Does applying to college feel like you're trying to walk through a door, but don't yet have the keys? To gain access, first you need to understand exactly what your colleges require. This can be tricky with the SAT Subject Tests, as colleges have several different policies.
We've compiled a comprehensive list of colleges that require SAT Subject Tests, along with others that recommend or consider them as part of your application. As policies are continually changing, always double check with the school about their standardized testing requirements. Let us know in the comments if we need to make any updates!
Because our list is comprehensive and definitive, this page is pretty long. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to read our tips on which SAT Subject Tests you should take and other strategies.
Colleges That Require SAT Subject Tests
This chart shows the standardized testing policies for the 2015 year. We've marked four policies towards the Subject Tests: required, recommended, considered, and alternative.
- Required means you have to take the SAT Subject Tests. In a few cases, as you'll see, colleges will accept the ACT in lieu of the Subject Tests. Some colleges require one subject test, while the more competitive, selective colleges require two.
- Recommended is a little vague, as it leaves the decision up to you whether or not to send your scores. If you can achieve high scores or want to make up for a low SAT score, then it's a good idea. If your scores are low and will look like an outlier on your application, you might be better served not sending them. In most of these cases, though, colleges will likely appreciate that you took on the extra challenge and can demonstrate subject mastery.
- Considered means that the colleges do not necessarily expect your SAT Subject Test scores, but they will factor them in if you decide to send them. If you have a real interest in a particular subject or it's connected to your future academic and/or professional goals, then it may enhance your application to send a (strong) Subject Test score.
- Alternative means that colleges have unique policies that may be test flexible. For more on this, check out the full list of test optional and test flexible schools here.
Furthermore, some schools accept the ACT + Writing in lieu of the SAT and Subject Tests. In other words, you can submit the SAT + 2 Subject Tests or the ACT + Writing. We've indicated that in the 3rd column below.
We've sorted the list alphabetically for your convenience. Find all your schools of interest, and scroll down to the end to read our tips on SAT Subject Tests.
|College||Category||ACT in Lieu of SAT and Subject Tests?||Policy|
|Amherst College||Considered||Applicants who wish to submit Subject Test results may do so for consideration as part of the application evaluation process.|
|Barnard College||Considered||Subject tests are not required, but will be considered if submitted.|
|Boston College||Considered||SAT II Subject Tests are optional. If you would like to highlight a talent in a specific area, you are welcome to submit SAT Subject Tests for consideration with your application. Subject Tests, particularly in foreign languages and the sciences, may be used for placement during the first year.|
|Boston University||Considered [Req for Special Programs]||Accelerated medical and dental programs require Subject Tests in Chemistry and Math 2. A Subject Test in a foreign language is also recommended for these programs.|
|Bowdoin College||Considered (2 required for students who were homeschooled or attended high schools with no grades)||Test Optional. SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests are all optional, but will be considered if submitted. Applicants for whom subject tests are required should take Math Level I or II and a science.|
|Brown University||Required (2)||Yes||SAT + 2 SAT Subject Tests Required, OR ACT with Writing
Liberal Medical Education Applicants should submit at least 1 science Subject Test
|Bucknell University||Considered||Students may submit their SAT Subject Test scores as supplemental information to their application. Bucknell does recommend the test in foreign language for any student planning to enroll in foreign language coursework.|
|California Institute of Technology||Required (2)||Requires Specific Tests: SAT Subject Test Math Level 2, and one SAT Subject Test in Biology (Ecological), Biology (Molecular), Chemistry, or Physics.|
|Carleton College||Considered||Applicants may submit the results of their SAT subject tests. We have found these tests valuable aids in the assessment of the quality of student achievement in a wide variety of secondary school programs. It has been our experience that SAT subject test results usually enhance a candidate's credentials and only rarely constitute a negative factor.|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Required [Some exceptions] (2)||2 SAT Subject Tests are Required, in addition to the SAT/ACT, except for the College of Fine Arts.|
|Case Western Reserve University||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|Claremont McKenna||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted. Homeschooled students are required to submit 2 SAT Subject Tests, one of which must be math.|
|Colby College||Alternative||3 SAT Subject Tests can be substituted in place of either the SAT or ACT.|
|College of the Holy Cross||Considered||Test Optional. SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests are all optional, but will be considered if submitted.|
|Colorado College||Alternative||3 SAT Subject Tests can be substituted in place of either the SAT or ACT. The tests must include one quantitative, one writing/verbal, and a third of your choice.|
|Columbia University||Considered||The SAT Subject Test scores are not required, but Columbia will accept scores from the exams if you choose to submit them. You will not be at a disadvantage should you choose not to take the tests or submit the scores to Columbia.|
|Connecticut College||Considered||Test Optional. SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests are all optional, but will be considered if submitted.|
|Cooper Union||Required [Engineering Only] (2)||All Engineering applicants must submit two SAT II subject test scores. One must be in Math (Level 1 or 2) and the other must be in either Physics or Chemistry. Architecture and Art applicants are not required to submit SAT II scores.|
|Cornell University||Required [Most Programs]||0, 1, or 2 Subject Tests depending on the college.|
|Dartmouth College||Recommended||We recommend that you submit 2 SAT Subject Test scores to help us better understand your academic strengths. We encourage you take tests in the two subjects you like the most. If you submit more than two subject test scores, we will look at your two best scores. Alternately, if you do not submit subject test scores, it will not prevent your candidacy from receiving a full review by the Admissions Committee.|
|Davidson College||Considered||If applicants have taken SAT Subject Tests, Davidson welcomes but does not require those scores.|
|Duke University||Recommended||Yes||Two subject tests strongly recommended.|
|Emory University||Recommended (3 required for homeschooled applicants)||SAT II subject exams are encouraged, but not required. Students are encouraged to submit SAT subject exam scores for academics areas of strength and/or interest. Since these exams are not required, students have the choice of which subject exams they want to report. Do note that we request home-schooled applicants submit scores from three SAT II subject exams.|
|Franklin Olin College of Engineering||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|George Washington University||Considered [Req Special Programs] (2)||2 SAT Subject Tests are required in science and mathematics for the Seven Year BA/MD program. The Honors Program recommends 2 Subject Tests.|
|Georgetown University||Recommended [Strongly] (3)||Strongly Recommended: 3 SAT Subject Tests. Breadth of subjects recommended. Foreign language and subjects of interest to the student are recommended.|
|Hamilton College||Alternative||3 SAT Subject Tests can be substituted in place of either the SAT or ACT. One must be a verbal or writing/essay test, one must be a quantitative test, and the third is your choice.|
|Harvard College||Required ["Normally"] (2)||2 SAT Subject Tests are Required, in addition to the SAT/ACT, except in special circumstances:
"While we normally require two SAT Subject Tests, you may apply without them if the cost of taking the tests represents a financial hardship or if you prefer to have your application considered without them...If your first language is not English, a Subject Test in your first language may be less helpful."
|Harvey Mudd College||Required (2)||Two SAT Subject Tests are required. One must be in Math Level 2; the other can be in any subject the student chooses.|
|Ithaca College||Considered||Test Optional. SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests are all optional, but will be considered if submitted.|
|Johns Hopkins University||Considered||
Applicants may also choose to submit SAT Subject Tests in one or more areas of interest as a way to demonstrate an academic strength. We will consider the two highest Subject Test scores when reviewing applications, but your application will not be negatively affected if you choose not to submit Subject Test scores.
|Lafayette College||Recommended||Subject Tests are recommended to strengthen your application.|
|Lehigh University||Recommended||SAT Subject Tests are not required for admissions, but are recommended as college credit may be awarded for scores of 700 or higher.|
|Macalester College||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Required (2)||2 SAT Subject Tests are Required, in addition to the SAT/ACT.
Specific tests required: Math (Level 1 or Level 2) and a science. "We do not have a preference as to which" science and math that you choose.
|McGill University||Required [Most Programs] (2)||Yes||SAT + 2 SAT Subject Tests Required for Most Programs, OR ACT with Writing|
|Middlebury College||Alternative||3 SAT Subject Tests can be substituted in place of either the SAT or ACT.|
|Mills College||Considered||A student's overall record may be enhanced by the presentation of SAT Subject Tests.|
|New York University||Alternative||Test requirements satisfied by fulfilling one of the following:
Students who choose to submit three SAT Subject Tests, AP or IB scores must submit one in literature or the humanities, one in math or science, and one of the student's choice.
|Northwestern University||Recommended [Req for Special Programs]||The Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME) and the Integrated Science Program (ISP) REQUIRE specific Subject Tests. Homeschooled students must take Math Level 1 or 2 and 2 additional Subject Tests in different subject areas.|
|Oberlin College||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|Occidental College||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|Pomona College||Considered (4 required for homeschooled applicants)||SAT Subject Test scores are optional. In addition to the SAT or ACT test results, homeschooled students must submit scores from four SAT Subject Tests or a combination of four SAT Subject Tests and AP or IB Higher Level examination results in a variety of fields.|
|Pratt Institute||Considered [Req Architecture]||Bachelor of Architecture applicants are recommended to take the Math Level 1 or Level 2 Subject Test.|
|Princeton University||Recommended (2)||
We recommend, but do not require, that you take two SAT Subject Tests.
We recommend, but do not require, that applicants who intend to pursue a B.S.E. degree take one SAT Subject Test in either physics or chemistry and one SAT Subject Test in mathematics (Level I or II).
|Reed College||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Considered [Req for Special Programs]||Yes||Applicants to the accelerated program must submit 2 SAT Subject Tests (1 math and 1 science)|
|Rice University||Required (2)||Yes||Two SAT Subject Tests in fields related to proposed area of study are required.|
Stanford requires just one exam—either the SAT with Essay or the ACT with Writing. All other exams are optional. Because additional scores can assist us in our evaluation process, we welcome the self-reporting of these results in your application.
|Stevens Institute of Technology||Considered [Req for Special Programs]||Subject Tests in Math (Level 1 or 2) and either Chemistry or Biology are required for the Accelerated Medical Program.|
Subject Tests are not required for admission, but will be considered if submitted. Prospective engineers are encouraged to submit the Math 2 Subject Test.
|Tufts University||Required (2)||Yes||SAT + 2 SAT Subject Tests Required, OR ACT with Writing
Engineering applicants submitting Subject Tests are advised to take math and either physics or chemistry. Students considering a major in mathematics or the sciences are advised to take math and a science test.
|Union College||Considered [Req for Special Programs]||Yes||Test Optional. Students applying to the Leadership in Medicine program are required to submit 1 math and 1 science Subject Test along with the SAT. Alternatively, applicants can submit the ACT in lieu of both SAT and Subject Tests.|
|University of California, Berkeley||Recommended [Some Programs]||College of Chemisty and College of Engineering recommend Math Level 2 and a science related to the applicants intended major.|
|University of California, Davis||Considered||Required: SAT or ACT (Writing optional)
Considered: SAT Subject Tests considered if submitted
|University of California, Irvine||Recommended [Some Programs]||School of Engineering, Department of Pharmaceuitical Sciences, School of Physical Sciences, and Program in Public Health all have specific Subject Test recommendations.|
|University of California, Los Angeles||Recommended [Some Programs]||School of Engineering and Applied Sciences recommends Math Level 2 and a science test related to the applicant's intended major.|
|University of California, Merced||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|University of California, Riverside||Recommended [Some Programs]||College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and College of Engineering recommend Math Level 2 and either Chemistry or Physics.|
|University of California, San Diego||Recommended for Some Programs||Biological or physical science applicants and applicants to the School of Engineering should take Math Level 2 and a science Subject Test related to the applicant's intended major.|
|University of California, Santa Barbara||Recommended [Some Programs]||Math Level 2 is recommended for College of Engineering applicants and College of Creative Studies applicants in math, physics, or computer science. In addition, physics, biology, chemistry, and biochemistry majors are recommended to take the appropriate science Subject Test.|
|University of California, Santa Cruz||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|University of Chicago||Considered||If you have done exceptionally well on a particular subject test and would like to show us, feel free to send us that score.|
|University of Georgia||Recommended||Subject Tests are recommended to strengthen your application.|
|University of Miami||Considered [Req for Special Programs]||Honors Program in Medicine and Honors Program in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology require minimum scores of 600 on a math Subject Test and on a science Subject Test.|
|University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill||Considered||You may submit supplemental scores from AP, IB or SAT Subject tests if you think they are a good reflection of your mastery of the material.|
|University of Notre Dame||Considered||SAT Subject Tests, AP, and IB tests are only used in the application process if scores enhance an application.|
|University of Pennsylvania||Considered||
SAT Subject Tests are recommended but not required. Applicants who do not take SAT Subject Tests will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process.
Penn recommends any two subject tests to Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences applicants; Math Level II and a science test (preferably physics for Engineering students) to STEM applicants; and Math Level II to Business applicants.
|University of Rochester||Alternative||2 SAT Subject Tests can be substituted in place of either the SAT or ACT.|
|University of Southern California||Optional (required for homeschooled students)||
We require SAT Subject tests only from first-year applicants who do not attend a regionally accredited high school (such as home school, some non-accredited parochial or community based programs, even some newer schools). These students must submit three SAT Subject exams, including one in mathematics, in addition to the SAT or ACT. For all other applicants, these exams are optional.
|University of Virginia||Optional||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|Vanderbilt University||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|Vassar College||Considered||SAT Subject Tests are not required, and students opting not to send Subject Tests will not be penalized. However, SAT Subject Tests will be considered if submitted as part of a testing profile. Subject Tests may enhance an applicant’s credentials, particularly for applicants from non-traditional school backgrounds (homeschooled, non-graded schools, etc.). Note that a strong score on an SAT Subject Test is also one way to fulfill Vassar’s Foreign Language Proficiency requirement.|
|Wake Forest University||Considered|
|Washington and Lee University||Considered||Subject Tests are considered if submitted.|
|Washington University in St. Louis||Considered||We will only consider them if they strengthen your application.|
|Webb Institute||Required (2)||2 SAT Subject Tests are Required, in addition to the SAT/ACT.
Specific tests required: Math Level 1 or 2 and Chemistry or Physics.
|Wellesley College||Required (2)||Yes||SAT + 2 SAT Subject Tests Required, OR ACT with Writing
At least one quantitative Subject Tests strongly recommended to students pursuing math or sciences.
Note: All entering first-year students must submit ACT or SAT and two SAT Subject Test scores after the conclusion of the admission process and prior to matriculating at Wesleyan.
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||Considered|
|Yale University||Considered||SAT Subject Tests are recommended but not required. Applicants who do not take SAT Subject Tests will not be disadvantaged in the application process. We will consider your application on the basis of the other testing, and all the other information, that we receive with your application. You may wish to consider whether there are particular areas of academic strength you would like to demonstrate to the Admissions Committee. Subject Tests can be one way to convey that strength.
Other Schools that Require or Recommend SAT Subject Tests
College Board also suggests that the following additional schools use SAT Subject Tests when they determine admission. If you're interested in any of these schools, look up their website or give them a call to find out if they're schools that require SAT Subject Tests or simply consider them for admission.
|Alfred University||Columbus State University||Hanover College||New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University||St. Joseph's University||University of Puerto Rico|
|American University||Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago||Henderson State||North Carolina State University||St. Thomas Aquinas College||University of Richmond|
|Art Institute of Southern California||Darton College||Hillsdale College||Ohio Wesleyan University||State University of New York: Purchase||University of San Diego|
|Atlantic Union College||Deep Springs College||Hiram College||Oklahoma City University||Susquehanna University||University of Texas|
|Augusta State University||DeKalb Technical College||Hollins University||Old Dominion University||Sweet Briar College||University of Washington|
|Ball State University||DePaul University||Hood College||Pepperdine University||Texas A&M University||Ursinus College|
|Baltimore City Community College||Dickinson College||Indiana University||Pitzer College||Texas Christian University||Valley Forge Christian College|
|Baptist College of Florida||Drew University||Irvine Valley College||Point Loma Nazarene University||Texas Tech University||Villa Julie College|
|Brandeis University||Duquesne University||Jarvis Christian College||Polytechnic University: Long Island Campus||The College of New Jersey||Villanova University|
|Bryn Mawr College||Eckerd College||Jewish Theological Seminary of America||Pontifical College Josephinum||Thiel College||Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University|
|California State Polytechnic University Pomona||Fairfield University||Johnson C. Smith University||Portland State University||Tulane University||Wagner College|
|California University of Pennsylvania||Fairleigh Dickinson University: College at Florham||Knox College||Providence College||University of Evansville||Washington and Jefferson College|
|Catholic University of America||Fordham University||LaGrange College||Queen of the Holy Rosary College||University of Florida||Wheaton College|
|Centre College||Fort Valley State University||Lynchburg College||Queens College, City University of New York||University of Houston||Whitman College|
|Chapman University||Francis Marion University||Marquette University||Regis College||University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign||Widener University|
|Charleston Southern University||Georgetown University||Massasoit Community College||Restaurant School||University of Kansas||Youngstown State University|
|Cheyney University of Pennsylvania||Gordon College||McDaniel College||Rollins College||University of Maine|
|City University of New York: Brooklyn College||Goshen College||Miami University||Salem State College||University of Mary Washington|
|Clarkson University||Goucher College||Middle Georgia College||Silver Lake College||University of Minnesota: Minneapolis|
|Coastal Georgia Community College||Guilford College||Molloy College||Simmons College||University of Missouri: Kansas City|
|Colgate University||Hampden-Sydney College||Morehouse College||Skidmore College||University of Mobile|
|The College of New Jersey||Hampshire College||Morris College||Southwest Texas State University||University of Oregon|
|College of William and Mary||Hampton University||New Jersey Institute of Technology||Southwestern University||University of Puerto Rico: Bayamon Technologica|
You'll have to check with the individual schools to see if they have a preference for exactly which subject tests you take. Some engineering and technical schools, for example, prefer that you take math and science Subject Tests. MIT and Caltech require one math and one science - CalTech will only accept Math Level 2.
Selective liberals arts schools tend to prefer a wide range of academic strengths and interests, so your best bet might be pairing a Subject Test in the humanities, like Literature or History, with one in math or science. Scoring high on a language test is also a valuable asset to add to your application, as colleges appreciate students with language skills and global competencies as they build their multicultural student body.
Now that you have a sense of the SAT Subject Test requirements, what are your next steps?
SAT Subject Tests: Final Thoughts
As with all parts of your application, make sure you're aware of all the requirements, recommendations, and best approaches. Especially since policies are becoming more and more flexible, always double check with your school of interest to make sure you understand what they want.
If you are applying to a test flexible school, you may be able to present your highest score through AP tests or the SAT Subject Tests. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, take some practice tests, and get a sense of where you will perform best.
SAT Subject Tests may seem daunting, but they're actually closely aligned with the exams you take in class. If you're particularly interested in studying the natural world, reading and analyzing literature, solving geometry, or communicating in another language, then they might present a great opportunity for you to highlight your strengths and your own unique passions and interests.
Another important consideration is when to take the Subject Tests, especially since you might also be taking the SAT, ACT, AP exams, and finals. This article tells you all the dates on which the various Subject Tests are offered and offers some advice on your most effective schedule.
Are you also taking the SAT? The SAT requires a lot of prep to score well, and first you have to figure out when to make time to prep in your busy schedule. Read all about when you should begin to study so you can maximize your scores.
Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:
Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.