Georgetown University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. with a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,357. U.S. News and World Report ranks it among the Top 25 universities in the United States.
Known for stellar academic programs and internship opportunities, Georgetown is not an easy school to get into. Fortunately, this guide will give you the data, information, and advice you need to put your best foot forward when you apply to Georgetown!
Founded in 1789, Georgetown is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning in the United States. Today, the leading research university is highly diverse, and most students are not Catholic. But Georgetown stays true to its roots by educating the “whole person” and maintaining a commitment to social justice and the common good.
Georgetown offers excellent academic programs, especially in political science, international relations, finance, and economics. It also has an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and students say professors get to know them and are available to help. Georgetown’s Washington, D.C. location gives students access to incredible internship opportunities and high-profile guest speakers.
Despite the rigorous classes, Georgetown has a high-energy campus and plenty of opportunities to socialize. There are over 350 student extracurriculars and activities. Many students are devoted to community service, political activism, and the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team. Plenty of D.C. restaurants, museums, and stores are within walking distance from campus.
Georgetown blends quality academics, extracurricular opportunities, and entertainment to create an excellent overall experience for its students.
Is It Hard to Get Into Georgetown?
In 2022, Georgetown had an acceptance rate of 12.1%. In 2021, Georgetown admitted 11.4% of applicants, a record low for the university. And in 2020, the acceptance rate was 15%. So, Georgetown’s acceptance rate may fluctuate slightly, but it usually hovers around 12%-15%. For every 100 applicants, about 12 are admitted. The other 88 applicants receive a rejection.
In comparison to other universities, Georgetown’s acceptance rate is extremely selective. If you want the admissions committee to take a closer look at your essays, extracurricular activities, and other components of your application, it’s important to first have a competitive GPA and test scores.
GPA and Test Scores for Georgetown
Students admitted to Georgetown have an average GPA of 4.01. You’ll need to take weighted classes like AP and IB and earn nearly straight A’s to have a competitive GPA for Georgetown.
So, what if your GPA is lower? If you’re a freshman or sophomore, you have time to improve your grades before applying to Georgetown. If you’re already a junior, focus on earning a competitive score on the SAT or ACT and enhancing other areas of your application.
The average ACT score for admitted students is 33. The 25th percentile score is 31, and the 75th percentile score is 34. It’s best to aim for a score in the 75th percentile, especially when you’re applying to an extremely selective school like Georgetown.
Now, let’s check out an SAT score breakdown for students admitted to Georgetown.
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
You know that your chances increase with a score in the 75th percentile, so aim for a 1530 on the SAT, with a 780 in Math and a 750 in Reading.
Overall, this data suggests you should strive for a:
- GPA of 4.01 or higher
- ACT score of 34, OR
- SAT score of 1530
Of course, students with slightly lower scores are sometimes admitted to Georgetown. But with these numbers, you’ll have a much more competitive application.
At the most selective schools, the admissions committee starts by looking at your GPA and test scores. If your numbers are significantly lower than the average for admitted students, you’re unlikely to be seriously considered for admission.
But if your numbers are close to the average, they’ll more thoroughly evaluate the rest of your application to see if you have other qualities Georgetown values.
What Other Qualities Does Georgetown Look For?
Georgetown’s website states that “academic performance is the most important criteria under consideration,” but they also consider qualities such as:
- Accomplishments outside the classroom
- Commitment to the broader community
The website also describes Georgetown students as curious, passionate, diverse, and committed to social justice and the common good. This suggests that the admissions committee will look for similar characteristics in Georgetown applicants.
Finally, Georgetown wants to put together a diverse class geographically, ethnically, socioeconomically, and in terms of talents and interests.
While your GPA and test scores are important, your personal qualities, experiences, interests, and background also matter to the admissions committee.
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What Should You Do in High School?
Now, let’s talk strategy! Based on the data and information we’ve shared, what should you do in high school to increase your chances of admission to Georgetown?
Excel in Challenging Classes
With an average GPA of 4.01, it’s clear that students admitted to Georgetown take and excel in challenging classes, such as AP and IB courses.
So, take the most challenging classes at your school and earn straight A’s or nearly straight A’s. If your school doesn’t offer many AP or IB classes, Georgetown won’t hold it against you. But if these classes are available, take advantage of the opportunity to show the admissions committee you can handle the rigor of Georgetown coursework.
Georgetown’s website explains that they’ll evaluate your academic record based on the “quality of a student’s work, general promise, and seriousness of purpose.” They also recommend four years of English and a minimum of two years of social studies, language studies, and mathematics, as well as one year of natural science.
The following additional courses are suggested based on what you plan to study at Georgetown:
- Math or Science concentration– 4 years of mathematics and 3 years of science
- Nursing program– 3 years of mathematics and 1 year each of biology and chemistry
- Business program– A minimum of 3 years of mathematics through advanced algebra and trigonometry. 2 years of natural science and a course in computer science are also recommended.
- Language or foreign service program– A background in modern foreign language or Latin is recommended.
Earn Competitive ACT/SAT Scores
Georgetown accepts both the ACT and SAT, with no preference for either test. The university requires official score reports from the College Board and/or ACT. The ACT is not super scored, but Georgetown will consider your highest Reading score and highest Math score from multiple SAT test administrations.
Prepare for either the SAT or ACT several months in advance. We recommend the following test prep process:
- Take an SAT and ACT practice test to determine which test best showcases your academic ability.
- After deciding on an exam, use information from your practice test to create a customized study plan. Pay attention to your strengths and weaknesses. Which skills or question types are most challenging for you?
- Answer practice questions, read advanced texts, and work on the skills that are most difficult for you.
- When your test date is a month away, focus exclusively on your area(s) of weakness.
- Take additional timed practice tests to work on your pacing and adjust your study plan as needed.
- If you aren’t happy with your first test score, consider what went wrong and take the test again. Georgetown will see all your scores, but showing improvement will be viewed positively.
Serve Your Community
Georgetown’s website mentions a “commitment to social justice and the greater good” multiple times. With its location in the heart of the United States, the university is devoted to inquiry, innovation, and creating positive change. Naturally, these are values Georgetown looks for in its applicants too.
Find meaningful ways to serve your school, community, or society. Join a community-based project or organization, or even start one of your own. Often, students accepted to the most competitive schools have launched nonprofit organizations or initiatives within their communities.
Social justice is extremely important to Georgetown. If it’s important to you too, it’s a good idea to participate in or launch a project related to social justice.
Whatever you do, make sure it’s something that’s meaningful to you too. What problems do you see in your school or community that you could help resolve? What social issues do you feel most passionate about? And what can you do to make a difference?
Along the way, keep a record of your community service involvement. List the projects you’re involved in, how much time you spent, the contributions and impact you made, and what you learned from each experience. Keeping a record allows you to give an accurate, thorough report of your community service when you apply to Georgetown.
Pursue Your Passions
Georgetown seeks a freshman class with diverse talents and interests. As you choose your extracurricular activities, find activities that align with your passions.
If you’re trying too hard to impress, your extracurricular participation will end up looking just like the participation of many other applicants. But if you pursue your passions, your participation will give the admissions committee insight into who you are, what you excel in, and what you enjoy. If your activities are related to the programs/major you’re interested in, even better!
Commit to a few activities long-term, then try to make significant contributions and/or take on leadership roles. Georgetown also looks for accomplishments outside of school, so enter competitions and submit yourself for awards and recognition when possible.
Just as you do with your community service, keep a record of your extracurricular participation. Record when you started each activity, what role(s) you held, the contributions you made, and any related achievements or awards.
Georgetown Application Process and Checklist
To apply to Georgetown, you must complete the Georgetown Application. Georgetown does not accept other applications, such as the Common App or the Coalition App.
The Georgetown Application includes:
- High school transcript
- Test scores
- Activities list
- Application supplement
- Teacher recommendation
- Alumni interview
Alumni interviews are required unless there are no alumni available to conduct interviews in your region. In this situation, the lack of an interview will not negatively impact your chance of admission. You’ll get your interview assignment after Georgetown receives your application. The interview gives you a chance to learn more about Georgetown and “highlight particular aspects of your background and achievements.”
Music, theater, dance, and studio art applicants also have the option to submit supplemental materials, such as a cover letter, resume, and brief work sample.
Georgetown Writing Supplement
The Georgetown Supplement consists of three essays, each about 300-400 words.
The first two questions are required for all applicants. Most recently, these two questions were:
- Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.
- 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.
The third question differs depending on which school you are applying to. Most recently, the school-specific questions were:
- Georgetown College- What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim?
- School of Nursing and Health Studies- Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, or Nursing).
- Walsh School of Foreign Service- The Walsh School of Foreign Service was founded more than a century ago to prepare generations of leaders to solve global problems. What is motivating you to dedicate your undergraduate studies to a future in service to the world?
- 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.
Tips for the Georgetown Supplement
For the first Georgetown essay, write about the most inspiring and impactful school or summer activity you’ve been involved in. Since the activity likely appears elsewhere on your application, don’t focus too much on describing the activity. Instead, focus on explaining what you learned from the experience and how it has impacted you as a person. Is it something you would like to continue pursuing in the future?
The second Georgetown essay is much more open-ended. Don’t overthink it—the admissions committee wants to learn more about who you are, your values, your passions, and what makes you unique. Uniqueness doesn’t have to mean something extremely unusual. It can just mean what makes you you, like your voracious appetite for reading, your curiosity, or your passion for cooking.
If you choose to talk about a defining personal quality, include an anecdote or two that illustrates the quality and the impact it has on your life. If you talk about a passion or interest of yours, discuss why it’s so important to you.
It’s also worth noting that the second Georgetown essay is essentially the same as the Common App essay prompts. If possible, consider repurposing your Common App personal essay. Double-check that it showcases values important to Georgetown and tweak it if needed.
The school-specific essay is essentially asking why you want to study a particular field, and why you’d like to study it at Georgetown. To answer this question, research Georgetown and the school you’d like to enroll in. Reference specific professors, classes, opportunities, or resources that you’re excited about. Discuss your academic and career goals and why Georgetown is the perfect place to help you achieve them.
Additional tips for all three essays include:
- Be specific. Including specific details in your essay ensures it’s an essay that only you could write. Offer vivid details to support the thoughts and anecdotes you share and bring your experiences to life.
- Write in your genuine voice. Your essays should “sound” like you. The admissions committee wants to get to know you, so it’s important for your essays to give insight into your personality. They should help the admissions committee understand you as a person, and not just a list of numbers and activities.
- Proofread carefully. Check your essays thoroughly for grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, word usage, concision, and clarity. Delete anything that’s repetitive, unnecessary, or off topic. Then have a parent, teacher, or trusted friend proofread your essay before you submit it.
Should You Apply Early to Georgetown?
Georgetown offers Early Action and Regular Decision. The deadline for Early Action is November 1, and early applicants receive a decision by December 15. The deadline for Regular Decision is January 10, and applicants receive a decision by April 1.
Regardless of which option you choose, Georgetown encourages all applicants to submit the Georgetown Application as soon as possible so the university can schedule your interview.
At Georgetown, Early Action is non-binding. You are allowed to apply Early Decision and Regular Decision to other schools, but you can’t apply to a binding Early Decision program. If you apply Early Action to Georgetown and receive an acceptance letter, you aren’t required to enroll.
So, does applying early give you a competitive advantage? According to Georgetown, no. Georgetown states that acceptance rates are similar for Early Action and Regular Decision applicants.
However, if you’re not accepted early, you’re deferred to Regular Decision. About 15% of deferred Early Action applicants are later accepted to Georgetown. Based on this number, applying early could give you a slight advantage. It shows Georgetown that you’re serious about attending, and it allows you to potentially receive a decision sooner.
Since Early Action is not binding, there’s no risk in applying early. If all your application materials are ready in time, we recommend applying early to Georgetown.
Final Thoughts: How to Get Into Georgetown
Georgetown University is extremely selective. To be a competitive applicant, you’ll need excellent grades and test scores. But that’s not all Georgetown values—you should also demonstrate passion, ambition, leadership, and a heart of service.
Take the most challenging classes available at your school and excel in them. Aim for a GPA of at least 4.01 and an ACT score of 34 or an SAT score of 1530. Commit to a few extracurricular activities that align with your passions and strive to take on leadership roles, make significant contributions, and/or earn recognition or awards.
Serve your school, community, or society in a way that’s meaningful to you. If possible, take part in or launch an initiative related to social justice, which is a pillar of Georgetown University’s values. Throughout your time in high school, keep a record of both your extracurricular and community service involvement.
When you write your essays for the Georgetown Supplement, write in your unique voice, include specific details, and proofread carefully. For the school-specific essay, do your research so you can write knowledgably and passionately about Georgetown and the school to which you’re applying.
If you’re truly interested in Georgetown, you have nothing to lose by applying to the non-binding Early Action program.
Follow these tips, and you’ll increase your chances of becoming a future Georgetown Hoya!