Résumé and major fit
In 2013, UT transitioned in their admissions process. Before, the résumé and each essay received separate scores from 1-6. An applicant could be given a possible 18 points. Admissions reviewed writing ability separate from accomplishments outside of the classroom.
Now, they effectively receive one score on the same 1-6 scale. Admissions reviewers must decide whether the applicant is a good fit for the university and their major and award them points accordingly. There are no separate résumé and essay scores, but a process more in-line with most selective systems like the University of California or the Ivy League.
Now, the personal statement Essay C, introduced in 2013, is one important way that admissions now reviews applicants for fit. The résumé is equally important. They must work together.
How do you demonstrate fit for your major? What does fit even mean?
Simply, if you are interested in government, neuroscience, architecture, engineering, and so on, what experiences do you have inside and outside of the classroom that informs your decision? Can you prove to reviewers that you have the skills, curiosity, and passion required to be a successful student?
Let’s take a popular example: computer science. Application numbers to CS have soared over the years, and it continues to be one of UT’s most impacted major. Many qualified applicants are turned away. UT isn’t just looking for strong test scores and grades, but an aptitude for success in a demanding and creative discipline
When reviewing your file, admissions looks for evidence that you took AP computer science or a programming course, learn programming languages in your spare time, or help friends and family troubleshoot their computing systems. An applicant with great academics but little record of demonstrated interest in CS will likely not find success in the process, especially given the high competition of the applicant pool.
Regardless of your major, your résumé should function as an argument for why you deserve your major. Your résumé is not just a list of accomplishments. It should tell a story of how UT can further your goals and continue building interests cultivated in high school and before. Especially if your academics are below average for the typical applicant, building a résumé that screams “I live and breathe computer science!” is the single best way to elevate your application above the rest of the pool. Integrating a powerful résumé with compelling essays produce the best applications.