Behind the Scenes: Admissions, more than just a paper trail

 A University of Texas student makes an inquiry at the Office of Admissions in the main building.

Photo Credit: Rachel Lau

 There’s no debate that the Tower is a beacon of pride for UT students, but have you ever thought about what’s inside that beautiful spectacle?
Among many important offices — including that of President Powers — resides the office that serves as the first step in the process of becoming a Longhorn: the Office of Admissions.

Vice Provost and Director of Admissions Kendra Ishop, Ph.D., and her staff, along with three associate directors and the directors of research and transfer senior admissions, call Room Seven on the Tower’s ground floor home.
One aspect of admissions solely handled in the Tower is the processing of all undergraduate application information. Once all the materials for undergraduate and transfer applications are submitted, the applications are read by staff members in each office on campus and in regional offices around the state. Then, the Office of Admissions makes academic decisions while consulting with certain colleges and schools, such as the College of Fine Arts and the School of Architecture, to determine if the applicants meet their programs’ specific requirements.
“[The School of Architecture] is a very small college, so there’s only a number of applications they can handle, and it’s the same thing for [the College of] Fine Arts — they make the artistic determinations,” Ishop said.
The Graduate and International Admissions Center in Walter Webb Hall processes graduate and international applications. The graduate student applications are then sent to the relevant college or school for admissions decisions. And then the colleges and schools report decisions back to the Office of Admissions for its step in further processing applications.
Although the staff in the Tower mostly handles new students, they can be a valuable resource for current UT students as well. Ishop said a current student would seek assistance in the Office of Admissions if they’re planning or have taken college credit somewhere else. Admissions staff members help students figure out their transfer credit and then go through a formal evaluation.
In addition to transcript evaluations, the staff in the Main Building will help you with questions about taking a break from school, studying abroad and research. If they don’t have the answers you’re looking for, you’ll be redirected to someone who can better suit your needs, like the counseling staff in the Undergraduate Admissions Center in John Hargis Hall. The Office of Admissions makes most of their information available online, too, so scope out the UT website to see if you can find answers to your questions.

For more information about the Office of Admissions in the Main Building, the Undergraduate Admissions Center and the Graduate and International Admissions Center, visit the Be A Longhorn website at