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University of Texas at Austin VS. Texas A&M University Admissions

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Are you set on becoming a Longhorn, and love Burnt Orange? Or have you had your heart set on being an Aggie and you look much better in Maroon & White? Having grown up in the great State of Texas, I was always told you had to pick one team to “root” for, and to choose the BEST university. As deep & wide as the State of Texas is, two universities stand out more than others, The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. Both The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University have cultivated rich histories with one another, their alumni, and an array of distinctive academic programs. But how do you decide which flagship university is right for you? That's where I come in – I'm here to provide you with statistics, traditions, major options, and everything in between. So, take a seat, grab your notebook, and let's make the best decision for YOU!


“Hook ‘Em”

The University of Texas at Austin boasts a treasure trove of traditions, exemplified by its famous catchphrase, "What Starts Here Changes the World." This university offers unparalleled research opportunities, an unbelievable collegiate experience, and a seamless blend of classroom learning and study abroad programs. Established in 1883, UT Austin houses 19 different colleges with over 170 undergraduate programs. It consistently ranks among the top 10 public universities, with Accounting reigning as the #1 major within the McCombs School of Business.

The mission of The University of Texas at Austin is to excel in undergraduate and graduate programs, research, and public service. Additionally, the university seeks to contribute to society through research, creative activity, scholarly work, and education.

The core purpose of UT Austin is to transform lives for the benefit of society, a notion deeply rooted in "What Starts Here Changes the World." Here is a quick blog post on how alumni are living out UT’s Motto. By acquainting yourself with these core values – Learning, Discovery, Freedom, Leadership, Individual Opportunity, and Responsibility – you'll be better equipped to craft a compelling application essay or response to short-answer questions, demonstrating how you'll be a positive force at UT.

“Gig ‘Em Aggies!”

Texas A&M University, no slouch in the tradition department, holds a unique place in Aggie hearts. These traditions shape the identity of the university and its ever-growing Aggie family. Initially established as a military institution, it was Texas's first public university, welcoming students in 1876. Texas A&M offers 17 colleges with 133 undergraduate degree programs. It has also earned the designation as a land, sea, and space-grant institution, paving the way in these realms.

Some of the distinctive traditions at Texas A&M include "Howdy!" – the official greeting on campus, the Aggie Ring – with its own traditions upon receiving one and an instant connection to Aggies worldwide, the Corps of Cadets – the largest leadership and career readiness organization on campus, Reveille – the university's official mascot, and the 12th Man – embodying the readiness to serve when called upon. The Battalion provides a comprehensive list of these traditions.

The Texas A&M University Purpose Statement for all students is "To develop leaders of character dedicated to serving the greater good." As a leadership-focused university, this statement encapsulates its mission.

Texas A&M also upholds six core values: Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, and Respect. Understanding these values is crucial when responding to the SAQs, especially when applying to the College of Engineering.


The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M share some common ground when it comes to the degrees and majors offered at both institutions. They both offer degrees in Architecture, Liberal Arts, Health Science, Engineering (highly competitive at both institutions), and multiple Business degrees (especially competitive at UT).

Emphasizing your fit for a particular major is vital, particularly for UT Austin, where you should highlight your compatibility on your Activities List and Expanded Resume. For A&M and the College of Engineering, remember to submit both the SAQs and the Engineering SAQ and ensure your application reaches them before October 15th; applications submitted after this date won't be considered for the College of Engineering at Texas A&M.

The University of Texas at Austin offers unique majors like Arts (degrees in all Art disciplines: music, theater, art, and design), Languages, Social Work, Communications - Radio & TV, Neurosciences, and Athletic Training. The Steve Hicks School of Social Work, exclusive to UT Austin, provides students with valuable service learning opportunities starting from the first semester, complementing classroom instruction.

Texas A&M University presents unique majors such as Agriculture (the third-largest college on campus), Meteorology, Urban Development, Ecology, Landscape Architecture, Forestry, Marine Biology & Oceanography, and Naval Architecture. While most of these majors relate to Agriculture Science, the Meteorology Program stands out, offering graduates numerous job opportunities with the National Weather Service, TV stations, and weather forecasting companies, among others.


Now that you’ve uncovered the distinctions between UT Austin and Texas A&M, are you closer to determining your perfect fit? Choosing where to apply and ultimately, where to attend college is a multifaceted decision. Let’s shift our focus to the differences in the Admissions Process for both UT Austin and Texas A&M University.

Preferred Application Platform

Common Application

Common Application

Application Time-Line

Opens: August 1st

Priority Deadline: Nov. 1st

Regular Deadline: Dec 1st

Opens August 1st

Engineering Deadline: Oct 15th

Regular Deadline: Dec 1st

Automatic Admission Cut-Off

Top 6%

Top 10%

Admission Decision Basis

Admit based on 1st choice Major

Once seats are gone, they are gone.

Admit to the University

Holistic Academic Record Considered

Rolling Admissions


Auto Admit Decisions Released: Oct

Priority Decision Released: Feb 1

Regular Decision Released: Mar 1


Apply early; receive decision early

Engineering Decision: Mid-Dec

Demonstrated Interest

Somewhat Considered


Popular Majors

Business; Engineering; Health Sciences; Liberal Arts

Agriculture; Business; Engineering; Health Sciences

Activities List

Important application component

Important application component

Fit to Major

Ties into Mission & Core Values

Ties into Mission & Core Values

Expanded Resume

Strongly Considered in the Application

Somewhat Considered in the Application


Now that we've explored the differences in the Admissions Process for both UT Austin and Texas A&M, it's essential to familiarize yourself with some common application terms, especially when taking these two institutions into consideration: Activities List, Fit to Major, Expanded Resume, and Demonstrated Interest.

Commonalities with the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M in the application process include: the activities list and the fit to major.

The Activities List isn't your standard checklist of your extracurricular involvement. The admissions committee is interested in specific aspects: How long did you participate in the activity? Did you receive any awards? Did you hold a leadership role? How did the activity impact your life? To make this process more manageable, consider starting a Google document as early as the 9th grade to keep track of all your activities, making it easier to select what you truly want to emphasize.

Are you familiar with the concept of "Fit to Major"? This is where your strengths or activities align with those of the college or university. In this case, it's crucial to assess how well you align with the mission and core values of UT Austin and Texas A&M (as discussed in the Mission & Core Values section above). How do you fit into these areas? Your SAQs are the ideal platform to highlight and provide evidence of your various experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, and how they relate to your intended degree path. For a more in-depth understanding of Fit to Major, check out Dale Price in this informative video where he delves into the topic.

Differences between UT Austin & Texas A&M in the application process include: the Expanded Resume and Demonstrated Interest.

The Expanded Resume serves as your chance to truly shine and delve deeper into your activities list. It's your opportunity to provide a comprehensive account of each club, organization, activity, award, job, or volunteer experience you've been involved in outside of the high school classroom. The University of Texas at Austin pays very close attention to this component of the application process. It's crucial to note that the Expanded Resume isn't meant to mimic a professional resume. Instead, it provides a platform for you to articulate your experiences in a way that highlights your contributions and the personal growth you've achieved through your involvement.

Let's dive into the critical concept of Demonstrated Interest, which Texas A&M University particularly takes into consideration in the application process. So, how can you effectively convey to a college or university that you have a genuine desire to be part of their community? It's a great question! Communicating with your admissions advisor is a must. Responding to emails, asking additional questions, following social media posts, completing an official college visit are all ways you can effectively demonstrate your genuine interest in UT Austin and Texas A&M, making your application stand out as a reflection of your strong desire to be a part of their vibrant academic communities.

Hook 'Em or Gig 'Em - Which is Right for YOU?

Ok, so you have all of this new information regarding UT Austin and Texas A&M and you are asking yourself, “Now What?” Well, you’re not alone, as I’m sure many others are asking themselves the same or similar questions. Remember to look at the following when considering which is the right university for you: Automatic Admissions policy for both universities (UT Austin = Top 6%; TAMU = Top 10%); Fit to Major (what have you done both inside and outside of the classroom for that specific field); the Activities List (it’s about depth and breadth, leadership, awards / accolades, etc); and finally Demonstrated Interest (TAMU) vs the Expanded Resume (UT Austin). These key components of the application are what are going to set you apart from the other highly qualified applicants.

Next Steps? Here’s what I would recommend: Schedule an in-person campus visit to both universities for a campus tour; Schedule a time to meet with the Admissions Representative from both universities to get on their “radar”; Do your research, which university offers the specific major or area of interest you intend to study; and finally, buckle up and get ready for the ride. The application season is getting ready to gear up for our juniors, which makes this a great time for a little college exploration. Don’t forget, this is not a sprint to the finish, this is a marathon, and it will take time and patience, so don’t get frustrated, we are here to help guide and navigate you through the process.

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