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Undergraduate Admission

Test-Optional Details

» Test Optional Details

Beginning with the class entering in spring 2021, Chapman University will adopt a test-optional admission policy. This means most applicants can choose if they want their SAT or ACT scores reviewed with their application.

Why We Went Test-Optional

There were two compelling benefits that drove our decision to go test-optional:

  • Further align admission requirements with student success: Our admission process helps us select students who will succeed at Chapman and positively contribute to our campus community. Our multi-year research study showed a declining correlation between a student’s success at Chapman and their standardized test score. 
  • Expand access to a Chapman education: The mission of the University is to provide a distinguished and personalized education to students who will thrive here. Making test scores an optional part of the admission process will help us bring in students who might not have been admitted because they didn’t perform well on a single test.

Who Should Submit Test Scores

If you believe your score positively reflects your ability and potential, submit them with your application. 

Keep in mind, we “superscore” SAT scores. If you have taken the SAT more than once, we will use the highest scores achieved in each section. Chapman will use the highest composite score on the ACT. 

To help you determine whether to submit scores, here are some averages for admitted students to our fall 2019 class:

SAT Scores (Math and Verbal)

  • Top 25%: 1400 or above
  • Average: 1316
  • Bottom 25%: 1240 or below

ACT Scores (Composite)

  • Top 25%: 31 or above
  • Average: 28
  • Bottom 25%: 26 or below 

Average High School GPA: 3.82

If you would like additional assistance in determining whether to apply test-optional, you can reach out to your admission counselor.

Test-Optional Exceptions

Those who were home-schooled or attended a high school that provided a narrative transcript will be required to submit a standardized test score with their application.

In addition, all applicants who are non-native English speakers must submit proof of English proficiency. Students who score at least a 600 on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, or a 24 on both the ACT English and Reading sections, will automatically have this requirement waived. For more information, visit our International Admission page.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does Chapman evaluate students who apply without submitting test scores?

All applicants are evaluated for admission based on a holistic review, which means we factor several components into the admission decision. For both those who do and do not submit test scores, we will review:

  • Grade point average (including grade trends and academic performance overall)
  • Strength of curriculum
  • Leadership and extracurricular activities
  • Personal Statement and Chapman University questions
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Academic major and preparation for major

Does this policy apply to transfer applicants?

If you are applying as a transfer applicant there is no requirement to submit SAT/ACT scores as part of the transfer application review process.

How do I indicate that I want to apply without submitting test scores?

When completing your Common Application, indicate that you want to apply as test-optional.

Can I change my mind after submitting my application?

No. We will review your file based on whether you indicated that you want to apply as test-optional on the Common Application.

What if I don’t want to submit test scores but they are sent from a testing agency or included on my transcript?

As long as you indicate on your application that you are applying as test optional, we will not use scores when reviewing your file.

If I apply without submitting test scores, will I still be considered for merit aid and institutional awards?

Yes, all applicants are considered for institutional awards and need-based aid.

If I was admitted for fall 2020 with unofficial test scores, do I still need to submit official scores?

Yes. The test-optional admission process will go into effect beginning with the those applying to fall 2021.

Office of Admission


Email General Admission

Email Transfer Admission

Email International Admission

Phone: (714) 997-6711

Mailing Address:
Chapman University
Attn: Office of Admission
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866

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