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In order to apply for admission to The University of Texas at Austin Transportation Engineering Program, one must meet the requirements for both the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Program and the Transportation Engineering Program. This section outlines the two sets of admission requirements, as well as the complete admissions process.

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Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering (CAEE) Admissions Requirements
For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited program or equivalent non-U.S. institution. Those with a degree in natural sciences or mathematics can be admitted, but will need to complete course deficiencies in undergraduate preparation as shown below. Exceptional applicants seeking the Ph.D. degree can be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program without completing a master's degree.

All applicants are considered individually and admission decisions are based on all applicable items listed below. Decisions are made by the faculty within the area of specialization.

  • GPA - A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0 is expected for M.S. applicants and 3.5 for Ph.D. applicants. This GPA is based on upper division undergraduate courses and all graduate work.
  • GRE Score - Applicants must take the aptitude test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). While there is not a published minimum required score, successful applicants typically have a verbal score above 500, a quantitative score above 700, and an analytical writing score of at least 4.0/6.0, or at least 600 on the old version of the analytical section.
  • TOEFL Score - The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all students whose native language is not English, and a minimum score of 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based test is required.
  • References - Three letters of recommendation from previous instructors and/or supervisors are required whether or not the applicants intend to apply for financial aid.
  • Statement of Purpose - All areas of specialization require a personal statement of background and objectives.

It should be noted that meeting the minimum requirements does not insure admission.

Additional Requirements
Students with bachelor's degrees in fields other than engineering will be required to satisfy the following course requirements in addition to the requirements for the graduate degree program.  Satisfaction of course requirements may be made through course equivalencies other than those specifically defined below.  These will be determined by the Graduate Advisor on a case-specific basis, depending on the student's preparation.  Depending on the number of courses required, students may be asked to enroll as undergraduates until they are ready to begin graduate level course work. Credit is given for any course listed below that has been taken previously. 

  • Physics - 8 hours, must include laboratory work
  • Chemistry - 3 hours (CH 302 or equivalent)
  • Mathematics - 8 hours of calculus plus M427K or equivalent
  • Digital computation - 3 hours (CE 311K or equivalent)
  • Engineering mechanics - statics, dynamics, and elementary strength of materials (equivalent to at least EM 314 and 319)
  • Engineering science - 3 hours, typically thermodynamics or electrical circuits
  • Fluid mechanics - 3 hours (CE 319F)
  • Civil engineering - 12 hours, including courses in at least two areas

For more information, contact:

Dr. Howard Liljestrand
CAEE Graduate Advisor
The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering
301 E. Dean Keeton St. Stop C1700
Austin, TX 78712-0273
Telephone: (512) 471-4604
Fax: (512) 471-0592
Email: liljestrand@mail.utexas.edu

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Transportation Engineering Program Admissions Requirements
The Transportation Engineering Program receives a very large number of applications from very qualified individuals every year and offers admission to no more than 20% of the applicants. We consider a number of different factors in admission/aid decisions including academic performance, GRE/TOEFL performance, recommendation letters, prior experience, etc., as well as the qualifications of competing applicants. Typically, we will look for a strong academic performance, strong recommendation letters, as well as very good GRE Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing scores.

The Transportation Engineering Program has a centralized graduate application review system where each application for graduate studies is first reviewed and a determination is made regarding whether to admit or deny admission to the applicant. Decisions regarding assignment of students to faculty (and vice-versa) constitute a second-tier decision if a positive decision is made regarding admission. This assignment is based on student interests and faculty research areas of study.

For further information regarding the Transportation Engineering Program:

Dr. Zhanmin Zhang
Faculty Graduate Coordinator
Transportation Engineering Program
The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering
301 E. Dean Keeton St. Stop C1761
Austin, Texas 78712
Telephone: (512) 471-4534
Fax: (512) 475-8744
E-mail: z.zhang@mail.utexas.edu

Ms. Caitlan McCollum
Staff Graduate Coordinator
Telephone: (512) 232-2573
Fax: (512) 475-8744
E-mail: cmccollum@utexas.edu

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Graduate Admissions Process
December 15 is the preferred application deadline for summer and/or fall semester and September 1 is the preferred application deadline for spring semester. These deadlines are the dates by which the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) and the Civil Engineering Graduate Advisor must receive complete credentials. Please note that the application process is a two-step process and that the Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering may not act on student applications until the application packet has cleared the Graduate and International Admissions Center. Students are recommended to make certain that the necessary credentials (transcripts, scores...) are received by the Graduate and International Center well ahead of the application deadline for the semester for which they are applying.

Please visit the CAEE Department's Graduate Admissions website for more information.

Applicants must submit all of the following materials by the appropriate deadline. NOTE: Once you submit your documents online they cannot be deleted or edited. Therefore, please be sure your documents are correct before you upload them.

1. Online application.
All applicants to the graduate program should apply using the Cockrell graduate application. Please follow the instructions on the Cockrell School of Engineering webpage. Do NOT use the ApplyTexas application.

2. Application fee. $65 for U.S. and Permanent Residents; $90 for International

3. Official GRE score sent by ETS. The ETS code for UT Austin is 6882.

4. Official TOEFL score sent by ETS - Required for international students unless they have an undergraduate degree from an English speaking country. Getting an MS from a U.S. university does not qualify for a TOEFL waiver. The ETS code for TOEFL is 6882. The IELTS exam is an acceptable alternative to the TOEFL. The official IELTS score report should be sent directly to GIAC.

5. Official transcripts.
You must upload one copy of the official academic transcript from every senior college you have attended. Transcripts are not required from junior colleges and community colleges. See instructions for uploading the pdf of your transcript(s).

6. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from academic sources.
When you complete the "References" portion of the online application for admission, you will list the names and email addresses of those you have asked to recommend you. Be sure that the email addresses are current and accurate. You will be asked to inform us if you are going to waive the right to view your letters after they are submitted. Please indicate this waiver by answering the associated question on the application for admission. After you submit the application online, GIAC will send an e-mail message to the addresses you provided and ask your recommenders to visit a web site where they can complete a questionnaire and upload their letter of recommendation. Your recommenders will be informed if you have not waived your right to view their letters of recommendation.

To monitor and maintain your requests for reference, please go to the status check website. There you can monitor the status of your pending recommendations, resend a Request for Reference email to your recommenders, add a new recommender, and revise your FERPA (right to view) status from retained to waived. If you have additional questions about online recommendation letters, email gradref@austin.utexas.edu. Online submission of recommendations is strongly preferred, but we will accept paper recommendations if absolutely necessary.

7. Statement of Purpose.
Submit online with your application. If you do not wish to be considered for financial aid or have your own funding or fellowship, please indicate so in your Statement of Purpose.

8. Resume.
Suggested, but not required. You may upload your resume onto the Cockrell graduate application.

9. Class ranking if available.
The department would also like to know your class rank (eg. 3rd out of 40 Civil Engineering seniors), if available. If your university does not rank its students, please let us know that or ask one of your recommenders to estimate your ranking.

All application materials should be submitted online unless prior approval to submit paper documents has been given by the graduate coordinator. Please do not send CDs or copies of research papers - they will not be reviewed by the faculty.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. It is the applicant's sole responsibility to ensure that all documents have been received by the stated deadline. Once all your materials are complete in both GIAC and the department, your application will be reviewed by the faculty in your area of specialization. The faculty try their best to make all admissions and financial aid decisions by March 31 for fall and summer applicants, though it may be as late as mid-late April in some cases. Per the Council of Graduate Schools resolution, April 15 is the deadline for accepting or declining aid offers for the fall semester.

If you have any questions, or want to inquire whether your file is complete, please E-MAIL the Graduate Coordinator, Ms. Laura Klopfenstein, at klopfenstein@mail.utexas.edu.

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Department of CAEE The University of Texas at Austin