Test-Optional FAQ

The University of Cincinnati is proud to offer test-optional admission to students applying for the fall 2021 and fall 2022 terms. An SAT or ACT score will not be required for applicants who wish to be considered for these upcoming semesters.

We have prepared this page to address many common questions. However, if you have additional questions, we encourage you to reach out to your admissions counselor or contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@uc.edu with any questions regarding the application process. 

We recognize that changes to test availability and testing environments due to the COVID-19 pandemic leave many students with inequitable access to standardized tests. UC has chosen to make test scores optional for students applying to most programs for the fall 2021 and fall 2022 terms to ensure equitable opportunity for admission.

We have always taken a holistic approach to evaluating students for admission. Standardized test scores have historically only made up a small part of our decision process. In the absence of a test score, we will continue to look at all factors on your application holistically including the completion of a core curriculum that includes English, math, science, social studies, and various electives, grades earned, a student’s decision to take rigorous coursework such as AP, honors, or dual credit where it is offered, application essays, extracurricular activities, and other achievements. 

A complete list of required application materials can be found on our application information web page. View a full list of application requirements >>

Our goal when reviewing an application is to more fully understand who the applicant is, how likely they are to be academically successful in an Uptown campus program, and what attributes the student will bring to our campus community.  

Therefore, we do not have a formula for whether or not you should choose to have your test scores considered as part of the admissions process. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if the test score is an accurate and relevant representation of your academic strength and ability.

Please Note: Some academic programs still require submission of a test score. See question #4 for a complete list. 

Most programs at University of Cincinnati will consider students for admission with or without a standardized test score as part of their application.  

A test score is still required for the following programs:

Students who have been homeschooled and students who have attended a school with non-traditional evaluation methods where traditional alpha or numerical grades are not assigned will be required to submit an ACT or SAT score. 

International students will be required to provide proof of English ability, as outlined on the international admissions web page.

Students hoping to be considered for the following academic programs are required to submit a test score:

Students who apply test-optional by our Dec. 1 Early Action Deadline will be considered for scholarships.

Students will be able to tell us in their application whether they want their test score to be included or excluded from the admission review process. 

Although we encourage a student to consider their decision carefully before submitting their application, we will be able to accommodate changes to a student’s preference to have their test score included or excluded from the admission review process. More information about the exact steps a student will take to indicate they have changed their mind are coming soon.

If you indicate on your application that you do not want your test scores considered, your test scores will not be included as part of your admission review regardless of whether you send them to us from a testing agency. We are not able to review self-reported test scores for admission.

Test scores that will be considered for admission must be received on an official score report sent by either the ACT or College Board. Self-reported scores and scores from a student’s transcript will not be considered for admission.