Fall 2025 Admission Cycle Test-Optional FAQ

Rensselaer has renewed the test-optional admissions policy for another year. Any student who applies to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an undergraduate in the fall of 2025 will be able to choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores.

This continues to be a temporary suspension of our standardized testing requirement, and it will be re-evaluated for the fall 2026 application cycle. To help provide information during this uncertain time, we have provided the answers to frequently asked questions about our test optional policy below. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to us at admissions@rpi.edu or finaid@rpi.edu



How do I apply test-optional to Rensselaer?

On your application, a question reads, "Would you like Rensselaer to consider your ACT/SAT scores as a part of your application file?" Simply choose the appropriate dropdown option on the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Candidate’s Choice Application.

Please note: If you indicate on the application that you would like us to consider your test scores, your application will not be considered complete until we receive scores for you (either official or self-reported). If your circumstances change and you no longer wish for us to consider your scores, you must reach out to us at adm_updates@rpi.edu to have your file updated.

Is it possible to apply Early Decision or Early Action as test-optional?

Yes! Learn more about our various decision types and deadlines and choose which is best for you here.

Please note, that students applying to the Physician-Scientist Program (B.S./M.D.) are required to submit official SAT or ACT scores at the time of application.

I am applying to the Physician-Scientist (B.S./M.D.) Program. Do I need to submit test scores?

Yes, as per Albany Medical College, students applying to the Physician-Scientist Program (B.S./M.D.) are required to submit official SAT or ACT scores at the time of application.

Can I still be accepted without sending test scores? If so, will not sending test scores lower my chances of being admitted?

Applying “test-optional” means that you can be accepted without ultimately submitting test scores, and not submitting test scores does not lower your chances of admission at Rensselaer. Because applying test-optional is your choice, your application is your opportunity to shine the best light on yourself. For some students, this may mean including test scores. For others, this may mean choosing to not submit your scores. If you feel that your scores will strengthen your application, you should submit them.

Will there be a difference in the possibility of merit-based aid for students that apply with test scores vs. test optional?

There is no difference in the possibility of merit-based aid based on whether or not you submit standardized test scores; Rensselaer does not use test scores to determine student eligibility for merit aid.

If I take the SAT or ACT in the spring, can those exam scores be considered as part of my application?

Rensselaer will accept scores for any test taken prior to January 31, 2024. Tests taken after this deadline may not receive full consideration in the process. If you intend to take a test in January, please be sure to note that on your application, or email us at adm_updates@rpi.edu so we have that information in your file.

How will my application be evaluated if I choose not to submit standardized test scores?

Rensselaer reviews applications holistically. We will consider your transcript, extracurricular and leadership activities, recommendation letters, and essay.

What is your holistic review process like?

In our holistic review process, our goal is to ensure that you are evaluated as a whole student, instead of simply numbers on a page. To do this, we look at a number of factors, including your transcript and academic performance, your extracurricular and leadership involvement, your recommendation letter(s), your essay, your test scores (if you choose to submit them). For some majors, we may also require a creative portfolio.

Once I submit my application, can I change my mind as to whether I want you to consider my test scores?

On the application, you indicated whether or not you'd like us to consider your ACT/SAT scores as a part of your application file. If you'd like to change your answer to this question, please email adm_updates@rpi.edu.

Please note that depending on when you make your request, a change may not always be possible.