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Last updated March 21, 2024

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How to Use the Emory Common Data Set

Key Takeaway

Emory University's Common Data Set can guide you to create a compelling application. Emphasizing your academic GPA, recommendations, extracurricular activities, character, and personal qualities is essential. Regardless of the major you're pursuing, telling a cohesive story about your academic and personal journey can improve your chances of acceptance.

The Emory University Common Data Set is full of great information to help you with your Emory application.

When you understand the data, you get a better picture of what Emory admissions officers look for in applicants. This knowledge can then guide you through building an application that meets their expectations and tells a meaningful personal story.

Ready to jump in?

How Emory Evaluates Applicants — based on CDS data

Emory looks at many factors when reviewing your application—factors like GPA, class rank, and your application essays.

As you can see in the chart below, the most critical factors are the rigor of your high school record, academic GPA, recommendations, extracurricular activities, talent/ability, and character/personal qualities. So, Emory is looking for well-rounded applicants who shine both in the classroom and personally. These rankings highlight the importance of telling a clear story throughout your application.

Note that volunteer work ranks highly in importance, so you’ll want to draw out any volunteer experiences you can.

  Very important Important Considered Not considered
Rigor of Secondary Record X      
Class rank     X  
Academic GPA X      
Standardized test scores   X    
Application Essay   X    
Recommendation(s) X      
Interview     X  
Extracurricular activities X      
Talent/ability X      
Character/personal qualities X      
First generation     X  
Alumni/ae relation     X  
Geographical residence     X  
State residency     X  
Religious affiliation/commitment       X
Racial/ethnic status     X  
Volunteer work   X    
Work experience     X  
Demonstrated interest       X

Does Emory track demonstrated interest?

Interestingly, demonstrated interest isn't a factor for Emory. So, while being enthusiastic about Emory can help you in your own research, activities like opening Emory emails, attending visits, or talking with an admissions counselor aren't taken into account.

Does Emory care about standardized test scores?

Emory does care about standardized test scores, with 41% of students submitting SAT scores and 23% submitting ACT scores. But these scores are “important,” not “very important.” So while good scores can help your application, other factors like your GPA, essays, and extracurriculars also matter.

Does Emory care about essays?

Yes, essays matter a lot in the Emory application process. These personal narratives let admissions officers dig into your character, strengths, and qualities. They help them decide if you're the right fit for the university. Writing standout college essays that line up with your application story is key.

What GPA do I need to get into Emory?

Looking at the GPA of first-year students who enrolled gives us a good idea of what GPA you might need to get in.

GPA % of Enrolled Students
4.0 17.7%
3.75-3.99 59.6%
3.50-3.74 19%
3.25-3.49 3.3%
3.00-3.24 0.3%
2.50-2.99 0.1%
2.0-2.49, 1.0-1.99, Below 1.0 0%

Further, class rank data shows that 81% of students were in the top tenth of their graduating class. From this information, we can gather that a high GPA is key for getting into Emory.

Emory Acceptance Rate

Of the 33,179 applications received, Emory accepted 3,767, which gives us an acceptance rate of 11.35%.

That’s really competitive. For virtually everyone who applies, Emory will count as a “reach school.”

Emory Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Emory University offers the chance to apply under a binding Early Decision agreement. This option could possibly increase your chance of admission. Of the 3,560 students who applied Early Decision, Emory admitted 940. This corresponds to an acceptance rate of 26.4%, about 15% higher than the Regular Decision and Early Action rate. This rate might affect your strategy for applying Early Decision.

What’s the right application option for you?

While a 26.4% acceptance rate under Early Decision might seem appealing, remember it's still highly competitive. Plus, Early Decision applicants to Emory are likely strong candidates who are sure Emory is their top choice. Applying Early Decision shouldn't just be about a potentially higher acceptance rate. You should also think about whether you're a good fit for the academic environment and campus culture at Emory. If your qualifications don't line up with the application evaluation criteria, you might want to rethink applying Early Decision to a school where you're unlikely to be accepted. Overall, having the right guidance can make this process easier.

Most popular majors at Emory

While the CDS doesn’t report major information directly, we can infer which majors are popular by looking at the percentage of degrees conferred in each field.

Major Percent of Degrees Conferred
Social sciences 14.6
Business/marketing 14.3
Biological/life sciences 14
Health professions and related programs 11.7
Mathematics and statistics 9
Psychology 6
Physical sciences 4.7
Visual and performing arts 4.3
Parks and recreation 3.4
English 3.3

This data can help you figure out if Emory aligns with your academic goals and gives you an idea of the potential competition in your chosen academic area. If you're drawn towards less popular majors like parks and recreation or English, you may have a unique opportunity to stand out. Conversely, if you're applying to a popular major like social sciences or biological/life sciences, it would be good to clearly express your motivation and passion for these fields because lots of other applicants will be doing the same.

What should you do with all this information?

With Emory's acceptance rate at 11.35%, creating a strong application is crucial. The CDS data shows Emory puts a lot of weight on factors like academic GPA, recommendations, and extracurricular activities. Your character and personal qualities are also highly valued.

Use this knowledge when creating your application strategy, emphasizing these factors through your essays, extracurricular activities, and recommendations.

In the end, your application should tell a cohesive story of your academic and personal journey and show your potential to contribute to the Emory community.

Explore the Data Room for more Common Data Set data and compare admissions criteria between schools.



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