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Georgetown University Guide

The Ivy Scholars guide to Georgetown University’s culture, admissions, and other essential information for prospective students and their families.

Location: Washington, D.C.

Mascot: Jack the Bulldog

Type: Private Research Institution

Population: 19,000 (7,500 undergrads)

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About Georgetown

Founded by Jesuits just after the American Revolution, Georgetown is the oldest Catholic University in the United States. Located on the banks of the Potomac River in D.C. the school is nestled in its own neighborhood, while still in close proximity to the grandeur of the capitol. The school has strong academic and athletic traditions, and despite its Catholic nature welcomes students from diverse backgrounds onto campus.

Georgetown Statistics

Year Founded: 1789

4 Year Graduation Rate: 89%

Gender Distribution: 56% female, 44% male

Acceptance Rate: 15%

Residency: 1% in state, 82% out of state, 17% international

Location Type: Urban

Schedule System: Semesters

Student/Faculty Ratio: 11:1

Average Class Size: 20

Demographics: 53% Caucasian, 9% Asian, 10% Hispanic, 6% Black, 22% Other

Download a copy of our FREE Georgetown admissions strategy.

National Rankings

US News Rankings:

  • #16 Best Undergraduate Teaching
  • #19 Study Abroad
  • #24 National Universities
  • #27 Best Value Schools
  • #33 Most Innovative Schools

Independent Rankings:

  • #1 Best Colleges for International Relations per Niche
  • #9 Best Colleges for Business per Niche
  • #14 Top Research Universities per Forbes
  • #15 Top Colleges per Forbes
  • #29 US Colleges per The Times of Higher Education
  • #57 Best Value Colleges per Forbes
  • #83 Best Colleges per Money Magazine
  •  

Georgetown Admissions Information

Application Deadlines:

  • Early Action: November 1st
  • Regular Decision: January 1st
  • Transfer Deadline: March 1st

Notification Dates:

  • Early Action: December 15th
  • Regular Decision: April 1st
  • Transfer: June 1st

Acceptance Rates:

  • EA: 12%
  • RD: 15% 
  • Transfer: 7%

Average Applicant Pool: 21,000

Average Number of Applicants Accepted: 3,400

Average Number Enrolled: 1,600

Application Systems: Georgetown Application

Average GPA: 4.01 weighted

Comprehensive Breakdown

SAT Scores: 25th percentile – 1370, 75th percentile – 1530

ACT Scores: 25th percentile – 31, 75th percentile – 34

*Test mandatory. Writing sections required.

Demonstrated Interest: Georgetown does not consider demonstrated interest.

Recommendation Letter Policies: A letter or report from a counselor is required. One letter from a teacher is required. The teacher who should write the letter depends on the applicant’s desired school/major: Georgetown college: science or pre-med, math or science teacher; foreign language or linguistics, a foreign language teacher; all other majors, any teacher from a core academic subject. School of Business: math or social studies teacher. School of Nursing: science or math teacher. School of Foreign Service: teacher in a core academic subject.

Georgetown Essay Prompts:

    • Common App Personal Statement (650 words)
    • Briefly (approximately one-half page, single-spaced) discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.
    • Compose two essays (approximately one page, single-spaced each) on the topics given below, based on which school you are applying to.
      • (All Applicants) 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.
      • (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) Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care.  Please specifically address your intended major (Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, Global Health, or Nursing).
      • (Applicants to the 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 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.

    Georgetown Essay Writing Tips

Special Notes:

  • Students may only apply using Georgetown’s own application
  • Alumni interviews are a required part of the admissions process, these are scheduled once your application is submitted.
  • Students intending to major in art, music, theatre, or dance are allowed to submit a supplemental portfolio to the department in question for review as part of their application.

Transfer:

  • Transfer students need to have graduated from high school (or the equivalent) and completed at least one semester of college. They cannot have completed more than four full-time semesters of college.
  • Standardized test scores are required unless the student has been out of high school for more than 5 years.
  • Transfer applicants are not guaranteed alumni interviews, though they will be granted if available.
  • Reports from an academic professor and a dean from your prior institution are required.

Georgetown Admission Strategy

Admissions Criteria:

The most important factor Georgetown is looking for is academic excellence, as demonstrated by GPA, course rigor, and standardized test scores. Note that at least three SAT Subject Tests are “recommended” for students applying to Georgetown.

Other important factors are essays, letters of recommendation, extracurriculars, interview, talent, and character.

Factors which are considered are legacy status, first generation status, race/ethnicity, geographic origin, and work or volunteer experience.

Being a recruited athlete can help your admissions chances, with approximately 10% of the incoming class being designated as recruited athletes. While the school still wants to see proper academic preparation, recruitment does give a boost to admissions chances.

While the school has a Catholic affiliation, applicant’s religion has no impact on admissions decisions.

What is Georgetown Looking For?

The school wants students who will impact campus and the world for the better, and those who demonstrate leadership ability in their extracurriculars or teacher recommendations are more likely to do so. In the same vein, students who are passionate about theta they are studying are more likely to make an impact in the field. The school wants students to leave a positive impact and the world, and will be drawn to those students who have already shown an ability to do so.

The school looks for passion and involvement generally in extracurriculars. While it is great if they all fall in line with your intended field of study, it is not required. What is important is that extracurriculars, and the short essay which discusses one of them, describe a student’s passion for what they are doing. A student deeply involved at a high level in a few activities will stand out more to admissions here.

Students who are descendents of the 292 slaves sold by the university in the 1800s will receive the same boost to admissions as legacy applicants.

The school is currently actively working to increase the number of low income and first-generation students on its campus, along with increasing recruitment rates for underrepresented student populations.

Georgetown Strategy

While Georgetown does practice holistic admissions, having good academic preparation is still a very important part of an application. While a few low grades or lower than average test scores can be made up for by truly stellar achievements in other areas, it isn’t good to rely on that, especially as the school’s acceptance rate is so low. Having a high GPA, taking rigorous classes, and achieving good test scores will aid your application. 

The school requires all applicants complete an alumni interview, and treats this as a key component of the application. Doing poorly on this will hurt your application, and performing well will aid you. It is a good idea to practice once or twice before attending. Be ready to answer questions about why you like Georgetown specifically, and what field you want to study. Don’t be overly scripted in your response, nor should you only say what you think interviewers want to hear. The interview is a chance for the school to better know you as a person and applicant, and you should take full advantage of that.

Your character will be an important part of your application, and the essays are the best place to show this. While Georgetown does not require students to be Catholic, they do base their values on their Jesuit culture, and look for complementary values in students. While you don’t need to swear undying loyalty to the pope, they are looking for compassion, leadership, and a desire to make the world a better place. Demonstrating these traits in your essays will show the school that you fit in with the culture they are trying to nurture. 

For extracurriculars, what they are looking for specifically will change each year, as they try to ensure a diverse and well-rounded community overall. That said, they will always seek passionate and involved students, who are dedicated to and specialize in one extracurricular activity, and excel in their chosen field. 

Students should consider which of the schools they are best suited for when applying to Georgetown, as admissions decisions are made by school, and changing between them is difficult. 

Students should be aware of the culture at Georgetown, and ok with it before they decide to attend. While students are not required to be Catholic, or indeed show any religious affiliation, the school is still associated with the Catholic faith, and the Jesuits in particular. While this manifests differently from Notre Dame, it does still impact campus culture.

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Georgetown Academics

Schools:

Core Requirements:

Courses of Study:

AP Credit Policies:

Honors Programs:

  • There is no separate Honors College, however Georgetown College offers three Honors Programs: Oxfords Honors, Science Honors, and Independant Honors. Each of these comes with scholarship and research funding. Students have to apply to these programs separately, and may only receive funding from one.
  • Departmental Honors (contact individual departments for more information)
  • Graduation and Semester Honors (including Latin Honors, based on cumulative GPA)
  • Academic Honor Societies

Research Availability:

Study Abroad:

Business Options:

Pre-Med Options:

  • While there is no pre-med major, the Pre-Health Program seeks to advise students who want to go on to advanced degrees in medicine. It includes a set plan of study and career and school advising.
  • The Early Assurance Program for the School of Medicine allows undergraduate students at the end of their sophomore year to receive early admission to the school of medicine, so long as they meet the needed requirements to apply, and maintain the expected academic performance.
  • Pre-Med Society
Pre-Law Options

Computer Science Options: 

Additional Specialty Programs: 

Programs for High Schoolers:

  • The College Prep Program is a five-week program for high schoolers where they take academic classes and learn about the college applications process.
  • Academies are 1-week or 3-week programs that offer in-depth introductions to various academic topics, taught by Georgetown faculty.
  • College Credit Courses allow high school students to enroll in classes at Georgetown during their summer session for college credit.
Building on Georgetown University's Campus

Student Life at Georgetown University

School Motto: Both in One

Mission and Values:

  • Mission: Georgetown is a Catholic and Jesuit, student-centered research university. Established in 1789 in the spirit of the new republic, the university was founded on the principle that serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures, and beliefs promotes intellectual, ethical and spiritual understanding. We embody this principle in the diversity of our students, faculty and staff, our commitment to justice and the common good, our intellectual openness and our international character. An academic community dedicated to creating and communicating knowledge, Georgetown provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional education in the Jesuit tradition for the glory of God and the well-being of humankind. Georgetown educates women and men to be reflective lifelong learners, to be responsible and active participants in civic life and to live generously in service to others.
  • Additional Information
  • Student Testimonials (Niche, Unigo, Grad Reports)

House System:

There are 13 residence halls on campus, 4 of which are set aside for first years. Residences generally are divided into halls, which are traditional dorms, and villages, which feature apartment-style accommodations. While upperclassmen are not required to live in campus housing, many do for the entirety of their stay at Georgetown.

Housing Statistics:

  • 99% of freshmen live on campus
  • 85% of undergraduates live in on-campus housing at any given time

Campus & Surrounding Area:  

Transportation:

Traditions:

  • Georgetown DayA celebration on the last Friday of the semester before finals begin, involving parties and celebrations both on and off campus.
  • The Big HuntA day-long DC-wide scavenger hunt for first years and transfer students, where teams of 4-6 compete to win prizes.
  • Midnight MadnessThis late-night event kicks off the basketball season with performances, shooting contests, and showcases by the men’s and women’s teams.
  • Homecoming – The school welcomes alumni back to campus, and celebrates a football game with a weekend full of events, celebrations, and activities.

Student-Run Organizations: 

Sports:

Greek Life:
 
Only the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega is officially recognized by the university. 10% of students are members of greek organizations regardless.

Nightlife:

  • Parties, both on and off campus, are quite common on weekends, either sponsored by clubs or greek life.
  • DC itself has vibrant nightlife, including bars, clubs, and live music.
  • The Department of Performing Arts hosts live performances every Friday.
  • Sports games are often social events, featuring tailgating and celebrations.

Georgetown Financial Information

Yearly Cost of Attendance:

  • Total: $69,720
  • Tuition: $55,059
  • Room & Board: $11,451
  • Books, Travel, and Personal Expenses: $3,210
  • Note: Costs of housing and dining depend on residence and plan

Financial Aid:

More than half of students receive some form of financial aid. A student’s ability to pay is based on their family income which must be reported in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All students are required to make a minimum contribution, regardless of financial need. Most financial aid awards include work-study and loans as part of the award.

Additional Financial Aid & Student Loan Information

Scholarships:

Students are automatically considered for a number of need-based scholarships when they apply. Georgetown is committed to meeting all demonstrated financial need of its students. They have also collected a list of outside scholarships which students are encouraged to apply to.

Fun Facts

  • While the school is Jesuit-run, only 41% of students are Catholic. The school employs a full-time rabbi for their Jewish students, and was the first school in the US to employ a full-time imam.
  • The campus hosts one of the nation’s oldest student debate societies, The Philodemic Society, founded in 1830. The Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society is the oldest continually running student theatre troupe in the country.
  • Georgetown hosts the largest student run company in the world (The Corp). Only current undergraduates may be employees or sit on the board of directors.
  • 1,141 students and alumni of the school enlisted during the Civil War.
  • Notable alumni include President Bill Clinton, Justice Antonin Scalia, comedian John Mulaney, and Andrew Haley, America’s first space-lawyer.
  • Nobody is certain where the cheer “Hoya-Saxa” used to spur on the school’s sports teams, actually originates from.
5/5
Wendy Y.
Parent
Below is my son's review. He was accepted to his dream Ivy League school!

From an admitted student's perspective, I am incredibly grateful to have met Sasha - he has been instrumental in helping me achieve my educational dreams (Ivy League), all while being an absolute joy (he's a walking encyclopedia, only funnier!) to work with.

Many people are dissuaded from seeking a college counselor because they think they can get into their desired college(s) either way. Honestly, going that route is a bit short-sighted and can jeopardize your odds of acceptances after years of hard work. The sad truth is, the American education system (even if you attend a fancy private school and ESPECIALLY if you go to a public school) doesn't really tell students how to write a compelling and authentic application. Going into the admissions process alone, without speaking with an advisor, is like going to court without a lawyer - you put yourself at a significant disadvantage because you don't have all the facts in front of you, or the help you need to negotiate the system.

That said, you need a good lawyer just like you need a good college counselor. And that's where Sasha distinguishes himself from the crowd of people claiming they'll get you into Harvard. I came to Sasha worried about and frankly dumbfounded by the college admissions process. I was unsure what to write about and how to go about drafting the essay that perfectly captured my passion, interests, and self. And I was highly skeptical that anyone could really help me. But, damn, did Sasha prove me wrong. From the beginning, Sasha amazed me with his understanding of the process, and ability to lend clarity and direction to me when I desperate needed it. After interviewing me about my background, experiences, activities, outlook, and vision, he helped me see qualities about myself I had not previously considered 'unique' or 'stand-out.' This process of understanding myself was so incredibly important in laying the groundwork for the essays I eventually wrote, and I'm certain I would've drafted boring, inauthentic essays without it.

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In the end, I was accepted to the college of my dreams, a feat I could not have achieved without the direction Sasha lent to me. Essays (and the personal narrative you develop through your application) matter so much, and can literally make or break your application. I have seen so many of my 'qualified' friends receive rejections because they wrote contrived essays that didn't truly represent who they were; conversely, I have also seen so many friends with shorter resumes accepted because they were able to articulate their story in a genuinely passionate and authentic way - I fall into the latter category.

As a former admissions officer at Johns Hopkins, Sasha knows what types of essays jibe well with universities, an invaluable asset to have in the admissions process. He is responsive, flexible, creative, positive, and witty. For anyone who is serious about going into the college admissions process informed and prepared, I highly recommend Sasha.
5/5
Arda E.
Student
I used Ivy Scholars to mainly help me with college applications. Within weeks of using this service, Sasha was able to simplify the already complex process. When it came to writing the Common App essay, Sasha didn’t just help with grammar and syntax, he brought my essays to life. Sasha also worked tirelessly to help solidify my extracurricular activities, including research and internship opportunities. Without his help, I would have never had an impressive resume.

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5/5
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Parent
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