Enrollment and Academic Information

Taking classes at UT Austin has some considerations specific to reciprocal exchange students. This page details some important specifics to keep in mind.


Tuition & Fees

Exchange students do not pay tuition to UT Austin, but are required to pay the following mandatory fees:

  • International Student Fee - $125
  • UT ID Card Fee - $10
  • Health Insurance Fee – approximately $2,000/semester (subject to change)

With the exception of the UT ID Fee, fees appear on the Tuition & Fee bill after class registration. Fees cannot be waived, nor is it possible to pay the fees before registration.

The UT ID Fee will appear on your What I Owe page upon obtaining a UT ID. It is not possible to obtain a UT ID card until you arrive to the U.S. For more information regarding a UT ID, including how to obtain one, visit the UT ID Center.

Registering for Classes

Exchange students are required to register in a full course of study each semester enrolled at UT Austin. A full course of study is defined as:

  • 12 hours for students participating in the general, engineering, and B.B.A. exchange programs
  • 10 hours for students participating in the law exchange program
  • 9 hours for student participating in the M.B.A. exchange program

At least half of the courses taken should be in the student’s UT Austin major field of study.

Note: ESL courses are offered through the English Language Center and are not part of the standard curriculum of UT Austin. Exchange students may take an ESL course offered through the UT course catalog. A list of courses can be viewed on the English Language Center webpage. Only one ESL course may count toward your requirement to enroll in at least 12 credit hours.

New student registration takes place the week before classes begin. It is not possible to register for classes early or before you clear your registration hold. To prepare for registration, follow these steps:

  • Review the Course Schedule for the semester you will attend UT Austin. The fall course schedule is available in early April, and the spring course schedule is available in mid-October. If the course schedule for the semester you will be attending UT is not posted yet, you can review the course schedule for a previous corresponding semester. This won’t be 100 percent accurate, but it will give you a general idea for planning purposes. Review Using the Course Schedule for more information.
  • Review the University Catalog for brief course descriptions and prerequisites required for each course. Not all classes are taught every semester. If your academic advisor at your home institution wants detailed course descriptions, search syllabi from previous semesters. Be aware that professors distribute new and updated syllabi during the first week of classes. Your actual syllabi might be slightly different from the ones listed for previous semesters.
  • Waive or clear Registration Holds. All students have registration holds on their university record. A hold is a restriction placed on your record that prevents you from registering for classes until you take a specific action. Types of holds include financial, nonfinancial and advising.

Refer to your Registration Information Sheet to view the holds on your record and determine which office to contact to have the hold removed. Below is a list of the most common registration holds:  

  • International Hold (I) –Texas Global will remove this hold after you have arrived in the U.S. and completed the check-in IBC in myIO.
  • Advising Hold (A) – Please contact your academic department to determine how to remove this hold. Students with an “undeclared” major should meet with a Liberal Arts Student Division advisor. When meeting with a Student Division advisor, be sure to state that you are a non-degree seeking exchange student.
  • Health Hold (H) – University Health Services will remove this hold once you have met the health requirements for the university. For questions regarding the health requirements, please contact University Health Services directly.
  • Admissions Hold (A) – The Admissions Center will remove or waive this hold once they have received your university transcript. Texas Global will automatically submit your transcript on your behalf. You do not need to act to have this hold waived or removed.
  • Financial Responsibility Statement (F) – Student Accounts Receivable will remove this hold after you have signed the Financial Responsibility Statement.

Exchange students and their home university advisors should keep in mind that an important benefit of studying abroad is to experience a new educational system and to have the opportunity to take courses different from those taught at home. The U.S. higher education system emphasizes breadth of knowledge at the undergraduate level and it is common for students to take classes outside their major field of study. Learn more about UT Colleges and Schools.

The links below will help you find academic advisors in each UT Austin department. You will need to meet with an academic advisor after arriving In the U.S. before you can register for classes.

Course Schedules and Number System

The Course Schedule lists important information you need in order to register, including each class offered with its time, location, instructor (if available), mode of instruction and unique number.

Courses are identified by field of study, number of credit hours and whether the class is upper division, lower division or graduate level.

Example: HIS 309K Western Civilization in Medieval Times

  • HIS indicates that this is a history course
  • 3(09) indicates this course is worth 3 credit hours

The first number of listed indicates the number of credit hours that the course is worth. Most fall and spring semester lecture courses meet 3 hours a week and have a credit value of 3 hours. For each hour a class meets, an average of 2 additional hours of weekly preparation is expected of the student. Unlike lecture-based classes, the time requirement in the laboratory, field or studio varies with the nature of the subject and the aims of a course, so there is no fixed ratio of credit hours to class hours.

  • (3)09 indicates that the course is lower division
    • Lower division classes number from 1-19 and are introductory, generally taken by freshman and sophomore year undergraduate students.
    • Upper division courses number from 20 -79 and are more advanced, generally taken by junior and senior year undergraduate students.
    • Graduate level courses number from 80 – 99 and require special permission from the department for exchange students to enroll in them.
Course Availability

UT Austin's academic departments make every effort to accommodate exchange students in their classes, but due to popularity of specific classes and equipment constraints in some majors, students may not always get all the courses they want.

  • Be flexible. If you need advance approval for UT Austin coursework, ask your home university advisor to approve some alternate courses in case your first choices are not available.
  • Take a variety of courses. UT Austin students rarely take four courses in the same department each semester. Look for appropriate courses in other departments in the college or school in which you will enroll.
  • Be aware of prerequisites listed for courses you want to take at during your exchange. Academic departments expect students to have completed these (or similar) required courses before allowing exchange students to register for an advanced or graduate level course.
  • Have a list with a wide array of classes from which you can choose. Departments cannot commit in advance to saving you a space nor promise that the course will even be offered.
  • If you plan to study at UT Austin your last semester before graduation, be sure your graduation does not depend on a specific course in case it is not available during your exchange program.
Grades and Transcripts

The university grading system is explained on the Texas One Stop grades page. Generally, U.S. academic credits are transferred on a 1 to 2 scale to European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). A 3-credit course would be counted as a 6 ECTS credit course. Most UT Austin courses are 3 credits. The final decision on how to transfer credits is up to your university.

Upon completion of the semester, International Student and Scholar Services will send your university an unofficial grade report. If you require an official transcript, you must submit a request directly to Texas One Stop.