Tufts University USA Goes Test Options for SAT / ACT Reporting for Admissions


Dear Friends of Tufts,

I am writing my inaugural blog post to share an important update to our admissions policies here at Tufts. In light of the extraordinary circumstances — brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic — that students are confronting as they complete this academic year, and the interrupted access to standardized tests around the globe this Spring, as well as our commitment to an admissions process that serves students well, we are making an important change to our admissions requirements.

Test-Optional Policy

Tufts University is introducing a test-optional admissions policy for all undergraduate applicants for a 3-year period, beginning with applicants who apply for the Fall 2021 semester. Starting with our next admissions cycle, first-year and transfer applicants have a choice about whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores to be considered for undergraduate admission to Tufts.

At the end of the 3-year period, we will determine whether to reinstate a testing requirement for undergraduate applicants or to indefinitely extend the test-optional policy.

We believe this policy provides students with maximum flexibility in determining whether to sit for SAT or ACT exams and whether to submit SAT or ACT scores at the time of application to Tufts. If applicants would like us to consider their exam results as one component of their candidacy, we will do so in a nuanced and contextual way. If students choose not to submit exam results, we will evaluate their candidacy in a nuanced and contextual way without scores. Our holistic, committee-based approach to application review provides us with the flexibility to evaluate academic and extracurricular accomplishments within a student’s individual context.

We periodically revisit our admissions requirements to determine whether they continue to support our efforts to identify the very best and most compelling students for Tufts University. While the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on SAT and ACT testing opportunities contributed to the urgency of this policy, this decision aligns with our ongoing efforts to critically examine our policies, and to promote maximum access to a Tufts education to high-achieving students of all backgrounds and identities from across the country and around the world. 

Test Self-Reporting Policy

We will continue our self-reported testing policy that allows undergraduate applicants to submit unofficial test scores at no additional expense via their applicant portal. We will also continue to verify all submitted scores for students who eventually enroll.

English-language Proficiency Policy

Finally, we will continue to require the results of an English-language proficiency exam for undergraduate applicants for whom English is not their primary language and not the language of instruction in their school. This requirement can be completed via TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and Duolingo. Additional information about this requirement can be found here.

I hope our SAT and ACT test-optional policy provides a modicum of humanity, clarity, and control to those just embarking on their college search process at a moment in time when our world is facing unprecedented challenges. 

We look forward to reading your application next year, whether or not you submit scores.

All the best,

JT Duck

Dean of Admissions