The University of Texas system actually comprises nine universities and five or six associated medical institutions and teaching hospitals, though when somebody refers simply to the University of Texas, they're usually referring to UT-Austin, which is the flagship institution. Other UT schools include

The other major public university system in Texas is the Texas A&M system. Both systems are, relatively speaking, fairly wealthy, because of the discovery some time ago of fairly large deposits of oil on University-owned lands.

UT-Austin, which I attended, has something of a chip on its shoulder concerning the issue of credibility; despite the relatively high level of prestige it has within the academic community, it's historically ranked lower than many inside the university feel it deserve on the all-important US News and World Reports list of college rankings, mostly due to high class sizes and student-to-faculty ratios.

One major selling point of the UT system is tuition, which is among the most affordable in the country. In fact, I payed a few thousand dollars less a year paying out-of-state tuition than I would have payed in in-state tuition if I'd stayed in Virginia. For Texas residents, the cost is even lower, a measly $3,000 or so a year, which is less than a tenth of what one can rack up at many private schools.

Particular areas of strength at UT-Austin are Latin American Studies, engingeering, especially (and unsurprisingly) petroleum engineering, computer science, library and information science, and the film school, which consistently vies with UCLA and NYU for best in the country. The school also boasts a once-great, but now perpetually underachieving, football team, which plays in the Big 12 Conference, though it played in the old Southwestern Conference for many years, until the SWC collapsed due to corruption in 1996.

I might also add:

The University is a semi-autonomous agency of the government, i.e. it gets funding and certain guidelines from the state, but can set its own admittance requirements, etc.. UT Austin has the largest student body of any university in the United States, which places it "high in the running for" largest "world-wide." This, though, is due to several factors. Some of the lowest tuition rates make the school highly desirable (see above). Also, quite a large portion of Texans are "raised" Burnt Orange or Maroon. That is to say, their parent or parents went to either UT or A&M and so have filled their homes and thus their child's consciousness with school pride for their alma mater. I know several people who have "always wanted" to go to UT. Many people consider the size of the University to be a bad thing, but I've found it's not a big deal. In the classes where it counts the numbers are small, in my experience and in the classes that are huge either discussion wouldn't really fit or you just have to speak up (I have an Intro to Theatre class with over one hundred people and class discussion was thought provoking and interesting, even at 8:00 AM).

A few other (random) facts about UT Austin:

Information courtesy of various and sundry parts of and my own experience.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.