How to Get Into Tulane: All You Need to Know

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Tulane University Tilton Hall

Tulane University offers classic southern charm and intellectual rigor with the unique cultural landscape that only New Orleans can offer. A strong school spirit and a singular sense of place pervade the campus at this mid-sized, private research university in New Orleans, Louisiana.  

How to Get Into Tulane: Table of Contents 

  1. When to Apply to Tulane
  2. How Hard Is It to Get Into Tulane: Early Prep
  3. How Do You Actually Get Into Tulane: The Application
  4. Class Profile
  5. What Makes Tulane Unique?

When to Apply to Tulane

Tulane has a few different deadlines for its different application types. Overall, it has a traditional application deadline timeline.

Tulane Deadlines 

Tulane University has four different application types, each with a different deadline: Early Decision, Early Action, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision. They do not offer rolling admission. Below are the different application types with their respective deadlines:

Early Decision:  Application due on November 1; decisions released by December 15

Early Action: Application due on November 15; decisions released by January 15

Early Decision II: Application due January 13; decisions released by January 31

Regular Decision: Application due February 1; decisions released by April 1

Early, Rolling, and Regular Decision 

Early Decision is an early application with a binding agreement. This means you can only apply to one university Early Decision. If you are admitted to Tulane Early Decision, you agree to withdraw any other active applications and enroll at Tulane.

Early Decision II is the same binding agreement as Early Decision. The main difference is that the application deadline is later. As listed above, Tulane’s Early Decision application deadline is November 1, but Tulane’s Early Decision II application deadline is January 13.

Meanwhile, Early Action is an early application type that is non-binding. This means you can apply to multiple places Early Action as long as they are not Restrictive Early Action (REA) or Single Choice Early Action (SCEA). Tulane is not Restrictive or Single Choice Early Action, so there is no restriction on applying to other universities if you apply early to Tulane. Early Action gives applicants the chance to show their interest in Tulane early and receive their admission results early. It is a good option for students with strong grades throughout high school who feel their profile is competitive without initially submitting their first semester senior grades as part of their application. Because it is non-binding, Early Action applicants are not required to enroll and attend if they are admitted.

Regular Decision is a standard application type with a deadline typically between mid-December and mid-January. Tulane’s Regular Decision deadline, as listed above, is later than most, on February 1. Regular Decision is a non-binding application type. Students receive their admission decisions by April 1.

Finally, rolling admission is when applications are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing, rolling basis. Tulane does not offer rolling admission.

Learn more about early, rolling, and regular application options.

Waitlisted Applications 

Students who apply to Tulane Regular Decision or who are considered in the Regular Decision round after a deferral may get waitlisted. The waitlist is just one of the possible admissions decisions applicants can receive — being waitlisted is neither an admission or a rejection, but rather a “maybe.”

Students may choose to accept or deny a waitlist offer. If you accept your spot on the Tulane waitlist, you may be given the opportunity to enroll if space becomes available. That said, students should not assume they will get off the waitlist and should commit to another college where they were admitted and could see themselves attending.


Students may receive a deferral notification after applying to Tulane Early Decision, Early Decision II, or Early Action. If you are deferred, your application will be reconsidered during the Regular Decision round. It can be hard to know what to do if you have been deferred — Tulane has specific instructions for applicants who receive a deferral notification.

Tulane asks deferred students to fill out a continued interest form, which replaces any letter of continued interest you would otherwise write and submit. Pay close attention to communications from Tulane about submitting or not submitting any additional materials or updates. According to a recent Tulane admissions blog post, Tulane recommends sending them important academic updates but refraining from sending admissions counselors weekly updates. They do not recommend visiting campus to show demonstrated interest, either.

How Hard Is It to Get Into Tulane: Early Prep 

Tulane is considered a highly-selective institution with an admission rate of 13% for the class of 2027. This means that to have a chance of gaining admission to Tulane, you should consider preparing your application early.

Preparing your application isn’t just about preparing admission essays and achieving high standardized test scores. It’s also about being strategic in your application process, since Tulane college admissions uses the holistic review process that considers many aspects of an applicant beyond academic strengths. One way to be strategic is by building your profile and finding a “pointy” angle — that is, a specific talent or passion — to frame your candidacy in terms of academics and extracurriculars. Read on to learn more about this important and early strategic process.

Build Your Profile 

Admissions officers at Tulane review each application holistically. So, what does Tulane look for? Tulane is looking for engaged, academically strong students from all walks of life who are ready to build a home for themselves in the vibrant city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Like other highly-selective American institutions, Tulane is looking for specialized students who have a strong narrative of both academic and extracurricular interests and passions. Admissions officers look for students who will be positive and impactful additions to the campus community.

Visit the Campus and a Class 

Visiting campus is the singular most effective way to get to know a college or university. Tulane offers campus tours, which start with a 30-minute information session hosted by an admissions officer, followed by a student-led tour that lasts approximately 90 minutes. Prospective students can also participate in Campus Preview Days in the fall and spring. Tulane does not currently offer class visits.

Connect With a Student 

Speaking to a current student is one of the best ways for prospective students to learn more about the university. Students tend to give the most transparent and unfiltered assessments of their schools and of their experiences at those schools.

Tulane has several opportunities for you to meet and interact with current students while visiting campus. In addition to the student-led campus tours, Campus Preview Days in the fall and spring include student panels. During the summer, Tulane offers Application Launch Events where students can get tailored information about every aspect of the college application process.

Learn About Any Student Experiences 

Prospective students can learn about student experiences by visiting campus or speaking to current students. If you are interested in connecting with a student in a particular major or from your high school, it’s likely that your admissions officer from Tulane can help facilitate that. You can use Tulane’s Meet Us page to find the admissions officer for your region and reach out about potential connections. Hearing firsthand about student experiences is one of the best ways to learn more about a school and find out if the school is a good fit for you.

How Do You Actually Get Into Tulane: The Application

So, you might be asking yourself an important question: what do I need to do to improve my chances of admission? Tulane University’s application is similar to most American college applications. Tulane requires first-year students to apply through the Common Application. Once Tulane receives the application, prospective students are granted access to the Green Wave Portal to monitor their application status.

Along with their application, students must submit their academic records, including their transcript and a school report. Tulane’s curricular requirements are:

  • Four years of English with intensive practice in reading and writing
  • Four years of a laboratory science
  • Four years of math
  • Four years of social studies with a focus on history
  • Four years of a foreign language — classical, modern, or American Sign Language

These requirements may vary for international applicants.

In addition to the application and the academic information, a student’s application should include a counselor recommendation. Finally, students may choose whether to submit standardized test scores for the application.

GPA Requirements 

Tulane does not have official GPA requirements for admission. However, it is helpful to consider the profile of their admitted students so you can have some idea of what Tulane looks for. For example, the average GPA for students enrolled in the class of 2027 is 3.7, so you stand a better chance of admission if you maintain a high GPA.

SAT and ACT Scores

Tulane currently has a test-optional admissions policy for the high school class of 2024. However, students frequently opt to submit test scores anyway. After all, a great SAT or ACT score can often be the tiebreaker between you and another student with a similar academic profile.

As with GPA, it can be helpful to know the average SAT and ACT scores of the most recently admitted students. The class of 2027 has an average SAT score of 1448 and an average ACT score of 33. That said, most students who enrolled did not submit test scores, so choosing not to submit your scores won’t hurt your chances of gaining admission.

Personal Statement 

The personal statement is one of the most important qualitative or “soft” factors of the Common Application process. Students should get started on this early, at least in their junior year. It’s one of the best opportunities for students to introduce themselves to schools on the page, beyond the numbers. It’s an opportunity for students to showcase the strongest elements of their narrative, and to tie all the threads together to make their case for admissions.


Tulane’s undergraduate application requires you to respond to one of the Common App essay prompts. Additionally, students can submit an additional essay explaining their interest in Tulane.

Letters of Recommendation  

Tulane requires a counselor recommendation along with a school report — a teacher recommendation is not required. If they receive recommendation letters from teachers or anyone else, they will review and include them in that student’s file. However, they are completely optional. Submitting a teacher recommendation in your Tulane application, however, may help boost your chances of admissions, as it demonstrates interest and helps the school get an even better idea of who you are both inside and outside of the classroom.

Admission Interviews 

Although Tulane University offered admissions interviews briefly during earlier stages of the pandemic, the admissions office did not host interviews for the most recent application cycles. Prospective students should check with Tulane’s office of undergraduate admission for updates.

Demonstrated Interest 

Tulane really values student engagement during the college search, as this helps them to gauge an applicant’s interest. This can be anything from visiting the campus to attending local and/or virtual events. Many universities value demonstrated interest because it means applicants are more likely to attend if accepted. And Tulane is no exception! Accepting students that are more likely to enroll improves universities’ yield rates, which, in turn, improves their bond ratings. Tulane, in particular, wants to accept students that will actively engage in their community and will highlight this in their application.

Contribution to the Tulane Community 

Tulane is the first private research university to implement a public service graduation requirement for its students. This is a big deal — most universities espouse the importance of service but don’t require it of their students. This requirement really shapes the ethos of Tulane as a service-focused, community-driven educational environment.

The university’s Center for Public Service makes sure that public service is an integrated part of the curriculum, offering public service internships, Peace Corps prep, and service learning courses.

Class Profile 

We mentioned that Tulane is competitive. So, you may be wondering how many people apply to Tulane. The university received over 30,000 applications during the 2022-23 application cycle. Of these applicants, just over 4,000 were admitted. The class of 2027 is diverse, with students from 49 U.S. states and territories, and 36 countries.

Acceptance rate 13%
Class size 1,850+
Undergraduate majors 70+


What Makes Tulane Unique? 

Located across from New Orleans’ beautiful Audubon Park, Tulane’s singularity is obvious as soon as you step foot on campus. It’s a campus steeped in a strong sense of history and place. Founded in 1884 from what was originally the Medical College of Louisiana and then the University of Louisiana, Tulane has grown up along with the city of New Orleans, developing from a smaller, regional hub to an influential and international global hub for arts, education, and beyond.

Tulane isn’t too big, with a student population of about 7,000 undergraduates. That said, Tulane hosts more than 200 student organizations through which students make a significant impact on the campus community.

The university also boasts two museums: the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane and the Tulane Museum of Natural History. The Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane is located on campus and houses the world’s largest collection of Newcomb Arts and Crafts, objects created between the late 19th century and the mid-20th century at Newcomb College — the women’s college associated with Tulane’s College of Arts and Sciences until Tulane became coed in 1972.

The Tulane Museum of Natural History is located just outside of New Orleans in the town of Belle Chasse. The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane administers this museum, which houses an extensive collection of fossils and animal specimens.

If you’re considering whether Tulane is the right fit for you, ask yourself a few more questions.

  1. Do I feel passionately about public service?
  2. Am I excited to live in New Orleans?
  3. Am I an academically talented student who actively wants to to pursue community service?

If the answer to all three of these questions is yes, Tulane might be a good fit.

Admissions Counseling 

After reading and better understanding what it takes to gain admission to Tulane University, it’s easy to understand why families may be interested in hiring an admissions counselor.

Students who are serious about gaining admission to their top-choice school and who are ready to do the work should hire an admissions counselor. While students can manage this process on their own, working with an admissions counselor can streamline the process, taking out some of the anxiety and confusion and replacing it with guidance and reassurance. Students who are not ready to put time and effort into the process may not benefit from working with an admissions counselor.

Getting into Tulane is no easy task. Thankfully, IvyWise’s admissions experts can help you optimize your college admissions profile to increase your chances of gaining admission. Take the first step toward getting into your top-choice schools and schedule an Initial Consultation.


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