The Ultimate Guide to Applying to Emory University
Want personalized (and free) advice while applying to college?
We’re building a free college guidance platform for high school students like you! This means we’ll let you know exactly what and when you should be focusing on things like extracurriculars, college essays, standardized tests, and more. Sign up now to get early access to our platform and get guidance applying to college!
One of the 50 oldest private universities in the United States, Emory University was founded in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia, originally as Emory College. Today its main campus is located in historic Atlanta.
A liberal arts research university, Emory offers more than 70 majors and 50 minors. One distinctive feature of its academic program is the First-Year Seminar requirement, in which freshman participate in small classes run by faculty members to discuss meaningful topics, fostering interaction, critical thinking, and communication skills.
The undergraduate program consists of four schools: Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Oxford College, Goizueta Business School, and Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Students begin their studies at either Emory College or Oxford and may complete Bachelor’s degrees at Emory or apply to finish their undergraduate studies at the Business or Nursing Schools after completing at least one and more commonly two years.
Students may apply to Emory, Oxford, or both. Oxford is a two-year college located on the original campus in Oxford, Georgia, specializing in liberal arts education for freshmen and sophomores. Oxford has a much smaller campus, and offers early opportunities for leadership. After their sophomore years, Oxford students automatically enter Emory College, or may apply to complete their studies at the Business School or School of Nursing.
Want to learn what Emory University will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering Emory University needs to know.
Deadlines, Tuition, and Financial Aid
Emory is a competitive school, with an acceptance rate of 25.2%. 3,809 students were offered a spot on the waitlist, and of these, 45 students were offered admission. After accepting a position on the waitlist, these candidates with be notified of their final decisions by June 1st.
Emory offers two Early Decision plans, both of which are binding, meaning students must matriculate at Emory and withdraw applications from other schools if accepted. For both plans, applicants may apply to Emory College, Oxford College, or both. If accepted to one of the campuses but not the other, you will pay your deposit to that school; if you are accepted to both campuses, you will have until the enrollment deposit date to choose. The application deadline for Early Decision I is November 1st, and you will receive your admissions decision by December 15th. If accepted, your enrollment deposit is due by January 15th. Students who are not admitted may be deferred to the Regular Decision pool of candidates or denied admission. The application deadline for Early Decision II is January 1st, and you will be notified by February 15th. If accepted under this plan, your enrollment deposit is due March 15th. As with Regular Decision, students applying under this plan may be denied admission or waitlisted.
The Regular Decision application deadline is January 1st, and you will be notified of your admissions decision by April 1st. Your enrollment deposit is due May 1st.
Emory offers an Early Admission plan for academically exceptional high school juniors. These students may apply by the above deadlines in their eleventh grade year, as long as they have exhausted their high schools’ most advanced course offerings.
Tuition costs $47,300, with a total cost of $65,080 (including food, housing, and other expenses) at Emory College, and $42,600, with a total cost of $58,900, at Oxford annually. Emory offers both merit and need-based aid. Financial aid forms are due December 5th for Early Decision I and February 15th for Early Decision II and Regular Decision. Visit the Net Price Calculator available through Emory’s website to estimate your cost of tuition.
Merit-based scholarships include the Emory University Scholars Programs in conjunction with Emory College, Oxford, and the Business School. Candidates must complete application materials for the programs by November 15th, and finalist will be notified, along with their admissions acceptances, by February 15th. Roughly 175-200 finalists are chosen, and scholarships are awarded in mid-April. Students may apply to be Emory, Oxford, or Goizueta Scholars, and those chosen as Goizueta Scholars are automatically admitted to the Business School in their junior year of college.
Applying to Emory
Emory accepts either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. You must also complete the Emory supplement. There is an application fee of $75.
The Emory supplement has five sections: General, Academic, Contacts, Family, and Writing.
In this section, you will indicate whether you are applying to Emory College, Oxford, or both. You will also indicate under what plan you are applying: Early Decision I, Early Decision II, or Regular Decision. Additionally, you will be asked if you are applying for financial aid, if you have been given an application fee waiver, and if you are a QuestBridge applicant.
The academic section is intended to give the admissions committee an idea of your future academic pursuits. First, you will indicate your primary area of interest from the following options: Business; Humanities, Arts, and Performance; Natural Sciences and Engineering; Nursing; and Social Sciences. Next, you will select your preferred major or program within that field. You will also indicate your secondary area of interest and preferred major or program within that field, if applicable. You may select undecided for any of these if you are not sure what you want to study yet. Keep in mind that you are not declaring a major here; Emory simply wants to know more about your current interests.
You will also indicate whether or not your school or school district adjusts grades for AP, IB, or Honors courses. Some schools adjust grades for courses at these levels to compensate for their rigor. Check with your guidance counselor if you aren’t sure what your high school’s policy is.
Finally, you will indicate if you plan on applying for one of the Emory Scholars programs. There are additional application requirements if you do intend to be considered.
In this section, you will indicate whether or not you have previously applied to Emory. If you answer yes, you will be prompted for the month and year you applied.
Here, you will list any parents, siblings, or other relatives who have attended or are currently attending Emory. You will list their relationship to you, names, degrees (if awarded), and year of graduation. You will also be asked if you have any parents or other relatives who are currently employed by Emory University or Emory Healthcare, and indicate their names, relationship to you, affiliations or departments, and whether or not they are still employed by Emory.
The writing section begins with the following statement:
In addition to the Common Application’s Personal Statement, please choose two (2) of the short answer prompts below. Be thoughtful in your responses, but don’t stress about what the right answer might be — we just want to get to know you a bit better. Each response should be no more than 150 words.
There are five prompts. For a more detailed look at how to write each of these prompts, check out out Emory University Essay Breakdown.
-In your opinion, what is an important challenge facing your generation in the next 50 years?
-What are you most excited about or looking forward to in your college experience?
-What is your favorite fiction or non-fiction work (film / book / television show / album / poem / play)? Why?
-Please describe your ideal college campus/academic environment and what you hope to gain from it.
-What motivates you to learn?
These questions are meant to give the admissions committee of who you are as a person. They are not necessarily related to your academic achievements or intellectual pursuits; instead, you should discuss what drives you and what your personality is like. Some of the questions, particularly the final two, do relate to your academic motivations, but they focus more on your particular drives, rather than past achievements. Even though some of these questions may seem less intellectual than other college essays, remember that it is as much a part of your application as any other requirement, and be sure to come across as professional and mature. Still, make sure your personality comes through, as this will allow you to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Given the limited amount of space, use plenty of examples and be as specific as possible.
Students must submit scores from either the SAT or ACT. SAT II subject tests are encouraged, but not required.
Some applicants may be invited to interview with an Emory alum off-campus. Whether or not a candidate receives an invitation depends on location and timing, and does not have any bearing on the likelihood of acceptance to Emory. Students who do receive invitations are encouraged to accept them, however, since this provides the admissions committee with an opportunity to learn more about the student, and the student with a chance to learn more about the school. Applicants and prospective students may not request interviews.
Applicants should also send two teacher recommendations, as well as a guidance counselor recommendation and school report.