First-Time Freshman Admission

Applicants who have never attended another college or university after graduating from high school or have not earned college credit through non-traditional methods (e.g. military credit or credit from specialized schools) should apply for admission as freshmen. Students who have earned college-level credits by participating in a dual enrollment program or have earned credit by examination (e.g., IB, AP, CLEP) while in high school are considered freshmen.

The following first-time freshman section applies to citizens/permanent residents of the United States, and to international students who are completing high school in the United States. International students or citizens/permanent residents of the United States who completed high school or college studies in foreign countries should refer to the section on International Student Admission below.

Required Documents 

Freshmen applicants must submit the following:

  • Apply Texas Application (www.applytexas.org)
  • Official high school transcript or official GED score report 
    • The document must indicate: (1) the high school curriculum completed (e.g., distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation, Recommended High School Program, or Distinguished Achievement High School Program--Advanced High School Program), (2) rank, and (3) graduation (actual or expected) date. The academic transcript must be submitted directly from the issuing high school to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment. 
    • All transcripts in languages other than English must be accompanied by an English translation prepared by the educational institution, an American Consulate, or a certified English translator. The Office of Admissions and Recruitment does not endorse any credential evaluation agency over another.
  • At least one of the following:
    • College placement test scores including:
      • Official SAT and/or ACT scores
        • Official test scores must be sent directly to UTEP from the testing agency
      • Texas Success Initiative Assessment scores
    • Demonstration of college-readiness placement, including:
      • Earned dual credit that demonstrates college readiness placement
      • Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credits that demonstrate college readiness placement
    • A writing sample 
      • Students have the option of submitting a writing sample to UTEP. Writing samples are not required, but may help expedite the admissions process for students who are unable to submit standardized test scores or for students whose scores do not adequately reflect their academic potential. Prospective students should contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment for more detailed information about submitting a writing sample.

All documents submitted to the University become part of the official files of the University and cannot be released or returned to the student or to another institution, nor may documents be released by way a copy. 

A student who completed AP (Advanced Placement), CLEP (College Level Examination Program), International Baccalaureate (IB), SAT II Subject Exams, or DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests), must submit official score report to be awarded credit. Official military AARTS, JST, or SMART transcripts, if applicable, must be submitted prior to awarding credit. For any other type of examination refer to the "Credit for Non-Traditional Educational Experiences" section of this catalog.

High School Preparation

All new first-year students must successfully complete the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation, Recommended, or Advanced High School Program from a Texas public high school as outlined under Texas Education Code, §28.025, as well as, 19 TAC §§74.63, 74.64, 74.73, and 74.74 (relating to the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation, Recommended High School Program, or Distinguished Achievement High School Program--Advanced High School Program). Graduates from non-Texas or private high schools, must satisfy an equivalent high school curriculum and submit an “RCCF” form to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.  “RCCF” must be filled out and signed by a high school official.

Students may satisfy the requirement above if they completed the portion of the recommended curriculum that was available, but were unable to complete the remainder of the curriculum solely because courses necessary to complete it were unavailable as a result of course scheduling, lack of enrollment capacity, or another cause not within the students' control. Students in this situation must request an exception by submitting the “RCCF” Form, found at https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/admissions/resources/index.html.

Students with Non-traditional High School Preparation

Students who received a high school equivalency certificate are eligible for admission if they satisfy the ACT or SAT benchmarks for college readiness as described in 19 TAC §5.5. The TSI Assessment (TSIA) is required to determine academic placement in English and math courses. The TSIA can be taken locally at UTEP, at El Paso Community College, or at TSIA test sites around the country. To find a TSIA test site outside of El Paso, check with college and university testing offices in the student's area, or call the College Board toll-free at 866.607.5223.

Students who completed the Spanish version of the GED with an average standard score of 45 or higher, must also submit scores of 1000 or higher on the PAA (Prueba de Aptitud Academica). Students who meet the Spanish GED and PAA requirements will be admitted into the Programa Interamericano Estudiantil (PIE).

Graduates of Unaccredited High Schools

Students who graduated from high schools that are not accredited by one of the accrediting organizations recognized by the State of Texas or who attended a home school program may be eligible for admission if their high school curriculum was comparable in content and rigor to Texas’s distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation, Recommended, or Advanced High School Program (described above). In addition to the documents required for first-year admission, students should also provide a Texas Private High School Certification (TPHSC) form demonstrating course equivalency to the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation, Recommended, or Advanced High School Program. Students who are unable to provide a TPHSC form may also qualify for admission by meeting ACT or SAT benchmarks for college readiness as described in 19 TAC §5.5.. The TPHSC can be found by visiting www.utep.edu/forms.

Assured Freshman Admission 

First-time freshmen are assured admission to The University of Texas at El Paso if they fulfill one of the following criteria: 

Children of Public Servants Killed or Fatally Injured in the Line of Duty

Children of public servants killed or fatally injured in the line of duty, as designated by Texas Education Code, Section 51.803{e), are eligible for automatic admission if they meet University-established requirements. This policy is in accordance with section 51.803 of the Texas Education Code.

Top 10% Admission for Graduates of Texas High Schools 

First-time, first-year students are admissible to UTEP if they graduated from a Texas high school in the top 10% of their graduating class and submit all required credentials. After admission, students may demonstrate college readiness by submitting SAT, ACT, or Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) scores, or by submitting dual credit, Advanced Placement Credit, or International Baccalaureate credit that demonstrates college-level placement. Students who are not able to demonstrate college readiness placement are required to take the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) to determine college placement. Applicants who are not in the top 10% of their graduating class can qualify for admission based on their high school ranking and standardized test scores or through UTEP's Reviewed Admission Programs.

Although SAT and ACT scores are not required under the Tap 10% admissions criterion, students are strongly encouraged to take the SAT and/or the ACT to ensure eligibility far scholarships and other types of merit-based financial assistance.

High School Rank and Test Scores

Texas high school graduates and all graduates of out-of-state high schools are admissible as first-time, first-year students if they meet any of the criteria listed below:

 
HS Rank in Class Minimum SAT Combined Score (Verbal + Math) OR Minimum ACT Composite Score
Top 25% No minimum OR No minimum
Second 25% 920 OR 19
Third 25 % 970 OR 20
Fourth 25% 1010 OR 21
No HS rank, GED, unaccredited HS, or home-school program 1070 OR 23

Students who achieve a score of 1070 on the SAT, with minimum scores of 500 each in the mathematics and verbal sections, are considered college ready and may enroll in college-level courses upon admission. Likewise, students who achieve a score of 23 on the ACT, with minimum scores of 19 each in the mathematics and English sections, are considered college ready and may enroll in college-level courses upon admission. Students who do not achieve these scores on the SAT or ACT must take the TSI Assessment (TSIA) following admission, to determine first-semester course placement in reading, writing, and mathematics. Applicants who do not meet these criteria may qualify for admission through UTEP's Reviewed Admission Programs.

College Readiness

First time, first-year students who achieve sufficient scores on a standardized test to qualify for a Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exemption, as defined in Texas Administrative Code, §4.54. Will qualify for admission as a college ready student. Applicants may also qualify for admission as a college ready student if they achieve sufficient scores on the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA), as defined in Texas Administrative Code, §4.57. As with previous admissions criterion, completion of the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation, Recommended, or Advanced High School Program (described above) OR an equivalent advanced high school program is required.

The TSI Assessment (TSIA) may be taken at UTEP, El Paso Community College, or any other approved test site across the state. Virtual proctoring is also available. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Assessment and Testing at 915.747.5009 or testing@utep.edu for additional information about the TSI assessment. Students should plan to begin Math and English requirements during the first semester of enrollment and continue until complete.

Provisional Freshman Admission

First-time, first year students who do not meet the requirements for admission under criteria listed above and who score below the college readiness benchmark on the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA), as defined in Texas Administrative Code §4.54, are eligible for provisional admission through the University’s Program START Students must:

  • Enroll in the College of Liberal Arts as START majors
  •  Attend New Student Orientation
  • Be advised every term by an academic advisor in the Academic Advising Center
  •  Earn a grade of C or better in at least nine (9) hours of prescribed courses from at least two of the following areas: English, mathematics, natural science, foreign language, social sciences, and humanities. Any developmental coursework prescribed by TSI Assessment scores must be taken within the nine (9) hours.
  •  Maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Once these requirements have been met, the student may declare a major.

If the student does not meet these requirements during the first semester but has at least a 1.5 cumulative GPA, an additional START semester will be allowed. START students who do not satisfy these requirements have two options if they wish to re-enroll at UTEP:

  1. Apply for readmission and reinstatement by the START Manager after two calendar years have elapsed since the end of the last period of attendance; or
  2. Apply for readmission through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment after attending another college or university at which a minimum of 12 semester hours of college-level work with grades of C or better in each course were earned and a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA was maintained.

Under extenuating circumstances, an ineligible START student may petition for reinstatement through the Academic Advising Center.

Students who score below the college readiness benchmark on the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment but who earn at least nine (9) semester credit hours of college-level credit through Advanced Placement credit or international Baccalaureate credit will be exited from the START program and permitted to declare a major.  The nine (9) hours of college-level credit must include at least three (3) hours of college-level English credit and at least three (3) hours of college-level mathematics credit in order for the student to fulfill provisional admission requirements and be exited from the START program.

Reviewed Freshman Admission

Pursuant to state law and in accordance with The University of Texas System Board of Regents admissions policy, qualified applicants who do not qualify for assured admission as outlined above may be admitted outside the normal process through a holistic review process. Applicants who have completed the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation, Recommended, or Advanced High School Program (described above) but do not meet the requirements for first-year admission described above may be reviewed on an individual basis.

To ensure consistency and fairness of this review, admission decisions shall be based on substantive information about the applicant. This review gives consideration to the applicant's high school and college records, the strength of academic preparation, types of courses taken, and grades earned in specific courses. Performance on standardized tests may also be considered. Applicants are encouraged to submit additional material or a writing sample for consideration in evaluating their potential for success at UTEP. Such material can document, for example, the applicant's work experience; achievements, honors, and awards; responsibilities while attending school, including child or elder care or other major responsibilities; bilingual proficiency; socioeconomic background; residency status; involvement in community and extra-curricular activities; status as a first-generation college student; commitment to a particular field of study; strengths and talents that might not be apparent from the academic record, and experiences in surmounting obstacles in pursuit of higher education. Letters of recommendation from high school teachers, counselors, supervisors, and activity leaders are also appropriate.

For information about submitting a writing sample, prospective students should contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. All other supporting materials should be submitted to The University of Texas at El Paso Admissions Appeal Committee, Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment, Mike Loya Academic Services Building, Room 102, El Pas o, Texas 79968. Materials submitted to other offices will not be considered. The Reviewed Admission committee consists of representatives from the Office of Admissions and Recruitment, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs. Securing against undue influence is the responsibility of admission officials, to include academic deans and institutional leaders.

Go Centers

Go Centers are a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board initiative to increase postsecondary admission and enrollment among prospective college. The purpose of the Go Centers is to raise awareness among students and their families about the benefits of higher education and how to be academically and financially prepared, and they serve as one of the points of coordination between the College for Texans efforts and local schools. Go Centers are located in local high schools and staffed by UTEP students with the assistance of high school counselors. The Centers have information regarding admission to colleges and universities, financial aid, scholarships, and other materials to help foster the affordability and attainability of higher education.