If you found this article, you are already interested in attending the University of Texas at Austin’s Honors Program. Students who want to achieve the best possible results out of four years of college may be interested in participating in an honors program. If you are interested, then one question is on your mind: how hard is it to get into UT-Austin’s Honors Program?
Fortunately for you, we know a bit about how difficult this task is, as well as a few tips that will help your chances go from “no chance” to “looking good!”
What is UT-Austin Honors Program?
The University of Texas-Austin is quite the college for those living in the largest state in the US. The university describes itself as a “university of the first class,” and it’s hard to disagree with them.
With a large campus that makes you feel like you’ve lived there all your life, graduating from UT-Austin will create an unforgettable experience. With over a hundred undergraduate degrees and two hundred graduate degrees across a whopping 12,000 courses, there is a major and class for any college student. But if you get into UT-Austin’s honors programs, it will be like you found the Golden Ticket in the candy bar. And yes, we did say honor programs, as in more than one!
UT-Austin is unique compared to most universities as it has multiple honors programs, depending on a student’s major, skillset, and goals. Unlike other honors programs that offer a broad experience and prioritize strict academic success, these programs cater to certain kinds of students and their chosen majors. While they are more defined paths, they nonetheless lead to somewhere excellent for any student. The available honors programs at UT-Austin include the following:
- Liberal Arts Honors is a program for students in liberal arts majors that promises a curriculum that focuses on real-world application and allow students to study abroad and enter internships.
- Plan II Honors is a college for students with art or science honors. For students planning on going to graduate school, this college will assist you. Plan II is compared to Ivy League education, with competitive admission.
- Canfield Business Honors Program is set for business students to become better business leaders; these courses are modeled after MBA programs and provide its students with training, networking, and support.
- The Turing Scholars Program allows 150 Computer Science undergraduates to accelerate their core curriculum. The program allows its students to take special versions of their regular classes in one of the highest-ranked computer science programs in the nation.
- College of Natural Science Honors Programs, which themselves are split between different programs for students in the natural sciences, including health sciences,
- Engineering Honors Program is for electrical and computer engineering undergraduate students, granting them housing, merit-based scholarships, and other unique benefits.
- The Moody College Honors Program is a program that promises to build on and cultivate a student’s critical thinking and leadership skills, offering a unique curriculum for students in a communication major.
Whew! Those are a lot of honors programs. As stated before, this is unique to the University of Texas at Austin–and yet another reason why the school stands so proud and prestigiously. But with all of these different honors programs, you must have thought: how difficult is it to get into them? What will I have to do to become a part of them? We may have an answer to those questions; just be prepared to be shocked when we tell you!
How Hard is it to Get into UT-Austin Honors Program?
How difficult is it to get into UT-Austin’s Honors Programs? To cut to the chase, they are quite difficult. Even though there are several different honors programs, each of them wants only the best of the best students to join them. This is because the honors programs promise more advanced and challenging courses in exchange for their various benefits. If anyone could get into the honor programs, then they would be overcrowded and not much of a prestigious, exclusive program, now would they?
Mind you, getting into the University of Texas at Austin alone is very difficult. The university’s acceptance rate is a mere 28.7% as of 2021, a percentage far below the nation’s average acceptance rate. There are no concrete acceptance rates for the honors programs, let alone each program; however, the Plan II Honors Program receives roughly 1400 applications a year and admits only 175 freshmen a semester. That is a mere 12.5%, lower than even the rate to get into the university in the first place! The official website places the percentage as approximately 20-25%. It takes some of the best students to get into UT-Austin; even most will fail to get into an honors program.
But enough fearmongering: what does it take to get into a UT-Austin Honors Program? What will you have to do to apply?
How Do You Get Into UT-Austin Honors Program?
The UT-Austin Honors Program is a special seat for students who can great demonstrate academic prowess as a student. The University of Texas Austin doesn’t want a student who wants the perks of an honors student; they want students who can be and are honors material. As a result, joining the Honors Program is based heavily on a student’s academic ability. Here, we shall discuss and answer questions that you might have about joining the UT-Austin Honors Program.
What GPA is required at UT-Austin Honors Program?
Unlike other honors programs, UT-Austin has a definitive say regarding how academically inclined a student must be. A grade point average of 3.30 is required before a student takes residency as an honors student. Thankfully, this score is not particularly difficult to achieve or maintain.
Are SAT and ACT required?
There are no concrete scores for the SAT and ACT. The Honors Program has a softer consideration for those scores, considering that students can retake those exams as much as they choose to get the ideal score. However, students seeking admission into UT-Austin have an SAT score between 1230-1480 and/or an ACT score between 29-34. Those are both close to the maximum score for either exam, which means you have to do incredibly well to be the kind of person to get into UT-Austin. But in this case, if you are an exceptional student who can get into UT-Austin, this will not be an obstacle to getting into the honors program.
Do you need to submit essays?
Some UT-Austin Honors Programs have you submit an essay like many honors programs. However, it is not required for all of them, such as the Engineering Honors Program. These essays are simple in theory, requiring you to argue why you should become part of the Honors Program. Regardless of the program you join, this requires a bit of English proficiency if you want to compete.
What are other requirements?
There are no other requirements to the honor programs besides what is stated, thankfully.
Finally, we will discuss what you can do to increase your chances of joining a UT-Austin Honors Program.
3 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting Into UT-Austin Honors
You should be well adjusted to how difficult and varied the honors programs are. Now, we’ll get straight to the point and offer advice and suggestions for increasing your chances of getting into UT-Austin Honors. These tips ask you to become very dedicated and focused on success, which does not guarantee that you will get in, but if you follow these tips, your chances are much greater.
Meet the Academic Requirements by Doing Well in School
The first tip is obvious, but sometimes we must be reminded why they are so obvious. While UT-Austin does not require high scores to apply, if you want to get accepted into any of the programs, you have to compete with other students who may have better scores and academic achievements to show. We also note that while the programs may involve different and separate majors and subjects, you should not lack in your academic prowess just because you are focusing on one particular major to pursue—round yourself out as if you can apply to virtually any honors program.
You do not strictly need to succeed in high school, though getting your achievements in early will help best. No, you have a chance to get into an honors program while you are attending the University of Texas at Austin. This tip may be the better option in some respects, as you are already in the university to worry about the honors program.
Meet the Social Requirements by Participating in Extra Efforts
Our second tip is to highlight your achievements and effort by participating in extracurricular activities. This is not something that is typically expected of a student. Still, the UT-Austin Honors Program will want a student ready and willing to work with other students towards a specific goal: if you want that student to be you, then getting some extra cred on your application is a surefire way to increase your chances.
You can improve your transcript by participating in activities like joining school clubs and volunteering. This is also a good way to find a letter of recommendation that will improve your chances of getting into the honors program. Like with your academic prowess, you should also expand your social credit beyond the kind of honors program you want to join and round yourself out.
Pick the Program Best for You
In the last point, we stated that you should make your academic achievements well-rounded as if you can join any honors program. However, that is not to downplay the importance of choosing the best honors program for you, a unique problem to UT-Austin.
While an honors program is based around one’s major, several honors programs overlap in major and subjects and, by extension, benefit a student in various and distinct ways. Depending on how vital an honors program is to you, you may choose a different major if you feel the program will benefit you more. If several options exist, jumping to whatever matches your major is not wise. This tip works best when you are already in UT-Austin, but it is better to think about it now than to be standing there flabbergasted when you have too many important decisions to make!
Wrapping Things Up: How Hard Is It to Get Into UT-Austin Honors Program?
How hard is it to get into the UT-Austin Honors Program? Like any honors program, they want only the best class of students to join their ranks and benefits. You need to keep up academically and socially, as well as choose the program that best suits both your capabilities and ultimate goal. These qualifications are difficult, but not impossible, to achieve. If you genuinely want to become an honor student, you have your work cut out for you, but your chances are much better than none!
We’ve written tons of guides about honors programs at other universities. Check them out below: