Freshman Admissions Criteria

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Want to know your chances of getting in to the University of Houston before you apply? Here's some information about how we make our admission decisions. Please note that certain UH majors and programs have additional admission criteria, which are listed below.

State of Texas Uniform Admission Policy

Texas Education Code (TEC) 51.803-51.809 requires that all students meet one of the following college readiness standards in order to be eligible to be considered for admission at a Texas Four-Year Public Institution:

  • Successfully complete the recommended or advanced high school program or complete the portion of the program that was available to them; or
  • Satisfy the College Readiness Benchmarks on the SAT or ACT assessment 
    • SAT – 1500 out of 2400 (Verbal + Math + Writing)
    • ACT – 18 English, 21 Reading, 22 Mathematics and 24 Science; or
  • Successfully complete a curriculum that is equivalent in content and rigor to the recommended or advanced high school program at a high school that is exempt from offering such programs

Students that do not meet one of first two requirements must prove they meet the third requirement by having their counselor fill out the High School Curriculum Certification Form and submit it to the University of Houston.

High School Curriculum Certification Form (to be completed by high school counselors)

Admissions Requirements

Assured Admission Criteria
Students who meet the State of Texas’ Uniform Admissions Policy and also meet the requirements below are assured admission.

Spring 2014 Applicants
Assured Admissions for files completed by December 1.

Rank in Class Minimum Test Scores
SAT I Total
(CR + M)
OR ACT Composite
Top 15%
No Minimum No Minimum
Top 16-25%
1000 21
Top 26-50%
1100 24
51% and lower
Individual Review*

Summer/Fall 2014 Applicants
Assured Admissions for files completed by December 1.

Rank in Class Minimum Test Scores
SAT I Total
(CR + M)
OR ACT Composite
Top 10%
No Minimum No Minimum
Top 11%-25%
1000 21
Top 26%-50%
1100 24
51% and lower
Individual Review*


Assured Admissions for files completed after December 1.

Rank in Class Minimum Test Scores
SAT I Total
(CR + M)
OR ACT Composite
Top 10%
No Minimum No Minimum
All others or not ranked
Individual Review*

*The University of Houston continues to review those applicants who do not meet the assured admissions criteria in light of the applicant’s academic rigor, community service, extracurricular activities, and surmounting obstacles to pursue higher education. Letters of reference from high school teachers, counselors, supervisors and activity leaders along with personal statements are welcome additions to a applicant’s file.

Special Major Requirements

The following majors have additional selection criteria over and above the general admissions requirements.

Architecture

Admission to the College of Architecture is normally for study beginning in the fall semester. First, applicants are required to meet general university requirements in order to be considered by the College of Architecture. Applicants may send a portfolio of supplementary information that might help influence admission into the college. Learn more about the College of Architecture admissions process.

Business

Applicants must meet the following criteria.

Rank in Class Minimum Test Scores
SAT (CR+ M) OR ACT Composite
Automatic Admission
Top 20%
1200 26
Automatic Admission
21-50%
1250 28
Individual Review
51% and lower or not ranked
1250 28

Engineering

Applicants must meet the following criteria.

Rank in Class Minimum Test Scores
SAT I Total
(CR + M) and CR
OR ACT Composite and ACT English
Top 25%
1200 and 570 26 and 24
25-50%
1260 and 570 28 and 24
51-75%
1340 and 570 30 and 24
76% and lower or not ranked 1370 and 570 31 and 24

Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management

Applicants must meet the following criteria.

Rank in Class Minimum Test Scores
SAT I Total
(CR + M)
OR ACT Composite
Top 10%
No Minimum No Minimum
11-25%
1050 21
26-50%
1100 24
51% and lower or not ranked
Individual Review Individual Review

Music

In addition to applying to the University of Houston, all students applying for admission to the Moores School of Music must file an additional application to the college and audition.

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Applicants must meet the following criteria.

Rank in Class Minimum Test Scores
SAT I Total
(CR + M)
OR ACT Composite
Top 25%
1100 24
25-50%
1150 25
51% and lower or not ranked
1200 26

In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Subject
Unit/Credits
Biology, chemistry, or physics
2 or more
Algebra 2
Geometry
1
Pre-calculus 1
English 4

Technology

Students applying for the following majors must have a minimum 2.50 GPA:

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Engineering Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Electrical Power Engineering Technology

Theater/Dance

In addition to applying to the University of Houston, all students applying for admission to the School of Theater and Dance must audition.

Nonaccredited High School, Home School, and GED Students

Students who attended a nonaccredited high school or home school and those who received a GED may be admitted by scoring a minimum of 1180 (C+M) on the SAT or minimum of 26 on the ACT. These students must also submit proof of their enrollment via a transcript or GED certificate of completion.

Early High School Graduates

Applicants who will graduate from high school in less than four years must have a counselor or registrar submit a letter to UH with the transcript that states that the applicant will be an early graduate.

High School Academic Core Requirements

Freshmen applicants (and transfer students who have earned fewer than 15 semester hours of college credit) must have completed each of the high school academic core courses listed below with an average of a 2.5 or a “C+” or higher for the group.

Required High School Courses
Unit/Credits
English
4
Mathematics (including at least Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry)
3
Laboratory Science (including at least one unit/credit in biology, chemistry, or physics)
2
Social Studies
3

Arts & Sciences

If you plan to seek a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences or from the College of Natural Sciences, you are urged to earn at least two units/credits in one foreign language.

Engineering

If you plan to seek a bachelor’s degree from the Cullen College of Engineering, you should also complete the following core courses.

Required High School Courses
Unit/Credits
English
4
Social Studies
2
Chemistry
1
Physics
1
Mechanical Drawing (in the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade)*
1
Mathematics (including 2 units/credits in algebra, 1 in geometry, and 1/2 in either 4 elementary analysis or analytical geometry)
4

Click here for more information on high school graduation including sixth/seventh semester grades and accredited versus nonaccredited schools.

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

About the TSI

Section 51.3062 of the Texas Education Code establishes the Success Initiative (SI) program as a requirement at all Texas institutions of higher education. The effective date of the program was September 1, 2003. The purpose of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) program is to ensure that students enrolled in public colleges and universities possess the academic skills needed to perform effectively in college level course work. TSI includes an examination designed to provide diagnostic information about the reading, mathematics, and writing skills of each student. The results of the test do not affect a student's admission to the University of Houston, but may affect course enrollment eligibility.

The following are the basic provisions of the Success Initiative legislation.

Testing

All entering undergraduate students (unless exempt) are required to take an assessment test prior to enrolling in classes. The approved assessment tests are:

The minimum passing scores for each of these tests are set by the state; each institution may establish its own score requirement at or above these minimums.

The minimum passing scores are:

THEA

Score

Reading 230
Mathematics 230
Writing 220

ASSET

Score

Reading Skills 41
Elementary Algebra 38
Writing Skills (objective) 40
Essay 6

COMPASS

Score

Reading Skills 81
Algebra 39
Writing Skills (objective) 59
Essay 6

ACCUPLACER

Score

Reading Comprehension 78
Elementary Algebra 63
Sentence Skills (objective) 80
Essay 6

(The minimum passing standard for the written essay portion of these tests is a score of 6. However, an essay with a score of 5 will pass if the student meets the objective writing test standard.)

Developmental Education

Students who score below the minimum passing level on one or more sections of the initial assessment test are required to enroll in the appropriate developmental education course(s) as assigned by an advisor with the Academic Advising Center of Undergraduate Scholars at UH unless other placement criteria apply.

Placement Requirements

Students who pass the assessment test may still be required to enroll in a developmental education course if their test scores do not meet the placement requirements established by the University of Houston academic departments. See your academic advisor for detailed information about UH placement requirements.

TSI Exemptions

Students who claim one of the following exemptions are not required to take the Success Initiative assessment test. (Students must still meet specific course placement requirements as established by UH academic departments.)

  • SAT exemption: a combined verbal and mathematics score of 1070 with at least 500 on both the verbal and the mathematics sections (single test date). Scores may not be more than 5 years old at the time of exemption.
  • ACT exemption: a composite score of 23 with at least 19 on both the English and the mathematics sections (single test date). Scores may not be more than 5 years old at the time of exemption.
  • TAKS exemption: math = 2200; English Language Arts = 2200; writing subscore of at least 3 in the Exit Level Exam.
  • Degree exemption: students who have graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited Texas public institution of higher education. This exemption does not include Associate of Applied Science degrees.
  • Course work exemption (out of state/private school transfer students): transfer students who have satisfactorily completed college level course work as determined by the University of Houston. Contact the Academic Advising Center of Undergraduate Scholars at UH for details.
  • Nondegree seeking exemption: students who wish to take courses for personal enrichment but are not pursuing an undergraduate degree.
  • Military Service exemption: students serving on active duty as a member of the U.S. armed forces, the Texas National Guard, or as a member of a reserve component of the U.S. armed forces and have been serving for at least 3 years preceding enrollment.
  • Prior military service exemption: students who on or after August 1, 1990, were honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the U.S. armed forces, the Texas National Guard, or service as a member of a reserve component of the U.S. armed forces.

Documentation of exemption is required; students may be asked to provide test scores, transcripts, military documents, etc., in order to claim an exemption. Contact the Academic Advising Center of Undergraduate Scholars at UH for more information. The Academic Advising Center of Undergraduate Scholars at UH is located in room 56 University Libraries, via the back entrance to M.D. Anderson Library, across from the University Center; telephone 832-842-2100; fax 713-743-8998.

Teacher Certification Students and TSI

TSI scores for admission to teacher education are higher than admission to the university. Check in room 112 Farish Hall for scores required to be admitted to the professional development sequence of the teacher education program.

Test Dates

For information on how to schedule a TSI assessment, contact the University Testing Services at 713-743-5444 or see their Web site at www.las.uh.edu/UTS/.

Students with disabilities who need testing assistance should contact the Center for Students with DisABILITIES, 713-743-5400 or 713-749-1527 (TDD), Justin Dart Center for Students with DisABILITIES.

Additional Information

For information about other TSI policies and the TSI program, contact the Academic Advising Center of Undergraduate Scholars at UH, 56 University Libraries, via the back entrance to M.D. Anderson Library, across from the University Center, 832-842-2100.

All new undergraduate students are required to meet TSI requirements before enrolling (registering) for classes. Contact the Academic Advising Center of Undergraduate Scholars at UH, 56 University Libraries, via the back entrance to M.D. Anderson Library, across from the University Center, 832-842-2100.