High School Prerequisites

Freshman applicants must complete or be on track to complete certain high school coursework to be competitive for admission. The prerequisites are listed below. Keep in mind, dual credit courses taken in high school count towards meeting these requirements.

Coursework Requirements

Students who do not meet the required coursework may be instructed to submit additional information, or may be required to complete coursework related to their deficiency before enrolling to the University.

Language Arts (4 Credits Required)

  • English I and II for Speakers of Other Languages (SOL) may be substituted for English I and II only for students with limited English proficiency; SOL courses may not be used to substitute for English III or IV.
  • One of the four courses may be focused on writing, world literature, speech, communication applications or journalism.

Mathematics (4 Credits Strongly Recommended, 3 Credits Required)

  • All courses should be at the level of Algebra I or higher; one course should be Algebra II (or a course equivalent or more advanced in content and rigor).
  • Informal geometry and pre-algebra are below-achievement-level courses and may not be counted toward the mathematics requirement; they may be counted as electives (see below).

Science (4 Credits Strongly Recommended, 2 Credits Required)

  • One course in biology, one course in physics and one course chemistry are suggested.

Social Studies (4 Credits Recommended, 3 Credits Required)

  • Select from anthropology, area studies, ethnic studies, economics (with emphasis on the free enterprise system), geography, government (civics), philosophy, social science, psychology, sociology, Texas history, U.S. history, world history and work/study programs.

Foreign Language (2 Credits Required)

  • Both credits should be related to the study of a single foreign language.
  • For purposes of the requirement, American Sign Language and computer science are considered foreign languages.

Physical Education (1 Credit Recommended)

  • Any general physical education course counts, as do the following: drill team, marching band, cheerleading, ROTC, athletics, dance, approved private programs, and certain career and technical education courses.

Fine Arts (1 Credit Recommended)

  • Theatre arts, art, music or dance are strongly recommended.

Electives (6 Credits Recommended)

  • Students are encouraged to take demanding coursework, going beyond the level required.
  • Acceptable courses include vocational and other subjects.

Uniform Admissions Policy

If you attend a public high school in Texas and believe you qualify for automatic admission, you must submit a transcript that indicates that you are pursuing or have completed the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation High School Program (basic Foundation High School Program if not eligible for automatic admissions) as defined in the state’s Uniform Admission Policy.

Private High School Students

If you attend a private high school in Texas (or a Department of Defense high school), have your school counselor fill out the Texas Private High School Certification form to claim an exemption to the policy.

You may also claim an exemption based on test scores. Your official SAT score must be at least a 1070 (combined critical reading and math) with a minimum of 500 on critical reading on tests taken prior to March 2016, or a minimum of 480 on evidence-based reading and writing and 530 on math on tests taken in March 2016 or later. Alternatively, your official ACT scores must meet ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks.

Calculus Readiness Requirement

Freshmen applicants must demonstrate calculus readiness to apply to the following majors:

  1. All majors in the Cockrell School of Engineering
  2. All majors in the Jackson School of Geosciences
  3. Environmental Science (Geographical Sciences) major in the College of Liberal Arts
  4. Environmental Science (Biological Sciences) major in the College of Natural Sciences

You can demonstrate calculus readiness by submitting one of the following by the applicable admissions deadline. Please note that these calculus readiness markers do not always exempt you from taking additional math placement exams for enrollment in calculus.


What are the calculus readiness markers we consider?

The following will count as readiness for admissions purposes:

  • SAT Math score of 620 or above
  • ACT Math score of 26 or above
  • Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB or BC test score of 3 or higher
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) HL or SL Mathematics score of 4 or higher
  • Official college or university transcript showing credit for a college-level Calculus I (or higher) course with a grade of B or higher
  • Official high school transcript showing credit for a Calculus I (or higher) course with a grade of B or higher
  • UT Math Assessment (UTMA) score of 70 or higher.

*Make sure to have your SAT, ACT, AP or IB scores sent to UT Austin if you’re planning to use your test scores as proof of calculus readiness. If you are using earned college credit, we need your official college transcript showing the credit.

How to take the UT Math Assessment (UTMA)

Applicants who have been identified by the Office of Admissions as not having met the markers above will receive FREE access to the UTMA via their UT EID and password. The final deadline to prove readiness for admissions purposes is December 15.

Access the UTMA Here

How to take the UTMA:

  1. Log into Quest to access the UTMA. You will have access to learning modules, a warm up exercise and the UTMA itself.
  2. When you’re ready to take the assessment, click on the UTMA module to begin. You will need access to a webcam. This is how the exam is proctored.
  3. Scores will automatically be sent to the Office of Admissions within 48 hours. Be sure to take the test with enough time for the scores to arrive on time.

If you scored a 70 or higher, you’ve successfully proven math readiness not only for Admissions purposes but also for Calculus should you go to UT Austin! If you scored less than a 70, you have one more chance to take the UTMA.

For additional questions regarding the UTMA, please contact readiness@cns.utexas.edu.