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Complete List of Test-Optional Colleges and Universities

April 07, 2020
Written by Taylor

A Complete List of Test Optional Schools

You likely know that many colleges and universities throughout the United States require applicants to submit their scores from one of two major standardized tests: the SAT and the ACT. As of this writing, the majority of schools require a standardized test score.

However, not all colleges require the SAT or ACT as part of their application process. Instead, a sizable minority of schools are what we might call "test-optional," which means that while prospective students can submit standardized test scores as part of their application to these schools, their candidacy will receive full consideration even without these scores.

Below, you can find answers to some common questions about test-optional schools, as well as a complete list of schools that do not require any standardized tests.

What's the Catch? Does Test-Optional Really Mean Optional?

We get this question all the time. Do colleges actually mean it when they say that they're test-optional, or would they secretly prefer that applicants submit their test scores after all? Are you at a disadvantage if you don't submit your scores?

The answer: test-optional means test-optional, truly. As Whitney Soule, Dean of Admissions at Bowdoin, told Inside Higher Ed, she and other admissions officers at the test-optional liberal arts college "don't wonder what's missing" in an application without test scores because the rest of the application provides plenty of information.

So, if you do not feel that your scores offer a fair reflection of your abilities, don't submit them to test-optional schools—and don't worry that you're making a mistake by not doing so!

Why Are Some Schools Test-Optional and Others Aren't?

That is something of a complicated question! For many years, American universities used two factors to select applicants: class rank and SAT scores (or ACT scores in the Midwest). Those two numbers determined who went where. Now, of course, colleges review applications much more holistically. They look at your grades and scores, but they also want to know about your extracurricular activities, your community service, your essays, and more.

During that transition, some colleges opted to keep standardized tests as part of their holistic review process. These colleges feel that the score, while not all-determining, provides them useful information. However, other schools found that test scores were not a good predictor of student success at the undergraduate level. As a result, they dropped the requirement.

There's a lot more that can be said about the pros and cons of standardized testing, but at the end of the day, it's only one factor in an application. And for a growing number of schools, it's not a factor they think is important to a student's overall success.

Okay, So Which Schools Are Test-Optional?

Great question! Below, you can find a complete list of test-optional schools in the United States. Regular applicants can apply to these schools without taking a single standardized test.

Be aware, however, that there can be exceptions to test-optional policies. If you are an international student with a first language other than English, a homeschooled student, or another type of nontraditional applicant, some of these schools may still ask you to submit certain standardized tests. Be sure to read the policies at your schools carefully if you fall into any of these categories.

Additionally, note that this list does not include schools that will be test-optional only for the upcoming application cycle, as a result of the spread of COVID-19. You can check this page for a complete and up-to-date list of those schools.


A Complete List of Test-Optional Colleges and Universities (as of April 7, 2020)

  • Agnes Scott College
  • Albertus Magnus College
  • Allegheny College
  • American University
  • Assumption College
  • Ball State University
  • Bard College
  • Bates College
  • Bellarmine University
  • Beloit College
  • Bennington College
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Birmingham-Southern College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Bryant University
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Bucknell University
  • California College of the Arts
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Cazenovia College
  • Chapman University
  • Clark University
  • Colby College
  • Colby-Sawyer College
  • College of Our Lady of the Elms
  • College of Saint Rose
  • College of the Atlantic
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • College of Wooster
  • Colorado College
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Concordia College-New York
  • Connecticut College
  • Cornell College
  • Creighton University
  • CUNY-Medgar Evers College
  • CUNY-New York City College of Technology
  • CUNY-York College
  • Curry College
  • Davidson College
  • Dean College
  • Denison University
  • DePaul University
  • Dickinson College
  • Drew University
  • Earlham College
  • Eastern University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Emerson College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Endicott College
  • Fairfield University
  • Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Flagler College
  • Franklin and Marshall College
  • Furman University
  • George Washington University
  • Gettysburg College
  • Goucher College
  • Guilford College
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Hanover College
  • Hartwick College
  • High Point University
  • Hilbert College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Hofstra University
  • Hood College
  • Houghton College
  • Immaculata University
  • Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Ithaca College
  • James Madison University
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Juniata College
  • Kalamazoo College
  • Keystone College
  • King's College
  • Knox College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Lasell College
  • Lawrence University
  • Le Moyne College
  • Lebanon Valley College
  • Lewis and Clark College
  • Loyola University Maryland
  • Lynn University
  • Manhattanville College
  • Marist College
  • Marlboro College
  • Marquette University
  • Maryville University of St. Louis
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • McDaniel College
  • Mercyhurst University
  • Merrimack College
  • Mills College
  • Mitchell College
  • Monroe College
  • Montclair State University
  • Mount Aloysius College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Muhlenberg College
  • Nazareth College
  • New England College
  • New England Institute of Technology
  • New School
  • Niagara University
  • Norwich University
  • Notre Dame of Maryland University
  • Oregon State University
  • Otis College of Art and Design
  • Pace University
  • Paul Smith's College
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Pitzer College
  • Post University
  • Presbyterian College
  • Providence College
  • Purchase College-SUNY
  • Queens University of Charlotte
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Rhodes College
  • Rider University
  • Ripon College
  • Roger Williams University
  • Rollins College
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Saint Joseph's University
  • Saint Mary's College
  • Salem College
  • Salve Regina University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Scripps College
  • Siena College
  • Skidmore College
  • Smith College
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Southwestern University
  • Springfield College
  • St. Anselm College
  • St. Bonaventure University
  • St. John's College
  • St. John's College
  • St. Joseph's College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • St. Michael's College
  • Stetson University
  • Stockton University
  • Stonehill College
  • Suffolk University
  • SUNY College-Potsdam
  • Susquehanna University
  • Temple University
  • The Catholic University of America
  • The Sage Colleges
  • The University of the South
  • Thomas College
  • Transylvania University
  • Trinity College
  • Trinity University
  • Tufts University
  • Union College
  • Unity College
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Denver
  • University of Hartford
  • University of Maine-Augusta
  • University of Maine-Farmington
  • University of Maine-Fort Kent
  • University of Maine-Presque Isle
  • University of Massachusetts-Boston
  • University of Massachusetts-Lowell
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Puget Sound
  • University of Redlands
  • University of Rochester
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of St. Thomas
  • Ursinus College
  • Wagner College
  • Wake Forest University
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Washington and Jefferson College
  • Wells College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Western Connecticut State University
  • Western New England University
  • Wheaton College
  • Whitman College
  • Willamette University
  • Wofford College
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Worcester State University
  • Xavier University

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