1. What do you value most when reviewing freshman applicants?
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
2. How hard is it to be admitted to the College of Natural Sciences?
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.
3. I'm eligible for automatic admission to UT-Austin. Does that mean I'll be automatically admitted into the College of Natural Sciences as well?
Not necessarily. The College of Natural Sciences works collaboratively with the Office of Admissions. We review applications for Natural Sciences based on academic fit and interest in our programs. Therefore, a student may be eligible for admission to the University but not selected for our college.
4. What SAT/ACT score do I need to get into CNS?
The average SAT and ACT scores for admitted students were 1954 (SAT) and 30 (ACT). You can see more admissions statistics for the 2015 entering freshman class in our Freshman Class Profile section.
5. Does the College of Natural Sciences require SAT subject tests?
No. SAT subject test scores are not evaluated in the admissions process.
6. How early should I apply to maximize my chances of getting admitted?
Students are encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of the deadline. Nearly 40,000 freshman applicants apply for summer or fall admission. Students are encouraged to submit their applications before November 1 to allow sufficient time for processing. UT-Austin and the College of Natural Sciences do not offer early decision or early action for general admission, and applying early does not influence the admission decision. All applicants who submit complete applications on time are considered for admission. More information about admission deadlines can be found here:
7. Where should I send my application materials and how do I know they have been received?
Any materials you wish to be considered for admission must be received by the Office of Admissions. Many items can be uploaded online and their receipt verified on your MyStatus page. MyStatus is a personalized notification site managed by the Office of Admissions. MyStatus is where you will verify receipt of your application materials, submit major change requests, upload additional documents, and find your admissions decision. Housing, Financial Aid, Orientation and other services can also be accessed through MyStatus. Your MyStatus page becomes active 24-48 hours after submitting your UT-Austin ApplyTexas application.
8. Where can I find information to help me decide on a major for my application?
There are a number of resources to help students hone in on an academic major.
9. I have already submitted my Apply Texas application; can I still change my major?
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.
10. When will I be notified of my admission?
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.
11. I was admitted to UT-Austin but not to the College of Natural Sciences. What can I do?
Consider joining the College of Natural Sciences as an internal transfer student.
12. I was not admitted to UT-Austin. What can I do?
Consider re-applying as an external transfer student.
1. What do you value most when reviewing transfer applicants?
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.
2. Can I check which of my credits will transfer to UT?
Yes, if you attend another college or university in Texas, you can check credit transfers using our Automated Transfer Equivalency system. If you attend a college or university outside of Texas, your credits from your previous institution will be reviewed by the university during the application review process.
3. Does the 30 credit hour minimum count only in-residence credit hours from my previous college/university?
No, the 30 hours includes any dual credit or AP credit hours you have claimed in addition to in-residence credit hours. However, the 30 hours all must be transferable to UT. If you are currently attending another Texas college or university, you can check whether a course credit will transfer using our Automated Transfer Equivalency system.
4. Will grades for the courses I'm enrolled in at the time of my application be considered in the application process?
No, UNLESS you have less than 30 credit hours at the time of your application for transfer but will have at least 30 credit hours by the end of the semester during which you apply for transfer. If you already have more than 30 credit hours, only the credits you have already completed will be considered.
5. I'm a student from another college or university. Can I take classes at UT during the summer?
Yes. You can apply to be a summer transient student. You can read more about the application process here.
6. Can I take some science and math courses at UT without pursuing a degree?
Nondegree-seeking students without a college degree can apply as summer transients (see question 5 above). Nondegree-seeking students who have a bachelor's degree can apply to UT as a nondegree-seeking transfer student. You can read more about the process under the heading "Enrollment as a Nondegree Student" here.
7. Am I able to meet with an academic advisor to discuss my transcripts and class transferability?
CNS advisors are only able to meet with current CNS students. For students who are in-state, we recommend using transfer resources from the UT-Austin Office of Admissions to evaluate course transferability.
Out of state students: Evaluation of individual courses taken at out-of-state institutions is not available over the phone, in person or by email. Specific course evaluations and decisions about the transferability of individual courses are made only after an applicant has been admitted.
8. Does CAP guarantee my admission to my desired major in CNS?
As a CAP student, admission to CNS is competitive and you are not guaranteed admission to any CNS majors. Please see the External Transfers page for information about the CNS external transfer process.
1. How do I apply for a scholarship in the College of Natural Sciences as an entering freshman?
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.
2. What criteria do you use for entering freshman scholarship offers?
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.
3. Is the scholarship process competitive?
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.
4. Who makes scholarship decisions for the College of Natural Sciences?
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.
5. What can I do if I don’t receive a College of Natural Sciences entering freshman scholarship?
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.
6. Can I apply for more scholarships after I enroll at UT-Austin?
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.
7. When will I be notified if I received a College of Natural Sciences scholarship?
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.
8. Will I be notified if I did not receive a College of Natural Sciences scholarship?
Only students who have received a CNS scholarship will be notified of their status.
1. What honors programs are available in the College of Natural Sciences?
The three college-wide honors programs are:
The three departmental honors programs are:
2. Do I have to be a specific major to be eligible for a particular honors program?
It depends. College-wide programs are open to all CNS students, while departmental honors programs are specific to certain CNS majors. All CNS honors students must be pursuing a CNS major in order to remain in a CNS honors program.
3. Can I be in more than one honors program?
CNS students may only be in one college-wide honors program (DS, PS or HSS). However, 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.
4. Are honors programs for entering freshmen only?
No. Current UT students and transfer students can apply to any of the CNS honors programs before their fourth long semester of college. See each program's website for application instructions.
5. Is the Honors Application a separate application from the ApplyTexas application?
Yes. Students interested in applying to Honors Programs must submit a separate Honors Application.
6. When can I apply to an honors program?
Entering freshmen can begin their honors application once they've submitted their ApplyTexas application. The honors application deadline is December 1st. Honors applicants are encouraged to apply by 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.
7. Is there an advantage to submitting the honors application by October 15th?
Applicants who submit their honors application by October 15th will have their applications reviewed earlier than those who submit later, and some may find out about their program's decision as early as mid-December.
8. Can I be in an honors program if I plan to graduate in three years?
CNS honors programs require substantial investments of time outside of their coursework, making a three-year degree difficult. These pursuits can include independent research, studying abroad, conference presentations, substantial theses, internships, health care practicums, campus leadership, and extensive community service. While graduating in three years is not prohibited, it is not encouraged.
9. Do I have to be in an honors program to take honors courses?
Not necessarily. Students who are not in a CNS honors program can take honors courses if space permits, and if they meet prerequisites. These vary from course to course, but typically they include a minimum AP score and/or a minimum GPA. Academic advisors can provide details about registering for honors courses.
10. Do I have to be in an honors program to be an honors student?
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.
11. What are the benefits of being in an honors program?
The benefit is having the best of two worlds: the close-knit community of a small college, and access to the ample intellectual and physical resources of one of the world's leading research universities. And at UT-Austin, students have the additional benefits of affordable tuition and several notable diversities—of faculty and students above all, but also of research and internship opportunities, courses, and degrees. CNS honors programs offer a supportive, inspiring community of scholars and provide students priority access to a variety of university resources.
12. If I am in an honors program, are all of my courses honors-level courses?
No. Honors program students will take both honors and non-honors courses.
13. How do honors courses differ from regular courses?
Honors courses are smaller than non-honors courses and are taught by some of the best faculty on campus. Generally, instructors 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.
14. What do you value when considering students for an honors program?
There is no formulaic combination of scores, grades, and achievements that guarantees admission to any of the programs. Faculty and staff evaluate students’ academic merit and potential by reviewing test scores, GPA, class rank, signs of a committed interest in science or math, and success in advanced classes in those subjects. They also assess applicants' writing, work ethic, leadership, critical thinking, and maturity, and they look for evidence that they've researched and understand the target program. The materials that permit this assessment include essays, resumes that document extracurricular involvements and honors, and letters of recommendations, one of which must be from a science or math instructor. Evaluators also assess whether an applicant appears appropriate for the target program and reserve the right to recommend that an applicant be admitted to a different honors program.
15. How do I schedule my interview for the honors program?
Our honors programs do not offer interviews as part of the application process.
16. When will I be notified if I’ve been accepted into an honors program?
Entering freshmen will be notified between mid-December and late March. Transfer applicants will be notified within one week prior to the start of classes of the next semester.
17. Will I be notified if I am not accepted into an honors program?
Yes. All honors applicants will hear a decision.