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Nadyja Von Ebers

How to Get Into Marquette: SAT and ACT Scores, GPA, and More

How To Get Into Marquette - Magoosh

Marquette University is a private, Jesuit university that is ranked #89 in national universities. Marquette is located walking distance from downtown Milwaukee, a city full of museums, restaurants, music venues, and many other fun and exciting things to do. So if you’re looking for an urban college experience in small-ish and super welcoming city, Marquette may be for you!

With 11 full schools and more than 100 majors, Marquette boasts options for nearly any subject you may be considering. There’s also a rich campus life, with countless extracurricular activities to partake in.

Before we explore exactly how to get into Marquette, let’s take a look at some quick Marquette admissions statistics.

Quick Marquette Admissions Statistics

Marquette SAT scores (average composite score of admitted students)1220 on a 1600 scale
Marquette ACT scores (average composite score of admitted students)27 on a 36 scale
Marquette GPA (average of admitted students)3.65 on a 4.0 scale
Marquette acceptance rate89% (for 2018, which is much higher than historically)

Now you may notice that it takes pretty strong academic chops to get into Marquette. At the same time, their acceptance rate is quite high. This means that as long as you’re a strong candidate, you’ll have a great chance of getting in!

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at exactly how to get into Marquette University.

More About Marquette SAT Scores

Before determining what score you’ll want to aim for, here are a few things to keep in mind about Marquette SAT scores:

  • Marquette requires that you submit either SAT or ACT scores, but you can certainly submit both if you’d like.
  • The score choice policy at Marquette is “Highest Sitting,” meaning that you can choose which scores from which testing dates that you submit. Marquette will then consider your highest test scores for one specific date. Note that Marquette does not superscore, meaning that they will not
    consider your highest scores across multiple dates.
  • It appears that the SAT Essay is currently optional.
  • So what do you actually have to score to get into Marquette?

    It actually really helps to consider percentiles when determining what to aim for:

  • The 25th percentile for Marquette SAT scores is 1130.
  • The 75th percentile for Marquette SAT scores is 1310.
  • Meaning, if you score a 1130 or lower, you will be below average compared to students admitted to Marquette. On the other hand, if you score a 1310 or higher, you’ll be above average.

    The sweet spot score to aim for is 1310 or higher, which will make you highly competitive.

    Depend on what program you’re applying for, you may want to raise your score on a given test section. In that case, it can be helpful to consider the percentiles for each individual section:

    SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
    Math605560650
    Reading615570660
    Composite 122011301310

    As a rule of thumb, you should aim for the 75th percentile score or higher for each section. This means scoring higher than 75% of other people applying.

    And remember, you only have to submit your highest scores to Marquette. You can take the SAT as many times as necessary to get a score you’re happy with. You should retake the test if you don’t score a 1310 or higher the first time.

    More About Marquette ACT Scores

    Here are a couple things to keep in mind when considering Marquette ACT scores:

  • You choose which ACT scores you send to Marquette. While Marquette does not superscore your ACT, you can still take the test as many times as you’d like. Marquette will only see the highest composite scores you choose to send.
  • ACT Writing test scores are not required, but are strongly encouraged.

    So what do you need to score on the ACT? Again, percentiles are helpful in determining what to aim for:

  • The 25th percentile for Marquette ACT scores is 24.
  • The 75th percentile for Marquette ACT scores is 29.
  • This means that if you score a 24 or lower on your ACT, you’ll be below average compared to other students accepted to Marquette. If you score a 29 or higher, however, you’ll be above average.

    The takeaway? You’ll want to aim for a 29 or higher to be a competitive applicant.

    More About Marquette GPA Requirements

    The average GPA of students admitted to Marquette is an impressive 3.65. A GPA of 3.65 means earning mostly A’s in your high school classes, and perhaps some B’s.

    Depending on how GPA is calculated at your high school, Earning high grades in honors, IB, and/or AP classes can help boost your GPA. You’ll also show Marquette that you are ready for the rigor of college courses.

    Keep in mind though, that after your sophomore year, it is very difficult to change your GPA. So if you’ve got your eye on Marquette, you’ll have to keep your grades high starting early on in high school.

    Marquette Acceptance Rate

    We have some good news about applying to Marquette. Unlike many other colleges and universities, which have lowered their acceptance rates, Marquette’s acceptance rate is going up.

    According to the Marquette Wire’s piece “New admissions strategy results in increasing acceptance rate” in December 2017, Marquette’s acceptance rate has increased 20% since 2012, when only about 55% of students were accepted.

    On first blush, it may seem that a higher acceptance rate will lower the prestige of the school. In fact, this isn’t the case.

    Marquette’s goal is to expand opportunities to wider circles of students while still maintaining very high admissions standards. This includes excellent test scores, high GPAs, and plenty of extracurricular activities.

    According to Marquette’s president Lovell, “Some of our programs will have 2000 applicants for 80 spots…and those are very high-achieving students. We want to be able to try to offer more of them to get up here and come to Marquette. I think the Master Plan will help us grow the areas where we see tremendous demand.”

    So you can rest assured that Marquette’s current accept rate is a “best of both worlds scenario.” If you’re a very strong student you’ll have a good chance of getting in, and you’ll still be attending an academically prestigious university.

    Marquette’s Freshman Profile

    Here’s a great overview of Marquette’s student demographics, as well as a super comprehensive freshman profile for the class of 2022 that details test scores, academic programs, general demographics, etc.

    Let’s take a look at a few details about the class of 2022 to give you a sense of who Marquette is accepting:

  • 55% of students are female and 45% are male.
  • 68% are from out of state
  • Additionally, by the numbers:

  • 584 students are people of color
  • 449 students are first-generation college attendees
  • 468 students are legacy students (family of Marquette alumni)
  • 151 students are commuters
  • 27 students are international students
  • Now obviously these types of statistics change year to year, but they can give you a general sense of what incoming freshman classes look like at Marquette.

    Other Marquette Admissions Requirements

    What will you need to apply to Marquette? Here’s a handy list of the necessary application materials:

  • High school transcripts (for all high schools you attended if you attended more than one)
  • Official ACT or SAT scores
  • A completed Common Application, including a Common App essay (more on this in a bit) as well as the Marquette freshman application
  • A Marquette-specific essay
  • Additionally, there are some optional items you may want to include with your application:

  • An additional personal statement
  • Letter(s) of recommendation from academic teachers or school counselors
  • IB or AP scores
  • On a deeper level, what will the admissions board be looking for?

    We spoke with Eric Foley, Admissions Counselor at Marquette University who said the following:

    “As a Jesuit institution, Marquette looks for students who are well-rounded, intellectually curious, and academically strong. We live by the Jesuit values of ‘cura personalis’ (meaning ‘care for the whole person’), ‘magis’ (meaning to ‘strive for excellence’) and ‘men and women for and with others.’ These institutional values allow us to create an academically challenging, supportive, and community-oriented campus space.

    With that in mind, we are looking for students who live out these Jesuit values and are ready to ‘set the world on fire’ (another favorite Jesuit phrase) by becoming the leaders of tomorrow. In high school, you can show this through taking an academically rigorous course load along with engaging in service and leadership experiences outside of the classroom.

    On the application, students will describe their high school activities and write a short essay. The short essay (less than 300 words) asks students to answer question prompts like “Why Marquette?” or “What’s the best advice you have received?” These application pieces allow us to review an applicant holistically and give us a sense of how a student will fit in on campus. Overall, being detailed, thorough, and authentic are the best ways to create a quality application.”

    So as you can see, applying to Marquette involves demonstrating both qualitative and quantitative attributes about yourself that create a holistic, well-rounded picture of both your academic capabilities as well as your suitability for Marquette specifically.

    Marquette FAQs

    Here are some FAQs about undergraduate admissions, but let’s address a few other commonly asked questions as well.

    Can I transfer to Marquette?

    Yes, Marquette accepts transfer students on a rolling basis. Here is a great checklist for transfer students that details everything you will need to apply.

    Is Marquette need-blind?

    Yes, Marquette is need-blind. Your need (or lack thereof) for financial aid will not affect your acceptance into the school. Here is more information about financial aid at Marquette University.

    Does Marquette have early action application?

    Marquette has a priority application date of December 1. According to Marquette admissions, “Applications completed after [this] deadline will be considered on a space-available basis. Application review for admission to Marquette University is completed on a rolling basis. The online application for freshman admission will be available by August 1. Beginning in late September, admission decisions are sent 2-3 weeks following the completion of the application for admission and receipt of all supporting materials.”

    How to Get Into Marquette

    So, what’s the magic formula for how to get into Marquette? As we’ve discussed, Marquette has a high acceptance rate, but you still need to be a very strong student. Overall, here’s what we recommend if you want a good chance of being accepted:

    • Earn at least a 1310 on your SAT or a 29 on your ACT.
    • Earn a GPA of at least 3.65.
    • Write strong essay responses, both on your Common App essay, and Marquette-specific responses. Your writing is a great way of painting a more in-depth picture of who you are beyond your grades and test scores. This is an excellent guide for writing a strong Common App essay.
    • Opt to include a letter of recommendation, if possible. While optional, a thorough letter of recommendation will help make you a stronger candidate. Make sure to request a letter from an academic teacher or school counselor who can speak thoroughly to your character, growth, and potential. Here’s some advice on asking for a letter of recommendation for college to ensure that you get the best letter possible
    • Participate in plenty of extracurricular activities and volunteer work.

    Here are some helpful application tips directly from Marquette as well.

    And of course, since your ACT and SAT scores play a huge role in your application, start studying early! Check out this great, 1-week SAT free trial and 1-week ACT free trial to get you started!

    Happy studying and good luck!

    Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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    About Nadyja Von Ebers

    Nadyja von Ebers holds an MA in English from DePaul University and has been an English instructor at the high school and college levels for the last eleven years. She has extensive experience teaching preparation for various AP exams as well as the ACT, SAT, and GED. Nadyja loves helping students reach their maximum potential and thrives in both literal and virtual classrooms. When she's not teaching, she enjoys reading and writing for pleasure and loves spending time in or near the ocean.


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