The University of Texas at Austin
Skip navigation links

Update on Undergraduate Studies

New data about the Undergraduate Studies First Class, all students entering in fall 2009, demonstrates that the school is succeeding in its mission to help students identify majors that will allow them to graduate. This is in line with the University of Texas’s goal of graduating 70 percent of undergraduate students in four years. The current university rate of graduation is just over half; of the 709 students who entered Undergraduate Studies in fall 2009, more than 66% are on track to graduate in four years or less. This is 16 percentage points higher than the university‚Äôs overall 50% four-year graduation rate.

77% of that first entering class selected Undergraduate Studies as their first or second choice. Of the students who did not select us as their first or second choice, 55% ended up in their first-choice major when they transferred out of Undergraduate Studies. The higher projected graduation rate is due to two factors: fewer students change majors once they transfer out of the School of Undergraduate Studies, and students complete core requirements while exploring majors in Undergraduate Studies.

Of the students who made up our initial class who are still enrolled or have already graduated, 84% remain in the majors they selected when leaving UGS. Advising provided in the Center for Strategic Advising & Career Counseling seems to be proving effective in guiding undecided students into majors in which they can excel. Students spend up to four long semesters in exploration mode, while completing core coursework that counts toward any degree.

  • Only 6.2 percent of the initial cohort of 941 students who entered Undergraduate Studies in the fall of 2009 have changed majors since declaring a major
  • 69% of “major changer” students (those who chose a major, declared it successfully, and then changed to another major afterwards) changed to a major in the same department, college, or interest area as their original choice of major, making this a lower-impact change than a completely new area, and reducing the total time needed to graduate on time
  • Students from Undergraduate Studies have gained admission to all of the other undergraduate colleges

Wayfinding Modules

Beginning October 2012, every applicant to UT Austin will be strongly encouraged to visit this school’s interactive major exploration website to complete exercises which expose applicants to myths about selected majors, sample math and statistics problems and actual writing prompts and samples for courses ranging from engineering to journalism. As part of the Provost’s efforts to champion four-year graduation rates, a new portion of the site provides a formative experience that encourages prospective students to consider alternate majors that would result in steady progress to graduation.


Applicant log-in screen to the Undergraduate Studies module, one of three new tools aimed at all undergraduate applicants

Written by: 
Julia Moskow Ferguson & Kristin Tommey