11 months ago
Admissions Advice

Is psychology a competitive major?

I want to major in Psychology at UT Austin, and I wanted to know if it was too competitive. I've gotten varied answers with some people telling me Psych is very competitive since it's the highest chosen major, and some people have told me that since it's a liberal arts major, it's pretty easy to get in. I know biology and business are some of the most competitive ones out there. What are your thoughts on it?

Also on what criteria are majors given to applicants? Some people don't get their first choice for their major and that's my worst nightmare 😭.

How do you improve your chances of getting into your first choice?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
11 months ago

Psychology is not one of the most popular majors to get a bachelor's degree in at UT Austin. Only 3.92% of degrees were conferred in Psychology. The most popular degrees were Business (11.08%), Biological/Life Sciences (11.48%), Engineering (12.23%), Communication/Journalism (12.19%), and Social Sciences (9.11%). These other 5-degree categories made up 56% of degrees.

I researched this using the most recent UTAustin Common Data Set which is an interactive report you can find on the UTAutin website yourself.


Clearly, whoever told you this is not giving you credible information.

Also, keep in mind that at UT Austin there are 2 distinct paths to majoring in Psychology. You can opt for a B.S. degree or a B.A. degree. The B.S. degree in Psych requires more math and science classes and is intended for those who are more inclined to continue on toward a Medical M.D. degree path afterward. While the B.A. degree is more tailored to someone who will do private practice therapy or social work.


Therefore I would do an inventory of your HS transcript, ECs, and work experience and decide which program to apply to. The B.A. is less competitive than the B.S. degree. Good luck and hope you rely on facts and research rather than what people are telling you because there is a lot of misinformation out there. Most people do not even know how you look up a Common Data Set (Section j)

11 months ago

Hi @flora!

I'm assuming you're in-state (because OOS for UT Austin is really hard). Even though psychology isn't as competitive as engineering/business/biology, I'm sure it's still competitive. You do have a good chance of getting in if your application is strong enough.

What you have going in your favor is that psychology is a liberal art major. In case you aren't accepted and you get offered the Coordinated Admission Program (CAP), you're guaranteed a spot in a liberal arts major at UT Austin after spending one year at another UT system school except for UT Dallas and meeting the CAP requirements.

Hope this helps!

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