Georgia Tech Guide

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

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Mascot: Buzz the Yellowjacket

Type: Public Research Institution

Population: 32,700 (16,000 undergrads)

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About Georgia Tech

The Georgia Institute of Technology was founded after the Civil War, in order to provide the South with a technical college in the tradition of MIT. WIth many long lived traditions and a strong sense of school spirit, camaraderie among students is high. While the athletic program is notable, Georgia Tech is best known for its academic rigor, priding itself on the difficulty of its classes and the skill and knowledge of its graduates.

Georgia Tech Statistics

Year Founded: 1885

4 Year Graduation Rate: 40%

Gender Distribution: 63% Male, 37% Female

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Residency: 60% in state, 17% out of state, 23% international

Location Type: Urban

Schedule System: Semesters

Student/Faculty Ratio: 22:1

Average Class Size: 25

Demographics: 49% Caucasian, 21% Asian, 16% Other, 7% Hispanic, 7% Black

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National Rankings

US News Rankings:

  • #4 Most Innovative Schools
  • #4 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
  • #5 Top Public Schools
  • #8 Undergraduate Research
  • #29 National Universities
  • #40 Best Undergraduate Teaching

Independent Rankings:

  • #5 Top Public Universities per Niche
  • #13 Best Colleges for Computer Science per Niche
  • #13 Public Colleges per Forbes
  • #19 Best Colleges for Engineering per Niche
  • #38 World Universities per The Times of Higher Education
  • #65 National Universities per Forbes
  • #68 National Universities per The Times of Higher Education

Georgia Tech Admissions Information

Application Deadlines:

  • Early Action I: October 15th
  • Early Action II: November 2nd
  • Regular Decision: January 4th
  • Transfer Deadline: April 15th

Notification Dates:

  • Early Action I: Mid-December
  • Early Action II: Late January
  • Regular Decision: Mid-March
  • Transfer Deadline: June 15th

Acceptance Rates:

  • Early Action I: 40%
  • Early Action II: 14%
  • Regular Decision: 19%
  • Transfer Deadline: 29%

Average Applicant Pool: 37,000

Average Number of Applicants Accepted: 8,400

Average Number Enrolled: 3,100

Application Systems: Common App

Average GPA: 4.07 weighted

SAT Scores: 25th% – 1400, 75th% – 1530

ACT Scores: 25th% – 31, 75th% – 34

*Test mandatory. Writing sections are not required.

Demonstrated Interest:

Georgia Tech does consider demonstrated interest.

How to demonstrate interest

Recommendation Letter Policies:

Recommendations are optional, but students may choose to submit one letter from a counselor, and one from a teacher. They recommend that the teacher be of an academic subject who knows you well. Additional recommendations are not accepted.

Georgia Tech Essay Prompts:

  • Why do you want to study your chosen major specifically at Georgia Tech?
  • Answer one of the following: 
    • Georgia Tech is committed to creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Tell us how you have improved or hope to improve the human condition in your community.
    • If you feel that your personal or community background can provide additional insight to your application that we have not already seen elsewhere, please take this opportunity to share that information with us.

Georgia Tech Essay Writing Tips

Special Notes:

  • EA 1 is only open to residents of the state of Georgia, while EA 2 is only open to non-Georgia residents.
  • Only non-native English speakers are allowed to interview, no other interviews will be offered.
  • Choice of major is factored into the admissions process, but all admissions are through the university generally.


  • Students who have earned college credit through AP courses or dual enrollment are eligible for transfer admission. 
  • Certain majors have required courses, which must be completed for students to be eligible to transfer.
  • Official transcripts are required from all previous institutions attended.
  • The College of Engineering and College of Computing require a minimum GPA of 3.3/4.0, all other schools require 3.0/4.0, although higher grades are recommended for both.
  • Transfer students are required to submit two essays as part of their application.
  • Choice of major is considered during transfer admission.

Georgia Tech Admission Strategy

Admissions Criteria:

The criteria the school considers very important are: course rigor, GPA, and extracurriculars. They look for a pattern in a student’s extracurriculars, and see if it matches with their intended major.

The factors they consider important are: class rank, essays, test scores, state residency, geographic origin, character, and talent. It is easier for Georgia residents to get into the school, although their admission is not guaranteed. The school strives for geographic diversity both from within Georgia, and from around the country. Around 60% of the student body, and each admitted class, is from Georgia.

The factors which are considered are: First-generation status, legacy status, recommendations, race/ethnicity, and level of interest.

Recruited athletes do have an advantage in admissions, so long as they are able to do the work academically, as Georgia Tech prides itself on student-athletes.

What is Georgia Tech Looking For?

All candidates are evaluated using a holistic review, where all aspects of an application are considered as a whole. Admissions officers look for students who will positively contribute to the campus community, and look for these character traits in an applicant: commitment, responsibility, motivation, leadership, initiative, and entrepreneurship.

Due to the gender imbalance, female applicants have an edge in admissions. This does not mean that the requirements are laxer for female applicants, but that more qualified female candidates are admitted due to the lower total number of female applicants and students.

The school has a long commitment to diversity, and seeks through recruitment to maintain a high level of admissions for minority and otherwise underserved students, both from within Georgia and around the country. Here, they are in direct competition with MIT and Caltech for the most qualified candidates.

Georgia Tech looks for students who have demonstrated leadership in their activities, especially outside of the classroom. The activities list is key to demonstrating this, and showing the student’s passion for and involvement with their areas of interest and their broader community. The school wants students who will contribute, so they look for past examples of the student doing exactly that.

Georgia Tech Strategy:

While admissions rates are higher for students who apply Early Action, this is not because the requirements are laxer. First, recruited athletes all apply EA, and second, the overall pool is smaller, meaning more qualified applicants are admitted. While this may boost chances some, it is not as large a factor as Early Decision can be.

They school does consider demonstrated interest, and this is an easy way to improve chances of admission. The school’s yield rate is around 40%, and while this is not bad, admissions officers do like assurances that the students they admit will attend.

While letters of recommendation are optional they are recommended, and students should consider submitting them. This is especially the case when the teacher can support other aspects of an application, such as the students academic passions, leadership abilities, or talents in or outside of the classroom. 

The school is known for its difficult and demanding academics, and much like Caltech, expects students to be both able and willing to do the work required of them. The school is also known for often requiring five years to graduate, due to the number of required courses and the length of majors. While the entirety of the school experience isn’t work, students should expect to need to study a great deal and work hard if they are going to Georgia Tech.

Finally, the school is similar to Caltech in that it is much more focused on the practical elements of engineering and science than the theoretical. While there are humanities majors, and it is not as devoted to science and technology alone, those are still the main focus of the school.Humanities students can still thrive there however, and may have an easier time getting admitted due to there being far less competition for spots.

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Georgia Tech Academics


Core Requirements:

  • Georgia Tech has universal core requirements. All students are required to take courses in Constitution and History, Ethics, Wellness, and 6 core areas (Communications, Computer Science, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Major requirements).
  • Comprehensive Information

Courses of Study: 

  • Majors Offered
  • Option to double major
  • Popular majors include Mechanical Engineering, Computer Information Systems, Industrial Engineering, Business Administration, and Biomedical Engineering
  • It is difficult to change majors, and being able to change is not guaranteed, depending on the popularity of the new intended major. Students do not have to enter the school with their major declared, but most do.
  • Minors offered
  • Course Catalog

AP Credit Policies:

Special Programs

Honors Programs:

  • The Honors Program offers special housing, coursework, and mentorship opportunities to students. Students must apply to the honors programs separately after being admitted to Georgia Tech.
  • University Honors (based on cumulative GPA)
  • Academic Honors Societies These offer an involved group of similarly focused scholars.

Research Availability:

Study Abroad: 

Business Options: 

  • The Scheller College of Business offers a BS in business administration, with 8 concentrations available
  • Students, both business majors and otherwise, are able to earn certificates in any of twelve areas.
  • There are dedicated organizations and other programs offered through the school for students interested in exploring business further.

Pre-Med Options:

  • There is no dedicated pre-med major or minor, but there is a pre-health advising program, which helps students interested in careers in medicine with course selection, preparation for the MCAT, and with the application process as well.
  • The biology department also has a pre-health program, which allows completion of prerequisite classes while also completing a biology major.

Pre-Law Options:

Computer Science Options: 

  • The College of Computing offers degrees in computer science, along with nine minors, which students outside the school may apply to take.
  • The joint BS/MS in Computer Science allows students to earn both degrees in only 5 years.
  • Research is available and encouraged for undergraduates.

Additional Specialty Programs: 

Programs for High Schoolers:

  • Summer Engineering Institute (SEI) is a three-week residential program for 11th and 12th grade underrepresented students interested in engineering.
  • H.O.T. Days is a weeklong day camp for Georgia high school students interested in technology.
  • National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) is a two-week program open to high-achieving high school students interested in technology.
  • Pre-College Programs are offered both virtually and in-person on campus, and offer a taste of the college experience and a chance to explore subjects of interest.

Student Life at Georgia Tech

Mission and Values:

  • Mission: The Georgia Institute of Technology is a public research university established by the state of Georgia in Atlanta in 1885 and committed to developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.
  • Additional Information
  • Student Testimonials (Niche, Unigo, Grad Reports)

Residential Housing System:

The school runs residence halls for freshmen, which are primarily found on East campus, and apartment style housing open to upperclassmen, which is all on West campus. The school also has living learning communities, which are often located within other buildings, and form smaller units of students who are interested in the same academic topics. These include the honors program. Each residence hall has its own character and traditions.

Housing Statistics:

  • 91% of Freshmen live on campus
  • 43% of undergrads live on-campus at any given time

Campus & Surrounding Area:  



  • Stealing the TStudents conspire to steal the T off of Tech Tower, in a tradition generally condemned by the administration. 
  • Ramblin WreckA 1930 Model A Ford which leads the football team onto the field for every home game. 
  • Rat Cap – Worn by selected freshman students, the caps must be worn to football games or other school spirit events.
  • Freshman Cake RaceA half-mile sprint held before the homecoming game at dawn. All participants get cupcakes, winners get full cakes.

Student-Run Organizations: 


Greek Life: 

  • 30% of students are members of Greek life, including social, service, and academic organizations.


  • There is an active nightlife scene in Midtown.
  • As an urban school, there’s always things to find or do in the city.
  • Football games are also large social events, drawing crowds for tailgating and post-game parties.
  • Most of the party and social scene on campus is dominated by greek life, but due to the urban setting it’s easy to find things off campus as well.

Financial Information

Yearly Cost of Attendance:

  • Total: $49,944
  • Tuition: $31,370
  • Fees: $2,424
  • Room & Board: $12,090
  • Books: $800
  • Personal Expenses: $3,200

Financial Aid:

Georgia Tech has a separate application for student aid which must be filled out, alongside FAFSA and the CSS profile. All of these should be completed by the due date; while applications will be accepted late, priority is given to those that are on time. Funding is provided based on both demonstrated student need and academic merit.

Additional Financial Aid & Student Loan Information


The Georgia Tech Promise Program is a scholarship fund dedicated to meeting the full need for the most underprivileged students in Georgia. It is only open to residents of Georgia. The HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships are merit based academic scholarships available to students.

Fun Facts

  • The nickname “ramblin wrecks” comes from the period when Georgia Tech trained engineers were helping build the Panama Canal, and the machines they constructed to get them through the jungles were dubbed ramblin wrecks, with the operators in turn called “ramblin wrecks from Georgia Tech.”
  • The highest scoring football game of all time was Georgia Tech 222 to Cumberland’s 0 in 1916.
  • The school’s rivalry with UGA is dubbed “Clean, old-fashioned hate.”
  • The school offered a required class called “downproofing” from 1940-1987, which taught how to float while bound, and how to swim a distance underwater, along with other survival skills.
  • Georgia Tech was the first university in the deep South to integrate without a court order.
  • Much of the housing in West campus was originally constructed for the 1996 Summer Olympics.
  • Jimmy Carter attended the school briefly before transferring out.
  • John Heisman, for whom the college football trophy is named, was football coach at Georgia Tech for two decades.
Wendy Y.
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