Admissions FAQ

Why do you only accept fall applications?

The CSEM required first year core courses are only offered in sequence, beginning in the fall semester. Students beginning in the spring semester could not begin their first year coursework until the fall.

Can I apply directly to the PhD program if I only have a bachelor’s degree?

Yes. We do not require a Master’s degree for application to the PhD program. If your ultimate goal is to earn the PhD in the CSEM Program, you should indicate PhD as your degree sought on your online application. If you select Master’s, your application will not be routed to the correct committee and you will not be considered for financial aid.

Is it possible to apply for a waiver of the application fee?

The CSEM Program has limited funding available for U.S. applicants in need of a fee waiver due to financial hardship. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator for more information.

I want to apply to two programs at UT Austin. Do I have to pay the application fee twice?

No. If you are applying to more than one graduate program at UT Austin, you only need to pay the application fee once. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator for more information.

I accidentally selected Master’s as my degree sought in the online application. How can I change it to PhD?

Send an e-mail to the Graduate Coordinator at camgrad@ices.utexas.edu indicating that you need to change your degree sought to PhD. Please include your UT EID in all correspondence.

What is the ETS code for the University of Texas at Austin?

The ETS code (for GRE & TOEFL) is 6882.

What department code should I use when submitting my GRE and/or TOEFL test scores?

It is not necessary to use a department code when submitting your test scores to UT Austin. (If you must select a department code, pick one that is similar to your proposed major.) ALL test scores are sent to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) where they are matched to your application materials and made available to the graduate program to which you are applying.

How long does it take for test scores to be received?

Test scores are received by the university approximately four to six weeks after a test is taken if the university is designated as a score recipient at the time of testing.

How can I receive a waiver of the TOEFL or IELTS?

According to the Graduate Admissions page, international applicants who are from a country where English is the only official language are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, applicants are exempt from the requirement if they possess a bachelor's degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in a country where English is the only official language. The requirement is NOT waived for applicants who have earned a master's -- but not a bachelor's -- degree from a similar institution. If you do not qualify for a waiver based on the requirements outlined by the Graduate School, DO NOT e-mail the department to ask for a waiver. We will NOT accept expired test scores, nor will we waive the requirement for applicants who have earned only a Master's degree from a U.S. institution. 

Do I need to mail any materials to the department or the university?

No. All application materials are to be submitted online.  Any materials mailed to the university will be disposed of and will not be included in your application.

Do I need to have official transcripts mailed to the university?

No. After you submit the online application and pay your application fee, you will receive an email that contains a link to the Status Check web site where you will be able to upload your transcript. The uploaded transcript(s) is considered to be unofficial but will be used to process your application for admission. Please do not mail official transcripts or paper copies of your transcripts before you are offered admission. Sending paper copies of documents you have uploaded will significantly delay the processing of your application. See instructions for uploading transcripts for more information.

Will I be considered for financial aid?

All applicants to the CSEM PhD Program are considered for financial aid as part of the admissions process. We do not provide financial aid for Master’s students.

How can I submit additional materials with my application?

The CSEM Program does not require additional materials to be submitted other than what is listed in the application instructions. However, if you wish to submit additional materials (e.g. resume, publications) you may upload them as pdf documents through the Supplemental Documents Upload Page. These documents should be designated as a Miscellaneous Admissions Document.

Do you have a minimum GRE score requirement?

No, the CSEM Program evaluates each application holistically and does not accept or reject an application based on a single component of that application. Therefore, we do not have a set requirement for a minimum GRE score.

What are the average GRE scores for students admitted to the CSEM Program?

The average GRE scores for students admitted to the CSEM program over the past 5 years are shown below.

  • GRE revised General Test (taken after 8/1/11)
    • Verbal: 159
    • Quantitative: 166
  • GRE Analytical Writing: 4.0

What is the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission?

A score of 79 on the TOEFL internet-based test or an overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to the University of Texas at Austin.

What are the average TOEFL & IELTS scores for students admitted to the CSEM Program?

The average TOEFL & IELTS scores for students admitted to the CSEM Program over the past 5 years are shown below.

  • TOEFL:  106
  • IELTS:  7.3

What is the average GPA for students admitted to the CSEM Program?

The average GPA for students admitted to the CSEM program over the past 5 years is: 3.84. Please keep in mind that this average only includes those applicants whose undergraduate GPA was calculated on a 4.00 scale.

How do I check the status of my application?

The Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) provides an Application Status Check to assist applicants to track the receipt of required materials. You will need your UT EID and password to access this service. You will not be able to check the status of your application prior to submitting the online application and receiving the acknowledgement email with your EID and password.

How will I be notified of an admissions decision?

As soon as the CSEM Admissions Committee makes a decision on your application, it will be reflected in your Application Status Check and you will receive an e-mail notification. You may also be contacted by the CSEM Graduate Coordinator.

When are admissions decisions usually made?

The CSEM Admissions Committee strives to have all admissions decisions made by early March.

If I am granted admission with financial support, by what date am I required to respond?

The University of Texas at Austin is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools and we subscribe to the council’s Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants. This resolution states that students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15.

If I am granted admission with financial support, may I respond prior to April 15?

Yes. You are encouraged to respond to our offer as soon as possible which will assist us with our admissions process, but you are under no obligation to do so.

How many students are enrolled in the CSEM PhD Program?

80 students are currently enrolled in the CSEM Program (academic year 2017-18.)

How many applications does the CSEM Program receive annually? How many applicants are admitted and enroll?

Over the past five years, the CSEM Program has received an average of 158 applications per admissions cycle and the average size of the incoming fall class has been 15 students.