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David Recine

Georgetown Admissions: The SAT, ACT Scores and GPA You Need to Get In

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What are the Georgetown ACT scores? How about Georgetown SAT scores? Let’s take a closer look at Georgetown admissions and how to get into Georgetown.

How to Get Into Georgetown: An Introduction to Georgetown Admissions Requirements

There are two things that make the Georgetown first-year admissions process a bit different from admissions data from other top schools.

First, Georgetown does not publish the GPA statistics for their admitted freshman. I actually called Georgetown Admissions and asked them why they don’t make these stats available. The answer they gave was an interesting one. The Georgetown Admissions official I spoke with pointed out that high schools really do measure GPA in a variety of ways. There is weighted GPA (4.0 scale), unweighted GPA (5.0 scale), GPA based on classes with and without grade curves, and so on.

Because of all this, it’s difficult for any school to publish a single average GPA; Georgetown has chosen to simply not list GPA. So when you apply for Georgetown Admissions, It’ll be a little harder to use your GPA as a predictor of your chances. (I’ll give you more thoughts on this later in the article, in the “Georgetown GPA” section.)

This brings me to the second significant difference between Georgetown’s Admissions practices and those of other schools: Georgetown does not have one general application for undergraduate students. Instead, Georgetown has four different baccalaureate schools. Each undergrad school has its own average test scores and class ranks for accepted students. In the table below, you can see the standards for Georgetown SAT scores, Georgetown ACT scores, and high school class rank percentile.

Table 1: Georgetown Admissions Criteria and Expectations

Georgetown Admissions Criteria
(for each of the four schools)
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences School of Nursing & Health StudiesEdmund A. Walsh School of Foreign ServiceRobert E. McDonough School of Business
SAT Reading/Writing & Language
(middle 50%)
SAT Math
(middle 50%)
ACT Score
(middle 50%)
Class Rank Percentile

As you can see, the School of Foreign Service has the most competitive expectations for test scores and class rank. However, all four undergraduate colleges are highly competitive in comparable ways.

Next, let me tell you a few other important facts about Georgetown SAT scores and Georgetown ACT scores. Read on for even more information about how to get into Georgetown.

Georgetown SAT Scores and Georgetown Admissions

The table in the section above breaks down the expectations for Georgetown SAT scores in great detail. But there is another dimension of Georgetown SAT scores that you should be aware of: Georgetown will ideally want to see SAT Subject Test scores from you. While it is possible to get accepted without any SAT Subject test scores, the Georgetown Admissions website says that such tests are “strongly recommended.” In fact, they recommend taking not one but three SAT Subject Tests.

According to the Georgetown Admissions officer I spoke to, you have a lot of leeway to choose which SAT Subject Tests you take. Just make sure yours in their SAT Subject Test scores show relevance and variety.

To demonstrate relevant testing, take at least one Subject Test that’s related to the school you’re applying to. So for example, if you’re applying to the School of Foreign Service, you may want to include a Subject Test in a foreign language. And a Subject Test in biology could be good if you’re applying to the School of Nursing and Health.

And for variety, make sure to also include subject tests that are not closely related to your major or two each other. So for example, if you take the Subject Test in Math 1, don’t also take the Math 2 SAT.

Please note that even if you submit Georgetown ACT scores, you’ll still want to submit SAT Subject Test scores. And speaking of Georgetown ACT scores…

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How to Get Into Georgetown: A Closer Look at Georgetown ACT Scores

There’s an interesting difference between Georgetown’s standards for ACT and SAT. Georgetown publishes separate expectations for the two major subsections of the SAT: Math and Reading/Writing & Language. However, Georgetown only posts whole-test score expectations for the ACT.

Does this mean that Georgetown doesn’t look that closely at individual scores on the four ACT sections? I also asked that question when I called Georgetown Admissions. According to the Georgetown staffer I spoke to, Georgetown really does focus on the whole-test score for the ACT.

Because of this, the ACT may be the best test to take if you feel weak in one area of testing and strong in another. Suppose that you’re a math and science powerhouse, but are only so-so at reading comprehension and grammar tests. On the ACT, you might get near-perfect scores in ACT Math and ACT Science, yet get less-than-impressive scores in ACT Reading and ACT English. Imagine you get 29s in Reading and English, but 35s in Math and Science. In that case, you’ve gotten a 32 on the test as a whole. This puts you in the middle 50% for any Georgetown undergraduate school.

Conversely, if you submit Georgetown SAT scores, your poor Reading/Writing & Language score and you better Math score would be looked at separately. This could hurt your chances of acceptance.

Liam got a 35 on the act. Get a higher act score.

How to Get Into Georgetown: The Georgetown Acceptance Rate, by School

Recall that Georgetown lists different expectations for Georgetown SAT scores and Georgetown ACT scores at its four schools. Georgetown also lists the separate acceptance rates for each of its four schools… and lists the overall campuswide undergraduate acceptance rate. Here are all the numbers:

Georgetown Acceptance Rate by Undergraduate School

  • School of Liberal Arts and Sciences: 14.8%
  • School of Nursing & Health Studies: 18.4%
  • Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service: 16.8%
  • Robert E. McDonough School of Business: 16.7%
  • Overall Georgetown Acceptance Rate: 16%
  • As you can see, the hardest school to get into is also the largest. The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, home to more than half of Georgetown’s undergrads, has the lowest acceptance rate. At the same time, the acceptance rate is almost 20% of the School of Nursing & Health Studies. So if you’re hoping to study healthcare at Georgetown, you’re in luck.

    How to Get Into Georgetown: Georgetown GPA Requirements

    As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, Georgetown does not publish any GPA data for freshman applicants. This is because high schools really don’t have a uniform way of calculating GPA.

    However, GPA still matters. It’s difficult to get into a school as competitive as Georgetown without an unweighted high school GPA of at least 3.0. And 3.5 is more ideal, given Georgetown’s stats on class rank percentiles (seen in Table 1 of this article). If you have a different GPA, such as a weighted GPA, an honors GPA, etc., check with your high school guidance counselor for the unweighted equivalent. Also, be sure to use Magoosh’s handy GPA calculation tool as you track your grades.

    Interestingly, Georgetown does publish average GPA for transfer students. This makes sense since universities do calculate GPA in a uniform way, even though high schools don’t. If you’re already an undergrad and want to transfer to a Georgetown bachelor’s program, aim for a 3.83 or higher. 3.83 is the average GPA of accepted Georgetown transfer students.

    The Georgetown Freshman Profile

    So if you get in, will you fit in? The Georgetown freshman profile can give you a sense of what the typical Georgetown student looks like.

    As you’ve already seen from the information so far, Georgetown freshman all have exceptional academic achievement. When you get to Georgetown, you’ll be surrounded by students who, like you, have top notch grades and test scores. But there’s more to Georgetown students than just their book smarts.

    “I wrote about what I was truly passionate about. I received multiple letters from my admissions officer at Georgetown who told me that I was admitted because of the passion I showed for Speech and Debate in my supplemental essays. If I were to have written about something generic or something I didn’t really care about, then I do not believe I would’ve stood apart from other applicants.” – ldl36, AdmitSee

    As for the types of high schools your classmates will have gone to, expect most of them to be public school alumni (53%). There are, of course, also a significant number of Catholic high school graduates in attendance–20% of the student body. This is hardly surprising, given that Georgetown itself is a Catholic university.

    Georgetown freshman are, above all, a very diverse bunch. For one thing, they come from every state and region of the USA. In fact, Georgetown, located in Washington, D.C., is a rare instance of a school where local students aren’t in the majority. Most of Georgetown’s undergrads hail from America’s Southwest, Pacific West, and Northeast, rather than the states immediately surrounding DC. And ultimately, significant numbers of Georgetown freshman come from every region of America. Moreover, Georgetown’s international students, representing 8% of the student body, come from 45 different countries.

    How to Get Into Georgetown: Other Georgetown Admissions Requirements and Info

    We’ve covered a lot of ground so far. But there are still a few other aspects of Georgetown admissions that I haven’t mentioned yet.

    Georgetown Admissions Essays

    Georgetown requires all applicants to write two admissions essays. One of those essays will be the “general” admissions essay. The other essay will be specific to the undergraduate school that a student is applying to (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing and Health Studies, School of Foreign Service, or School of Business).

    For examples of these essays and what they look like, take a look at Admitsee’s list of the 2017-2018 Georgetown application essay prompts. And for general tips on how to write a great application essay, check out Magoosh’s guide to writing a Common App essay. (Georgetown doesn’t participate in the Common App system, but the tips in our article are very applicable to Georgetown Admissions’ essays as well.)

    A key point from Transizion expert Jason P: you want to make sure you’re not just focusing on the appeal of Washington, DC!!

    “Students flock to Georgetown so they can take advantage of everything Washington, DC has to offer. The same can be said for many of the city’s other universities including AU, Howard, George Washington, and CUA. Because of this, Georgetown wants to know why the school itself – not just the nation’s capital – piques your interest. In other words, ‘Why do you want to be a Hoya?’

    As a rule of thumb, if you can replace “Georgetown” with “Washington” on any part of your application, then you probably haven’t taken the time to fully evaluate what the school itself has to offer. Make sure you convey to whoever is reading your application that Georgetown University is what you’re aiming for, not just Washington itself. I suggest discussing how you would contribute to the campus and enrichment of the student body. Which extracurricular activities and on-campus clubs do you want to join and make better? What about the politically active student body meshes with your personality? How will you better Georgetown’s programs and take advantage of both DC and on-campus resources? To reiterate, don’t fall into the DC trap – plenty of schools in DC are located around government buildings, embassies, and protests. Don’t just talk about the District of Columbia.” — Jason P.

    Georgetown Letters of Reference

    Like many highly competitive top schools, Georgetown requires a letter of reference. This reference letter should come from a teacher, the same teacher who fills out your Georgetown teacher’s report. If you’re not sure which teacher you should approach or how to approach a teacher for a recommendation, read Magoosh’s article on how to ask for a letter of recommendation.

    Georgetown SAT scores and Geogretown ACT Scores: The Score Reporting Requirements

    all score reports, not just your most recent or highest scores. To quote the Georgetown Admissions website, “Georgetown requires that you submit scores from all test sittings of the SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests.”

    No SAT with Writing or ACT Essay? No Problem

    As rigorous as Georgetown’s application process can be, there’s some good news here. Georgetown doesn’t require you to take the optional essay portions of either the SAT or ACT. Not only that, but Georgetown doesn’t even look at essay scores. So it’s actually better for you to only take the main tests.

    How to Get Into Georgetown: FAQs

    And now, I’ll address a few remaining questions that Georgetown hopefuls often ask. (According to Google!)

    What is Georgetown ranked?

    U.S. News and World Report ranks Georgetown as number 20 in national schools in the USA. This is an excellent rank, one that puts Georgetown in the top 1% for school quality nationwide.

    Is Georgetown an Ivy League school?

    In the strict definition of “Ivy League,” no, Georgetown is not. This is because the Ivy League is officially a sports conference of Northeast coast private schools, and Georgetown is a Washington DC school outside of the conference. However, the term “Ivy League” also informally refers to any top quality American school. In that respect, it could be argued that Georgetown is indeed Ivy League.

    Where is the Georgetown Admissions portal?

    The instructions for starting your Georgetown Admissions application and signing up for the Georgetown Admissions portal can be found here.

    How to Get Into Georgetown: Some Final Thoughts

    It’s especially important to remember all the ways in which the Georgetown Admissions process is different from that of most other schools. Remember to select and take three SAT Subject tests. Be mindful of the fact that the ACT whole test score is all that matters, while Georgetown SAT scores are separated by Math and Reading/Writing & Language. And don’t forget to aim for the admissions criteria of the specific undergrad school you’re applying to. Today, we’ve gone over some other unique steps in Georgetown’s application process as well. Feel free to use this article as a checklist of the finer points on how to get into Georgetown.

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    About David Recine

    David is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007 and has worked with students from every continent. Currently, David lives in a small town in the American Upper Midwest. When he’s not teaching or writing, David studies Korean, plays with his son, and takes road trips to Minneapolis to get a taste of city life. Follow David on Google+ and Twitter!

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