About Our Selection Process


We respect the time and energy you’ve invested in preparing your application to Rhodes, and we promise to review it carefully and thoroughly. Our goal is to admit students who will excel in our environment and enrich our community. It can be hard to know whether you fit that description or not, so we try to make it easy by telling you exactly what we look for when we read your application.

First off, it’s important to know that your file will be read a minimum of two times, and up to seven times. When we read your file we read all of it, regardless of how much supporting documentation you send us. Bear in mind, however, that time spent reading thirteen recommendation letters is time we can’t spend focusing on your achievements and your essay, which give us a much better idea of who you are.

Grades, Scores, and Class Rank

Numbers matter. Over half of our first-year class had a weighted GPA of 3.6 or higher and were ranked in the top 10 percent of their class. However, challenge and motivation are the key—we’d rather admit students who earned Bs in AP or honors classes than students who earned all As in easier classes. We also require incoming students to have taken 16 or more academic units in the following breakdown:

  • Four years of English
  • Two years of the same foreign language
  • Two years of a lab science (a third science is preferred, but doesn′t have to be a lab); Two years of history or social science
  • The course sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II or its equivalent


We want to admit students who will be successful here. Knowing that Rhodes students are very busy, we look for students who show that they can juggle a hectic schedule and maintain a high level of commitment. Whether you’ve taken many years of music lessons or participated in multiple levels of student government, sports or service clubs, your sustained interests highlight the talents and energy you can contribute to the Rhodes community.


The Common Application requires one counselor and one teacher recommendation from an instructor in an academic subject. To give us a better sense of you as a student, we often encourage students to submit two teacher recommendations - one from a teacher in math or science, and one in the humanities.


The essay is our look at you apart from all the numbers. It’s also the way that your admission counselor can remember the rest of your file, because essays are much more memorable than GPAs. Take your time writing the essay, making sure that it says something about you that we should know.

Demonstrated Interest

Come visit! It’s the best way to know whether Rhodes is a good fit for you. Remember that in this process, you have to choose a school as much as they choose you. We want to know that you’re interested at the same time that you want to know if you can see yourself here. If you’re unable to visit but want to learn more, you can always watch our Rhodes TV to get a better sense of student life at Rhodes. Additionally, if you want to show interest but can’t get to campus, you can always contact your admission counselor.

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