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Emory University

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  • Statistics

    Atlanta, GA
    College Town
    Most Selective
    Acceptance Rate:
    29 %
    Tuition and Fees:
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  • Summary

    Emory University has an assortment of driven, competitive students who also know the value of enjoying college life.

    The pre-professional majors dominate the academic landscape, so it’s no wonder that Emory students are so focused on the future. Pre-[insert your desired profession here] students vie for the top grade in class and log in the study hours to attain it. Yet the social scene doesn’t suffer at Emory. Set in a suburban area of Atlanta, there’s always a game, cultural event or show going on in the neighboring towns - Buckhead, Decatur, Midtown, and Little Five Points, among

    others. There is a thriving Greek scene that provides a built-in network of friends to those who rush. For non-Greeks, there are still parties galore, bars, and nightclubs that are easily accessible. The hefty price tag attracts upper-crust students with disposable incomes, as evidenced by the slew of BMWs and Audis in the often-crowded parking lots. Overall, however, there’s such a diverse population that a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds are well-represented.

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  • Student Reviews

    The best thing about Emory is its balance between academics and social life, which seems to fit most people but it really is what you make of it. If you choose to stay in the library until 3am every day of the week, you can do that, and if you want to go out and get wasted every night from Wednesday to Sunday, I guess you could do that too. However, the average Emory student fits neither of these extremes. Most like to go out at least once every weekend, either to a frat party/club/bar or just to spend time with friends. I have yet to figure out whether students have their priorities straight. Many pick "joke" classes so they can go out more often. There are not many overachievers here, and if you choose to take 5 classes instead of the typical 4, most will think you are crazy. It is very easy to get involved in extracurricular activities, and most students are involved in a club or sport. My advice, if you plan on attending, is to surround yourself with the right people early on and definitely keep an open mind about life in general. Also, do not be afraid to make mistakes. In fact, make lots of them. Talk to everyone. Make spontaneous decisions. Plan ahead, but allow yourself to live in the edge as well. Live a balanced life. If you are having a hard time adjusting, ask yourself why. Talk to others about it that might be in the same position as you. ALWAYS leave your room door open if you are just chilling in your room. Most importantly, first impressions mean nothing. Never be too quick to judge people here. What would I change about Emory? Many things. Before ranting, however, I would like to point out that Emory is definitely working towards many improvements, especially in the academic area. First, Emory is currently allocating the majority of its money towards building new "green" residence halls for freshmen. However, not much has been done regarding upperclassmen housing. Off the top of my head, I wish that at least some of this money were invested into more creative classes and major options, better food (this issue seems to be a work in progress), build more cafeterias (there is only one cafeteria!), make the DUC (main cafeteria) more like a student center so students can actually hang out there, improve the gym with better and newer equipment, build better zipcar locations, and make the shuttle system more convenient. I also wish the business school would offer a business minor in order for students to actually have a chance to explore the liberal arts curriculum here and not be confined to the business major. It's also really annoying to see how overpriced things can be around here, given how expensive it is to attend here in the first place (even with financial aid for some people). For example, if you lose your Emory card, they charge $25 for the first time. From what I understand, most schools replace cards for free the first time. The Emory bookstore prices are also ridiculous, but that's common for every school. Doing your laundry costs money. Need passport pictures for your business school application? 12 dollars. Need to print something out in color? 1 dollar per page. I wish some of these things were subsidized instead of overpriced. It really makes me wonder what we're paying for. I would also like to see Emory develop new departments. An architecture school would be great, as well as an Industrial/ product design major. There is no engineering department here, so the only options for a prospective engineer are either (1) go through the 3-2 program with Georgia Tech (a good option, but I have mixed feelings about this program), (2) Study something similar to engineering, such as applied physics, along with liberal arts classes and complete a master’s program in engineering after graduation, or (3) opt out of Emory completely and study engineering in a 4 year engineering program. The math/ CS departments here do not appear to be very good for a top-20 school (no matlab courses? CS170 being taught by grad students? sad for a school of Emory’s reputation.) I guess if you're set on studying math, physics, or CS, the only advantages I can think of are small class sizes (personalized attention from profs) and obtainable research opportunities (but not much variety). Lastly, Emory needs more than 2 career fairs each year and needs to get the attention of more companies to recruit Emory students more heavily. We have a very pre-professional student body, so why not complement it with as many career opportunities as possible? Maybe Emory’s southern location prevents many northeast and west coast companies from heavily recruiting. On the bright side, Emory does a good job of attracting Atlanta-based companies. I believe that in order for Emory to remain competent in the next number of years, it needs to market itself much, MUCH better. However, Emory is not trying to be the next Stanford. As a result, it chooses to advertise itself as a liberal arts school with great business, medical, and health programs, d-3 sports, a beautiful campus, greek life that isn’t too overbearing, and green dorms for freshmen. If this is enough to get you super excited to come here, then this is probably the right school for you. However, for me, Emory is what it is. I think this school needs something unique to make it stand out. At first, the student body as a whole didn't seem very open minded or creative. Getting to know people better helped somewhat, but I am still a bit underwhelmed. I know for sure that 99% of students here are very smart and capable and have something going for them. However, many people conceal their nerdy/ quirky side in an effort to be cool like everyone else, and this can get frustrating. My tip is to get to know people well before making conclusions. As far as school pride, some students are proud of attending here and others are not. In the end, your university career is what you make of it, and Emory is a solid top-20 school with room for improvement. If you seek a very academic-oriented environment, I would say look elsewhere. I recommend visiting the campus during a weekend in the middle of the semester to get a feel for how life is over here. I think this reflects my overall view of Emory. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.
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  • Additional Info

    In 1836 the Georgia Methodist Conference first raised the idea of forming a church-sponsored manual labor school that combined farm work with a college curriculum. This school eventually became Emory University, named after American Methodist bishop John Emory.

    Emory College, as the school was originally known, had its first board of trustees meeting in 1837. It was at that meeting that they decided to situate Emory in a new town – Oxford. Classes began on September 17, 1838 for fifteen students. In 1850 in the heat of the Civil War, Emory students debated whether Georgia should secede from the union. The literary societies voted a resounding no.

    The university’s first major student publication, The Emory Mirror, was produced in 1880. The Mirror later merged with its rival, The Georgia College Journal, to form a new paper called The Emory Phoenix. In 1919 it became mandatory for Emory freshmen and sophomores to participate in the newly organized ROTC. By 1930, the ROTC program was discontinued, and in 1974 it was deactivated altogether.

    In 1917 Eleonore Raoul enrolled in the College of Law to become the first woman admitted to Emory. Women had been allowed to take classes at the college at Oxford previously but it was clearly stated that women were not allowed admission for a degree. The only reason Raoul was approved to enroll was because Chancellor Warren Candler was out of town.

    The early 20th century was a turbulent time for the Methodist Church, which lost its affiliation with Vanderbilt University when the Nashville school decided to take a more secular bent. Methodist leaders began to see their higher ed future happening at Emory. They moved in and relocated Emory to a new campus, closer the city, at Druid Hills. Rather than abandon the Oxford campus, they kept it open as an Emory prep academy. Oxford Academy underwent a number of mission changes over the years--college prep academy, junior college, secondary school--until finally settling on its role as a second liberal-arts undergraduate campus in the 1960s. Today, Emory students in its liberal arts program can spend their first two years at Oxford, then move to the Druid Hills campus to complete their Emory degree.

    The post-World War II GI Bill caused enrollment to increase from around 1,500 to 2,045 in the spring of 1946 and to 3,582 that fall. The university had to appoint almost 200 new faculty and staff and erect new housing.

    Upon entering Emory University through the Hopkins-Haygood Gate, one is greeted by a rush of goldenrod tulips. The main entrance, on North Decatur Road, leads to the administration, admissions and financial aid buildings. It is also near the quadrangle, the center of Emory’s campus.

    Students pass time by sitting on the quadrangle benches or in the grass, reading or hanging out with friends. Surrounding the quad are classic buildings, with arched glass windows. Cox Hall and Clock Tower is a landmark on campus. It is a three-story building that houses a food court, dining room, computers, and banquet/conference rooms. It’s a popular place for students as well as nearby Emory Hospital employees to gather in.

    Emory has five libraries, one of which, the Woodruff Library, is home to the collection of papers by poet Ted Hughes. It is also famous for its Irish collection, works by Heaney, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Maud Gonne, and several other contemporary writers.

    One of the university’s newer architectural additions is the Goizueta Business School and Courtyard. It is a large gray concrete structure for Emory’s famed business program.

    Emory is located in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, a major southeastern city, and there is much in the way of culture and entertainment for students who wish to venture off campus.

    Emory is approximately 15 minutes from central Atlanta, in the quiet suburb of Decatur. Students have the opportunity to head out into the city for entertainment, such as Atlanta’s Seaquarium, the CNN Center or the Coca-Cola Museum. Or if they prefer to stay around Emory, students can visit one of Decatur’s beautiful parks, such as Lullwater Park.

    Many students also head out to the Virginia Highlands, one of the most popular neighborhoods near Emory. Just ten minutes from the school, the Virginia Highlands is ideal for shopping, dining, and nightlife. Emory students are seen out at the Highlands mostly on Tuesday and Sunday nights, because the bars offer two-for-one drink deals.

    Another off-campus hangout is Little Five Points, also about ten minutes away from campus. A mix of ‘Greenwich Village and the French Quarter,’ the area has many restaurants and shops to offer. The Vortex is a popular restaurant among Emory students, for the low prices, unique décor, and live bands on Friday and Saturday nights.

    One of Emory’s oldest traditions is Dooley, the “Spirit of Emory”. Dooley was first introduced in 1899 in the Phoenix through an essay called “Reflections of the Skeleton.” It was about a skeleton that would visit and observe Emory, and comment on college life. A different student portrays Dooley each year and their identity is top secret. Each year there is Dooley’s Week, where Dooley walks around campus canceling classes. There are also concerts, events, and activities for students.

    One unofficial school tradition is Thursday night parties. A group at Emory called the MisEdukated hold parties every Thursday in different venues around campus. They distribute flyers and send massive text messages to inform students where the parties are going to be held. Most of the student body attends “Club Night” and everyone usually ends up at Maggie’s, another unofficial campus tradition at Emory. Maggie’s is a bar located a few minutes from campus that is open until 4am.

    Frank Kellogg Allan (1956) was the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.

    Alben W. Barkley (1900) was a congressman and senator from Kentucky who served as 35th vice president of the United States.

    Sonny Carter, Jr. (1969) was an American physician, naval officer, and NASA astronaut who flew on STS-33.

    Newt Gingrich (1965) is a former speaker of the House of Representatives.

    Carl Hiaasen (1970) is a journalist and author best known for Skinny Dip and Strip Tease.

    Dumas Malone (1910) was an American author who won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Thomas Jefferson. Malone was also a recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Christopher McCandless (1990) was the subject of John Krakauer’s 1996 book Into the Wild for hiking into the Alaskan wilderness. McCandless died of starvation months later. The book was turned into a movie in 2007.

    The Emory Eagles compete in Division III of the NCAA and are members of the University Athletic Association, formed along with seven other urban research universities in the 1920’s. Emory’s golf team finished in the top ten in the nation from 2004-2006. In their 2007-2008 season two team members made it to the All-American Scholar Team.

    Emory men’s tennis placed in the top three in the nation from 2002-2008 and won the championship in 2003 and 2006. Women’s tennis has dominated, claiming the national championship six years in a row, from 2001-2006.

    Many students like to join club sports teams as well. Some popular club teams include lacrosse, soccer, football, and volleyball.

    The Dalai Lama accepted a Presidential Distinguished Professorship at Emory in October 2007.

    In 1965, Thomas J.J. Altizer, an associate professor of the Bible and religion at Emory, and a group of young theologians, made news when they called themselves Christian atheists. Their story made the cover of Time Magazine with the title, “Is God Dead?” Emory is considered a “Southern Ivy,” a conference originating in 1950’s that tried to establish competitive private schools in the south.

    In 1935 the tools used to perform the autopsy on Napoleon Bonaparte were available for public viewing at the A.W. Calhoun Medical Library at Emory. Eleanor S. McRae of Atlanta bought them from a Frenchman in New Orleans as a present for her husband, a visiting professor at Emory medical school and chief of surgery and chairman of the board at a hospital in Atlanta.

    There are a number of housing options at Emory. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus.

    Incoming freshmen have the opportunity to choose whether they want to live in a single sex or coed building; there is also the option of a single sex floor within a coed building. A large number of freshmen live in The Complex, which is made up of Hopkins, Smith, and Thomas Halls. The Complex is next to Harris Hall and near the business school and performing arts center. It has two rooftop balconies, a courtyard with picnic tables, and fitness room in Thomas Hall.

    Emory’s most social dorm is Dobbs Hall. While rooms are extremely small, its location right in the center of campus makes up for the cramped quarters. Alabama Hall is also located in the center of campus but, unlike Dobbs, has larger and more accommodating rooms. This dorm is generally reserved for student athletes and Emory Scholars program students. Despite being an older dorm, it is one of the nicer facilities on campus. Both Alabama and Dobbs have a beautiful white marble exterior—the classic Emory architectural style.

    Second year students have the option of participating in the Second Year at Emory program, located in the main sophomore dorm called Woodruff. SYE is a program designed to meet the needs of sophomore students as they decide which major they want to pursue, what classes to take, and what activities they want to be involved in. Students say it is extremely helpful because there are counselors and advisors that live in the dorm. Woodruff also has a gym and a 24-hour cafeteria.

    Aside from on campus housing, Greek students can live in their chapter house. Most students that are involved in a fraternity or in a sorority decide to live in their fraternity house or sorority lodge because it gives them an opportunity to get to know the people in their house.

    Students can also opt to live in a theme house. Some of the most popular ones are the Black Student Alliance House, Spanish House, and the Spice Hall (Students’ Program for International Cultural Exchange).