University of Texas at Austin
#42 Overall Influence#43 Desirability Rank

University of Texas at Austin

Public research university in Austin, Texas, United States

About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

By rights, the University of Texas (known within Texas itself as “UT,” for short) ought to be 40 years older than it is. In 1839, the Republic of Texas officially set aside 40 acres of prime real estate in the center of the new country’s capital city, Austin, as the site for the campus of a national university. The Texas Congress also granted 288,000 acres of land, mainly in the western regions of the Republic, as a financial endowment for the future university.

Much later, oil was discovered beneath a lot of that land. As a result, UT’s endowment is now worth a little more than $30 billion, making the school by far the wealthiest public university in the country. Indeed, among all American universities, UT is second only to Harvard (see above) in the size of its endowment.

However, the actual building of the university was long delayed, first by the accession of the Republic of Texas to the United States in 1845, and then by the coming of the Civil War. As a defeated Confederate state, Texas was dealt with harshly by the Federal government during the period of Reconstruction. Eventually, however, the state recovered enough independence in running its own affairs to carry through the long-delayed project of building a state university.

Today, UT is the flagship campus of the far-flung University of Texas System, and is now officially known as the “University of Texas at Austin” to distinguish it from the 13 other campuses, which include eight full-fledged universities and five separate medical school/hospital complexes. The overall system comprises more than 300,000 students, faculty, and staff, while UT’s share in that number stands at around 75,000.

Although it is only fair to say that Texas itself has never exactly been known as a cultural mecca, nevertheless with the cash at its disposal UT has been able to attract a faculty—and to provide them with facilities—that easily rival those of the best Ivy League schools. For example, in 1982, in an academic coup that reverberated around the entire country, UT managed to lure the world-famous Nobel Prize–winning physicist, Steven Weinberg, away from Harvard.

In all, UT is associated with 12 Nobel Prize–recipients, including (in addition to Weinberg):

  • Russian-born pioneer of the field of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, Ilya Prigogine—chemistry
  • American geneticist Hermann Muller and immunologist James Alison—physiology or medicine
  • Swedish economist, sociologist, and philosopher, Gunnar Myrdal—economics
  • South African–born novelist, J.M. Coetzee—for literature

Among other notable alumni and faculty, we may mention:

  • Celebrated Argentinian author of sui generis metaphysical fictions, Jorge Luis Borges
  • Singer, Janis Joplin
  • Film directors, Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, & Richard Rodriguez
  • Actors, Eli Wallach, Jayne Mansfield, Matthew McConaughey, Renée Zellweger, & Marcia Gay Harden
  • Entrepreneur and entertainment industry executive, David Geffen
  • Television journalist, Walter Cronkite
  • Astronomer and television personality, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Entrepreneur and founder of Dell Technologies, Michael S. Dell
  • Bestselling non-fiction author and 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination candidate, Marianne Williamson
  • Former and sitting Texas governors, Ann Richards & Greg Abbott

Admissions

What does this school look for?

Annual Applications

50,575

Acceptance

39%

Graduation Rate

81%

Median SAT Score

1355

Median ACT Score

30

Costs

How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)

$10,610

Fees (in-state)

$0

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings

$73,900

Employed

92%

Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body

45K

Under-Grads

37K

Graduates

8K

The Campus

Where will you be attending?

Location

110 Inner Campus Drive, Austin TX 78712

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this school influential?

#24 World Rank #18 USA Rank
Computer Science
#24 World Rank #22 USA Rank
Communications
#32 World Rank #27 USA Rank
Social Work
#33 World Rank #13 USA Rank
Physics
#34 World Rank #27 USA Rank
Engineering
#36 World Rank #30 USA Rank
Business
#38 World Rank #14 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#41 World Rank #31 USA Rank
Political Science
#47 World Rank #40 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#49 World Rank #36 USA Rank
Education
#53 World Rank #28 USA Rank
Psychology
#54 World Rank #28 USA Rank
History
#55 World Rank #20 USA Rank
Mathematics
#59 World Rank #29 USA Rank
Sociology
#59 World Rank #32 USA Rank
Biology
#61 World Rank #48 USA Rank
Nursing
#64 World Rank #25 USA Rank
Chemistry
#67 World Rank #35 USA Rank
Literature
#68 World Rank #38 USA Rank
Anthropology
#69 World Rank #37 USA Rank
Law
#81 World Rank #44 USA Rank
Economics
#83 World Rank #38 USA Rank
Religious Studies
#101 World Rank #37 USA Rank
Philosophy
#103 World Rank #65 USA Rank
Medical

Influential People

Who are University of Texas at Austin's Most influential alumni?

University of Texas at Austin's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Computer Science, Communications, and Social Work. University of Texas at Austin’s most academically influential people include Walter Cronkite, J. M. Coetzee, and Bill Moyers.

Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite

American broadcast journalist

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J. M. Coetzee
J. M. Coetzee

South African writer

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Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers

American journalist

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C. Wright Mills
C. Wright Mills

American sociologist

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H.J. Muller
H.J. Muller

American biologist

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Bruce Sterling
Bruce Sterling

American writer, speaker, futurist, and design instructor

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Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson

African-American astrophysicist, and science communicator

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Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg

American painter and graphic artist

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James F. Crow
James F. Crow

American geneticist

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Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey

American actor

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Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor

American computer scientist

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Nancy Folbre
Nancy Folbre

Feminist economist

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