Students are most successful in pursuit of a degree when they’re well-prepared for the field of study they enter. That’s why The University of Texas at Austin carefully and holistically reviews each student’s application when making admission decisions.
In making decisions, we also consider space available in each of the colleges and schools. This ensures students are able to get access to the classes they need to graduate on time—and can be why even very well qualified students are sometimes not admitted to the first-choice major they indicate on their applications.
It is possible, however, to apply to switch majors after starting your undergraduate career. This process is known as internal transfer, and is similar to the process of transferring to another university, as you must apply for admission to the college or school that houses the new major.
Competing for Admission to a New Major
If you decide you’d like to change your major after starting classes on the Forty Acres, you’ll compete against other Longhorns and against transfer applicants for admission to the new major.
The internal transfer process is highly competitive, especially for the Cockrell School of Engineering and the McCombs School of Business. Consideration is based on a holistic review of your academic performance and other materials you must submit.
Also, there are limits on when you can request a major change:
- Once you enroll—that is, start taking classes—you may not switch to another major for one academic year.
- Later in your academic career, after you’ve spent four or more long semesters (or completed 60 hours of coursework) in residence, you may no longer transfer internally. (In rare cases, the dean of a college or school may make an exception to this rule and grant you permission to apply for an internal transfer to one of its majors.)
Tips for Students Considering an Offer
If you’re weighing an offer of admission, consider the following:
- Be honest with yourself about your motivation. Enroll at the university only when you’re offered admission to a major in a field you’d like to study—not because you expect to find it easier to transfer internally to a competitive major. Space in those majors is very limited, and even students who perform extremely well may not gain admission to their major of choice.
- Take advantage of resources. Tools like Wayfinder exist to help you decide where your interests—and your strengths—lie.
- Talk to an advisor. Your admissions counselor can offer you guidance. You may also want to speak to an academic advisor in the Vick Center for Strategic Advising and Career Counseling. They’re here to help.
Tips for Students Interested in Internal Transfer
If you’re hoping to switch to a major in another college or school, do the following:
- Know the process. The university has published procedures for those seeking internal transfer. Become familiar with them.
- Be aware of transfer admission requirements. Most colleges and schools post information on their websites to inform prospective students of the credentials applicants need to be competitive in the transfer admission process. Review it so you know what you have to do to become a strong contender (and so you can decide whether you think it will be possible).
- Talk with your advisor. Advisors can work with you to decide on a class schedule that will help you pursue your goals while also staying on track for on-time graduation.