How To Get Into Emory University: The Definitive Guide

City of Atlanta
November 16, 2022
About Emory UniversityTips to Get into Emory UniversityEmory University RequirementsEmory University Acceptance RateEmory University Class ProfileHow to Prepare for the Emory University InterviewHow to Apply to Emory UniversityShould I Apply to Emory University?FAQs: Getting Into Emory University


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/10/22

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

Black and white picture of Dooley the skeleton, emory's unofficial mascot
Dooley the skeleton. Source: Emory

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 22nd-best university. Read on to learn how to get into Emory University!

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About Emory 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. 

Emory’s students can pursue more than 80 majors and study in one of North America’s top 20 Association of Research Libraries. Students can engage in interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and study-abroad opportunities in Atlanta, the U.S., and worldwide. 

Overhead picture of Emory University's campus
Source: Emory University

Tips to Get into Emory University

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 that 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 Requirements

Emory accepts any of the following applications: 

You must provide autobiographical information, complete an activities and achievements section, and craft a personal statement. Once you’ve done so, you must meet Emory’s admissions requirements. 

Emory’s admissions requirements include: 

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. 

Letters of Recommendation 

You need two letters of recommendation to apply to Emory University. Emory recommends you acquire your letters from teachers who have instructed you in core academic areas. These areas include: 

Although optional, you can ask your teacher to submit an evaluation with their recommendation letter. 

Emory ACT Requirements

Emory currently operates a test-optional policy, but you can submit ACT scores as evidence of your academic preparation. The middle 50% range of ACT scores achieved by admitted students at Emory College and Oxford College is 33-35

Emory SAT Requirements

Although you don’t need to submit SAT scores to Emory University, you can share your scores if you want to. These are the middle 50% scores achieved by all incoming undergraduate students: 

Whether you submit ACT or SAT scores to Emory University is entirely up to you. 

English Language Proficiency Testing

If English isn’t your first language, Emory requires you to take an English Language Proficiency Test

You can receive a test waiver if you meet any of the following criteria: 

If you don’t meet any of the criteria listed above, you will have to take one of the following tests:

The school doesn’t set score cutoffs, but you should aim for the highest score possible for a better chance of admission at Emory University. 

Source: Emory University

Emory University GPA Requirements

The middle 50% range of unweighted GPA achieved by Emory College’s admitted students is 3.83 to 4.00, and Oxford College’s is 3.82 to 4.00

Emory University Acceptance Rate

Here’s a breakdown of Emory University’s acceptance rate data: 

table outlining emory acceptance rate

Yield Rate

Emory’s yield rate is determined by how many admitted students decide to enroll. Based on the above info, Emory College’s yield rate is 38.1%, and Oxford College’s is 14.3%.

Emory University Class Profile

Emory attracts a diverse array of world-class applicants each year. 


The self-identified races/ethnicities of Emory’s first-year class are: 

Emory university class profile
Source: Emory University 

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Emory’s student-to faculty-ratio is 9:1, and over 54% of its classes have fewer than 20 students. 

How to Prepare for the 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 Emory Alumni Interview Program

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

Interview Questions

Emory seeks to understand why you’re passionate about its community, culture, and programs. Your 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. 

How to Apply to Emory University

As mentioned above, you must fulfill Emory University’s admissions requirements to apply through the Common, Coalition, or QuestBridge Apps. 

Emory Application Deadlines

There are the admissions deadlines you should know for all of Emory’s decision programs: 

Emory application deadlines
Source: Emory University Office of Undergraduate Admission

Should I Apply to Emory University?

Emory is a selective university; only you can decide if it’s right for you. If you meet Emory’s admissions requirements, there’s no reason not to apply! 

Atlanta is filled with internship opportunities, which can help you get your dream job after you graduate. Emory also contains a stellar pre-med program. If you’re an aspiring doctor, Emory could be the ideal place for you. 

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

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.” 

1. 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 11% 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. 

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 3.82 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. 

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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