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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Frequently-Asked Questions:

Fall 2016 Freshman Application

What is the Plan II application deadline?

The application deadline for fall admission is December 1.

All admission materials required by the University of Texas and the additional documents required by Plan II Honors must be received by the application deadline.

What if I have questions?

If you have questions concerning the Plan II Program or the honors application process, please email Kerry Pasquale, Plan II Honors director of admissions and program coordinator. Parents, please note: How an applicant takes charge of his or her own application speaks volumes to us in Plan II about how he or she manages time, takes on responsibility and faces problems and challenges. Urge your student to email. 

Can I schedule an interview?

Plan II does not offer interviews or individual information sessions. We do, however, offer regular information sessions several times a week during the fall and spring semesters. See details, maps and links to register for the sessions at Visit Plan II.  Applicants or parents with questions are always welcome to email questions.  

Where do I send application materials if I'm applying to Plan II?

All application materials including essays and résumés should be submitted electronically through UT Admissions. Links for essay and résumé submission may be found in our "Related Links" on the admissions process page.

Electronic document submission is faster and lowers the likelihood of mismatched application documents or problems. Documents submitted electronically can be verified and confirmed on the MyStatus site much faster than paper documents submitted by mail.

If the applicant experienced difficulties and must send documents by mail, all mailed application materials go directly to the UT Office of Admission. Do NOT send any documents or materials directly to Plan II Honors.

Send to UT Office of Admission via US Mail to:

Any documents submitted via US Mail should be sent to the following address:

Office of Admission-Processing
University of Texas at Austin  
PO BOX 8058  
Austin, TX 78713-8058

For express delivery services (DHL, FedEx, etc):

Office of Admissions
The University of Texas at Austin
110 Inner Campus Drive, Main 13
Austin, TX  78712

Tel: 512-475-7387

Does Plan II require letters of recommendation?

Short answer:  No.  A letter of recommendation is not required to complete a Plan II Honors application.

Are there any circumstances when an applicant should submit a letter of recommendation?

An applicant should submit a letter of recommendation (or explanation) if he or she has a record of activity, leadership, internship or other experience that is unusual and outstanding for a high school student, or if there are unusual circumstances in the applicant’s family life, or at the school, with the applicant’s [or a family member’s] health or financial situation or if the applicant has accomplished, survived, instigated or sailed through experiences/activities/circumstances that are extremely unusual for a high school student.  Then by all means have someone write a letter addressing, detailing or explaining the circumstances.

Note an emphasis on outstanding and unusual experiences and circumstances.  A few examples:

  • A summer internship assisting a university professor with research or conducting individual research;
  • A position of leadership in a national organization;
  • A summer internship with a Fortune 500 company;
  • The student (or close family member) experiences life-threatening or chronic illness or injury;
  • The student loses a close family member;
  • The student's family experiences life-changing financial set-back.

These are by no means the only circumstances in which a letter of recommendation should be submitted.

If you wish to have a teacher submit one, he or she can simply mail a hard-copy letter to the UT Office of Admissions (being sure to include your full name and UT EID!).  Or, after you have accessed the on-line honors application, you can access the honors recommendation system and put in the teacher’s name and email contact for him/her to submit an electronic recommendation.

Send to UT Office of Admission via US Mail to:

Office of Admission-Processing
University of Texas at Austin
PO BOX 8058
Austin, TX 78713-8058

Plan II will also have access to letters of recommendation submitted as supporting documents for other honor program applications or submitted to support a University of Texas application.  Plan II will have access to every document that an applicant submits.

How many applicants apply to Plan II ? How many are accepted?

Plan II receives around 1300 complete applications for the Fall admission cycle. Plan II tends to offer admission to 375-385 applicants to reach our ideal entering freshman class of about 175 students.

How many graduate?

At Plan II, we have very few issues of retention. Of around 175 students who enter Plan II Honors each year, approximately 160-165 students will graduate with a major in Plan II Honors in 4 or 5 years. In an average year, 3-8 students may be dismissed for not maintaining the minimum GPA requirement (3.25) for several semesters (usually in the spring of their second year or fall of their third year). Each year a few Plan II students will leave the University for academic, family, financial, health, or other personal reasons; a very few students will complete another major at the University, but not the Plan II Honors major. A student who leaves Plan II for another major generally finds that he or she would rather go in depth in their particular field of interest and not meet the broad curriculum requirements of Plan II Honors. 

Do many students drop out of Plan II?

The attrition rate in Plan II is quite low. A handful of students transfer to other colleges, and a few are dismissed from the program after two years for failing to maintain our minimum GPA of 3.25.

Does Plan II have an early action or early decision process?

No.  There is no early decision or early action admission.

Plan II does have a suggested application completion date of October 15. Applicants must be aware that Plan II reviews applications in the order in which they are completed and received (from UT Admissions) at Plan II. Plan II conducts rolling admissions. Therefore, fewer and fewer spaces will be available as we move throught the application cycle. Applying late in the cycle (the last two weeks prior to the deadline) could decrease an applicant's likelihood of admission.

How will I be notified of my Plan II admission status?

All applicants will hear from Plan II Honors concerning Plan II admissions decision via the US mail.  If an applicant has not received notification from Plan II Honors by March 15, the application should email Plan II Admissions.

All applicants have until May 1 to make a final decision about attending the University of Texas and Plan II Honors. However, admitted applicants should be aware that the UT Division of Housing and Food Services will not offer a housing contract until the admitted applicant has paid the $200 UT enrollment fee. So, the sooner an admitted applicant pays the $200 enrollment fee, committing to Plan II Honors and UT Austin, the better the chance of being assigned to on-campus first-choice housing options, including honors housing options.

Please do NOT call the Plan II Honors Program office to ask about an admission decision. We will not discuss admission decisions over the phone.  You are, however, welcome to email the admissions director, Kerry Pasquale, with any questions or concerns.

May I specialize or double-major if I'm in Plan II?

Yes. The flexibility of the Plan II curriculum allows students to complete the equivalent of a second major -- or even a second degree in a particular subject area if they so choose. Over 70% of Plan II Honors majors complete the requirements for a second, third or fourth major.  Close to 35% complete a second degree, such as a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Business Administration, along with the Bachelor of Arts diploma. 

May I combine Plan II with other honors programs at UT Austin?

Yes.  It’s possible to combine Plan II with most other UT Austin honors programs.   Plan II Honors majors often include the Business Honors Program, Engineering Honors, Dean's Scholars and Turing Scholars programs in combination with Plan II Honors.  Please see the full details at Other Honors Programs. There are also departmental honors programs available for most departments that Plan II students may apply to be a part of.

What if I want to be a doctor?

In many ways, Plan II Honors can be the perfect undergraduate major to lead to med-school. Year after year we see Plan II students admitted to the best medical schools, often ahead of or instead of graduates with science majors. It is rather straightforward to combine the pre-med requirements with the Plan II major requirements and easy to complete the Plan II major requirements and the pre-med recommended courses in four years.

The combination seems to be quite desirable as it leads to well-rounded, well-educated individuals with great communication and writing skills in addition to the science background needed for medical study. Most Plan II pre-med graduates tend to stay in Texas for medical school because, first, we have several of the most highly rated medical school programs here in Texas, and secondly, there is a substantial financial savings for staying in state for med school just as there is for undergraduate studies. With something as expensive as medical school, resident tuition savings is substantial. However, if you explore back over the years in the graduating class profiles, you see that we also have lots of Plan II pre-meds to go Washington University, Harvard Med, Johns Hopkins, Stanford and all the other well-known and highly ranked programs around the country. All the biggies know Plan II quite well--whether it's for medical school, law school or other advanced degree programs.

Some students do complete double-majors (with BA programs in Biology, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, etc), Plan II Honors and and the pre-med requirements, and even dual-degrees (a five-year program with a BA, Plan II major and a BS with a major in Biology, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, etc). If a student is really excited and deeply interested in one of the science disciplines, then by all means, he or she should incorporate that study into his or her degree plans. 

Does Plan II offer a guaranteed medical school admission program?

Short answer: no, Plan II does not.

However, the University of Texas at Austin offers a guaranteed admission pre-medical program. The Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) is a special program created by the Texas Legislature to support and encourage highly qualified, economically disadvantaged students pursuing a medical education.

Plan II Honors admission and admission to and participation in JAMP are completely separate and independent of each other.

Funded through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, JAMP is a unique partnership between all eight Texas medical schools and sixty-five public and private four-year undergraduate institutions. Since 2001, JAMP has been helping Texas students become tomorrow’s medical professionals by providing:

* Support through undergraduate and graduate scholarships and summer stipends scholarships.
* Mentoring and personal assistance to prepare for medical school.
* Hands-on experience through summer internships.
* Guaranteed admission to a Texas medical school if all requirements are met.

The Status Check website shows me in a different college and major, not Plan II. What happened?

If you are admitted and Plan II is your only major, the Status Check will show that you are in the College of Liberal Arts, but it will list another major or "undeclared," not Plan II Honors.

If you have been admitted to another college (such as Engineering), that is the only college and major listed for you until after the 12th class day of the fall semester.

How do I register for dual degrees?

As a first-year student, you will be able to declare and be registered in two colleges or two majors at the same time but not until you attend summer orientation. When you arrive at orientation, you will have only one major and one college listed. If you plan to register in two different colleges, you are a dual degree student. At your Plan II orientation sessions, your Plan II advisers will help you complete the paperwork to be officially registered and coded in two majors or two colleges.

Will I have time to get involved in extra-curricular activities?

Yes. We certainly encourage you to do so, although it's important to keep in mind that college-level activities can be very demanding. Plan II students have their own organizations for theater, music, writing, and community service; they also frequently write for the Daily Texan, march in the Longhorn Band, help out in local schools, take leadership posts in Greek letter societies, run for office in student government, and play on varsity teams.

But since Plan II Honors majors usually do not take more class hours than non-Plan II students, there is no reason that you can't find the time for non-academic activities.  We want our students to have balanced lives, full of intellectual pursuits but never forgoing passions that enrich their lives. 

If Plan II is so demanding, will my grades suffer?

On the contrary, the great majority of Plan II students finish the program with a flourish. About three quarters of our graduates receive university honors each year, and a very large percentage are elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi and walk at graduation with 4.0 GPAs. Plan II is a challenging but supportive community, if you are willing to rise to the challenge, your grades will reflect your effort. 

Do Plan II students study abroad?

Absolutely.  Many Plan II students spend a summer, a semester, or a year studying abroad. UT Austin sponsors programs and exchanges all over the world, and students are free to participate in other university programs or to apply directly to foreign institutions.

Plan II Honors supports students wishing to study abroad with a number of travel grants. More importantly, thanks to a recent $1 million gift from the founder of CarMax, Austin Ligon (Plan II, “73), Plan II can help send hundreds of Plan II students abroad each year through 2011 (and, we hope beyond). This gift was given in 2007 to be used, over the next five years, exclusively to support Plan II students studying abroad through the Ligon-Lamsam International Study Fund.

More than 50% the Plan II students graduating each year have participated in at least one study abroad program.  In some years, as many as 70% of the graduates have studied abroad.  Please be sure to see the Study Abroad pages under the Current Students page.

What kind of careers or graduate programs do Plan II students pursue?

We find our alumni active in virtually every profession. The only limits to what you can do with a Plan II degree are your own imagination, ambition, and determination. Many of our graduates (approximately 20-25% per year) go to law school or medical school, where they excel. Another 10-15% of Plan II graduates each year continue their studies in an advanced degree program or Many others start directly on careers in fields such as business, teaching, software design, or journalism. A summary of the placements of our recent graduates is available at profiles of graduating classes.

What about AP credit and other credit by exam?

See full information at:  Credit by Exam

What if I'm not admitted to Plan II Honors?

If you are not admitted to Plan II Honors, you will still be considered for any other programs or majors to which you applied. It is possible to be denied admission to Plan II Honors, but to be admitted to UT in the College of Liberal Arts or any of the other UT colleges. Applicants who are not admitted to either of their first choice colleges, but who are still admissible to the University of Texas, will be admitted to the School of Undergraduate Studies which offers incoming students the opportunity to explore available programs before selecting a major. Undergraduate studies does not offer degrees. Instead, students choose core courses and electives while working with experienced advisors to prepare for transfer into undergraduate majors in the university’s other colleges and schools.

To change your major choices after denial of admission from a competitive admission program or college, contact the UT Office of Admission via email or in writing.The email must clearly state your name, UT EID, and that you would like to change your major choice(s) from "A" and "B" to "C" (and "D"). Your timing and the major and college for which you hope to be reviewed will determine whether this is possible.

Entering freshmen can declare a major in any of the major choices in the Colleges of Liberal Arts. This means that if you initially apply to the Red McCombs School of Business and Plan II Honors, for instance, but know that you wish to pursue a major in History, Geography, or Spanish (to name a few examples in Liberal Arts) if you are not admitted to Plan II or to Business, all those options are easily available without you having noted them on your freshman application. Applicants in the top 10% (or top 7% or top 8%, depending on the year) of their high school's class and applicants who are not in the top 10% or who are from non-ranking high schools but who are admitted by the University, are already admissible to the College of Liberal Arts. So, for instance, if you apply to Engineering and Plan II Honors and are not admitted to either, you can still pursue a major in English, Sociology, Government or Philosophy without another application or review process.

Internal Transfers

Applicants who are not admitted to Plan II Honors, but are admitted to the University of Texas at Austin, have the opportunity to apply as an internal transfer to (most) other majors and colleges again during the first or second year at UT Austin. So, for instance, if you apply to the McCombs School of Business or the College of Communication, as well as Plan II Honors, but  are not admitted to either, you can apply to the other college again.  Research information on internal transfer processes at that college's website.

Plan II Honors Transfers

An original freshman application (from a first-time undergraduate student), submitted by the December 1 deadline, is the one shot for admission to Plan II Honors fall semesters' admissions. Neither current UT students nor students transferring to UT Austin from other academic institutions are eligible to apply to Plan II.  

Denial of Plan II Honors Admission Appeal Process

Plan II has an appeal process. If you have been denied admissions to Plan II Honors and you wish to appeal, you must send a formal appeal letter addressed to the Plan II Admissions Committee (hard-copy via US mail—NOT an email or email attachment). That letter may result in a denied applicant moving from Denied to Wait List status. Unfortunately, we can’t give any firm number on an applicant's chances of admission from the wait list.

Your appeal letter should state that you hope your application will be reconsidered. What you include in addition to that is up to you. In the past, we have received three sentence appeal letters and three page appeal letters. If you have strengths or experiences you feel may have been overlooked or that you did not have the opportunity to explain, you should highlight such things in this letter. It’s important to emphasize that chances of success are quite limited. Those applicants placed on the Wait List, rather than denied, will be reconsidered before those on the Wait List through the appeal process. So, emphasizing strong motivation, and writing a strong letter of appeal are very important. 

After the May 1 deadline for admitted students to notify Plan II of their decision—during the second week of May—Plan II will rank and re-review applicants on the wait list to offer admission if there is any space available. In past years, we have admitted as few as five and as many as sixty from the wait list.

Questions concerning Plan II admission?  Please email Plan II Admissions Director, Kerry Pasquale.

Application Checklist:

  • ApplyTexas Applicaiton for Freshman Admission
  • $75 Application Fee
  • Self-Reported High School Coursework Information Form
  • Official High School Transcript and rank
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Two Essays
  • Honors Application
  • Expanded Résumé
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