What Does It Take to Get into the University of Miami?

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The University of Miami accepts 35.7% of applicants. What does it take to get in?


Located in beautiful Coral Gables, the University of Miami is the perfect choice for students who want to experience the beauty of Florida and receive a top-notch education. Located just outside of the international hub that is Miami, minutes away from gorgeous beaches, and a short drive from Florida’s natural splendor in the Keys and the Everglades, the University of Miami has a lot of offer students wanting to take advantage of urban and natural resources.


Beyond its advantageous setting, the University of Miami ranks at #53 according to U.S. News, and its music, law and marketing programs consistently rank among the highest in the nation. It’s unique position near critical environmental areas and international tourism means that students have the opportunity to contribute to environmental and ecological research and find plenty of employment opportunities in business and hospitality.


With so much going on for it, the University of Miami remains a popular choice for high-achieving students. But with only 35.7% of applicants being accepted, the University of Miami does not make getting in easy, even for highly qualified students. Keep reading to learn more about the tips that have helped CollegeVine’s students get into the school that’s perfect for them.


Applying to the University of Miami: A Quick Review


Apply to UM using the Common Application. We’ve written an extensive guide with everything you need to know about this application, so be sure to check out The Common App: Everything You Need to Know.


The University of Miami has several decision and deadline options:


  • Early Decision I and Early Action students must submit their applications by November 1.
  • Early Decision II and Regular Decision students must submit their applications by January 1.


If you’re unsure about whether you should apply early, check out our post Early Action vs. Early Decision vs. Restricted Early Action.


To apply, be sure to send in all of the following:


  • A complete application via the Common App
  • An essay responding to one of the Common App prompts
  • School report
  • Counselor recommendation
  • One teacher recommendation
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • An official high school transcript
  • $70 application fee or fee waiver


For international students: You’ll need to submit your secondary school documents to a third-party evaluation firm, Joseph Silny & Associates, Inc. However, if you’re attending a U.S. school or are completing the IB curriculum, you can apply for an exemption and send your transcripts directly to the admissions office. If English is not your first language, you’ll also be required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, but ACT/SAT scores are optional.


University of Miami Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?


Getting into UM takes hard work—last year only 35.7% of applicants were admitted. UM received 30,634 applications last year and admitted 10,936 students. Of those, 2,211 students actually enrolled, making it similarly selective to schools like Case Western, the College of William and Mary, or Brandeis University


If you aspire to attend a school like UM, it’s critical to surround yourself with people who have been through the process before. CollegeVine offers mentorship for underclassmen and applications counseling for seniors to help you set yourself apart from the crowd. Even if you don’t choose to work one-on-one with one of CollegeVine’s trained near-peer mentors, connecting with someone who has successfully gained admission to a school like UM can make the difference between rejection and acceptance.

So, How Does One Get Into the University of Miami?


UM uses a holistic review process to choose students who will contribute to and benefit from the UM community. Use your application to highlight your strengths in the following areas.


Academics. On average, the admitted students at UM demonstrated strong academic potential through their standardized test scores and GPAs. The middle 50% of their  incoming freshmen earned SAT scores between 1320 and 1460, ACT scores between 30 and 33, and had an average unweighted GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.


Extracurriculars. UM doesn’t care what activities you were involved in throughout high school, but they do want to see that you pursued something you were interested in with passion and excellence. This could mean taking a leadership position at your school, starting a new organization or initiative, or being recognized for your talents through awards and recognition. Whatever you do, show why those activities were meaningful to you and how you went above and beyond in following them.


Character. It’s important that you give the UM admissions officers insight into who you are and what your strengths are. Write a compelling essay that focuses on an accomplishment or strength that you are proud of, and choose recommenders who can highlight strengths beyond what you could cover in your essay alone.


Contribution to Community. UM is explicitly looking for students who will engages with their community, and it prides itself on its research opportunities and active alumni base. Show how your strengths and experiences will enrich the student body and how you’ll engage with the campus and the surrounding community. You can highlight how you’ve contributed to communities in the past through service or leadership.


How to Make Your Application Stand Out


Every application is different, but over the years we’ve seen these strategies give our clients applications that are three times more likely to gain favorable admissions results.


Tell your story. The University of Miami is looking for bright, motivated students who will make the most of their education, and they pride themselves on bringing a diverse group of students together. Whatever you don’t include in your application, they won’t know about, so make sure you highlight your strengths, your values, and your passion throughout your application.


Partner with recommenders. Most students choose a recommender and let the recommender do all the work, but you need to make sure that every piece of your application is strong. Brainstorm ideas of what to include or emphasize in your letter with your recommender, and let them read drafts of your essays. Give them all the help they need to make their letters flow with the rest of your application.


Enhance the themes of your completed application. A seasoned admissions counselor will review your entire application in about nine minutes and evaluate it. If you want them to remember something positive about you, then you’ll need to mention it throughout your application, not just once and hope that they remember.


Try this strategy—finish your application at least a week early and leave it alone for a few days. When you return to it, read the whole application in nine minutes. What stood out to you? What wasn’t clear or could be improved on? Then make those improvements.


What If You Get Rejected?


The University of Miami receives applications from more qualified applicants than they can accept. If you find yourself facing a no-thank-you at the end of the admissions process, don’t be too hard on yourself. Bright, motivated, resourceful students will find success, or create it, anywhere they go.


UM does not accept admissions appeals due to their long list of qualified applicants on the waitlist. We do not recommend petitioning your decision.


You are eligible to apply for transfer after you’ve completed at least one year at another college. However, transfer applications are still competitive, as the average transfer applicant has a college GPA of 3.5 and has to complete the same lengthy application that freshmen go through, which means college activities will matter in your application.


You can reapply after taking a gap year, but this path is riskier than simply committing to another school and requesting to take a gap year there. To see if a gap year is right for you, visit our posts, What Are the Pros of Taking a Gap Year? and What You Need To Know When Applying to Colleges After a Gap Year.


By far, we recommend looking at another great school and making the most of your time there. Consider applying for other Florida schools such as Florida State University or the University of Florida. For advice on adjusting to a different college path, check out our post Envisioning a New Future: Preparing for Life at Your Second-Choice (or Third, or Fourth) School.


Check out some of our other posts about college admissions:


How to Write the Common Application Essays 2018-2019

Applying to College: How to Get a Great Recommendation Letter


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.

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