities they have experienced during high school and how those experiences have shaped who they are at the time of applying. 

The essay can be found under topic A in ApplyTexas or on the Coalition Application.

Students have a few options to submit the completed essay for review by UT Austin admissions. For those using ApplyTexas or the Coalition Application, the essay can be submitted in conjunction with the rest of the application information.

Alternatively, the essay can be submitted using the document upload system available through the student’s UT Austin MyStatus account or mailing a paper copy to the Office of Admissions. 

However, these two methods are not the school’s preferred means of receiving the essay, so students are advised to utilize one of the former options.

Is UT Austin Right for You?

Austin ranks fifth on the US News and World Report’s most recent list of the 150 best places to live in the United States

It is the nation’s eleventh largest city, with current growth trends suggesting that it may break into the top ten in the near future. 

On top of that, the city of Austin is also ranked first for the best place to live in Texas. The Austin area has higher employment rates and an overall healthier job market than similar areas. The area is known to have a thriving, vibrant music scene. 

The well-renowned quality of life and lively urban atmosphere suggest that UT Austin students are likely to enjoy all the area has to offer. 

While only 8% of students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing, a 92% majority of the study body lives somewhere off-campus. 

UT Austin is, therefore, an excellent fit for those who prefer a bustling urban environment to the quieter, more self-contained community atmosphere that can be found at smaller rural schools.

Ultimately, deciding which college or university is the best fit for you depends on numerous factors, such as your preferred campus environment, your desired field of study, and what you want to get out of your undergraduate experience in general. 

Suppose you are excited by the prospect of becoming part of a large student body in a big city atmosphere and gaining access to an extensive range of academic resources. 

In that case, UT Austin certainly fits the bill for your collegiate future.