Under Texas state law, each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university is classified either as a resident of Texas, a nonresident, or a foreign (international) student. TMDSAS makes this determination at the time of application in order to place the applicant in the appropriate applicant pool - resident vs. non-resident.
Determining residency for the applicant pool is different than determining residency for tuition purposes. Residency for admission and tuition purposes at a public college or university in Texas is different from residency for voting or taxing purposes.
Notice to applicants without U.S. citizens or Permanent Resident status
The following dental schools will only review and consider for admissions applicants who are U.S. citizens or legal Permanent Residents of the U.S.:
- UT School of Dentistry at Houston
- UT Dental School at San Antonio
Individuals can establish residency in two basic ways, one based on graduation from high school and the other based on the establishment of domicile. The option related to establishment of domicile is available to citizens or permanent residents of the US and to international students who hold certain types of visas.
Option 1: Residency through High School Graduation
This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the US and to international students.
To establish residency through high school graduation, you must have:
- Graduated from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; and
- Lived in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation; and
- Lived in Texas continuously for the 12 months immediately preceding the application deadline, October 1
If you are an international student seeking residency through high school graduation, you must submit a Residency Affidavit stating that you will apply for permanent residency when you are eligible to do so. This form is NOT to be completed by US citizens or US permanent residents.
Option 2: Residency by Establishing Domicile
This option for establishing Texas residency is available to:
- Citizens or permanent residents of the US (Non-citizens and non-permanent residents may also use this option if they have an application for permanent residency on file with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service.)
- International students who hold an eligible visa.
If you are independent for tax purposes, you may gain resident status if you establish domicile in the state. If your parent(s) claim you as a dependent on their federal income tax return, they must establish domicile in the state for you to claim residency.
To establish domicile, you or your parent(s) must meet the following criteria:
- Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months by the application deadline, October 1; and
- Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline, October 1, by doing one of the following:
- Be gainfully employed in Texas - Gainful employment is employment intended to provide an income to a person or allow a person to avoid the expense of paying another person to perform the tasks (as in child care) that is sufficient to provide at least one-half of the individual’s tuition and living expenses or that represents an average of at least twenty hours of employment per week. A person who is self-employed, employed as a homemaker or who is living off his/her earnings may be considered gainfully employed for tuition purposes, as may a person whose primary support is public assistance. Employment conditioned on student status, such as work study, the receipt of stipends, fellowships, or research or teaching assistantships does not constitute gainful employment.
- 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
- Own and operate a business in Texas
- Be married for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas
Residency will be determined by applying the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules and Regulations for Determining Residence Status at the time of application. TMDSAS does not presume residency. Residency can change during the application period. All schools are notified at the time a change of residency occurs. It will be up to each school's discretion to determine which pool an applicant will be placed in if eligibility for reclassification occurs after the deadline for filing an application but before matriculation into dental school.
If Texas residency is questionable, TMDSAS may request that the applicant provide documentation to support answers to the Core Residency Questions and/or information provided in Section G of the questions. A list of appropriate documents can be found in CHART IV of the rules for determining residency.
When students apply for admission, TMDSAS uses information they provide on their applications to make an initial determination about residency. If the submitted information indicates that the student is not a US citizen or permanent resident but that he or she may qualify for residency based on Texas high school graduation, the student will be prompted by the application to download and submit the Residency Affidavit.
The affidavit is a statement by the student that he or she qualifies for residency. It must be completed, signed, notarized, and submitted to TMDSAS in order for the student to be classified as a resident.
If, after final processing of your application, you have been classified as a non-Texas resident, you have the option to appeal your residency determination.
To appeal your determination, you must write a letter stating why you should be considered a Texas resident and providing any additional information to state your case further. Your letter should be addressed to the Residency Appeals Committee. The committee will review the information you submit and make a determination; the decision of the Residency Appeals Committee is final. No further levels of appeal are possible.
Submit your appeal to:
Fax: 512-499-4786, Attn: Residency
Regular Postal Mail Address:
Attn: Residency Appeals Committee
P.O. Box 2175
Austin, TX 78768
Street Address (for overnight letter or package delivery):
Attn: Residency Appeals Committee
210 W. 6th Street
Room # B.140E
Austin, Texas 78701
Texas Residency Regulations
For detailed information about regulations relating to residency in the State of Texas, visit the College for All Texans Residency Information page.
For definitions of words and terms, when used in reference to residency please refer to https://admissions.utexas.edu/glossary