Undergraduate Admission
Rice: Unconventional Wisdom

Standardized Testing

Test scores are important and good scores help, but they are not an absolute criterion. Our review process looks for evidence of a student's motivation, creativity, character, unique talents, and experiences that shape the quality of life in and out of the classroom.

Required testing for all freshman applicants
ACT (Writing is optional) or New SAT (Essay is optional)


Recommended testing for all freshman applicants
Two SAT Subject Tests in fields related to the proposed area of study

Applicants who do not take the SAT Subject Tests will not be disadvantaged in the review process. Those who elect to take SAT Subject Tests should submit official scores related to their proposed area of study as follows:

School of Study Recommended Subjects
Engineering Math + a science (preferably chemistry or physics)
Natural Science Math + a science
Architecture Any two Subject Tests
Humanities Any two Subject Tests
Music Any two Subject Tests
Social Science Any two Subject Tests


Required testing for all transfer applicants
ACT (Writing is optional), New SAT (Essay is optional), or Old SAT

Applicants should send all test scores to Rice

For freshmen, Rice uses the highest scores from any sitting of the new version of the SAT in order to consider each applicant's most positive test results. For transfers, the highest scores from any sitting on the same version of the SAT is used (we do not super score between the old and new SAT). Recognizing that this policy could disadvantage those students who cannot afford repeated testing or expensive test prep coaching, we believe a comprehensive testing history provides us with the appropriate context required for making a fair judgment of what the test scores mean in a holistic admission process. Therefore, we require all applicants submitting the SAT to submit all scores to Rice.

The ACT's definition of a composite score is the average of the four multiple-choice scale scores from a single administration of the exam. Therefore, it is Rice’s policy to use the highest ACT composite score in admission consideration from a single administration.


Official scores must be sent for a complete application

All scores must be sent directly from the testing organization. Rice's College Board code is 6609, our ACT code is 4152, and our TOEFL code is 6609.


Additional testing requirement for international citizens

In addition to the required tests listed above, applicants whose first language and language of instruction is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

If you have received two years of instruction in English, you are not required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL iBT (internet-based test) is 100, or a sum total of 75 on the TOEFL PDT (paper-delivered test). The minimum acceptable score on the IELTS is 7. Rice's TOEFL code is 6609.


For information on test score deadlines:

Download the Freshman or Transfer Application Checklist for a complete list of application requirements and deadlines. These checklists include the dates of the last standardized testing exams from which we will accept official test scores in order to complete your admission application.