Department of Art and Art History Prospective Students

Frequently Asked Questions

The University of Texas at Austin seems so big…won’t I feel like “just a number”?

  • It is important to remember that of the 70,000+ individuals on this campus 50,000 are students, of which 36,000 are undergraduate students. Of this 36,000, about 1,600 are students in the College of Fine Arts, of which about 600 are undergraduate majors in the Department of Art and Art History. Break it down by major and those groups are smaller than most high schools: 125 Art History majors, 65 Design Majors, 55 Visual Art Studies/Art Education majors, and 355 Studio Art majors! As for feeling like a number, with such low student-to-teacher and academic advisor-to-student ratios, it’s actually quite cozy!

What if I am not in the top percent of my graduating class, am I still eligible to apply to your department?

  • Yes! All freshmen applicants, regardless of high school rank, are eligible to apply to our programs and the University! We encourage you to apply regardless of your high school rank as ranking is only one of many factors considered in our admission process. The "Automatic Admission Law" (officially Texas Senate Bill 175), which applies only to first-time college Texas-resident freshman applying to The University of Texas at Austin, guarantees that graduates from a Texas public high school who rank in the top percent of their senior class, and satisfy other rules established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, will be admitted to The University. The law does not guarantee automatic admission to first-choice restricted majors. All majors in the Department of Art and Art History are restricted majors. Thus, even if you are in the top percent of your graduating high school class and have been granted automatic admission to The University, you will still need to be accepted for admission by this department. Note: Not being in the top percent does not preclude admission to our department; we strongly encourage you to apply regardless of your high school rank. For more information on modifications to the former "Top 10% Percent Law" (officially Texas House Bill 588), please see Modifications to Texas' Automatic Admission Law.

Is there a required minimum score on the ACT or SAT in order for me to be eligible to apply to your department?

  • No, UT Austin and the Department of Art and Art History have no minimum test score requirement for the ACT and SAT. The average scores for entering freshmen at UT Austin on the ACT is 27 and 1240 on the SAT (CR+M). The average scores for entering freshmen in the Department of Art and Art History on the ACT is 25 and 1176 on the SAT (CR+M).

Is there a review of an art portfolio as part of the departmental application process?

  • Yes, the Department does require an art portfolio as part of the application process. Freshmen, Transfer, and Change of Major applicants applying to Design, Studio Art, or Visual Art Studies, are required to submit art portfolio as part of their application (see Portfolio Requirements) on the department Web site). The Department is aware that training in the visual arts in communities and high schools varies across the State. When reviewing portfolios, the Department of Art and Art History takes into consideration the amount and type of art training applicants have received. Applicants should not shy away from applying or submitting portfolio as the Department recognizes that applicants are coming to this process from varied educational backgrounds and art-making experiences. The Department is not looking for portfolio perfection; we are looking for commitment and potential!

What does the Department of Art and Art History look for when reviewing applicants?

  • The Department looks for evidence of any art and art history training an applicant has had, whether in high school art courses, college-level courses, extra-curricular art training in the community, or participation in Advanced Placement portfolio exams. Review of portfolio and the Art and Art History essay (Topic D) are carefully reviewed for evidence of appropriate experience, interests, and creativity. The portfolio and essays are extremely important in our review of your application. Secondarily, we review GPA, rank, test scores and other factors. Transfer students must have a GPA of 3.00 or higher on 30 hours of completed college coursework at time of application, though having a GPA of 3.00 does not guarantee admission.

Do I need to meet with anyone in the Department of Art and Art History before I apply?

  • It is not a requirement to meet or speak to anyone before applying to The Department. However, students will want to avail themselves of all the information to be found at the Office of Admission and Department of Art and Art History web sites. Prospective applicants wishing to visit the department’s programs should arrange an appointment in advance of visiting the department, see Visiting the Department.

What type of student activities and exhibition opportunities are there in the Department and College?

The Department and College provide many opportunities for student participation, including:

  • Association of Black Fine Arts Students
  • Center Space Project
  • Design Student Association
  • Fine Arts Student Council
  • Student Guild of the Blanton Museum
  • Undergraduate Art History Association
  • UT Artists in Action

Do the Department and College offer financial aid and scholarships?

  • The Department of Art and Art History and the College of Fine Arts does not offer financial aid or scholarships for incoming students. However, during the first and subsequent years of study in the department it is possible that a student may be nominated for scholarships based upon the merit of their university academic work and/or artwork produced within the context of the program. Competitive departmental scholarships are awarded annually to fund travel and tuition expenses for special summer study programs that are offered by the Department; for example, Learning Tuscany: Arts and Culture in Italy and The Ox-Bow Summer Residency Art Program.
  • For general financial aid and scholarships (FYI: you should never pay someone to help you find financial aid and scholarships), the University offers lots of information and links to helpful free sites to assist you in locating available scholarships.

For information on general funding sources and processes, prospective applicants and currents students will want to visit the following websites:

  • Texas Scholarships (To apply for academic and merit scholarships while simultaneously applying to the University)

It is also possible to work on the University’s campus (which has several benefits to students: primary registration access periods, flexible work schedules, future job references, etc.) to help pay for college expenses. If you are eligible to receive federal financial aid, you could be awarded Work Study as part of your financial aid package, and this secures your employment in a university job on campus! Or, if you are not awarded Work Study, you can find other employment and internship opportunities on campus (or off campus) with employers and alumni who are sympathetic to a student’s class and work schedule needs via Hirealonghorn or Hire Texas: AccessUT. Hirealonghorn is sponsored by the Student Employment Referral Service (SERS) within the Office of Student Financial Services and AccessUT is sponsored by the career offices of the colleges of The University. These services are available to employers and University of Texas at Austin students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are an admitted or currently enrolled student at The University of Texas at Austin, you are eligible to use these job portals to search for jobs or internships to help finance your education. Via these portals, you will be able to complete a personal profile with your previous work experience and other pertinent information, post a resume, search for jobs, and contact prospective employers via e-mail or telephone. 

What type of job can I get with a degree in the fine arts?

The real question is "What can't you do with a degree in fine arts?" And the answer is simple: Your job options are as wide and varied as your interests and talents. Maybe the question really is, “What do you want to do after graduation with a fine arts education and degree?” Like many degrees on any campus, our degrees can lead to a multitude of careers down the road. Many of our students work in a creative field or go onto graduate school. There are many jobs in the world that have creative aspects to them and employers need creative individuals to cover those aspects. While you are in college, you will be able to utilize the resources around you to begin discovering a career path for yourself based upon your skill sets, creative talents, and your own personal interests. When you find out what that path might be, undergraduate advisors and career counselors will try their best to give you the tools you need before graduation. While the University’s Sanger Learning and Career Center is available to all university students, the College of Fine Arts at UT Austin is one of only a few universities nation-wide that have a career center solely dedicated to fine arts majors. Fine Arts Career Services (FACS) will work to insure that all fine arts students: (1) appreciate the value of a fine arts education and are aware of the wide array of career opportunities available to them; (2) understand and are equipped for the rigors and realities of the professional world of the visual and performing arts; (3) have access to a variety of pre-professional opportunities that allow them to explore arts-related and non-arts-related career options; and (4) have support and guidance to implement career and education plans. Degree seeking students in the College of Fine Arts are eligible for a variety of services, which include one-on-one career consultations, use of all FACS resources, and career library check-out privileges. Alumni of the College of Fine Arts are eligible to use the same services as students. In addition, if alumni are invited to share their hard-earned career wisdom with current students via informal workshops and meetings. FACS is dedicated to the academic and professional successes of the students of the College of Fine Arts. To this end, the Center works with faculty to integrate career services with existing curriculum by providing various resources and programs to assist faculty members in contributing to the professional development of their students. The FACS also provides employers with access to a group of exceptional students with much to offer by allowing employers to list job or internship opportunities free of charge. Fine Arts Career Services can be provided here:

  • Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to Noon and 1:00 to 5:00 PM
  • Phone: 512-232-7333
  • Fax: 512-232-7337
  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Location: FACS office is in the Doty Fine Arts Building, DFA 1.101, and on the east side of the University of Texas at Austin campus, at the corner of 23rd and Trinity Street. Visitors may find that the San Jacinto Garage is the most convenient option when visiting our office, though there are many parking options available. Visit the Department of Parking and Transportation website for more detailed information.