Profile of a successful UT-Austin Computer Science Transfer

I recently received word from one of my transfer clients that they successfully gained admission into the University of Texas at Austin's notoriously difficult Computer Science program.

CS has received a record number of applicants for a dwindling amount of spaces. So much of transfer admissions involves the number of spaces available to students who attend other universities. Once first-time freshmen enter into CS, they rarely transfer out.

Here is one profile of a successful admit. Keep in mind that there are many different admissions profiles, and no formula will guarantee success nor exclude you from consideration. 

Home Institution: Texas Tech University

47 hours completed and 16 in progress

Undergraduate GPA: 3.85

Mexican national bilingual in English and Spanish

Coursework:

  • Principles of Programming for CS majors I/II including Python (A,A)
  • Calculus I/II/III (A, A, A)
  • Physics (B)
  • Discrete Computational Structures for CS Majors (A)
  • Data Structures for CS majors (A+)
  • Modern Digital System Design for Engineers (B)
  • Linear Algebra and Physics II in Progress

Programming Languages

  • Proficient in Java, Python and visual C# with object-oriented programming.
  • Proficient in programming in C under UNIX.
  • Exposure to XML, C++, and SQL.

Extracurriculars

  • Texas Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club
  • Competitive Programming Club
  • Software Developer Club
  • Tutored low-income students in his hometown in Mexico
  • Maximized his computer resources in his hometown by enrolling at an early age in a computer programming outreach initiative

This applicant also had a few strong recommendation letters from people he has worked with closely. After our work, his essays efficiently articulated his goals, interests, and demonstrated an aptitude for computer science. He also wrote thoughtfully about growing up in Mexico under cartel violence that directly affected his family.

In short, his application complemented his strong academics to produce a successful outcome. He worked very hard through multiple drafts before satisfactorily submitting his essays and resume.

Notably absent are things that often make computer science applicants successful - creating their own applications or games, undergraduate research, an internship or work experience with a computer or engineering firm, or demonstrating the ability to create original code. His grades are strong, but not perfect, including a B in a STEM class.

This isn't to diminish their strong application, but simply to point out that great applications take on many forms. Instead of fretting on how to add more to his profile, we worked with his productive track record in programming.

He emphasized the positive aspects of his application and painted a compelling story why he deserves a space in UT-Austin's prestigious CS program. This was his third attempt at admissions, and we are thrilled with the results.