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General High School

Coursework Requirements

To be competitive for admission, freshman applicants must complete or be on track to complete certain high school coursework. (Yes, dual credit courses taken while in high school count.)

Language Arts (4 Credits)

  • 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) 

  • 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)

  • One course in biology and two in physics and chemistry are suggested.

Social Studies (4 Credits)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

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

Electives (6 Credits)

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

Other Eligible Applicants

Although failure to complete the required coursework may reduce your chances of admission—both to the university and to specific majors—applicants will still be considered for admission.

Such students must be on track to complete at least four units of language arts, two units of foreign language, three units of mathematics, two units of science, and three units of social studies, in addition to a certain number of electives, and may be instructed to complete the university’s deficiency process.

Applicants Eligible for Automatic Admission

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 will graduate under the state’s Foundation (with Distinguished Level of Achievement), Recommended or Distinguished/Advanced high school programs 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) and believe you qualify for automatic admission, you must claim an exemption to the state’s high school coursework requirements. 

Submit Official SAT/ACT Scores

To 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.

Coursework ‘Equal in Content & Rigor’

Applicants who attend private Texas high schools may be exempt if they complete coursework that is “equal in content and rigor” to one of the state’s graduation programs. To claim an exemption under this option, submit an exemption form signed by an official representative of your school.

Details about this exemption are available on the appropriate exemption form