What Does It Take to Get Into Yeshiva University?

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With an acceptance rate of 63%, Yeshiva University is somewhat selective. So, what does it take to make your application stand out?


Rooted in Jewish tradition, Yeshiva University is a unique institution dedicated to nurturing students’ intellect through the liberal arts and Jewish studies. The majority of Yeshiva students and alumni are Jewish, although it is not a requirement of attendance.


Yeshiva has four campuses in the heart of New York City, and along with its undergraduate schools, it is well-known for its prestigious graduate schools, including the Cardozo School of Law.


Boasting many notable alumni, including author Chaim Potok, folk musician Lucy Kapla, physician and former politician Howard Dean, former diplomat Daniel C. Kurtzer, and Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Yeshiva gives students the opportunity to broaden their horizons and grow through rigorous, faith-based education.


Clearly, Yeshiva University is an amazing place to earn your college degree. But is the school the right for you? Keep reading to find out what it takes to get into the Yeshiva University, along with tips to keep in mind when applying.


Applying to Yeshiva University: A Quick Review


Yeshiva has its own application for admission. As a prospective first-year student, you will apply to one of the following schools within Yeshiva:


  • Katz School of Science and Health
  • Stern College for Women (all-women)
  • Sy Syms School of Business
  • Yeshiva College (all-men)


In addition to your completed application, you must submit the following materials:


  • $65 application fee
  • Essay responding to one of the following prompts in no more than 750 words:
    • Who is one person, past or present, with whom you would like to switch places for one day? Explain.
    • If you could change one aspect or decision from your high school experience, what would that be and why?
  • Official SAT or ACT scores (writing section not required)
  • Official high school transcript


You will also need to schedule an interview through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.


Yeshiva offers several special programs, such as the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program, with different criteria for admission and additional procedures. Learn more about the admissions process here.


Yeshiva Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?


With an acceptance rate of 63%, Yeshiva is somewhat selective. Note that applicants tend to be self-selecting, seeking a specific, religious-based curriculum.


The middle 50% score range for the combined SAT is 1230-1470 and 23-29 for the ACT. The average GPA is 3.51. 

So, How Does One Get Into Yeshiva?


Yeshiva conducts a holistic review of applicants, taking into account criteria including the interview and essay in addition to your grades and test scores. The University wants to “get to know” applicants outside of their application, making the interview an important part of the process.  


Yeshiva sets the following minimum academic thresholds for applicants:


  • GPA of 85 (on a 100-point scale) or above (equivalent to a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a B letter grade)
  • SAT combined score of 1170 or ACT composite score of 24


How to Make Your Application Stand Out


Yeshiva is a distinctive university with a unique approach to education. Here are some ways to ensure that your application stands out in the admissions process.


Understand the type of education you will receive. Yeshiva is not for everyone. Before you apply, you should familiarize with the structure and inclusion of Jewish studies in the curriculum.


You should also ensure that you are applying to the college within Yeshiva that is most aligned with your interests, goals, and needs. Stern and Yeshiva College offer a liberal arts education, while Katz and Syms are focused on science and business respectively. Consider your academic strengths and career goals to determine the best fit for you. For example, if you’re set on a career in a health field, Katz may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re undecided, you may want to apply to Stern or Yeshiva College.


Emphasize your values and beliefs. Judaism is heavily emphasized in the Yeshiva curriculum. Beyond that, Yeshiva seeks students whose values align with those of the university. Take, for instance, 2017–2018 essay prompt:


Describe one time you advocated for yourself or for somebody else. Discuss the internal conflict and/or values that drove your decision to act. What, if any, were the rewards or consequences of your actions?


This demonstrates that Yeshiva seeks students who stand up for people and actions. While you certainly don’t have to be an activist to attend the school, your commitment to bettering yourself and the world through intellect and action should be apparent in your application—whether you describe your community service engagement in your extracurricular activities, explain how you grappled with and learned from a personal experience in your essay, or something else.


What If You Get Rejected?


Being denied admission to any college, particularly one of your top choices, is disappointing. Still, it’s important to take a step back and regroup. If you get rejected from Yeshiva, here’s what you can do:


Take a gap year or transfer in. If you had your heart set on Yeshiva or received bad news from the other colleges on your list, one option is to take a gap year and reapply next admissions cycle. If you do decide to go this route, make sure you have a productive plan for the year. You might undertake a research project, volunteer, study to improve your SAT scores, or take classes at a local college. Do know, however, that this path is risky, as taking a gap year won’t ensure your acceptance the second time around.


You could also begin your studies at another institution with the hopes of transferring. That said, Yeshiva only accepts a handful of transfer students, so you should have a backup plan just in case. The transfer application process is described here.


Keep it in perspective. Even if Yeshiva was your top choice, chances are, you’ll find a way to make a college that did accept you work. College really is what you make of it, and if you put effort into adjusting to another school by joining clubs, working hard in your classes, and cultivating a social life, you’ll likely find that you can make a fulfilling college experience for yourself, even if you end up at a college that wasn’t your top choice.


Curious about your chances of acceptance to Yeshiva University? 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
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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