Texas Residency

Under Texas state law, each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university is classified as a resident of Texas, a nonresident, or a foreign (international) student. How students are classified will impact which tuition rate a student will pay and their qualification for certain types of financial aid. 

When MD students apply for admission, the university uses information they provide on their TMDSAS applications to make an initial determination about residency. All other entering UT Southwestern students must submit our residency questionnaire online.

It is the student's responsibility to submit the Core Residency Questionnaire and/or requested documentation for the establishment of residency for tuition purposes. It is also the student’s responsibility to submit a new Core Residency Questionnaire if they believe their residency status has changed. Note: Any resident status changed after Census Day shall apply to the next succeeding semester in which the student enrolls.

Additional documentation may be requested after the initial review of your Core Residency Questionnaire. Please note: the summary of residency rules below is not exhaustive and does not cover every student’s situation. Refer to the state statute for more information. For example, the summary below assumes that UT Southwestern students are not claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax return.


Residency Rules

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has established rules that govern residency for higher education in Texas. Individuals can establish residency in two basic ways, one based on establishing domicile and the other based on graduation from high school. The option related to establishment of domicile is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to international students who hold certain types of visas.

Option 1: Residency by Establishing Domicile

This option for establishing Texas residency is available to:

  • Citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Non-citizens and non-permanent residents may also use this option if they have an application for permanent residency on file with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.
  • International students who hold an eligible visa.

To establish domicile, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months; and
  2. Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months by doing one of the following:
    1. Be gainfully employed in Texas (student jobs do not qualify as gainful employment);
    2. Have sole or joint marital ownership of residential real property in Texas by the person seeking to enroll or the dependent's parent, having established and maintained a domicile at the residence;
    3. Own and operate a business in Texas;
    4. Be married for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas.

Option 2: Residency through High School Graduation

This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to some international students.

To establish residency through high school graduation, you must

  1. graduate from a Texas high school or receive a Certificate of High School Equivalency in Texas; and
  2. Live in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation or receipt of Certificate of High School Equivalency; and
  3. Live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date (see the Academic Calendar for the exact date) of the semester in which you enroll.