How to Get Into Emory University: Requirements + Tips

Emory University acceptance letter
April 19, 2024
6 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/19/24

Do you want to study in Atlanta, Georgia? Our guide explores scary skeletons, Emory University's culture and traditions, and what you need to do to gain admission to Emory. 

Emory University is one of the top schools in the south and is full of spooky, scary skeletons. Well, every spring, Dooley the skeleton, Emory’s unofficial mascot, descends on its Atlanta, GA campus dressed in a black cape, top hat, and white gloves.

Dooley’s week is one of Emory’s many famed wacky traditions. Not only is Emory a fun place to spend four years of your life, but it’s also one of the best colleges in the country; U.S. News lists it as the country's 24th-best university

Since its foundation in 1836, Emory’s mission has been “to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity.” First-year students can choose between Emory College of Arts and Sciences or Oxford College. 

Read on to learn how to get into Emory University!

Emory University Acceptance Rate: 14.5%

Emory University had an overall acceptance rate of 14.5%. With 34,914 total applicants for the 2028 application cycle. For more admissions information, here is a breakdown of Emory’s acceptance rates from the past few years:

Class Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2027 33,534 5,445 16.2%
2026 33,179 3,767 11.4%
2025 33,435 4,364 13.0%
2024 28,211 5,407 19.0%

Source: Emory Common Data Sets

As you can see, the acceptance rates for the past few years haven’t changed significantly. For example, Emory’s acceptance rate for 2026 lowered by 1.6% from the previous year. 

Emory Early Decision Acceptance Rate: 37.4%

Emory’s Early Decision acceptance rate is relatively high at 32%. For the class of 2028.

Here are some Early Decision admission trends from the past few years:

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Early Decision Acceptance Rate
2023 2,414 903 37.4%
2022 3,560 940 26.4%
2021 3,213 844 26.2%
2020 2,962 803 27.1%

Source: Emory Common Data Sets

How Hard Is It to Get Into Emory University? 

With an acceptance rate lower than 20%, it is difficult to get into Emory. You will need to put together a stellar application in order to be considered for admission!

Take our interactive quiz below to find out how likely you are to get into Emory.

Emory University Admissions Statistics

Looking at stats from previous classes is a good way to evaluate your chances of getting into college. Take a look at these Emory statistics! 

Emory Average GPA: 3.9

The GPA range of admitted Emory students was between 3.89 to 4.0. If you want to compete with these numbers, you should aim for a GPA of 3.9 or above. Getting a 4.0 GPA is best! 

Emory Average SAT Score: 1500

The median SAT score of Emory applicants is about 1500. You should aim for a score on the SAT that is equal to or higher than 1500 if you want to be considered a competitive applicant!

These are the middle 50% SAT scores achieved by all incoming undergraduate students: 

  • EBRW: 720-770
  • Math: 750-790

Emory currently operates a test-optional policy, but you can submit SAT scores as evidence of your academic preparation. However, whether you submit your scores to Emory University is entirely up to you.

Emory Average ACT Score: 34

The middle 50% range of ACT scores achieved by admitted students at Emory College and Oxford College is 33-35. Although you don’t need to submit ACT scores to Emory University, you can share your scores if you want to. If you do, you should aim for a score of about 34 or higher. 

What Is Emory University Looking For In Applicants? 

Emory is looking for applicants who are curious, intellectual high achievers, typically those who have taken challenging classes. They also seek to admit students who are engaged in their community and the world around them. 

For a more technical evaluation, here are the factors that Emory considers when evaluating applications: 

Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Rigor of secondary school record X
Class rank X
Academic GPA X
Standardized test scores X
Application essay X
Recommendations X

Non-Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Interview X
Extracurricular activities X
Talent / ability X
Character / personal qualities X
First generation X
Alumni/ae relation X
Geographical residence X
State residency X
Religious affiliation / commitment X
Racial / ethnic status X
Volunteer work X
Work experience X
Level of applicant’s interest X

Source: Emory Common Data Set

Emory University Admissions Requirements

Getting into Emory University requires a GPA of at least 3.9 and high test scores. You’ll need an SAT score of 1560 and an ACT score of 35 to be competitive. Successful applicants also demonstrate their passions, abilities, and good character through extracurricular activities and strong recommendations.

Emory’s admissions requirements include: 

  • Emory's short answer questions
  • $75 application fee or application fee waiver
  • Official high school transcripts and official college transcripts (if applicable)
  • English Language Proficiency test scores (if applicable) 
  • Secondary school report/counselor’s recommendation
  • Two teacher letters of recommendation from core-area academic teachers
  • Standardized test scores 

Emory accepts any of the following applications: 

On each of these applications, you must provide autobiographical information, complete an activities and achievements section, and craft a personal statement.

Emory University Application Deadlines

To avoid missing any important deadlines, take a look at these important Emory application dates:

Decision Plan Application Deadline Financial Aid Deadline Decision Notification
Early Decision I November 1 December 6 By December 15
Emory University Scholar Programs November 15 Based on decision plan By March 1
Early Decision II January 1 January 10 By February 15
Regular Decision January 1 January 31 By April 1
Fall Transfer March 15 March 13 By May 5

Source: Emory University

Please note that if you’re applying through Early Decision II or Regular Decision, you must submit your Midyear report and transcript. Early Decision I applicants must submit materials by early November.

Emory Regular Decision Deadline

You’ll need to submit your application materials to Emory by January 1 if you’re applying for a Regular Decision. You should receive a decision by early April. 

Emory Early Decision Deadline

Emory’s Early Decision I deadline is November 1, and January 1 for Early Decision II. You’ll receive a decision by mid-December for ED I and mid-February for ED II. 

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Emory 

Emory has a highly competitive applicant pool annually. These tips can help you stand out and get into Emory University. 

Take Your Academic Preparation Seriously 

High school academic work is [a] critical” part of Emory’s admissions decision process, says Mark E. Butt, the Director of Undergraduate Selection at Emory. 

Pursuing demanding courses is a brilliant way to show you work hard and can cope with the difficulty of college-level classes. Butt states that your high school transcript “is the best predictor of academic success as Emory.” 

Emory places such weight on your high school transcript that good grades in higher-level classes can overcome low standardized test scores. Yet, low grades in difficult classes can rarely be overcome by high standardized test scores. Take high-level courses such as honors, AP, or IB classes. 

Receive Stellar Letters of Recommendation 

College admissions committees use your letters of recommendation to understand your work ethic, how you cooperate with others, and more. These letters tell the stories behind your standardized test scores and GPA. 

Emory urges you to “​​Consider the teacher who challenged you the most, can share details about your strengths, or can tell us how you overcame obstacles.” Remember, choose a recommender who is impressed by your work ethic. 

Choosing a recommender who knows a different side of you is an excellent way to strengthen your application. For example, if they know what you do outside the classroom, they can share a more detailed account of you. Choose a recommender that’ll articulate how you’ll fit into Emory’s community. 

Write a Compelling Personal Statement 

Your Common Application personal statement allows you to show off your personality in your voice. The Common App prompts are often open-ended; colleges want to let you decide what is important and what you want to write about. 

However, it can be daunting to face a blank page when you are asked to write about yourself. This is especially challenging as you should only write 650 words in your college essay.

So, Emory has provided you with an example personal statement from an applicant they accepted. Check out this statement to better understand what Emory is looking for. 

Emory University Essay Prompts

To apply to Emory, you’ll need to write essays responding to two short-answer questions. One question will be required, and the other prompt can be chosen from a short list.

The required Emory essay prompt is: “What academic areas are you interested in exploring at Emory University and why?”

Emory’s other essay prompts are as follows: 

1. Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?
2. Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
3. Emory University aspires for all students to flourish on campus. Reflect on what flourishing at Emory means to you.
4. Emory University’s unique mission calls for service to humanity. Share how you might personally contribute to this mission of service to humanity.
5. Emory University has a strong commitment to building community. Tell us about a community that you have been part of where your participation helped to change or shape the community for the better.
6. Reflection is a central tenet of Emory University’s values. Craft a personal email providing advice to yourself in your first year of high school.

You may choose any one of these prompts to respond to in addition to the required essay. Both essays should be about 150 words in length.

Emory University Interview

Emory doesn’t offer applicants interviews with its admissions staff. However, it will invite a small number of candidates to partake in the Eagle Connections Program, formerly known as the Emory Alumni Interview Program. 

Most applicants won’t receive an interview invitation, and those who don’t interview won't be disadvantaged in the admissions decision process.  

How to Prepare for the Emory University Interview

Emory seeks to understand why you’re passionate about its community, culture, and programs. Your college interview is also an opportunity to learn more about Emory and Atlanta. 

Don’t be nervous about the interview; Emory’s interviews are more relaxed than a traditional college interview and take place in a relaxed environment. Nicolai Lundy, an Emory alumnus and one of the Co-Chairs of the Emory Alumni Interview Program, said, “You already have a lot of talking points in your application.” 

Emory’s Alumni want to hear about your interests, so share them! As Lundy recommends, “All you have to do is think about which one(s) you want to talk about and that’s as much preparation as you need.” It’s always handy to have a question or two in mind to ask your interviewer. 

FAQs: Getting Into Emory University

If you have more questions about Emory University, check out these FAQs! 

1. Should I Apply to Emory Through Early Decision?

If Emory is your first-choice school, you should apply through Early Decision. As Emory notes, “If Emory is the school that you measure all other schools by, and those schools always fail in comparison, then we would strongly encourage you to consider ED.” 

2. Does Emory Consider “Demonstrated Interest”? 

No, Emory doesn’t consider demonstrated interest. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attend virtual sessions, visit Emory’s campuses, or email admissions counselors. 

3. Will I be Penalized If I’m Not Offered an Interview? 

No. Emory only offers a small number of interviews to its applicants, and you won’t be disadvantaged if you’re not selected. 

4. How Hard Is It to Get Into Emory? 

Emory College and Oxford College have an acceptance rate of 14.5% and 15%, respectively. While Emory may not be as competitive as other top colleges, you’ll need to submit a polished application for your best shot at acceptance! 

5. What Kind of Student Does Emory Look For? 

Emory looks for students who’ve taken challenging courses and demonstrate a high level of academic preparation. They also seek students who are engaged in the world around them.

6. What GPA Do You Need for Emory? 

No magical GPA guarantees admission to Emory University, but the middle 50% of admitted students reported unweighted GPAs between 3.89 and 4.00. It’s in your best interest to strive for the highest GPA possible! 

7. Is Emory a Good School? 

Emory is ranked as one of the top 25 colleges in the country, so yes, it’s widely considered a good school. 

8. What is Emory University’s Tuition? 

It costs $63,400 to pay for tuition at Emory. However, including other fees and personal expenses, the estimated cost of attendance at Emory is around $83,702. 

If the cost of college is what is holding you back from applying, Emory meets 100% of demonstrated financial need.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to get into Emory University! Ensure you meet Emory’s requirements before applying, and take note of the different decision paths and deadlines. If you want more guidance as you apply to Emory, consider seeking an expert college admissions counselor’s help

Good luck with your application!

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