SAT and ACT Exams

Test Optional Announcement

Seattle University will now employ test-optional application review for all applicants starting with those applying for Fall Quarter 2021.

For more information, contact your Admissions Counselor.

Seattle University employs a holistic review of your application materials to determine admission. Part of that holistic review includes evaluation of student performance on the SAT or ACT exam, both of which are optional for all first-time in college applicants

If you choose to submit your test scores, Seattle University will use the highest sub-scores on both the ACT and SAT Reasoning test when making admission and scholarship decisions and in the advisement and course placement of first-time freshmen.

Since we use the highest separate scores from different test administrations (e.g., the highest evidenced-based reading and writing and the math scores from the SAT; the highest English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning sub-scores from the ACT) we strongly encourage students to provide Seattle University with all their results from all administrations of the ACT and or SAT.

  • Test scores must be received from first-time freshman applicants no later than November 15 for those applying for early action and no later than January 15 for those applying for regular admission consideration.
  • We will provisionally accept self-reported scores from the Common Application to complete applications, but students are required to send official scores if they choose to attend SU.

International students

Although it is not required for international students to submit the SAT or ACT, the Admissions Office strongly recommends international students take either exam and submit their scores. SAT or ACT scores are not required for international students to be eligible for merit scholarships.

Use of test scores

Your SAT and ACT scores are considered as a greater part of the Seattle University admissions review process. In addition, the scores can be helpful for us to understand future course placement or advising recommendations. Some majors have minimum test score requirements for direct entry. See “Direct Entry Admission” below for more information.

Should you feel your exam scores are not an accurate portrayal of your college readiness, you are not required to submit your scores. If you choose to do so, please use the “Additional Information” section of the Common Application to provide an explanation.

We also recommend you reach out to your Admissions Counselor if you have questions about your exam scores and your application to Seattle University.

The Redesigned SAT

In 2016, the College Board redesigned the SAT. Visit the College Board website to learn more about these changes and how they might impact you.

Prior to 2016, Seattle University evaluated applicants based on performance on three subsections of the SAT: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing (each subsection had possible score ranges of 200-800, for a total possible score out of 2400).

With the redesigned test, we will now evaluate student performance based on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section [EBRW] (score range 200-800) and the Math Section [M] (score range 200-800). Seattle University does not require students to submit scores from the optional essay portion of the exam.

In the previous SAT format used prior to March 2016, the middle 50% of 2015 first-year students at Seattle University were:

Old SAT SubsectionScore Range
Critical Reading 530 - 650
Math 530 - 630
Writing 530 - 630

(The ACT middle 50% composite score is 24 – 29).

Using the SAT Score Converter, those scores on the redesigned SAT become:

Redesigned SAT SubsectionScore Range
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 590 - 690
Math 560 - 650


Please note that the middle 50% represents the typical students who attend SU, but does not represent minimum qualifications for admission. 

Should you take the redesigned SAT more than once, we will consider your highest EBRW score and your highest Math score across each time you took the exam. Similarly, we will super-score pre-March 2016 exams, though we will not super-score old SAT exam scores with the newly redesigned scores. Seattle University also super-scores ACT exams. We highly recommend students submit scores from every test sitting.


All applicants are automatically considered for Seattle University merit scholarships. For first-year applicants, scholarships are determined based on a combination of cumulative high school GPA, test scores, and course rigor.

The Admissions Office will use the student’s highest test scores (per super-score policy written above) to determine the student’s merit award.

For an estimation of your merit scholarship eligibility, visit SU’s Net-Price Calculator. Please note this tool is based on the old SAT score model; you will need to convert redesigned SAT scores for a more accurate merit scholarship estimation. 

Test Scores of Incoming Freshmen

Average SAT Score
Average ACT Score

Direct Entry Admission

Seattle University offers Direct Entry for students who have selected a major at the time of application. For instance, if a student indicates "Nursing" on the Common Application, that student will be considered for admission to Seattle University in the Nursing program. If admitted, that student will be eligible to begin taking classes—or pre-requisites—in the Nursing program from the start of their enrollment at SU.

Some programs require minimum test scores for Direct Entry consideration. Those majors include:

 Redesigned SAT Math Score MinimumOld SAT Math Score MinimumACT Math Score Minimum
All majors in the College of Science and Engineering* 560 540 24
Nursing 570 540 24
All majors in the Albers School of Business and Economics 540 520 23
Business and Law 640 620 27
Business (all other majors) 550 520 23
Forensic Science (B.S.) 570 540 24

*with the exception of Pre-Science and Pre-Engineering

Please note that students who do not meet the qualifications listed above may still be admissible to the university and ultimately able to pursue majors listed above (with the exception of Nursing). 

Students who have not yet selected a major should contact the Admissions Office to learn more about our Premajor, Pre-Business, Pre-Science and Pre-Engineering programs. 

Seattle University School Code

SAT College Code


ACT College Code