Getting accepted into an Ivy League school for your undergraduate degree can be an extremely competitive process. If you don't get into an Ivy League right away, you may have a chance to attend one of these schools for your graduate degree.
Graduate programs at Ivy League schools can be just as competitive as their undergrad counterparts. If you did well during your undergraduate program, and you have some work experience, then you definitely have a better shot of getting in.
Requirements for Ivy League Graduate Programs
If you'd like to go to an Ivy League school to earn your graduate degree, keep in mind that the application requirements are generally the same as any other grad school. That being said, according to Master's Portal, your credentials must meet a certain standard:
- A U.S. bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university
- Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate academic institutions you have attended.
- An average GPA of 3.71 or higher on a 4.0 scale
- Standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT)
- GRE scores must be between 155 and 170 on all subjects, LSAT scores must be a 173 or higher and MCAT scores must be 36.6 or higher
- Three letters of recommendation
- A personal statement
- Non-refundable application fee
You'll have to make sure that you not only meet the general requirements, but that you also meet the requirements at the specific school and program you'd like to apply to. Check the prospective school's website before applying for more information.
Ivy League Graduate School Acceptance Rates
To get a better idea of which Ivy League schools are the hardest to get into, it's worth looking at the individual schools' acceptance rates. However, it's hard to get accurate numbers because each program within that school may have their own acceptance rates.
Brown: According to Brown University's website, the graduate acceptance rate for master's and doctoral programs was 19 percent. There were 11,682 students that applied and 2,267 admitted.
Columbia: At Columbia, each graduate program has different acceptance rates that are unique to the program itself. For instance, according to Peterson's, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia has an acceptance rate of 21 percent. Of the 13,288 students that applied, 2,805 were accepted.
Cornell: According to Peterson's, the graduate school acceptance rate is 23 percent. Of the 20,805 applicants, 4,800 were accepted.
Dartmouth: The acceptance rate at the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies at Dartmouth is 31 percent. Of the 1,360 students that applied, 415 were accepted, according to Peterson's.
Harvard: According to U.S. News & World Report, Harvard Law is not actually the hardest law school to get into, at a 15.8 percent acceptance rate in 2017. Additionally, Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences has a decent acceptance rate as well, at 13 percent.
Penn: According to Peterson's, the acceptance rate at Penn's Biomedical Graduate program is 22 percent. Of the 1,591 students that applied, 354 were accepted.
Princeton: The Princeton.edu website states that for the 2018 to 2019 school year, there were 11,731 applicants to the graduate school, of which 1,373 were accepted. This was a 12 percent acceptance rate.
Yale: The Yale Graduate School acceptance rate varies from one graduate program to another. For example, for the class of 2020, the Yale MBA program acceptance rate was 8.5 percent, while the acceptance rate at the Yale School of Medicine Physician Assistant's program was 3.6 percent, according to The Graduate School Site.
At Yale Law, according to Yale University's Fast Facts, the acceptance rate was 6.8 percent in 2017. Yale is also the hardest law school to get into, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Which Ivy League Grad School is the Easiest to Get Into?
When it comes to figuring out which Ivy League graduate school is the easiest to get into or the hardest to get into, it would be really difficult to make that determination because every thing is relative. Most people applying to an Ivy League for graduate school aren't doing so just for the sake of going to an Ivy League and will be picky as to where they will apply.
Competitiveness is based on the school's ranking, the ranking of the specific program and the number of applicants. For example, while Penn Law is a selective graduate program, other programs that this school offers may not be as selective.
If a school has a lower acceptance rate, for instance, Harvard's undergraduate program is 5.33 percent in 2015 according to Business Insider, this doesn't indicate that Harvard is the "hardest" to get into, especially because graduate schools and undergraduate schools are different.
All this considered, based on the information above, it would seem that Dartmouth is the easiest Ivy League grad school to get into because of its 31 percent acceptance rate.
- Peterson's: Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies
- Business Insider: Ranked - Ivy League Universities
- Princeton Grad School: Admission Statistics
- Master's Portal: Master’s Degree from an Ivy League
- Peterson's: Biomedical Graduate Studies
- Peterson's: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
- Brown.edu: Facts about Graduate Education at Brown
- Peterson's: Graduate School
- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
- Yale.edu: Fast Facts
Hana LaRock is a freelance content writer from New York, currently living in Mexico. She has spent the last 5 years traveling the world and living abroad and has lived in South Korea and Israel. Before becoming a writer, Hana worked as a teacher for several years in the U.S. and around the world. She has her teaching certification in Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as a TESOL certification. Hana spent a semester studying abroad at Tel Aviv University during her undergraduate years at the University of Hartford. She hopes to use her experience to help inform others. Please visit her website, www.hanalarockwriting.com, to learn more.