Prospective undergraduate students will no longer have to take standardized tests like SAT or ACT to be considered for admission into Columbia University.

For international students, English proficiency requirements and other international applicant requirements remain the same.

“The holistic and contextual application review process…is rooted in the belief that students are dynamic, multi-faceted individuals who cannot be defined by any single factor,” the school said in a statement. “Our review is purposeful and nuanced—respecting varied backgrounds, voices, and experiences—in order to best determine an applicant’s suitability for admission and ability to thrive in our curriculum and our community, and to advance access to our educational opportunities.”
While other Ivy League schools have announced a temporary suspension of standardized test requirements during the pandemic, the New York school is believed to be the first to adopt the policy permanently.

Harvard and Princeton made standardized tests optional, but the policy is currently in effect until 2026 for those Ivy League institutions.

Cornell’s test-optional policy is set to last through fall 2024 for several of its programs, as is the University of Pennsylvania. Yale, Brown, and Dartmouth also do not have testing requirements currently, but the current policies are only in effect for those applying through the fall of 2023.

For students who choose to submit testing, Columbia’s testing policies, remain the same. Students who choose not to submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage, the university clarified.

“We will continue to evaluate all submitted information within an individualized application review process that considers the unique combination of circumstances shaping each applicant’s journey. The rigor of a student’s curriculum, their academic achievement, and they’re demonstrated intellectual curiosity will remain central to our review,” the statement added.

Testing policies for students who do choose to submit testing:

You may choose to take either the ACT or the SAT, and you may self-report your scores on your application.
Columbia does not consider the optional writing section.
You may take standardized tests as late as November for Early Decision and January for Regular Decision.
If you submit results from multiple test sittings, you will be evaluated on the highest score you received in any individual section of that test (known as super scoring).