How to Get Into Emory: Acceptance Rate and Strategies

June 6, 2023

In 1990, The New York Times published an article entitled, “With Money and Talent, Emory Raises Its Status”. The accelerated growth began when Coca Cola magnate, Robert Woodruff, donated over 100 million dollars to the school, at the time, the largest gift ever handed to an educational institution. From 1980 to 1990, the number of applicants to Emory University grew from 3,900 to 6,300; today, the school receives over 33,000 applications and the Emory acceptance rate has plummeted. While it’s hard to imagine a time when Emory ever needed to “raise its status,” the average SAT score for an entering freshman was “only” 1138 in 1984, 1234 in 1995, and by 2022?—close to 1500. Even with some score inflation in the intervening years, that’s still quite a jump.

It’s worth noting that Emory has two undergraduate colleges, Emory College in Atlanta, and Oxford College located in Oxford, Georgia, roughly a 45-minute drive from main campus. Students can apply to just one school or both via the Common or Coalition Application. Since admissions into Oxford College and Emory College are two different animals, we will provide college-specific data where possible.

We will touch on the following topics:

  • Emory University acceptance rate
  • Emory University ED acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, and GPA of accepted Emory University applicants
  • Admissions trends
  • The demographics of current undergraduates
  • Yield rate
  • How Emory University’s admissions officers evaluate candidates
  • Tips for applying
  • Emory essay prompts 
  • How to assess whether applying to Emory is even worth the $75 application fee (for you)

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Emory University Acceptance Rate – Class of 2027

Among those applying in the 2022-23 cycle, the Emory College acceptance rate was a mere 10.3%. The regular decision acceptance was only 7.6%.

When factoring in both Emory College and Oxford College, the overall Class of 2027 Emory University acceptance rate was 16.2%. There were 33,534 undergraduate applications received and 5,445 students who were admitted. 3,428 students were admitted to Emory and 3,335 were admitted to Oxford College. Within those numbers, 1,376 students were admitted to both colleges within the larger university.

  • Class of 2026: 10%
  • 2025: 13%
  • 2024: 19%

Emory University Early Decision Acceptance Rate 

Emory admitted 1,075 ED I applicants and 245 ED II students in the 2022-23 admissions cycle. The ED 1 acceptance rate was 31% compared to the ED 2 acceptance rate of 12%.

Emory University Admissions – SAT, ACT, and GPA

Emory College

Enrolled students in the Class of 2026 earned ACT Composite scores of 33-35, SAT math scores of 750-790 and SAT EBRW scores of 720-770. The unweighted GPA range was 3.83-4.0.

Oxford College

Enrolled students in the Class of 2026 earned ACT Composite scores of 33-35, SAT Math scores of 750-790 and SAT EBRW scores of 720-770.  The unweighted GPA range was 3.82-4.0.

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • Firstly, Emory will remain test-optional for the 2023-24 admissions cycle.
  • The accepted Class of 2027 includes individuals from 77 countries and all 50 US states.
  • Emory’s target class size remains at 1,420 students.
  • 22% of 2027 admits identify as African American.
  • The admitted Class of 2027 included 20% of students who identified as first-generation.

Who Actually Gets Into Emory University?

Let’s look at the demographics of the Emory College Class of 2026:

  • Southeast: 27%
  • South: 8%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 22%
  • West: 12%
  • New England: 6%
  • International: 16%
  • Midwest: 8%

The demographics of the Oxford College Class of 2026 are as follows:

  • Southeast: 29%
  • South: 8%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 18%
  • West: 14%
  • New England: 6%
  • International: 15%
  • Midwest: 9%

Emory University Acceptance Rate 2023 (Continued)

Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown of the Emory Class of 2026 is as follows:

  • Asian American: 23%
  • Hispanic: 15%
  • White: 23%
  • African American: 20%
  • International: 17%

The greatest percentage of international students hail from the following countries:

  1. China
  2. South Korea
  3. India
  4. Canada
  5. Brazil

The breakdown by gender of all current undergraduates is quite lopsided in favor of women:

  • Male: 42%
  • Female: 58%

Due to this wide gender disparity, the male acceptance rate tends to be a couple of points higher than the figure for female applicants.

Yield Rate

Emory University’s yield rate—the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted is expected to be around 40% for the Class of 2027. For comparison, many other top private universities have superior yield rates such as Notre Dame and Duke. Emory is a bit closer to other elite private schools like USC and Carnegie Mellon.

How Emory University Rates Applicants

Emory receives 33,000+ applications to fill a first-year class of approximately 1,300-1,400 students (1,800, including Oxford College). Despite this high total, Emory does give a genuinely holistic review to each and every applicant. Beyond mere test scores and other basic measurables, the admissions committee is “also looking for character traits, educational pursuits, and community awareness that would complement and blend into this campus community. Most Emory University students, regardless of major, have multiple interests and passions—whether it’s the arts, community service, medical research, theater, entrepreneurship, or athletics. We want to know what makes you happy and how your community/family/school has benefited from who you are as a person.”

Emory University Acceptance Rate 2023 (Continued)

Six factors are rated as being “very important” to the Emory admissions process: rigor of secondary school record, GPA, recommendations, extracurricular activities, talent/ability, and character/personal qualities. Application components deemed “important” are standardized test scores, essays, and volunteer work. It definitely helps if you are recruited as an athlete to join one of Emory University’s 19 Division III sports teams. Over 400 undergrads are varsity athletes. Those who excel in a given sport can gain an edge in the admissions process.

Tips for Applying

If you plan on joining the 33,000+ Eagle hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • Emory University offers Early Decision I and Early Decision II.  As cited earlier in the blog, ED acceptance rates are typically higher than during the Regular Decision round.
  • Emory University does offer optional alumni interviews. These are interviews conducted through the Alumni Interview Program. Between mid-October and February, a limited number of applicants will be granted an interview with an alum in their geographic area. However, the school notes that the majority of applicants will not receive an invitation.
  • Emory University states that they do not consider “demonstrated interest” in the admissions process. Still, given that their yield rate is under 35%, it may be worth taking the simple steps of following them on social media, signing up for a virtual tour, or emailing an admissions officer with any questions you may have.

Emory University Acceptance Rate 2023 (Continued)

  • Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental essays required by Emory. In the 2022-23 cycle, students must answer two prompts as follows:

Academic Interests

This question is required. Your response should be no more than 200 words.

  • What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college?

Getting to Know You

In addition, answer one of the following questions.  Your response should be no more than 150 words.

  • Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.
  • When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true?
  • If you could witness a historic event (past, present or future) first-hand, what would it be, and why?
  • Share about a time when you were awestruck.
  • Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?

For detailed advice on how to approach each prompt, visit our blog: Emory University Essay Prompts and Tips.

Emory University Acceptance Rate 2023 – Final Thoughts

With overall acceptance rates as low as 10% in recent years, Emory is a school that is looking for students that are at the 98th percentile or above on standardized tests and are among the very top of their high school class. Just about all “A”s in an AP/IB-heavy curriculum is expected. If Emory University is your aim, make sure to also have multiple other schools on your list where you are more likely to gain acceptance. All students need to make sure that they formulate an appropriate college list, containing a complement of “target” and “safety” schools. You’ll also definitely want to get your counselor’s input during this process.