The Ramshorn Scholars Program is dedicated to student success at the Cockrell School.

Ramshorn Scholars Program

Congratulations on joining the Ramshorn Scholars Program! This program is an engineering academic learning community designed to facilitate your success in engineering and at UT Austin. As a part of the Ramshorn Scholars Program, your status as an engineer-in-training is kept front and center through our interactive programming and specialized resources.

We aim to create a community that promotes and helps students achieve academic excellence. In fact, the Ramshorn is a symbol with deep roots in the Cockrell School that has defined academic achievements for our student engineers for decades.

Ramshorn Scholars Program components:

  • Reserved seats in select first-year courses
  • Specialized Ramshorn Scholars Program First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs)
  • General Engineering (GE) supplemental instruction courses
  • Personalized advising with Engineering Student Services Advisors
  • Peer mentoring and tutoring with an Academic Coach
  • Community building and social events
  • Leadership training and career development

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ramshorn Scholars Program?

The Ramshorn Scholars Program is a first- and second-year engineering academic learning community in the Cockrell School of Engineering dedicated to helping engineering undergraduates transition to college and continue their pattern of academic excellence. The Ramshorn Scholars Program is committed to building community and helping engineering students develop their identity as an “engineer-in-training” from the moment they step onto the 40 acres.

Why was I chosen to participate in the Ramshorn Scholars Program?

The Cockrell School of Engineering, in collaboration with the University’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, identify engineering first-year students who have demonstrated a commitment to their education through excellent academic and leadership skills to be invited to the Ramshorn Scholars community. As a Ramshorn Scholar, students receive services such as tutoring, peer mentoring, GE supplemental instruction, and First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs). Ramshorn Scholars are strongly motivated to maintain the Ramshorn definition of excellence as engineers-in-training.

What is required of me as a Ramshorn Scholar?
Ramshorn Scholars must participate in a FIG and meet weekly with an assigned academic coach. There are no other additional academic requirements in the first academic year. However, there are other events that Ramshorn Scholars are expected to attend and participate in: community building events in the fall and spring semesters, hands-on project based programming, and additional workshops and seminars designed to enhance engineering and leadership development.
Who are my advisors? 

The Cockrell School of Engineering is full of resources to help students succeed. Every engineering major has academic advisors in their respective departments to seek guidance for course selection, registration procedures, and reviewing degree progress. Ramshorn Scholar students will have an additional assigned advisor in the Engineering Student Services office located in EER 2.848. Students will meet with their assigned Ramshorn advisor during new student orientation, and are encouraged to meet with both their Ramshorn advisor and department advisor frequently throughout each semester.

What is a Ramshorn? 
More than a century ago, T.U. Taylor, UT Austin’s first engineering faculty member and the first dean of Texas Engineering, began drawing an elaborate check mark — a “Ramshorn” — on his students’ best papers. Over the years, it became known as a symbol of excellence in engineering education at The University of Texas at Austin.

Meet Your Advisors

kristen kessel

Kristen Kessel, M.Ed

Director of the Ramshorn Scholars Program, Engineering Student Services

Phone:  512-471-4321

Kristen oversees all components of the Ramshorn Scholars Program (RSP) and provides student-centered advising to RSP students for all engineering majors. Kristen earned a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from Concordia University Texas and completed her master’s degree in educational psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys spending time with her family, trying new foods, and reading.


Mary De Sopo

Mary De Sopo, M.Ed

Academic Advisor, Engineering Student Services

Phone:  512-471-4321

Mary is an Academic Advisor in Engineering Student Services and provides support for all students in the Ramshorn Scholars Program (RSP). Mary earned her bachelor’s in Sociology from Rutgers University and completed her master's degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texa at Austin. While out of the office, Mary enjoys camping, traveling, and live music.

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