Which Schools Require SAT Subject Tests?

Which SAT Subject Tests Should Be Taken?

When it comes time to determine which SAT Subject Tests high school students should take, it’s always a good idea to confirm which tests are required or recommended by specific colleges.  In some cases, universities have strict requirements about the number of Subject SAT Tests that must be taken.  Other colleges require specific SAT Subject Tests that must be taken. Still other universities may require SAT Subject Tests, but don’t mandate the specific subjects.  Finally, there are also schools that will accept SAT Subject Tests, if they benefit an applicant, irrespective of the subject.

In cases where SAT Subject Tests are accepted or recommended, but students can choose which tests to take, the best course of action is to take the SAT Subject Tests in areas of study in which the student excels.  This is particularly helpful if a student is particularly strong in a subject, but no AP or equivalent course is available. 

Which Schools Requiere SAT Subject Tests

Below are some examples of the specific requirements or recommendations from various colleges and universities.

Schools Which Require Subject SAT Tests

If a college “Recommends” SAT Subject Tests, you should assume they require them. 

Carnegie Mellon University:

The SAT or ACT with essay and 2 SAT Subject Tests are typically required, unless applying to the College of Fine Arts programs. 


 In addition to the SAT or ACT with essay, Harvard requires 2 SAT Subject Tests.


In addition to the SAT or ACT, applicants to MIT must take one SAT Subject Test in math and one SAT Subject Test in science. 

Schools Which Recommend and/or Consider SAT Subject Tests

American University:

American University requires the SAT or the ACT without writing, and recommends that home-schooled students submit 2 SAT Subject Tests.

 Boston University: 

The SAT or the ACT with essay are required.  Students pursuing medical and dental programs are required to take the SAT Subject Tests in Chemistry and Math Level 2.  An SAT Subject Test in a foreign language is also suggested. 

 Case Western Reserve University:

CWRU requires the SAT or ACT with essay and will consider Subject SAT Tests if submitted. 

 Duke University: 

The SAT with essay, or the ACT with essay are required.  2 SAT Subject Tests are also recommended.  Students applying to the Pratt School of Engineering should specifically take Math Level 1 or 2 SAT Subject Tests. 


Georgetown requires the SAT or the ACT, yet it does not require, or even consider the essay from either Test.  Instead, Georgetown mandates that all applicants submit all College Board and ACT scores, and strongly recommends applicants take 3 SAT Subject Tests.

 Northeastern University:

Northeastern requires the SAT or the ACT, and recommends SAT Subject Tests for home-schooled students.

Northwestern University:

In addition to the ACT or SAT requirement, Northwestern recommends 2 SAT Subject Tests. 

Penn State:

SAT or ACT is required, though the essay portion is not required. SAT Subject Tests are recommended.  Specifically, for arts, humanities, and social science area of studies, Penn State recommends any two SAT Subject Tests.  Those pursuing nursing are advised to take a science subject Test, with Chemistry strongly suggested.  Those planning to study science, technology, engineering or math, should take a Math Level 2 SAT Subject Test, along with a science subject Test.  Business majors are encouraged to take the Math Level 2 Subject Test. 


The SAT or the ACT with essay are required.  In fact, all test scores from all dates need to be submitted for the SAT and ACT.  SAT Subject Tests are recommended, but Stanford allows applicants to decide which SAT Subject Test scores (if any) they choose to submit.

 University of Michigan:

The SAT or the ACT with essay are required.  SAT Subject Tests are considered, if they are helpful to an applicant.

 University of North Carolina:

In addition to the SAT or the ACT, UNC Strongly recommends SAT Math Level 1 or 2, as the test is used for freshman year course assignment. 

Colleges Which Do Not Require Subject SAT Exams

University of Maryland: 

SAT or ACT is required, though the essay portion is not required.  Subject SAT Tests are not required.  

University of South Carolina:

SAT or ACT is required, but Subject SAT Tests are not required.

ASU, U of A or NAU:

If your student is only interested in any of the AZ in state universities (ASU, UofA or NAU), there is no need for students taking the optional SAT or ACT essays or the SAT Subject Test Exams. 

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