How to Get Into Rutgers University

Students reading about how to get into Rutgers University
August 28, 2023

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 04/26/23

Rutgers University is known as an academic, health, and research powerhouse. To learn more about this university and how to join it, read on.

College is known as a place of discovery. It’s where you learn more about who you are and who you want to be. Rutgers is no exception—in fact, it promises all students, regardless of their background, will feel at home and discover themselves at this prominent university.

Whether you’re seeking the classic big-time university experience, or want to be part of a more close-knit community, Rutgers has a place for you. This school offers three unique campuses with distinct personalities, amenities, and benefits:

  • New Brunswick: a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and provides that typical large college experience
  • Newark: at the heart of New Jersey to offer a dynamic and lively urban atmosphere
  • Camden: in a more southern part of the state with a smaller, tight-knit community

Regardless of the campus you’re interested in joining, this guide will tell you how to get into Rutgers University, its important admissions details and deadlines, and how to make your application stand out!

Rutgers University Acceptance Rate

Let’s begin by taking a look at the Rutgers University acceptance rate. Rutgers has a promising acceptance rate of 68%, meaning you have a high chance of getting into this school! 

Rutgers University Admissions Requirements

Rutgers requires its students to submit the following application materials to be considered for enrollment: 

Course Requirements and Standardized Test Scores

Depending on the program you plan on applying to, there are certain credentials you’ll need to complete in high school:

  • Four years of English 
  • Zero to two years of a foreign language
  • Three to four years of Mathematics (including Algebra, Geometry, and for some programs, Precalculus) 
  • Zero to two years of Science (of Biology and Chemistry or Physics and Chemistry, depending on your program)
  • Five to nine other academic courses

While your cumulative GPA will be considered, ensure you receive the highest marks in these core courses to demonstrate your academic merit.

GPA and Standardized Test Scores

Your weighted GPA will be considered heavily in the selection process. While Rutgers is adopting a test-optional policy until 2024, students may still submit SAT or ACT scores if they believe it will strengthen their application.

Here are the weighted GPAs and SAT/ACT scores you should strive for based on your preferred campus and college:

New Brunswick Campus College Weighted GPA Medians SAT Medians ACT Medians
School of Arts and Sciences 3.7-4.2 1320-1500 29-34
Rutgers Business School 3.8-4.2 1360-1500 30-34
School of Engineering 3.8-4.3 1350-1510 30-35
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences 3.7-4.2 1300-1490 28-34
School of Nursing 4.0-4.3 1310-1460 29-34
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy 4.0-4.3 1410-1530 32-35
Mason Gross School of Arts 3.6-4.1 1290-1410 29-33

Source: Rutgers University

Camden Campus College Weighted GPA Medians SAT Medians ACT Medians
College of Arts and Sciences 3.3-3.9 1170-1430 26-33
School of Business 3.3-3.8 1140-1360 26-30
School of Nursing 3.6-4.0 1060-1300 22-29

Source: Rutgers University

Newark Campus College Weighted GPA Medians SAT Medians ACT Medians
College of Arts and Sciences 3.5-4.1 1240-1500 27-33
Rutgers Business School 3.4-4.0 1190-1420 27-33
School of Criminal Justice 3.3-3.9 1100-1330 27-33
School of Public Affairs and Administration 3.1-3.9 1080-1410 27-33

Source: Rutgers University

It’s recommended students only submit SAT or ACT scores if they fall within or above these medians.

Extracurricular Activities

On your Rutgers application, you’ll be required to fill out a section about the extracurriculars you pursued throughout high school. You’ll be asked to list up to five activities in order of importance.

There will also be an Awards section where you can list up to five awards received, a Volunteer section for any unpaid service you participated in, an Employment section, and a Pre-College Program section.

The final Natural Disasters and Emergency Situation section is optional and will ask you to check off all the boxes that apply to you. It will include prompts relating to COVID-19 and other circumstantial issues that may have affected your education. 


Students will have to submit an essay addressing one of the following subjects:

  • Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  • What interests or excites you? How does it shape who you are now or who you might become in the future?
  • Describe a time when you had a positive impact on others. What were the challenges? What were the rewards?
  • Has there been a time when an idea or belief of yours was questioned? How did you respond? What did you learn?
  • What success have you achieved or obstacles have you faced? What advice would you give a sibling or friend going through a similar experience?
  • Submit an essay on the topic of your choice.

Your essay should not exceed 3,800 characters and must be original. While you can use ideas from previous essays or other application essays, ensure you tailor your essay to align with Rutgers’ values.

Talent Assessment

Students interested in applying to the Mason Gross School of Arts will be required to submit an audition, interview, or portfolio as part of their application.

Rutgers University Application Process and Deadlines

Students must submit a Rutgers-specific application through the school’s online portal. They must identify their campus, school, and program preferences and complete all sections to be considered for admission.

Keep the following dates in mind to avoid any delays with your application:

Due Date What’s Due
August 1 Applications open
November 1 Early action application suggested deadline
December 1 Regular decision application suggested deadline
January 31 Decision notifications sent out for early applications
February 1 Transfer applications suggested deadline
February 28 Decision notifications sent out for regular applicants
April 15 Decision notifications sent out for transfer applicants

Source: Rutgers’ Application Deadlines

While students can submit their applications past the suggested deadlines, doing so will limit their chances of admission, as Rutgers accepts students on a rolling basis. Students that submit past the suggested deadlines will also receive their decisions later than the listed notification deadlines.

Rutgers University Tuition and Fees

Rutgers is considered to be an affordable university and has lower tuition costs than many similar-ranking institutions. Here’s a breakdown of its annual tuition:

Rutgers Campus Resident Tuition Non-Resident Tuition
Newark $15,648 $33,348
Camden $16,112 $33,812
New Brunswick $16,263 $33,963

Source:Rutgers Tuition and Fees

To help students cover these costs, Rutgers offers comprehensive financial aid to its students in the form of merit and needs-based grants.

Tips for Getting Into Rutgers University

Now that you know the basics of how to get into Rutgers University, you may be curious about how you can elevate your application to maximize your chances of acceptance. Since Rutgers has such a high acceptance rate, you can follow a few simple tips to impress the admissions committee:

Participate In Various Extracurriculars

You’ll be asked to separate your extracurriculars, work, and volunteer experiences on your application. You should pursue activities from each section. While you don’t have to participate in five extracurriculars or pick up a new job each year, you should stick to at least one activity per section for several months, or preferably years.

Choose Your Essay Topic Wisely

Your supplemental essay will not only give the committee insight into your writing skills but will also help them connect with you more. 

Choose a topic you feel most compelled to write about and keep your answer simple! Use language you understand and focus on the topic at hand. Proofread your essay several times before submission to show off your impeccable writing skills.

Only Write the SAT/ACT if Necessary

Considering the stress you’ll already be under trying to apply to your top choices on time and graduating from high school with the necessary GPA, you should only write the SAT or ACT if you believe it’ll strengthen your application.

In other words, if your GPA is not quite high enough to be considered competitive, receiving an SAT or ACT score in or above the expected range can make up for this weak spot in your application.

If you already have a competitive GPA however, you can avoid the added stress and opt out of writing the SAT/ACT as it will not give you any additional advantage.

FAQs: Getting Into Rutgers University

In this guide, we’ve answered questions such as: “how hard is it to get into Rutgers University?”, “what do I need to apply to Rutgers” and “how can I make my Rutgers application stand out?”

For any remaining questions about how to get into Rutgers University, read on to find your answers.

1. How Hard Is It to Get Into Rutgers University?

Considering its high acceptance rate, Rutgers is relatively easy to get into. 

2. Can I Get Into Rutgers With a 3.0 GPA?

Yes, a 3.0 GPA will put you within the median competitive range for the majority of Rutgers’ programs. This equates to a weighted GPA of around 3.7.

3. Can I Get Into Rutgers with a 2.4 GPA?

A 2.4 unweighted GPA will put you at around a 3.3 weighted GPA. This GPA is considered to be on the lower end, but you may still be considered a competitive applicant for certain programs.

4. Is Rutgers an Ivy League School?

No, Rutgers is not an Ivy League school.

5. Is Rutgers Prestigious?

Yes, Rutgers is considered to be one of the top public research schools in the nation. It is well known for its distinguished faculty, academics, and health-related programs.

6. Do You Need to Write an Essay for Rutgers?

Yes, students must submit one essay as part of the Rutgers application process. Students are given six essay topics to choose from for this admission material.

7. How Many Letters of Recommendation Do I Need to Submit to Apply to Rutgers?

Rutgers does not require letters of recommendation as part of the application process. The application process provides adequate opportunity for students to describe the accomplishment, activities, honors, awards, and experiences that would otherwise be shared through recommendation letters.

Final Thoughts

Rutgers prides itself on being students’ home away from home, where they’re immersed into a supportive yet academically rigorous environment! Keep the deadlines, admission requirements, and tips shared in this guide to ensure you too can join Rutgers’ renowned community!

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