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 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

Rice standardized testing policy

Rice University requires all applicants to submit either the SAT or ACT (corresponding writing tests are optional). We will accept either self-reported or official scores from applicants attending U.S. high schools. Freshman applicants who will graduate from high schools outside the U.S. and all transfer applicants will be required to submit an official score report at the time of application. Admitted students who choose to enroll at Rice will be required to submit official test scores prior to matriculation.

When reviewing SAT scores, we use the highest score from each section across all administrations. For the ACT, we look at the best composite score and the best subscores, regardless of whether those subscores are from the administration where the best composite score was earned. We hope applicants will report all scores knowing that we will recombine the sections to get the best possible set of scores for each candidate.


Submitting official test scores

To be considered official, 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.


English proficiency requirement for international citizens

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate English proficiency, which can be achieved in one of two ways. Those who have received two years of full-time instruction in English at a high school or college are not required to submit English proficiency testing. Applicants who have not received two years of full-time instruction in English must submit official test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL Internet-based test is 100 or a 75 on the Paper-delivered test. The minimum acceptable score on the IELTS is 7.


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.