mory University
  • EduScore 78 /100

Emory University: Quick Overview

Quick Stats
  • Year founded1836
  • Number of students enrolled15,451
  • Average cost (in total)$69,502
Application Info
  • Acceptance rate19%
  • SAT/ACT1350/30
  • Application dateNovember 1st

History and Mission

Created in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, Emory University has risen to international prestige from humble beginnings. While the current main campus is in the Druid Hills area of Atlanta, Georgia, the original Emory College was established in the small town of Oxford, Georgia. Oxford was so named to pay homage to Oxford University, which was the alma mater of the Methodists who founded the town. Emory College was named for John Emory, one of the founders who wanted to create a place of learning and scholarship that would foster students’ minds so that they could in turn positively contribute to the world.

The then small college was not spared from the turmoil caused by the Civil War. As the college only admitted men at the time, it was closed in 1861, and all of its students joined the Confederate army. The school was used as a military hospital until it was taken over by the Union army and turned into their headquarters in 1863. Following the aftermath of the war, the school, like most of the South, suffered to regain its footing both economically and socially. However, in 1880, a speech made by the school’s president Atticus Greene Haygood extolling the end of slavery impressed George Seney, a banker from New York, who gifted the school 130,000 dollars.

With this endowment the school was able to flourish, creating a department of technology, a nursing school that would become the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and the Candler School of Theology. In 1915, Emory College was the beneficiary of another hefty sum, this time from Asa Candler, the founder of the Coca-Cola company. The so-called ‘one-million dollar’ letter, not only granted the school money but also land in Atlanta, allowing it to move campus and officially become Emory University.

In the 20th century the university came into its own, solidifying itself as a lauded educational institution. Emory University sent medical units overseas in the First and Second World Wars, and a ship named the Emory Victory was dedicated to the school in recognition of their effort in the wars. The Woman’s and Civil Rights movements brought huge changes to the student population of Emory. The school began accepting women and people of color, becoming one of the first Southern schools of higher education to do so. Being in Atlanta and at the center of the Civil Rights Movement, Emory became an advocate for equal rights for not only American citizens, but people across the globe.

Emory University is currently nationally ranked number five in the United States on money spent on research, affirming its dedication to impart knowledge in order to better the world. Emory University’s mission statement is “to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity.” In looking through Emory’s past, their declaration of purpose can clearly be seen in their actions.

Areas of Study

Whether a student only wants to obtain their bachelor’s degree or continue on to graduate or professional school, Emory University offers over 100 degree programs to cover a student’s entire academic career.

Emory University is comprised of nine schools and colleges for both undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. At Oxford College students can experience a small, close-knit learning environment for two years before moving to the Atlanta campus to complete their bachelor’s degree.

There are two colleges dedicated to undergraduate studies, five for graduate studies, and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the Goizueta Business School which service both types of students.

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

With over twenty degrees offered at the bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. level, students will have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a nursing degree. Several of the nursing master’s and Ph.D. programs are regularly ranked as some of the best in the country.

Emory School of Medicine

Studying medicine at Emory University will give students amazing opportunities that people rarely have access to. The Emory University Hospital is staffed exclusively by Emory School of Medicine faculty, giving medical professionals readily available employment upon graduating. The Centers for Disease Control, also based in Atlanta, has a long history of working with the Emory School of Medicine meaning students have a chance to understand the spread and control of diseases internationally. The school is one of the best in the country concerning medical research.

Goizueta Business School

Offering ten master’s and several Ph.D.s, the Goizueta School is mostly focused on students who want to further their education after their bachelor’s degree. With options for full-time, part-time, and evening classes, students can tailor their education to their lifestyle.

Biomedical Engineering

In alliance with Georgia Tech, another academically rigorous school in Atlanta, the undergraduate biomedical degree is ranked number one in the country, and the graduate degree is ranked number three. The faculty of the program includes instructors at the tops of their fields, ensuring a one of a kind experience for students.

Political Science

This program provides undergraduates an understanding of the political processes and systems that run our world. The degree will give them a basis in political theory, while also allowing them to branch into four separate areas of focus: International, American, Theory, or Comparative political science.

Online Study

Emory University has a wide selection courses and programs available to students online. Fully enrolled undergrads studying at the College of Arts and Sciences have a variety of courses to take online in the summertime.

There are also a number of distance master’s and Ph.D. programs available for those who meet the qualifications. Once accepted into these programs, students can take courses online, allowing them to maintain a flexible schedule from wherever they are based. The process of getting a distance online degree is virtually no different from obtaining an in-person degree.

Students wanting more information pertaining to their online and distance options can find it on Emory’s page concerning online courses and programs. On this page registration dates and offices that can help students arrange their online education can be easily found.

How do I apply to Emory University?

Like most American universities, your application to Emory can be completed with either the Common or Coalition Applications. Registration for the applications is free, however, submitting the application to Emory itself is seventy-five dollars. If any prospective student has issues paying this fee, there are fee-waivers provided by the school. While students are encouraged to arrange a campus tour, visits will in no way effect admission status.

Completion of the Emory specific Common or Coalition Application will require students to write short answer and short essay questions about themselves and why they are interested in attending Emory. Students will also need to submit their official high school or college transcripts, their SAT and/or ACT scores, and letters of recommendation from their guidance counselor and two teachers (three in total). All materials need to be submitted either online or by post before the admission deadlines. Emory offers three admission calls, two early decision options, and one regular decision. Upon accepting an offer of admission students are also required to submit a $550 deposit.

Acceptance Rate

Emory is a very selective school with an acceptance rate of about nineteen percent. In fall 2016 there were 20,000 applicants and twenty-five were accepted for both undergraduate and graduate students.

On Emory’s admission site they state, “there is no magical formula for deciding the perfect Emory student.” A number of factors are taken into consideration when deciding admission of students including their academic record, extra-curriculars, volunteering, their essays, and letters of recommendation.

Student Life at Emory University

Despite being nestled in the metropolitan city of Atlanta, the main campus of Emory University maintains a close-knit college atmosphere with all the trappings of a traditional American university experience. Freshman and sophomore students are required to live on campus, but even upperclassmen usually choose to remain in student housing.

Within the intimate campus space students can find a multitude of activities to engage in. There are six intramural sports teams including flag-football, volleyball, and basketball. If students are more serious about their athletic career, the Emory Eagles have nineteen varsity men’s and women’s sports teams. The athletics program at Emory University is top ranked by the Directors Cup of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. All students are encouraged to support student athletes at their meets, games, and competitions.

There are over fifty arts organizations chartered by the university but run by the students. These include everything music and theatrical performance groups to those dedicated to the visual arts and written word. With almost forty different honor societies related to both artistic and academic achievements, students will be able to learn and grow with like-minded classmates outside of the classroom. The Barkley Forum provides students interested in debate the opportunity to practice the skill with an award-winning team. Emory has always been dedicated to diversity and inclusivity which can be seen in numerous student organizations like the Black Student Union, Center for Women, and the Centro Latinx.

Thirty percent of students are members of a fraternity or sorority, so there is a very strong Greek life presence on the Emory campus. There are nineteen sororities and fraternities and almost all of them have on-campus housing for selected members. Greek houses regularly plan parties, socials, and mixers for their members and others on campus.

Although students are given the opportunity to experience life on a college campus, they are also able to benefit from everything the city of Atlanta has to offer. There are thousands of concerts, festivals, and sports events every year often with vouchers and discounts for Emory students. A quick bus or metro ride can take you into the city to enjoy various forms of entertainment, food, and culture.

If students want to experience the singularly unique experience of a small town and student-centered education, there is also Emory University’s original school: Oxford College. Located about forty-five minutes from Atlanta, Oxford College is only for first and second-year students. The small college has eighty student organizations, meaning students have ample opportunity to take leadership positions, including in the Student Government or the Oxford Service Corps. As the campus is less than one thousand students, the sense of community is pervasive. The two campuses are well-connected by busses that run regularly between Oxford and Atlanta.

Emory University Campus

The main campus is 613 acres or a little less than one square mile in the Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. Students can find everything they need within walking distance of their dormitory. The area is heavily forested, so the campus is overall very green despite being in the middle of bustling Atlanta. Peachtree Creek runs through the campus completing the quaint atmosphere.

During the 1996 Olympics, the campus was utilized heavily. The gold medal-winning women’s gymnastics team was housed on campus and the Cox Ballroom was used as headquarters for the Olympic foreign press.

Costs of Studying at Emory University

For the 2018-2019 academic year the costs and fees for Emory’s main campus are as follows:

  • Tuition $50,590
  • Fees $716
  • Housing $8,306
  • Food $6,200
  • Books $1,224
  • Living Expenses $2,446

First and second year students must stay in campus housing and anyone living on campus must purchase the meal plan. The figures for books and living expenses are just estimates. Depending on the classes students take, the actual price of books could vary. Living expenses similarly depend on the student’s lifestyle. These expenses include things like transportation, laundry, and personal spending.

As Emory is one of the best universities in the country, the cost attending is quite high. Emory University does provide many need and merit-based scholarships to its students.


The Druid Hills neighborhood, where Emory is located, is one of the oldest and most affluent in the city of Atlanta. As the campus is small, it is very walkable for students and a car is not necessary. For those wishing to leave the campus, it is well-connected to other areas of the city through city buses and the metro.

Atlanta is notorious for standstill traffic connecting its highways and interstates. Students and their visitors should allow for plenty of time when travelling around the city via car, especially during the rush hour periods in the morning and early evening.

Q: How much money will I make with an Emory University degree?A: An average starting salary for an Emory graduate with a bachelor’s is $55,300. With just three years of experience after graduation, the median salary rises to almost $60,000. In mid-career, an Emory graduate can expect an average salary of $91,300.These figures are only for those with bachelor’s degrees. As Emory has many excellent and acclaimed degrees at the master’s and Ph.D. level, those graduates can expect to earn even more upon graduating. Q: How does the accreditation process work?A: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the body that accredits bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees of Emory. The school’s colleges and programs are also accredited by various national organizations like the American Bar Association and the American Psychological Association. Q: Are there any notable alumni or faculty of Emory University?A: Emory University boasts a plethora of notable alumni and faculty including Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, Peabody Award winners, and Rhodes Scholars. Some of its most influential attendees are American fashion designer Kenneth Cole, and South Korea’s twenty-sixth Prime Minister, Lee Hong-koo.Those invited to teach at Emory are equally as impressive. Former American President Jimmy Carter, famed author Sir Salman Rushdie, and former Bishop Desmond Tutu are among the school’s past teaching faculty. Q: Does Emory University have any fun traditions? A: Because Emory has had a long and fruitful relationship with the Coco-Cola company, which was also founded in Atlanta, it is considered poor school spirit to drink products not produced by Coca-Cola while on campus.

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