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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Analysis: Your guide to ETAM

Editor’s Note: Only spring ETAM cycles are presented above. Computer engineering consisted of two programs prior to 2021 and have been combined in the interactive graphic. Admission and auto-admit policies vary by year, see engineering.tamu.edu for more details.
What do April showers bring? Stress. Or, at least it does for Texas A&M engineering freshmen. This semester Entry to a Major, or ETAM, applications opened on March 28 and close on May 1, 2023.
ETAM is the process in which freshman engineering students are admitted into their specific major. Unlike other colleges at A&M, engineering students begin in a general program and usually apply to their intended study during their second semester.
Students will select at least their top-three desired programs and are automatically admitted into their first choice if their GPA is above a specific cutoff, which is now 3.75.
So how likely are students to get into their desired degree? Should they be worried about ETAM? How can they prepare? Well, the College of Engineering boasts, “80.5% of eligible engineering students were placed in their first-choice major” in 2022. However this number isn’t particularly helpful as admission rates vary wildly depending on a student’s intended major and GPA.
So with the application deadline approaching, here’s a few tools to understand ETAM and tips to optimize the application process. For information specific to your intended major, please utilize the interactive graphic above to view admission trends.
Concentrated demand
Frankly, most programs are not especially competitive. However, some of the most popular ones have limited capacity, making their admission rates much lower.
Take computer science. In 2022 the program received over 500 first-choice applicants, of which 302 were automatically admitted. Out of the 236 remaining, only 58 were allowed into the program, meaning only 25% of non-auto-admit students got in.
Other similarly competitive majors include aerospace, biomedical, computer and mechanical engineering. If you are going to select one of these programs as your first choice, be wary of the risks involved.
I would also advise not to select any competitive degree for your second or third choice. Non-first-choice admission rates for these programs hover around 0%, so applying is mostly futile. In 2022 for instance, computer science, aerospace, biomedical and computer engineering only accepted first-choice applicants and mechanical engineering enrolled only three second choices out of 54 applicants.
In most situations, it would be best to simply choose something else for your other choices instead of risking defaulting to a different study farther down your list.
What if I don’t make the auto-admit cutoff?
If you don’t anticipate ending your semester over the GPA cutoff, it isn’t necessarily the end of the world. Make sure to check the infographic to see how competitive your intended major is. Would not having auto-admit hurt your chances? In many cases it won’t.
If your program is competitive then spend extra time polishing your application. Make sure to highlight passion for your first-choice degree in your resume and essay. Put emphasis on any extracurriculars that relate to your preferred program. If your grades were bad in the first semester, be sure to demonstrate improvements made in your second.
If you’re having trouble with the writing portion, have your humanities friend look over it. Otherwise, there’s some great resources available to students like the University Writing Center.
Plan a backup
I’ve seen an abundance of students that know what degree they want and never consider any alternatives. In fact, I was one of the students who rolled their eyes and sat in the back on DI Saturday. Don’t let that be you. Take the initiative to learn about other degrees, you may find others prepare you even better for your dream career.
You may be surprised to learn other majors have a similar degree plan to the one you want. There tends to be overlap between majors in the same departments, so be sure to take a look at them in the undergraduate catalog. There are also programs offered at the McAllen and Galveston campuses that are underutilized by College Station students.
Lastly, remember that your major doesn’t define you or your career. If last year is any indicator, over 500 students will be denied their choice of study. It happens to you, you aren’t alone.
If you aren’t admitted into your preferred study there are still going to be opportunities to engage with the field in the form of internships, extracurriculars and research opportunities. Don’t let a simple rejection dissuade you from your dreams.
Caleb Elizondo is a computer science sophomore and opinion editor for The Battalion.

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