Marquette adopts test-optional policy starting with fall 2020 class

June 10, 2019

arch with seal

Measure lets undergraduate applicants choose whether to include standardized test scores as part of application

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University today announced its decision to become test optional, offering domestic and international undergraduate applicants the choice to include standardized test scores as part of their application. The policy of no longer requiring ACT and/or SAT scores from all applicants is effective for students applying for entry in fall 2020.

“Our Catholic, Jesuit mission calls on us to keep a Marquette education accessible to a diverse population of students,” President Michael R. Lovell said. “We will further open our doors by making standardized test scores optional in our undergraduate admissions process.”

Marquette now joins a select group of top 100 national universities (based on U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges), as well as a growing number of Jesuit universities that have removed the ACT or SAT as an admission requirement.

“Four years of strong performance in rigorous high school coursework has always been the most important measure in Marquette's holistic admission review,” Acting Provost Kimo Ah Yun said. “Requiring standardized tests was never intended to dissuade individuals from applying who felt they had the capacity to succeed here. We acknowledge, however, that requiring the SAT or ACT may have led to this unintended consequence and aim to address that now.”

Brian Troyer, dean of undergraduate admissions, said he and his team look forward to implementing this policy and continuing their work of carefully evaluating all applicants for admission to Marquette.

“We believe that the Jesuit concept of cura personalis extends to the admissions review process. We have always engaged in a student-centered approach to our work, and the decision to adopt a test-optional policy reinforces those values,” Troyer said. “Students can decide how to best represent their capacity for success at the college level. We believe students are who they are because of their life experiences, work ethic, and their engagement in and out of the classroom.”

Troyer added that the university’s holistic admission review will continue to consider academic achievement in conjunction with a student's unique talents, leadership and service activities, application essay(s), school profile, letters of recommendation, and any other information a student wishes to submit for consideration.

“Considering a variety of application materials within the context of a student's application file will ensure we continue to admit future Marquette University students who will succeed academically and graduate ready to be changemakers in their communities — individuals who are eager to answer our call to Be the Difference,” he said.

Per the new policy, for students who choose to submit an ACT and/or SAT score, the score will be evaluated as a component in the admission review process. All applicants, regardless of test score submission, will have the opportunity to qualify for Marquette’s array of scholarship awards.

Marquette says it will continue to analyze the correlation between standardized testing and academic achievement in college and will evaluate this policy on an ongoing basis.

About Christopher Stolarski

Christopher Stolarski

Chris is an associate director of university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Chris at (414) 288-1988 or