Test Optional

Beginning with students who apply for fall 2020 admission, USF will no longer require students to submit standardized test scores when applying for undergraduate admission.

We're taking this step because we strongly believe it is the right thing to do. Caring for and appreciating the whole person ('cura personalis') is an essential part of our mission as a Jesuit institution. We know that you’re more than your test scores. Being test optional means we can better align our admission process with our institutional values.

It's up to you to show what you feel is the most accurate view of your academic ability. If you feel that your test scores represent your accomplishments and potential, feel free to submit them. If they don't, you can choose to leave them out of your application, and our admission team will never see them.

You will not be penalized if you don’t submit your scores, and you will be considered for admission and merit scholarships just the same as students who do submit scores. When you fill out USF’s application on the Common App, you will see a question that asks if you’d like to have your test scores considered for admission and scholarship purposes. Here, you’ll have the choice to select yes or no. Please note that if you choose not to submit standardized test scores, our admission team will place more weight on your short answer question.

One important note: If you are admitted to USF and decide to attend, you'll still need to provide your ACT or SAT scores so we can help you build an appropriate first-year schedule.


Who can apply test optional?

Students applying for undergraduate admission to USF may choose to omit their standardized test scores.

  • International students must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting an official TOEFL or IELTS score, or by meeting one of the waiver requirements listed on our English Language Proficiency page.
  • Student-athletes who have been recruited to play in one of USF’s Division I programs are required to submit official ACT or SAT scores as per the NCAA eligibility rules.

If I choose to apply test optional and then later decide I want to include my test scores, can I change my mind?

Once you submit your application to the University of San Francisco, we are unable to accommodate changes to your application, including your choice to include or exclude your test scores in your application. When you submit your application, make sure it's your final choice. We won't be able to see your test scores later if you change your mind.

Will applying test optional impact my scholarship?

No. You will still be eligible for merit-based scholarships, and your application will be considered on the same grounds as students who do submit test scores. You will not be penalized if you choose to omit your test scores from your application.

Should I apply test optional?

If you feel that your test scores are an accurate portrayal of your academic ability, feel free to include your test scores in your application. If you feel that your academic ability is better demonstrated with your academic history in high school than with your test scores, you can consider applying test optional. We also recommend looking at our fall 2019 student profile for guidance on whether to submit test scores.

My scores were automatically sent. Can I still apply test optional?

Yes. When you submit your Common Application to USF, there will be a space for you to indicate that you’d like to apply without submitting your test scores. Even if your testing agency or high school has submitted your test scores to USF, our admission team will not see your scores when they are reviewing your application.

If I choose to apply without submitting my test scores, how will my application be reviewed?

Our admission team will continue to consider your academic achievement, your unique talents, leadership and service activities, letters of recommendation, and any other information you choose to submit in your application.