How Hard is it to Get Into Yale?

Yale is known for its rigorous academic standards and is a dream destination for many students aiming to push their limits in both personal and academic development. As it is a dream for so many, the competition to secure a place at Yale can be fiercely intense [1].

n this article, we’ll discuss what makes Yale a desirable university, the entry requirements, and why it can be difficult to gain admission, and how Dukes Plus can help you succeed in your application.

If you’re a student preparing to apply, or a parent guiding your child through the process, this guide will provide valuable insights to help make your application stand out.

Is Yale a good university?

Yale is universally recognised as one of the premier institutions of higher learning, esteemed for its profound academic rigour and a diverse array of programs. The Yale alumni includes some of the world’s most distinguished scholars and practitioners, including Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners [2] [3].

Yale holds a prestigious position, consistently ranking in the top universities worldwide due to its academic prestige, and the success of its graduates. According to QS World University Rankings, Yale occupies the sixteenth spot in the world university rankings for 2024 [4].Yale also boasts impressive resources and facilities, from extensive research libraries to state-of-the-art scientific laboratories, supporting a broad range of scholarly pursuits and innovations [5].

The entry requirements for Yale

Due to the highly competitive nature of gaining admission to Yale, it’s crucial to understand what is required to gain admission.

This section breaks down the entry requirements Yale employs to evaluate its applicants:

Academic Achievements & GPA

Although Yale states that a minimum GPA is not required, the average GPA of admitted students is typically very high. Yale does not release specific GPA related data however, Yale reported that 96% of those admitted to the class of 2026 were ranked in the top 10% of their class. This indicates that you will need to aim for the highest possible GPA in all of your classes if you want to get into Yale [6] [7]

Yale does adopt a holistic approach to admissions however, so if your GPA is lower, it does not automatically disqualify you as a candidate. Especially if you can demonstrate strengths and talents in other areas that align with Yale’s values and goals.

Standardised Test Scores (SAT/ACT)

While Yale had adopted a test-optional policy due to Covid-19, they will be required again for the 2024/25 admissions cycle [8]

The dean of admissions and financial aid for Yale, Jeremiah Quinlan, recently said “Standardised tests are imperfect and incomplete alone, but I also believe scores can help establish a student’s academic preparedness for college-level work, when used together with other elements in an application, especially a high school transcript, test scores help establish the academic foundation for any case we consider” [9].

Historically, Yale has enrolled students with a range of SAT and ACT scores. The middle 80% of ACT and SAT scores (the 10th to the 90th percentiles) of first-year students who enrolled in fall 2020 were as follows [10]:

ACT Composite: 31-36

SAT-Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 680-790

SAT-Math: 690-800

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs

Yale values intellectual curiosity and dedication. Students who have pursued the most challenging curriculums available to them, such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, will fulfil Yale’s testing requirement [11].

Extracurricular Activities

Yale University places a high value on extracurricular activities, viewing them as a vital component in the holistic admissions process. Engaging in extracurriculars demonstrates a student’s passion, leadership skills, and ability to contribute to the community [12]

Yale does not prioritise any single type of extracurricular activity but instead looks for students who show exceptional dedication and achievement in their chosen interests.

Why is it difficult to get into Yale?

The admissions criteria for Yale extend far beyond test scores and GPAs, including factors like leadership, community service, and unique talents. By employing a holistic admissions process, Yale ensures that applicants are evaluated based on their intellectual abilities and their potential to contribute to the campus and beyond. 

Every year, Yale receives applications from tens of thousands of students, each hoping to secure one of the few available spots. Yale University is known for its exceptionally low acceptance rate, with an acceptance rate of 4.5% for the class of 2027 [13]. Yale’s global appeal attracts a diverse and highly competitive pool of applicants, adding to the difficulty of gaining admission. They also consider those with legacy connections, although this could be reviewed in the future [14][15].

What subjects are hardest to get accepted into Yale for?

Yale is universally recognised for its rigorous admissions standards across all programs. However, some subjects stand out due to their particular popularity and the intensive resources they demand. 

Social Sciences and Biological and Biomedical Sciences are two of the university’s most sought-after majors. A breakdown of the ten most popular majors for Yale 2022 graduates can be seen below [16]:

MajorGraduate Percentage
Social Sciences26%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences11%
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services8%
Mathematics and Statistics8%
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies7%
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies5%
Visual and Performing Arts5%

How can Dukes Plus help your Yale application succeed?

At Dukes, we provide support for applications to various universities across the world, including Yale. Our programs offer personalised guidance, and strategic advice to strengthen your Yale application. 

We can support you to identify and showcase your unique strengths, align your application with Yale’s values, and effectively communicate your accomplishments and potential contributions to the admissions committee. For more information on how Dukes can assist with your Yale application, please visit our private US admissions consulting page. Alternatively, you can contact us here, and we can help you submit a winning application.


[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16]