Texas College Guide

Now Available – the Texas College Guide: The University of Texas at Austin. 

We are excited to announce that Jessica Givens’ new book, Texas College Guide: The University of Texas at Austin, is now available for purchase in hard copy or as an e-book from Amazon! Click here to order.  This new guide walks its reader through every aspect of applying to UT, from a review of the school’s admissions practices to a major-by-major breakdown of each school.

About the Book            

Last summer, Jessica decided she should write a book about everything she knows about applying to The University of Texas. This book combines Jessica’s knowledge from the field with information currently scattered across the school’s hundreds of webpages and includes information gleaned from speaking directly with the University and the various schools within it. In her words,

“After years of working with students and achieving a very high success rate of helping students gain admission to UT Austin, I have seen that a proven track record of involvement and focus in a given area can provide students with a real edge in admission to UT, and I’ve really had it with deception and subterfuge. UT applicants – you or your kids or your grandkids – are real people with meaningful histories and experiences that merit an honest and comprehensive display. However, you also deserve to understand what makes an applicant competitive for a given major, so that you don’t waste your major selection on choices that are absurd long shots. Next, you need to understand how the majors are different, what types of careers they cultivate, and what sorts of job and income prospects you’ll have after graduation. Finally, you need to know the other options that exist for paving a pathway to the University of Texas at Austin, because a rejection letter as an incoming freshman is not the end of the world, nor is it the end of the story. And, that’s why I’ve written this book, to give you the information you need and to prevent you from falling victim to shysters in this dodgy day and age of admissions chicanery. Additionally, I’ve fact-checked every aspect of my work with the University of Texas, combing their website for content and keeping in close contact with admissions and various UT departments. This book is a one-stop reference for UT major selection and admissions.” 

Whether you’ll be applying to school this fall, next year, or even if you’re still several years out – this book will guide you through the process and give you a solid foundation for an admission strategy that makes sense.

Table of Contents

This is an abridged version of the Table of Contents – there is A LOT covered – but it will give you an idea of the flow of the book.


UT Admissions Practices
– Academic Fit
– Scoring a File
– Major Selection
– Looking for Loopholes
– Undecided
– To AP or Not to AP?
– Using Your Local Community College

School and Major Overviews: The Cockrell School of Engineering / The Moody College of Communication / The School of Social Work / The College of Education / The Jackson School of Geosciences / College of Fine Arts / College of Architecture / College of Liberal Arts / The College of Nursing / The College of Natural Science / The McCombs School of Business / The School of Undergraduate Studies

University Statistics

The Application Itself
– Resume
– Essays
– Letters of Recommendation
– Supplemental Information Form

Honors Programs

Alternate Pathways to UT

Not Discussion Financial Aid



Here is an excerpt from the overview of the Cockrell School of Engineering.

If you have the aptitude to study engineering, I would do it, and here’s why: Engineering is something you cannot go back and do later. You can always get an MBA or the prerequisites for medical school or a teaching certificate, but you need to do engineering as an undergraduate student. Studying engineering can only open your options for the future, but so few students have the drive to persevere in the field because of the difficulty I mentioned earlier. That said, I encourage you to suck it up. Now, let’s talk about the basic facts for getting into the UT Austin engineering school: In almost every engineering major it offers, UT is ranked among the top in the nation. You literally can’t go wrong here – if you can get in. Many people are under the misconception that, by qualifying for automatic admission to UT through class rank, a student automatically can get into whatever major he or she wants. This is patently false. Automatic admission to UT Engineering simply does not happen because the school is so competitive. So, what does it take to be admitted to UT’s Cockrell School of Engineering? Stated school requirements: Calculus readiness. See UT website for specific qualifications. Transcript: A student’s course load in school should show an aptitude for math and science. For a future engineering student, it is important to take the highest available levels of math and science, including the hardest calculus classes and AP science courses – and you need to get A’s. And, if there are engineering courses a student can take at school, perhaps as part of a technical education curriculum, I highly recommend it. That adds depth to the application and reveals drive. There’s no good reason for a budding engineer to take Psychology AP over Chemistry AP, nor should he or she take a fourth year of Spanish over an engineering course. Try to look at high school courses as preparation, not as requirements. The more math and science a student takes, the better his or her chances of success in the engineering course sequence. Résumé: You really want to cultivate an interest in science and math. If a student can participate in science fairs or attend math competitions, that would be fantastic. You know, there are regional math competitions through UIL; you might want to check them out. Another great option is to get a summer internship at a firm that employs engineers in the field that interests you (“fields” are explained in greater detail below). Start by Googling that field and the name of a nearby city and start making phone calls to see if you can shadow an engineer or an engineering team for a few days over the summer. With respect to community service, see if you can do something that requires construction and hands-on work, like Habitat for Humanity or helping an elderly neighbor with home repairs. For future engineers, there are also cool summer programs at universities around Texas, all of which are searchable on the internet, and those can provide you with better insight into what interests you, too, making you better prepared to describe your goals and interests. Test scores: A high math score on standardized testing will prove helpful. An 800 on the math section of the SAT will compensate for a weaker reading score (engineers aren’t the best literary scholars, generally speaking)

I want the book! How do I get it?

The book is now available on Amazon as a paperback or for Kindle.

Buy It Now