Test Optional


Test Optional Admission Policy

Policy on Test Optional Admission
University of Saint Joseph

Joining a growing number of colleges and universities across the nation, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) adopted a Test Optional Admission Policy, effective August 1, 2015.

This means that students do not have to submit SAT or ACT scores when applying for admission. Admission to USJ is based primarily on a student’s achievement in a strong high school curriculum, which has been found to be the best predictor of success at the University.

As a general guideline, students who choose not to submit their SAT/ACT scores with their application to USJ and expect to be admitted should present the following:

  • Completed application
  • Unweighted cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (this GPA includes only English, Foreign Language, Math, Natural Science and Social Studies courses)
  • College preparatory curriculum that results in 18 academic units over four high school years
  • Senior year course schedule that includes at least four academic courses resulting in four academic units
  • Solid essay
  • Strong teacher recommendation in one of the five core disciplines outlined above.

Presenting such an application will ensure that USJ’s Admissions staff has the ability to make a holistic decision on the student’s application. Interviews are also strongly recommended for students not submitting SAT/ACT scores, but are not required as part of the application process.

Exceptions to Test Optional

Certain exceptions to the Test Optional Admission Policy apply. Students applying to the following programs, scholarships, or with the following circumstances are required to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of the Admissions process:

  • The Honors Program
  • The Direct-entry Nursing Program
  • Pre-Nursing Program
  • The 3+3 Pharmacy Program
  • The Pre-Physician Assistant Program
  • Academic Merit Scholarship
  • Any students home schooled during high school
  • International students 

NoteAll admitted applicants will be required to submit their SAT or ACT test scores in late spring of the high school senior year in order to facilitate advising and course registration for fall semester.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are there any first-year applicants who must submit standardized test scores as part of the admission process? 

Yes. Applicants who wish to be considered for the Honors, direct-entry Nursing, Pre-Nursing, 3+3 Pharmacy, or pre-Physician Assistant Programs are required to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their admission applications. Applicants who wish to be considered for Academic Merit Scholarship or who have been home schooled during high school must also submit test scores.

What is an academic unit? 

An academic unit is considered a full-year academic course. The following subjects are considered to be academic courses:  English, Foreign Language, Math, Natural Science, and Social Studies.

    A one year course = 1 academic unit
    A one semester course = ½ academic unit
    Two one semester courses = 1 academic unit

If I submit my test scores, what should I submit? 

USJ wants your highest test scores. This means that we will consider only the highest Critical Reading and Math SAT scores or highest English, Reading, Math, Science, and Composite ACT scores submitted by the applicant, regardless of whether you achieved the individual highest scores on the same test date. Please consider all of your highest individual SAT or ACT results before choosing not to submit your scores.

If I want to, can I submit my test scores with my application material? 

Yes. Students who believe their SAT or ACT scores accurately represent their academic ability and potential and strengthen their overall application are encouraged to submit their standardized test scores as part of the admission process.

Should transfer students submit standardized test scores? 

No transfer student must submit standardized test scores for admission purposes.  However, transfer students with less than 24 college credits must submit SAT or ACT test scores to be used in the advising and course registration process prior to their first semester of enrollment.

Should international students submit test scores? 

Yes. If an international student chooses not to submit SAT or ACT scores, the applicant is required to submit either TOEFL or IELTS English Language test scores with their application. If an international student chooses to submit their SAT scores, TOEFL/IELTS scores are not required.