Admissions
Scholarships
Honors Programs


ADMISSIONS

High academic achievement as well as demonstrated interest in and aptitude for science and math is strongly considered in the freshman review process. Read more in the Getting In: Freshmen section.

A clear path towards math and science (interest and experience) and strong academic performance in related coursework is valued most in the transfer admission process. Read more in the Getting In: Transfer section.

More and more students seek math and science degrees making the College of Natural Sciences the largest college at UT Austin. With many more applicants than we can accept, admission to the College of Natural Sciences has become increasingly competitive. Students are considered amongst others in their respective applicant pool and so, while interest in Natural Sciences continues to increase, the level of competitiveness varies from year to year.

Students are encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of the deadline. Nearly 40,000 freshman applicants apply for summer/fall admission. These students are encouraged to submit their applications before November 1 to allow sufficient time for processing. UT Austin and the College of Natural Sciences does not offer early decision or early action for general admission and applying early does not influence one’s admission decision. All applicants who submit complete applications on time are considered for admission. More information about admission deadlines can be found here:

Any materials you wish to be considered for admission must be received by the Office of Admissions. Many items can be uploaded online and verified on your admissions My Status page. My Status is a personalized notification site managed by the Office of Admissions. My Status is where you will verify receipt of your application materials, submit major change requests, upload additional documents, and review your admissions decision. Housing, Financial Aid, Orientation and other services can also be accessed through My Status. Your My Status page becomes active 24-48 hours after submitting your UT Austin Apply Texas application.

Yes. Students must choose a College of Natural Sciences major on the Apply Texas application in order to be considered for admission to the college.

There are a number of resources to help students hone in on an academic major.

  • CNS Majors and Departments – offers detailed descriptions and facts about CNS majors
  • Wayfinder – Interactive website providing individual assessments and modules to explore potential career paths and all UT Austin majors. 
  • Career Design Center

Major changes for applicants who are awaiting a decision can often be made before the application deadline through your “My Status”page. Sometimes a major change requires submitting an appeal for consideration and is only offered based on qualifications and space in the program. The Office of Admissions handles all major change requests for incoming students prior to the first class day at UT Austin.

Individual admission decisions are released by the Office of Admissions as they are finalized. Some students may learn about their admission to the University weeks or months before finding out if they have been accepted into their college/major. All admissions decisions, including major updates, will post on the student’s “My Status” page before receiving letter notification in the mail.

  • Summer/Fall Freshman: Anytime between late fall and March 1.
  • Summer/Fall Transfer: Summer – Between late March and May; Fall – Between April and June.
  • Spring Applicants: Notifications are sent on a rolling basis. Check with the Office of Admissions for more information.

 SCHOLARSHIPS

Prospective students who have been admitted into the College of Natural Sciences and who have indicated a CNS major as their first choice will be considered for a scholarship from the College.  Students are strongly encouraged to fill out the scholarship application via the ApplyTexas admissions application by the December 1st deadline, as well as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the March 15th priority deadline.  Information provided on the ApplyTexas scholarship application as well as the FAFSA can be extremely helpful in the review process.

 

The College of Natural Sciences looks at a variety of factors when making scholarship decisions. Scholarship decisions are based on items such as but not limited to merit, leadership and/or need. Since scholarship funding comes from various sources, criteria used to make scholarship selections can vary too.

Yes, the scholarship process is extremely competitive for our prospective students. However, there are many opportunities for students to apply for scholarships as a continuing student. While continuing student awards are still competitive, there are more funds available for continuing scholarships than there are for recruitment scholarships.

Prospective student awards are decided upon by administration, faculty and staff directly involved with the admissions process. A committee made up of College of Natural Sciences faculty members and the CNS Scholarship Coordinator evaluates continuing student scholarship applications.

Prospective students should not be discouraged if they do not receive a scholarship from the College of Natural Sciences. All students are encouraged to submit their FAFSA by the March 15th priority deadline so that they can be considered for any and all financial aid they might be eligible for including other UT scholarships, grants and loans. Students should be sure to visit www.TexasScholarships.org. This website contains information not only on UT specific awards, but also scholarships from outside sources. Please also keep in mind that students are able to apply for scholarships awarded by the College of Natural Sciences on an annual basis.

The College of Natural Sciences invites all CNS undergraduates to submit the CNS Common Scholarship Application every spring. Most CNS departments also have their own awarding process for undergraduate scholarships available to students in specific majors or programs. The College also offers awards such as Summer Research Fellowships and study abroad scholarships. Students are also invited to submit the university scholarship application through the Office of Student Financial Services every year. Continuing students will also have the opportunity to apply for nationally competitive awards such as the Rhodes Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship and the Goldwater Scholarship. The CNS Scholarship Coordinator works with students to put together the most competitive application possible. CNS students have been very successful at receiving these prestigious awards.

The College of Natural Sciences may begin notifying prospective students of their scholarship status in late February and will continue to send notifications through the month of March.

Only students who have received a CNS scholarship will be notified of their status. 


 HONORS

College-wide programs include:

  • Dean’s Scholars
  • Health Science Scholars
  • Polymathic Scholars

Departmental Honors Programs include:

  • Turing Scholars (Computer Science)
  • Honors in Advanced Nutritional Sciences (Human Ecology)
  • Honors in Advanced Human Development and Family Sciences (Human Ecology)

It varies. Departmental honors programs are attached to specific majors. College-wide programs accommodate all CNS majors, but a student must be pursuing a major within CNS to be eligible to participate. For example, if a Health Science Scholars student is a CNS major and decides to change to another college, they can no longer participate in HSS because they are no longer a CNS student.

It depends on the combination of programs.  CNS students may only be in one college-wide honors program (DS, PS or HSS).  They may choose to be in a college-wide honors program in addition to a departmental honors program (Turing, Nutritional Sciences, Human Development & Family Sciences).  They may also choose to be in a CNS college-wide honors program and/or a CNS departmental honors program in addition to an honors program outside of the college, dependent upon those programs’ regulations (ex: Plan II, Business Honors Program, etc.).  As a reminder, students must be pursuing a CNS degree to be eligible for CNS honors programs. 

This varies program by program. Programs that accept both internal and external transfer applicants include:

  • Dean’s Scholars
  • Polymathic Scholars
  • Turing Scholars (Computer Science)
  • Nutritional Sciences Honors (Human Ecology)
  • Human Development and Family Sciences Honors (Human Ecology)

Programs that do NOT accept internal or external transfer applicants include:

  • Health Science Scholars

NOTE: this is subject to change in the 2013/2014 academic year Transfer application cycles typically take place at the end of each semester. Transfer application requirements and deadlines vary by program. Details can be found on each of the programs’ websites.

Entering freshmen can apply to honors when they apply for general admission. The honors application deadline also coincides with the Apply Texas deadline: December 1st. Honors applicants are encouraged to submit by the earlier recommended deadline of October 15th. Transfer application cycles typically take place at the end of each semester. Transfer application requirements and deadlines vary by program. Details can be found on each of the programs’ websites.

The three-year graduation timeline is hard to reconcile with an honors program experience, which traditionally involves students doing substantial scholarly endeavors outside of their coursework.  These scholarly endeavors including independent research, study abroad, conference presentation & publication, career internships, health care practicums, campus leadership, and/or extensive community service are what distinguishes an “honors” student.  While graduating in three years is not explicitly prohibited, it is not encouraged.

No. Non-honors program students can take honors courses if they satisfy specific prerequisites. Prerequisites vary from course to course and might include a minimum AP score and/or a minimum GPA. Academic Advisors can provide students with details about registering for honors courses.

No. The college offers honors opportunities for non-honors program students including:

  • GPA/Rank based honors opportunities offer recognition for academic success.  
  • Departmental Honors is awarded at graduation based on thesis completion.

The benefit is having the “best of both worlds”. Honors programs truly offer an elite, small college experience nestled among the diversity and limitless resources of a large, tier-one, Research University without sacrificing affordable tuition or diversity of faculty, research, courses, degrees, internship opportunities, etc. Honors programs offer a supportive, inspiring community of scholars and provide students priority access to resources in the University at large.

No. Honors program students will take both honors and non-honors level courses.

Honors courses are smaller than non-honors courses and taught by some of the best faculty on campus and dive more deeply into content and encourage critical analysis, problem solving, inquiry, and individual thought. Subject competency is often tested through open-ended problem solving, case studies, and/or real world analysis, rather than formulaic problems with clearly defined answers.

Honors admission review is a holistic process. There is no magical, formulaic combination of scores, grades, and/or achievements that guarantees admission to any given honors program. Faculty review committees evaluate students’ academic merit and potential by reviewing test scores, GPA/ class rank, etc. Review committees evaluate students’ work ethic, leadership, sincere program interest, and maturity through resumes, letters of recommendations, honors/awards, extracurricular involvements, essays/personal statements, etc. There is an additional layer of “fit” considered in which the committee evaluates if the applicant and the program are compatible.

Our honors programs do not offer interviews as part of the application process.

Entering freshmen will be notified between December and late March. Transfer applicants will be notified within one week prior to the start of classes of the next semester.

Yes. All honors applicants will hear a decision, either way.