Undergraduate Admission

Brown will maintain a test-optional policy for all first-year, transfer and Resumed Undergraduate Education applicants in the 2023-2024 admission cycle. The SAT or ACT, when submitted, will continue to be considered in the context of all the other information we have about a candidate. Standardized testing is informative and often helpful to our understanding of a student’s academic preparation, but has always been one among many components that we consider in our holistic admission process. 

If you submit a standardized test score as a part of your application, we will consider it as one among many factors in our holistic review process. We will also bear in mind that many students may not have had the opportunity to take the SAT or ACT more than once. We understand that not every prospective applicant has access to robust standardized testing preparation. Additionally, we recognize that students who attend under-resourced schools often do not have access to advanced level curricula. In every case, applicants are encouraged to submit all academic information that can demonstrate preparedness for Brown. 
In addition to considering Brown’s standardized testing profile, applicants should also consider their test scores in the context of their own high school. Students who have test scores that far exceed their school’s median but are nonetheless below ours may still be highly competitive in our admission process. Please note that there are no minimum or cutoff scores required to be considered for Brown; there is no formula for admission. When submitted, test scores will continue to be evaluated in the context of all the other information we have about a candidate, and as it always has, our review process will continue to focus on achievement in context and potential for success rather than perfection.

Since Brown is test optional for all applicants in the 2023-2024 admission cycle, test scores are not a required component of the application this year. If you would like to include test scores for review in your application and are applying Early Decision, testing must be completed by the last October test date to ensure receipt of scores. If you are applying Regular Decision, testing must be completed by the last December test date to ensure receipt of scores.

We will neither require nor expect any explanation of missing test scores. For students who do not submit scores, we will look to other components of the application to assess academic preparation.

In the Additional Information section of the Common Application, you will have the opportunity to share how you may have been affected by the pandemic and any other challenging events. This is a completely optional question, and any information you share will be used to help us better understand the context surrounding your experiences. The question reads as follows: “Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces. For more information, check out our COVID-19 FAQ. Please use this space to describe how these events have impacted you."

As with every aspect of the admission process, our test optional policy will be evaluated again before the 2024-2025 application cycle begins. As we continue to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic outcomes, both at the high school and college level, continued research and assessment is needed and will guide policy decisions in the coming years. We anticipate that the data we gather this year will help to provide clarity on these outcomes and inform our longer term testing policies.

Brown is test optional for all applicants this year. For international applicants, we continue to highly recommend the TOEFL if students are able to access these exams. We will also accept the Duolingo as a means of demonstrating English proficiency.

Brown is test optional for transfer applicants through the 2023-2024 admission cycle, meaning that test scores are not a required component of the transfer application this year. If you would like to include test scores for review in your application, testing must be completed by February for fall entry applicants or by September for spring entry applicants to ensure receipt of scores. You may use your Brown Applicant Portal to self-report test scores that were not included on your Common Application. Please see our website for more information about our standardized testing policies.  

Brown will continue to adhere to Ivy League policies regarding testing requirements for applicants who plan to participate in varsity athletics. Student-athletes with questions about these requirements should contact the Department of Athletics.