We are very excited that you are considering The University of Texas at Austin's Computer Science program!

We know that you have a lot of choices in college and we are honored that you are thinking about The University of Texas at Austin. UT Austin offers many opportunities to our undergrads, from research to study abroad. Please take a look at the College of Natural Science Future Student Homepage!

The best way to choose a college is to see if they are a right fit for you. Please consider visiting the College of Natural Sciences, and the Computer Science department to get a feel of our campus and community! The Office of Admissions coordinates UT Tours to show you the entire campus and all its resources. For high school students or transfer students with less than 30 hours, our Computer Science Ambassadors offer a student-led tour of a day in the life of a CS student during the semester, including a CS class, lunch with an ambassador and a meeting with a CS advisor.

The Office of Admissions is responsible for the admission of undergraduate students to the University. Future students may communicate with admissions counselors through the site about details concerning admission application status and decisions, campus visit event registration, academics, financial aid, and housing. For information on internally transferring to Computer Science from another major at UT, please visit the Internal Transfer website. For information on the Turing Scholars program and admissions, please visit the Turing Scholars website.

Our department highly suggests choosing your major carefully before applying to UT. Please take the time to view the ACM definition of the differences between CS and ECE.

Freshmen: Please visit the CNS website for information on getting into the College of Natural Sciences at UT. To apply to admission to the Department of Computer Science, select The College of Natural Sciences and Computer Science Entry-level as your college and major choice on the Apply Texas application.

External Transfers: For more information about transferring to the Department of Computer Science at UT from another college or university, please visit the CNS website for information on getting into the College of Natural Sciences. To apply to admission to the Department of Computer Science, select The College of Natural Sciences and Computer Science Entry-level as your college and major choice on the Apply Texas application. 

International Students: The University of Texas at Austin and the College of Natural Sciences provide a variety of services to assist international students and non-U.S. citizens who do not hold U.S. Permanent Resident Status with questions and concerns. Visit the university's International Students page for more information.

Helpful resources:

Freshmen: Congratulations on your admission! Our advisors will meet with you at freshmen orientation to work with you to evaluate any existing credit and to place you in the right classes when you arrive. Helpful resources:

Transfers & International Students: Congratulations on your admission! Our advisors will meet with you at transfer orientation to work with you to evaluate your transcript and to place you in the right UT CS classes when you arrive. Helpful resources:

  • Transfer students from within the state of Texas may find the University's Automated Transfer Equivalency Database useful. It is a searchable database in which one may look up the UT equivalent for any college course offered within the state of Texas. Keep in mind that the University imposes a residency requirement: In order to receive an undergraduate degree you must complete 60 hours in residence at UT Austin. 
  • CS readiness
  • CNS information for incoming students

Question: What type of computer should I buy?

We get this question often from prospective students, so we asked our ambassadors, experienced CS students to answer:

 "As far as computers go, every CS student has access to the computers in the 3rd floor and basement labs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex for their programming and general purpose needs as well as the computers around campus in the libraries and other computer labs for general purpose use. The computer labs in Gates are open 24/7 for student use. Therefore, the type of computer that you should buy in preparation for coming to college should be one that you are comfortable using. There is no departmental preference between Windows, Mac, Unix, or Chrome operating systems. In terms of hardware, few classes will actually stress your computer to the point where processors overheating becomes an issue and for CS classes that require a lot of computing power for simulations or graphics, most students use the computers in the labs. Most computer science classes do not allow students to take notes on laptops during class, so laptop use in class would likely only be for non-CS courses and would probably consist of note taking.  [For example, a student recalls using a laptop with a processor that was 2 or 3 steps behind the i3 as well as one with an i3 processor and had no laptop related problems.]

While having a laptop in college is not a requirement, I definitely recommend that students bring one just in case they need to use a computer while in their dorm room. As for the type of computer, the best, short answer that I can give is for you to bring the laptop that you are most comfortable using, because you won't have to do anything on your personal computer remotely that you wouldn't be able to do on a lab computer (besides take notes in class). It is definitely common for students to have basic laptops for general purpose use. For example, a student might primarily use their laptop for note taking and occasionally remote accessing to one of the CS machines at UT to do programming. If a student requires the use of a certain software or needs to be on the network (and etc), they typically choose to work in the labs. There are students who have more advanced laptops and even desktops, but it's definitely not required and most people use these more advanced systems for personal use such as gaming, not because it's a requirement of the major. This is why we suggest prospective students to buy whatever laptop they feel comfortable working on and has the capability to do what they would want to do outside of class."