Graduate School Select Admission Program


Legislation recommended by the Admissions and Enrollment Committee of The University of Texas at Austin and approved by the Graduate Assembly, Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson, and The University of Texas System Board of Regents, created the Graduate School Select Admission Program in November 1999. The purpose of the program is to encourage undergraduate students with top academic records to remain at the university for a graduate degree. Graduate programs are strongly encouraged to limit their nominations each year to one or two exceptionally outstanding undergraduates.

The Graduate School Select Admission Program is designed to enable graduate programs to attract academically exceptional undergraduates by:

  • encouraging programs to identify potential candidates as early as the junior year of study and to extend an “early” (i.e., preemptive) offer of admission and financial aid,
  • removing financial and other costs associated with regular application (the application fee will be waived),
  • waiving the Graduate School requirement of submission of GRE scores (some programs may wish to retain this requirement for diagnostic or statistical purposes and fellowship opportunities),
  • waiving the Graduate School requirement of a transcript fee,
  • possibly reducing the length of time to the graduate degree through the Reservation of Work by Undergraduates for Graduate Credit provision for students who enroll in graduate courses while in undergraduate status, and
  • saving students money because they will pay for reserved graduate credit at undergraduate tuition rates.

The Graduate School Select Admission Program may be of special benefit to graduate programs with no undergraduate degree offered on campus, or for those programs that recruit new students from different majors. Select Admission may also be of benefit to those graduate programs engaged in diversity based proactive recruitment initiatives.

Graduate programs interested in participating in the Graduate School Select Admission Program are strongly encouraged to limit their nominations each year to a few outstanding undergraduates.

Nominations must be forwarded to the Graduate School by the graduate program and include the following documents:

  • A cover letter from the graduate adviser or graduate admissions officer recommending admission to the Graduate School Select Admission Program. The letter must document that the student is of extraordinary capability and should rank where the nominee would place within a conventional graduate admission cohort (e.g., 2 of 45). The letter must also include the student's UT EID, information on the semester the nominee intends to complete the baccalaureate from UT Austin and the semester the student will begin full-time graduate school.
  • Three letters of recommendation from tenure-track faculty at UT Austin who are directly familiar with the nominee's academic abilities and performance in university courses. Letters from lecturers and/or graduate students will not be accepted. The short "Request for Reference" form is not appropriate for this attenuated admission process.
  • A statement of purpose provided by the nominee that addresses the reason the student is seeking a graduate degree from the nominating program (500 word length is minimum).
  • A copy of the nominee's résumé.

No other documentation is necessary for nomination.

Acceptance is not automatic, as all nomination materials will be reviewed to ensure that the student meets the program criteria. If the nomination is approved, the Graduate School will issue a letter accepting the student to the Graduate School Select Admission Program and providing instructions for the Graduate School admissions process.  An abbreviated application form has been developed that will be used to process the Graduate School application of each student. This form must be submitted to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) at least one month prior to the start of full-time graduate studies.

NOTE: Accepted students must complete their baccalaureate degree requirements before the start of their full-time graduate studies. A registration bar will be placed on each student by GIAC until graduate programs can verify that the student has completed all baccalaureate requirements.

The deadlines for nominating students to the Graduate School Select Admission Program are as follows:

  • December 1, 2014 for spring semester 2015
  • April 24, 2015 for summer semester 2015
  • July 24, 2015 for fall semester 2015

Questions about the Graduate School Select Admission Program should be directed to Marvin Hackert at


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