Understanding Texas Residency

The information on this page will hopefully answer your specific questions and clear up misconceptions regarding Texas residency as it relates to the cost of tuition for attending UTMB.

(For general information about Texas residency, including regulations, visit the College for All Texans website)

Under Texas law, each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university is classified as either a resident or non-resident of the State of Texas, or an international (foreign) student. If you are classified as a Texas resident, you are entitled to the lower, in-state tuition rate. If you are not a resident of Texas, your tuition will be more (see our Tuition and Fees page for current tuition and fee amounts.)


36-Month Provision

If you resided in Texas for the 36 consecutive months leading up to your graduation from a Texas high school, and continued to maintain a residence in Texas for the 12 months leading up to your enrollment at UTMB, you MAY be classified as a resident for tuition purposes, regardless of dependency or immigration status. If you are not a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States, and wish to qualify under the 36-month provision, you must complete and submit an Affidavit of Intent to Become a Permanent Resident to the Office of Enrollment Services, in addition to the Core Residency Questions.

If you do not qualify under the 36-month provision, you MAY qualify for Texas residency according to one of the following:

Independent Student

Do you provide more than half of your own financial support? Are you ineligible to be claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes? If your answer to these questions is yes, and you have resided and maintained a domicile in Texas for the twelve months preceding enrollment at UTMB, you MAY qualify as an independent student.

The following factors, if maintained while residing in Texas for the twelve consecutive months preceding enrollment, MAY lend support to a claim of domicile in Texas:

  1. Ownership of residential real property in Texas
  2. Ownership and customary management of a business in Texas which is regularly operated without the intention of liquidation for the foreseeable future.
  3. Gainful employment that is sufficient to provide at least one-half of your expenses or that represents an average of at least twenty hours of employment per week. Employment conditioned on student status, such as work study, the receipt of stipends, fellowships, or research/teaching assistantships does not constitute gainful employment.
  4. Marriage to a person who has resided and maintained domicile (Items 1-3 above) in Texas.

Dependent Student

If you are a dependent student, the determination of residency for tuition purposes is based upon the Texas residency status of your parent or court-appointed legal guardian who claims you as a dependent for federal income tax purposes (or, if the parent or court-appointed legal guardian is not subject to US federal income taxes, provides more than half your financial support). In other words, if your parent or court-appointed legal guardian meets the criteria of having established residency for tuition purposes outlined above under the Independent Student section), you are eligible to pay Texas resident tuition.


If you are a member of the United States Armed Services, and your home with the military is Texas, you are presumed to be a Texas resident. You (and your spouse and dependent children) are also presumed to be a Texas resident if you can provide us with leave and earnings statements that show that you claimed Texas as your place of residence for the 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment at UTMB, even though your home of record is not Texas.

If your home of record at the time you entered military service was not Texas, you may be able to change your residence to Texas while in the military. In order to do this, you must first be assigned to duty in Texas for at least 12 consecutive months during which time you file proper documentation with the military to change your permanent residence to Texas. Then, you must meet at least four of the following conditions for the 12 months prior to enrollment:

  • Purchase a residence in Texas and claim it as a homestead;
  • Register to vote in Texas;
  • Register an automobile in Texas;
  • Maintain a Texas driver's license;
  • Maintain a checking account, savings account, or safety deposit box in Texas;
  • Have a will or other legal documents on file in Texas that indicate Texas residence;
  • Have membership in professional organizations or other state organizations; and/or
  • Establish a business in Texas.

If you did not select Texas as your home of record when you entered military service, and have not taken steps to change your permanent residence with the military to Texas, you may still qualify for a waiver under Texas statutes.

Waivers & Exemptions

Students who do not meet any of the aforementioned criteria for establishing Texas residency for tuition purposes may still be eligible to pay the resident tuition rate. For a list of possible Exemptions and Waivers, please review this page from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.


You may apply for residency by completing our Core Residency Questionnaire. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must also submit documentation of your immigration status (and that of your parent if you are a dependent). If you have special circumstances related to your claim of residency, you may submit any additional documentation you wish to have considered along with your application for resident status.

Judy Prewitt

Judy Prewitt
Customer Service Coordinator

Melissa Herrington

Melissa Herrington
Enrollment Services Specialist


Leann Carmical

Enrollment Services Information

Mailing Address:
Office of Enrollment Services
The University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77555-1305
Phone: 409-772-1215
Fax: 409-772-5056
Email Addresses:
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