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By, Jessie Brumfiel

University of Texas, Austin Quick Facts:

  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Undergraduate degree programs: 156
  • Undergraduate fields of study: 170+
  • Study abroad programs: 400
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 42,444

Life in Austin

Austin, Texas manages to combine a state capitol, a booming downtown – Tesla left California to relocate its headquarters in Austin in 2021, and a flagship university serving 41,000 undergraduates, all within a very manageable footprint that is highly-walkable and feels more neighborhood-like than sprawling. 

The campus itself encompasses 435 acres of inspiring buildings; some older but attractive stone buildings, along with newer, extremely impressive newer architecture such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science building. A wide, brick promenade runs through the campus. 


A new state law requires that 90% of all undergraduates at the University of Texas must be Texans, leaving only about 4,000 spots for international students and those from out of state. However, every Texan is unique, so it’s far from a homogenous campus. 

Competition is fierce for seats, and Texas has returned to required SAT / ACT test scores. UT wants ambitious, high-impact students who signal they’re future world-changers by their big goals and the leadership and talent they’ve shown in high school. 

Student Experience

Students at UT are confident go-getters. They make friends in their freshman dorm (first-year housing is available for 60% of incoming students – everyone who wants to live on campus can do so in the freshman year.) UT also runs a very-successful First Year Connection program that introduces students to others with like interests. 

Students in the admission office raved about their experience. They feel showered with opportunities on campus and excited about their career prospects when they graduate. “Austin is the new Silicon Valley!” is a common boast. In addition to Tesla, IBM, Dell, Oracle, Amazon, and other Fortune 500 companies now have headquarters or a significant presence in Austin.

UT Austin offers a whopping 170 majors, and 1,200 student organizations. If that doesn’t keep students busy enough, it’s also home to the biggest undergraduate research program in the country. That said, students must stick to the college or school to which they were admitted, and even switching your major within your college is a big deal, complain students. With size comes bureaucracy, so students must be prepared to navigate and take responsibility for themselves, and plan ahead.

Pride in the university and a sense of community are evident. Only 13% of students participate in Greek Life, and with innumerable student groups on campus, there is a niche for everyone to get involved. Night life is easy to find, with many restaurants, bars, and music venues right around the corner from campus.

UT Austin’s slogan is “What starts here changes the world.” If universities like the University of Michigan, UCLA, or the University of Florida appeal to you, then it’s quite likely UT Austin will equally impress. 

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