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Get into Georgetown

Founded in 1789, Georgetown is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States. Since then, Georgetown has grown to be a major international research university with nine schools, an affiliated hospital, and many top-ranked academic programs.

Georgetown University comes in at #23 in the most recent US News and World Report rankings of National Universities, #12 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, and #29 on its list of Best Value Schools.

Today, the university has nearly 7,500 undergraduate students and approximately 5,000 graduate students on its campuses in the nation’s capital and in Qatar. Georgetown’s nine schools include:

Undergraduate applicants to Georgetown can enroll in the first four of these schools, allowing them to pursue subjects ranging from biochemistry to finance to international affairs. Georgetown actively seeks and recruits highly talented and motivated students from around the world. Like top schools around the country, the university has seen steady growth in application volume, paired with increasingly higher selectivity.

APPLYING TO GEORGETOWN

For undergraduate applicants, Georgetown offers Restrictive Early Action (November 1) and Regular Decision (January 1) application programs. Unlike the vast majority of top colleges, Georgetown has chosen to stick with its own institutional admissions application and not use the Common Application.

SELECTIVITY

Just how hard is it to get into Georgetown these days? Let’s start with the stats:

ClassTotal ApplicantsTotal AdmitRate of AdmissionEarly ApplicantsEarly AdmitsRate of Early
202527,6503,22611.678,70095711
202421,3183,30915.527,30585611.70
202322,7883,20214.057,80291911.78
202222,8973,32714.538,3831,00211.95
202121,4653,31315.437,82293011.90
202020,0023,27616.387,02789213.00

The applicant pool, overall, has been fairly stable both in the early action and regular pool. Overall, Georgetown has averaged about 7,800 early action applicants and over 22,000 applicants per year, with roughly 12% admit rate in early and a 15% admit rate overall.

The rates of admission vary slightly by school. This year, the overall acceptance rates by college were as follows:

  • Georgetown College: 11%
  • Walsh School of Foreign Service: 13%
  • McDonough School of Business: 11%
  • School of Nursing and Health Sciences: 12%

Georgetown has not seen the explosive growth in application volume that other top schools have experienced. Why? Two factors come to mind: 1) Georgetown is the one Common App holdout among the nation’s most elite schools. To apply to Georgetown means completing a stand-alone application. 2) Georgetown has historically been much more test-score driven than its peers, hanging onto its strong recommendation for three subject test scores until the College Board did away with subject tests during the pandemic with no sign of a return. 

WHO GETS IN?

In an interview with Georgetown’s student paper, Dean of Admissions Charles Deacon shared insights into the demographics of those admitted to the university this year. He noted that, of students admitted to the Class of 2025 (university-wide), 26% are Asian American, 12% are Latinx, 10% are Black, 1% are Native American and 10% are international students. Doing a bit of math, that means 41% of students admitted to Georgetown are Caucasian.

ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS

Generally speaking, students admitted across all colleges within Georgetown University are a high-achieving bunch. The mean class rank percentile for students admitted last year was 94.5%, meaning that students applying from high schools that calculate a class rank ranked in the top 5-6% of their graduating class. The average SAT for admitted students is a 1450 and the middle 50th percentile ranges from a 1370-1530. The average ACT is 33 and the middle 50th percentile ranges from a 31-34.

In the most unusual pandemic admissions season, Georgetown’s testing policies were changed to address the struggles that many students faced in sitting for the exams. Georgetown accepts both the SAT and ACT but doesnot participate in Score Choice. So, if you’ve taken the SAT or ACT, you must submit your entire testing record. Students who are not able to submit scores from either test due to the COVID-19 pandemic are welcome to apply for admission to the Class of 2025 without the tests.

While three SAT Subject Tests were highly recommended by Georgetown in the past, those tests were canceled as noted above and probably will never return.  This means that AP scores will be even more critical to supplement your admissions file. Bottom line, if you have solid test scores or better, submit them along with your application materials – but remember that Georgetown does not apply Score Choice.

WHAT MATTERS MOST

It goes without saying that Georgetown admits students who have taking a rigorous college prep program throughout their four years of high school, pursuing the most challenging courses offered in their high school—and likely beyond. More specifically, the university notes the following factors as “most important” in their selection process:

  • Rigor of secondary school record
  • Class rank
  • Academic GPA
  • Application Essays
  • Recommendations
  • Talent/Ability
  • Character/Personal Qualities

Prospective applicants should also pay attention to Georgetown’s course recommendations for students applying to particular schools. The school recommends that applicants applying to Georgetown College with an interest in math or science take four years of mathematics and at least three years of science in high school. Applicants to the Nursing Program should take at least three years of math and one year each of biology and chemistry. Applicants to the Business School should complete at least three years of math, as well as a course in computer science, while students interested in the Walsh School of Foreign Service or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should have experience with at least one foreign language.

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PERSONAL ESSAYS

Looking closely at Georgetown’s application, you’ll see short and long essays that are framed in such a way as to call out the very specific qualities that Georgetown ranks as most important.

In addition to completing two standard essays, applicants to Georgetown also have to write one essay tailored to their particular school of interest. These were the essay prompts on Georgetown’s most recent application:

Essay Prompts for All Georgetown Undergraduate Applicants:

  • Prompt 1: Indicate any special talents or skills you possess. (250 words)
  • Prompt 2: Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved. (approximately 1/2 page, single-spaced) 
  • Prompt 3: As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you. (approximately 1 page, single-spaced)

Additionally, you must respond to one school-specific Georgetown prompt:

  • Applicants to Georgetown College: What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)
  • Applicants to the School of Nursing and Health Studies: Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care at Georgetown University. Please specifically address your intended major (Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, Global Health, or Nursing).
  • Applicants to the Walsh School of Foreign Service: Briefly discuss a current global issue, indicating why you consider it important and what you suggest should be done to deal with it.
  • Applicants to the McDonough School of Business: The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.

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