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Holistic Application Review

The Office of Admissions uses an individualized, holistic review process to consider each completed freshman application. Applications from students who qualify for automatic admission are reviewed to determine admission to specific colleges, schools and majors. Applications from students who are not eligible for automatic admission are reviewed to determine admissibility and to make decisions about admission to specific colleges, schools and majors.

The following items are considered during holistic review:

  • Class rank
  • Strength of academic background
  • Test scores*
  • Record of achievements, honors, and awards
  • Special accomplishments, work, and service both in and out of school
  • Essays
  • Special circumstances that put the applicant’s academic achievements into context, including his or her socioeconomic status, experience in a single parent home, family responsibilities, experience overcoming adversity, cultural background, race and ethnicity, the language spoken in the applicant’s home, and other information in the applicant’s file
  • Recommendations (although not required)
  • Competitiveness of the major to which the student applies

*Fall 2022 Undergraduate Admissions: The SAT and/or ACT requirement was suspended starting in Fall 2021 for undergraduate admission applications. This was continued for Fall 2022 and Fall 2023. Students are encouraged to submit standardized scores from their SAT and/or ACT tests for consideration within the holistic review process, but they will not be required to do so. Test scores, when provided, will continue to serve as just one of the many factors considered in our review of a student’s application.

No specific class rank, test score, or other qualification by itself—other than automatic admission based on section 51.803 of the Texas Education Code—ensures admission.

Admission decisions are made on the basis of the information submitted as part of the student’s application. Applicants who believe that supplemental items will help convey information about their qualifications are encouraged to submit such items with their applications. Supplemental items often included with applications are expanded résumés of accomplishments and extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and letters addressing an applicant’s special circumstances.

Transfer Applicants

Transfer applications, like freshman applications, undergo holistic review. But high school performance and SAT/ACT test scores are not considered. Instead, we look for:

  • Substantial coursework from a challenging academic institution
  • Evidence of relevant coursework and experiences related to your field of study
  • Required courses for specific areas of study
  • Evidence of a positive academic trend (GPA)

Certain transfer applicants may be eligible for automatic transfer admission.