Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is a technology-focused public research university in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s ranked among the Top 10 public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
The university is best known for its engineering and computing programs, but it also offers exemplary programs in design, business, liberal arts, and sciences. The rigorous academic environment is balanced by a fun, friendly campus atmosphere with competitive sports teams, cherished traditions, and over 400 student organizations.
Georgia Tech is also home to world-class faculty members, state-of-the-art facilities, and innovative programs. It’s a university with a lot to offer, and about 45,000 students apply each year.
Spots at Georgia Tech are in high demand, but don’t worry—this guide is designed to help you create a strategic plan for admission. We’ll share the data, tips, and information you need to boost your chances of receiving a Georgia Tech acceptance letter!
Is It Hard to Get Into Georgia Tech?
Georgia Tech has an acceptance rate of 17.1%. This means for every 100 applicants, only about 17 receive an acceptance letter. The other 83 applicants receive a rejection.
In comparison to other universities, admission to Georgia Tech is quite selective. It’s not as competitive as Ivy League universities (with acceptance rates under 10%) or prestigious schools like MIT, Vanderbilt, and Duke. But overall, Georgia Tech is more competitive than most public universities.
GPA and Test Scores for Georgia Tech
On average, students admitted to Georgia Tech have a GPA of 4.07. This is an extremely competitive GPA that will require you to be near the top of your high school class. You’ll need to take “weighted” classes like AP and IB, and you will need to earn almost all A’s.
If you’re a junior or senior with a lower GPA, you don’t have enough time to significantly increase it. You should focus on enhancing other areas of your application and earning a competitive score on the ACT or SAT.
Students admitted to Georgia Tech have an average ACT score of 33. The 25th percentile score is 31, and the 75th percentile score is 34. For the best chance of admission to such a competitive university, you should aim for the 75th percentile.
Now, let’s look at an SAT score breakdown for students admitted to Georgia Tech.
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
Since your best bet is a score in the 75th percentile, aim for a 1540 on the SAT, with a 790 in Math and a 750 in Reading. Overall, this data suggests you should strive for a:
- GPA of 4.07 or higher
- 33 on the ACT, OR
- 1540 on the SAT
Of course, students with slightly lower scores get admitted to Georgia Tech too. But you want to hit at least the 25th percentile (31 on the ACT or 1390 on the SAT) to have a chance of being considered.
At an extremely competitive school like Georgia Tech, your numbers do matter. Think of test scores and GPA as a threshold you need to reach to get your foot in the door. But many applicants will have stellar stats. Georgia Tech’s admissions committee looks at other factors too, giving you a chance to stand out.
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What Other Qualities Does Georgia Tech Look For?
Georgia Tech’s website explains their “comprehensive, holistic admission process.” The admissions committee considers your academic background, as well as your pursuits and interests outside the classroom. They look for students who embrace being challenged and who are committed to Georgia Tech’s mission to “improve the human condition.”
Other traits the Georgia Tech admissions committee considers include:
- Contribution to community
- Personal responsibility
- Compassion for others
- Intellectual curiosity
- Choice of major
- Institutional fit
Ultimately, Georgia Tech aims to enroll a diverse class of innovative thinkers and problem-solvers, a class from many backgrounds who studies a variety of disciplines. The committee looks for academically gifted students who care about the world around them and want to make a positive impact.
What Should You Do in High School?
Now, let’s get strategic. Based on the information you’ve learned so far, what should you do in high school to prepare for admission to Georgia Tech?
Excel in Challenging Classes
Georgia Tech’s website explains that when evaluating your application, “[they] are very interested in understanding how you stretched and challenged yourself relative to the curriculum that was available at your school.”
You should demonstrate success in the most rigorous classes available to you, such as AP, IB, AICE, or dual enrollment. Remember that to be a competitive applicant for Georgia Tech, you need to earn all A’s or nearly all A’s.
If none of these advanced course options are available to you, Georgia Tech won’t hold it against you. But you should make every effort to challenge yourself as much as possible. Show Georgia Tech’s admission committee that you can successfully tackle college-level coursework.
It’s especially important to demonstrate academic preparation for the major/college you indicate on your application. (Georgia Tech does not require you to apply to a major, but you will indicate your first and second choice of major on the application.) If you want to major in engineering, for example, take and excel in advanced mathematics, physics, and chemistry courses.
Finally, all applicants to the University System of Georgia—which includes Georgia Tech—must meet the following minimum course requirements:
- 4 units of English
- 4 units of Math
- 4 units of Science
- 3 units of Social Science
- 2 units of Foreign Language
Of course, Georgia Tech is not a university that rewards doing the bare minimum. So, keep these minimum course requirements in mind, and make it a point to go above and beyond in your high school studies.
Earn Competitive Test Scores
Georgia Tech accepts both the ACT and SAT, with no preference for either test. They will consider your highest section scores across test dates. If you submit both exams, the admissions committee will consider your highest scores on either the ACT or the SAT.
Georgia Tech is not test-optional or test-blind. They will not consider your application without a test score.
As we mentioned earlier, students who get into Georgia Tech typically have elite test scores. To be competitive, you’ll need to start studying for the SAT and/or ACT well in advance:
- Use practice tests to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, then build a customized study plan.
- Answer practice questions and read high-level texts.
- Look up unfamiliar words and keep a list.
- With about a month left until the test, start drilling down on your areas of weakness.
- Take more practice tests and adjust your plan as needed.
- If necessary, take the ACT and/or SAT multiple times. Use score reports from your earlier attempt(s) to analyze what you’re doing well and what you can improve on.
Test scores are important, especially for more competitive universities. But Georgia Tech offers the following words of encouragement: “Testing is only one part of our application review, and we place a much higher value on your course choice, performance, and involvement and impact outside the classroom than on test scores.”
Serve Your Community
Speaking of “impact outside the classroom,” Georgia Tech prioritizes applicants who strive to make a positive difference in their communities. One of the university’s primary missions is to “improve the human condition.” So, your record of community service is an important component of your application to Georgia Tech.
Find meaningful ways to serve your community and the people around you. Not only does community service look good on your application, but it also helps you grow as an individual. Participate in projects that aim to better the lives of people in your community, addressing areas of need or solving problems in the area.
Better yet, start your own nonprofit or community-based project. Show that you are a compassionate and innovative problem solver with the desire and ability to drive positive change. When Georgia Tech’s admission committee sees effective community service on your application, they’ll view you as someone who will make positive contributions on campus—and in the wider world after graduation.
Pursue Your Passions
Your extracurricular participation is equally important as your service to the community. Georgia Tech’s website emphasizes that they want to know about your genuine passions, and they want to put together a diverse class with varying interests.
Instead of trying to choose impressive activities to pad your application, find activities that align with your passions. Commit to 3-5 activities you enjoy long-term, then aim to make significant contributions and take on leadership roles.
Ideally, the activities you love are also relevant to your intended major. (And if that’s not the case, it’s worth reconsidering your choice of major. Try letting your passions point you toward your future major and career.) The admissions committee will appreciate that you’ve selected a major you’re passionate about, and your extracurricular involvement will show that you’re pursuing something you love and are prepared to excel in.
Georgia Tech Application Process and Checklist
Georgia Tech accepts only the Common Application for admission. You can start your application at any time during your high school career, and Georgia Tech will open your application for submission on August 1 before your senior year.
Your application will include:
- Official high school transcript
- Self-reported or official test scores
- Activities list
- Selection of first choice and second-choice major (Note: You are applying to Georgia Tech in general and not to a specific program, but Georgia Tech does look at your major in their pursuit of a well-rounded class. They will consider your passion and preparedness for your intended major.)
- Counselor recommendation
- Teacher recommendation from a core academic subject (optional)
- Common Application personal essay
- Georgia Tech short-answer question
- Additional documentation as requested (after submission of application)
Georgia Tech does not require interviews as part of the application process.
Georgia Tech Supplemental Essay
For the Common Application essay, you will select one of seven essay prompts supplied by the Common App. You are also required to answer a Georgia Tech short answer question. In evaluating your response to both prompts, the admission committee is looking to get to know you, assess mutual fit, and better understand what you could contribute to Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech’s short-answer question is:
Why do you want to study your chosen major specifically at Georgia Tech? (300 words or fewer)
According to Georgia Tech’s website, essays are evaluated for both content and writing/grammatical skills. The admissions committee states that strong essays demonstrate:
- Authenticity and self-awareness
- Attention to topic, style, and grammar
- Consideration of why Georgia Tech is a good fit for you and how your goal aligns with Georgia Tech’s mission statement (developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition)
The admission committee’s advice for your essays is:
- Start early; don’t wait until the last minute.
- Edit your essay thoroughly.
- Don’t write what you think we want to read. Write what you want to say!
- Don’t blow off the essay! We wouldn’t ask you to write it if we didn’t find it to be an important way to get to know you, and what you have to bring to Georgia Tech.
Our additional advice for both the Common App and Georgia Tech essay is:
- Get to the point. Make sure you answer the question fully because it relates to something the admissions committee wants to know about you. Be direct—you don’t have extra words for unnecessary tangents and flowery introductions.
- Be specific. Use specific details, especially when writing about why you want to attend Georgia Tech and why you’ve chosen your intended major. Do your research to show that you know your stuff when it comes to Georgia Tech. This shows that you’re serious about attending the university and that you’re passionate about the opportunity.
- Show your excitement! Write in your genuine voice and let your enthusiasm shine through. The essay should “sound like you” and make it clear that you are genuinely excited about the possibility of attending Georgia Tech.
- Proofread carefully. Georgia Tech emphasizes that they will look at your writing skills and grammar. Carefully edit your essay for grammar, capitalization, word usage, concision, and clarity. Ask a parent, teacher, or trusted friend to review your essay for these elements too—and to double-check that the essay is written in your voice.
Read through Georgia Tech’s website for classes, opportunities, and aspects of life at Georgia Tech that appeal to you. Do a deep dive into researching Georgia Tech’s program and curriculum for your major. As you write your essays, think about Georgia Tech’s mission to develop leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. How do your goals fit that mission? What excites you about the university’s mission, and why are you a good candidate to help carry it out?
Your essays should show that you’ve thought about all these topics and why Georgia Tech is a good fit for you. By following these tips, you’ll write stand-out essays that show the admissions committee why you’re a great fit for their next class.
Should You Apply Early to Georgia Tech?
Georgia Tech offers Early Action 1 (for Georgia residents only), Early Action 2, and Regular Decision. Review the table below for all deadlines for each application plan.
|Application Plan||2022 Application Deadline||Document Deadline||Self-Reported Test Score Deadline||Decision Release|
|Early Action 1||October 18||November 1||December 1||December 11|
|Early Action 2||November 1||November 15||January 5||January 29|
|Regular Decision||January 5||January 19||February 1||March 5 (Georgia high schools); Late March (non-Georgia)|
Applying Early Action to Georgia Tech is non-binding. This means that even if you receive an acceptance letter, you are not required to enroll at Georgia Tech.
One advantage of applying early is that you can be considered for more academic scholarships, such as the Stamps President’s Scholar’s Program, Scheller Dean’s Scholarship, and others.
Data from Georgia Tech shows that Early Action 1 applicants are admitted at a higher rate than Regular Decision applicants, with an acceptance rate of about 39%. However, applying for the Early Action 2 deadline does not appear to increase your chances of acceptance.
Overall, it is worth applying early to Georgia Tech. If you are a Georgia resident and apply for Early Action 1, your chances of acceptance increase.
If you are not a Georgia resident and apply for Early Action 2, you’ll be eligible for more scholarships and more scholarship money. Your chances of acceptance may not increase, but applying early demonstrates that you’re serious about Georgia Tech. In addition, you’ll receive a decision earlier than Regular Decision applicants.
Final Thoughts: How to Get Into Georgia Tech
With an acceptance rate of about 23%, Georgia Tech is quite selective. It’s important to have a rigorous high school schedule, competitive GPA and test scores, and a strong record of extracurricular participation and community service. Georgia Tech seeks students with diverse interests and passions, leadership skills, and the willingness and ability to “improve the human condition.”
Ideally, you’ll aim for a GPA of at least 4.07 and an ACT score of 33 or SAT score of 1540. Participate in extracurricular activities you’re passionate about. Commit long-term and try to make significant contributions and take on leadership roles. Serve your community and the people around you in ways that are meaningful to you.
When you write your essays, do your research on Georgia Tech and your intended major. Write in your unique voice and allow your excitement for all things Georgia Tech to shine through.
We recommend applying Early Action 1 if you’re a Georgia resident or Early Action 2 if you’re a non-Georgia resident. Early Action 1 increases your chances of acceptance. Both Early Action deadlines make you eligible for more Georgia Tech scholarships, and you’ll receive a decision sooner.
Academic excellence is a must for admission to Georgia Tech, but the university gets many academically qualified applicants each year. Combine hard work and academic ability with these tips, and you’ll be a stand-out applicant, increasing your chances of becoming a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket!