Every Texas public college, more than 30 in total, grants automatic admission to resident, high-school seniors who meet certain class rank and/or standardized test requirements. In fact, automatic admission is usually the most practical way for high achieving Texas residents to gain admission to prestigious public colleges like the University of Texas Austin and Texas A&M College Station.

We recommend that all Texas students be aware of which automatic admission programs they qualify for, as these can make great additions to the “safety schools” section of any college list. However, automatic admission is not a guarantee of entry into a specific major. 

What is Texas automatic college admission?

An automatic admission policy means that students who live in Texas can qualify to be automatically admitted to a university as long as they fulfill specific criteria. These criteria typically almost always include class rank, which is sometimes combined with GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Notably, the University of Houston has varying qualifications depending on a combination of class rank and either GPA or test scores. 

The two most popular public institutions in Texas, UT Austin and Texas A&M, have more stringent requirements in that they only consider class rank for automatic admission.  Your student is eligible for automatic admission to A&M if they are in the top 10% of their class, and for UT, they are eligible if they are in the top 6% of their class.

Why does Texas have automatic admission?

For some background, TX House Bill 588 (also known as the Top 10% Rule) was passed in 1997 for the purpose of increasing diversity in Texas universities. The specific requirements (in terms of rank and percentage) have changed for some schools since the bill was introduced, but each public university in Texas is still required to have some sort of automatic admission policy.

Does automatic admission guarantee a specific major?

Like the name suggests, automatic admission policies only guarantee admission – they do not account for how the student will pay for their degree, or if they will get into their preferred degree program. At top Texas colleges, certain majors are extremely competitive, so being in the top 6% does not mean much for a prospective UT student who has their heart set on majoring in computer science, engineering, or nursing. Other degree programs, such as education and social work, have lower barriers to entry, and prospective students are likely to be admitted. 

At UT, top 6% students who are admitted but do not receive their first-choice major are considered for their second-choice major; if they do not receive their second choice, they are usually admitted as “undeclared.” Unfortunately, students who accept an offer of admission with a less-than-ideal major in hopes of switching to their top choice later on are usually out of luck; changing into many majors at large public universities (including UT and A&M) is highly competitive and never guaranteed.

In short, automatic admission at top colleges works best for students who wish to pursue less popular majors.

How should my student factor automatic admission into their application strategy?

If your student qualifies for automatic admission at a particular school, they can generally consider that university a “safety” school (with the major-related caveats described above). Every student should have a balanced college list that includes at least one safety school – that is, a college where admission is very likely. In this way, automatic admission policies create a great opportunity for qualified Texas students to consider a broad range of potential safety schools for their list. 

If your student does not qualify for automatic admission at a college of interest, they can still enter the college’s holistic review process. In that case, they can include the college on their list as a “reach” or “target” school based on how they compare to typically admitted students, and consider applying to at least one other college where they qualify for automatic admission.

One additional note on UT Austin: if your student does not qualify for automatic admission at UT, we would recommend labeling it as a “reach” school in almost all cases. Under state law, 75% of UT’s in-state students must be admitted through automatic admission, meaning that it is much more difficult to gain admission through their holistic process. 

How do I know if my student qualifies for automatic admission?

Each Texas university publishes their automatic admission requirements on their web page. We’ve included a summary of those requirements below, along with a direct link to each college’s requirements for first-year admission.

Graduation Rate wdt_ID College Location Required Rank Test Score or GPA Requirements Link
88 1 University of Texas at Austin Austin 6
82 2 Texas A & M University - College Station College Station 10
67 3 University of Texas at Dallas Richardson 10
63 4 Texas Tech University Lubbock 10 - Top 25% w/ 1180 SAT/24 ACT
- Top 50% w/ 1240 SAT/26 ACT
- Top 75% w/ 1280 SAT/27 ACT
58 5 University of North Texas Denton - Top 10% (test scores required)
- Top 25% w/ 1030 SAT/20 ACT
- Top 50% w/ 1130 SAT/23 ACT
- Top 75% w/ 1250 SAT/26 ACT
- Any Rank w/ 3.0 GPA or higher
57 6 Texas State University San Marcos 25 - Top 50% w/ 1090 SAT/22 ACT
- Top 75% w/ 1250 SAT/26 ACT
- Any Rank w/ 1330 SAT/29 ACT
70 7 University of Houston Houston 10 - Top 25% w/ 3.4 GPA or 1080 SAT/21 ACT
- Top 50% w/ 3.45 GPA or 1170 SAT/24 ACT
57 8 Sam Houston State University Huntsville - Top 10% w/ 3.5 GPA and 930 SAT/17 ACT (test scores optional)
51 9 University of Texas at Arlington Arlington - Top 25% (test scores required)
- Top 50% w/ 1130 SAT/23 ACT
- Top 75% w/ 1250 SAT/26 ACT
62 10 Tarleton State University Stephenville 50
55 11 University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg 10
47 12 Midwestern State University Wichita Falls 25 - Top 50% w/ 1070 SAT/21 ACT
- Top 75% w/ 1140 SAT/23 ACT
- Any Rank w/ 3.0 GPA
53 13 Stephen F Austin State University Nacogdoches 25 - Top 50% w/ 1030 SAT/20 ACT
- Top 75% w/ 1170 SAT/24 ACT
47 14 Texas A & M International University Laredo 40 - Any Rank w/ 980 SAT/19 ACT
48 15 University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa 25 - Any Rank w/ 3.0 GPA
- Any Rank w/ 2.75 GPA (may be conditional admission)
42 16 University of Texas at Tyler Tyler 25 - Any Rank w/ 2.75 GPA
50 17 Texas A & M University - Commerce Commerce 10
44 18 University of Texas at El Paso El Paso 25 - Top 50% w/ 920 SAT/19 ACT
- Top 75% w/ 970 SAT/20 ACT
- Any Rank w/ 1010 SAT/21 ACT
49 19 West Texas A & M University Canyon 30 - Any Rank w/ 3.0 GPA or 1060 SAT/21 ACT
51 20 University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio 25 - Top 50% w/ 1170 SAT/24 ACT
41 21 Angelo State University San Angelo - Top 25% (test scores required)
- Top 50% w/ 2.5 GPA or 920 SAT/17 ACT
55 22 Texas A & M University - Corpus Christi Corpus Christi 50
52 23 Texas Woman's University Denton 25 - Top 50% w/ 2.0 GPA and 1080 SAT/21 ACT
42 24 Prairie View A & M University Prairie View 50 - Any Rank w/ 2.8 GPA or SAT 1060 SAT/21 ACT
44 25 Texas A & M University - Kingsville Kingsville 25 - Any Rank w/ 2.7 GPA or SAT 1000/19 ACT
24 26 Texas A & M University - Texarkana Texarkana 30 - Any Rank w/ 2.75 GPA or SAT 1060/21 ACT
39 27 Lamar University Beaumont 50 - Any Rank w/ 1080 SAT/21 ACT
45 28 University of North Texas at Dallas Dallas 30 - Any Rank w/ 3.0 GPA
- Any Rank w/ 2.0 GPA and 1020 SAT/20 ACT
23 29 Texas Southern University Houston - Any Rank w/ 2.5 GPA or 900 SAT/17 ACT
34 30 Sul Ross State University Alpine - Top 50% (test scores required)
- Any Rank w/ 1040 SAT/20 ACT
30 31 University of Houston - Downtown Houston 25 - Top 50% w/ 2.5 GPA or 930 SAT/18 ACT
- Any Rank w/ 2.5 GPA and 930 SAT/18
49 32 University of Houston - Victoria Victoria 10 - Top 50% w/ 2.0 GPA and 940 SAT/18 ACT (test scores optional)
- Top 60% w/ 2.5 GPA


  • Ashley Chang

    Ashley Chang is General Academic's Assistant Manager. She graduated from Millsaps College, where she received her BA in History in 2020. Prior to joining General Academic, Ashley was a high school history teacher as well as an aide in various elementary school classrooms. Ashley has also completed Rice's College Access Counseling Certificate Program.

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  • Andy Peters

    Andy Peters is General Academic's Senior Manager. He graduated from the University of Michigan, where he received a BA in English in 2015 and an MA in Educational Studies in 2016. Andy has more than 8 years of teaching and tutoring experience; before joining General Academic, he was a high school English teacher at an innovative Michigan charter school.

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