Emma rose to prominence with her role as Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon television series Unfabulous. She subsequently released her debut album, which also served as the show's soundtrack, Unfabulous and More. After Unfabulous ended, Emma began her acting career when she was just 9 years old in the movie “Blow”.Roberts shifted focus to roles in films, first starring in the film Aquamarine and later as the title character in the 2007 film Nancy Drew. She started appearing on several television project, including American Horror Story and Scream Queens,
In September 2011, Roberts began attending Sarah Lawrence College but by January 2012, Roberts left school to concentrate on work commitments.
Roberts began dating actor Evan Peters in mid-2012. Roberts was arrested for domestic violence against Peters in Montreal, Quebec in July 2013. Someone at the couple's hotel overheard a dispute coming from their room and called police, who arrived to find Peters with a bloody nose and several bite marks. Roberts was released several hours after her arrest when Peters declined to press charges. In a joint statement, Roberts and Peters called it "an unfortunate incident and misunderstanding," and stated that they "are working together to move past it." Media reports on January 6, 2014 said they had become engaged over the holidays. In March 2019, it was reported that Roberts and Peters had split and an month later Roberts moved on with actor Garrett Hedlund.