Test-Optional Policy

Application Review That Focuses on You.

Creighton University’s application review process reflects our values as a Catholic, Jesuit institution. As such, we maintain and value a holistic review of all submitted application materials. We believe the full evaluation of a high school record is the best way to demonstrate a student’s preparedness and academic abilities over time. Our process also values the use of standardized tests as a piece of the review process to level-set the variance of curriculum offered at schools throughout the country.

That said, some applicants may feel that an ACT or SAT score doesn’t fully reflect their academic abilities. There is sufficient evidence that there can be some inherent bias in standardized testing. Beginning with incoming students for the fall of 2020, if this is case for you, you may choose to select Creighton’s test-optional method of application. We welcome any student, regardless of testing plan, to submit additional materials that they feel best highlights their skills, talents, and potential contributions to Creighton.

For students electing to send scores, the SAT, ACT, and other standard measures can continue to be an important part of Creighton University’s holistic admissions process. Standardized test scores are a required part of the application process at many other selective colleges and universities. These tests can provide valuable information about a student. If a student chooses to include these scores in their application review, we will consider them, along with all other materials in a student’s application. We encourage students to take standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, and to share scores with us. Given the number of institutions that require these scores, we anticipate that the majority of students will continue to take these tests and may still submit their test scores to Creighton.

Applicants who feel their ACT or SAT score does not accurately reflect their ability to be successful at Creighton may elect to apply test-optional. If you have questions about whether or not this is right for you, contact your admissions counselor.

Students Who Are Unable to Apply Test-Optional

  • Students considering the College of Nursing1
  • Homeschooled students

1Because our nursing program is direct-entry, the curriculum and rigor doesn’t allow us the same flexibility of timing in advising to assure students have adequate support for success from day one.


What does it mean to apply test-optional?

Students who choose to submit their application and select the test-optional path will not have their test scores considered as a part of the admission and scholarship review process.

Why has Creighton made standardized test scores optional in the admissions process?

We want to make a Creighton education accessible to high-achieving students who may believe that test scores are not reflective of their academic record and ability to be successful in college. To us, your overall portfolio of academic experience, as demonstrated through your transcript, is more powerful than a single test or combination of tests. Four years in the classroom says more to us than four hours taking a test. Our experience shows that the rigor of your program and overall academic performance shows us how you will fit into the Creighton community.

Our goal is to ensure that the admissions process is student-centered. This is not new for us. We have always focused on a personalized and holistic review of every application. Offering a test-optional opportunity reinforces our belief that four years of hard work, motivation and effort by successful high school students is the key to making successful college students.

How does Creighton evaluate students who don’t submit standardized test scores?

As with every applicant, the review process for students who don’t submit SAT or ACT scores is very personalized. We review and consider your official high school transcript (including the scale on which you were graded, sent directly from your high school), your high school counselor evaluation and your essay or personal statement. The essay is your chance to demonstrate your writing potential while allowing the Admissions Committee to get to know you better. If you are completing the Common Application, you do not need an additional personal statement or essay; simply use the one included in the Common Application. We will also review and consider an optional resume, and/or letters of recommendation written by one of your teachers, coaches, counselors, or mentors, attesting to your academic and social preparedness to study at Creighton.

Will I be at a disadvantage if I decide not to submit standardized test scores?

No. There will be no negative impact on your application. Students applying to the College of Nursing will not be considered without submission of standardizes test scores.

Why would a student submit standardized test scores if they don’t have to?

Some students decide that his or her scores give a more complete picture of academic achievements and potential.

Will I be eligible for scholarships if I submit a test-optional application?

If you apply test-optional, you will be considered for merit awards. As with any applicant, you will automatically be considered for merit-based scholarships with your application for admission.

If I apply test-optional, will I still need to send my scores in at some point?

Submitting your test scores at the time of admission does not mean they will be reviewed when making admissions or scholarship decisions. If you select on your application that you are applying test-optional, scores will not be used (even if submitted) for admission or scholarship review. 

Students will be required to submit official ACT or SAT score results upon enrollment for the purposes of determining the validity of our test-optional policy. This validity examination will include the review of our advising process and will ensure that students admitted will be successful in the programs of their choice. For students entering pre-health tracks, these will be particularly informative and may reveal that students will need additional support to best position them for success in General Chemistry.

Because of NCAA eligibility rules, Division I student-athletes are required to submit official scores in order to be declared eligible for competition. These scores are submitted to the NCAA Clearinghouse and not necessarily directly to Creighton University.

Some special programs and additional scholarships have minimum ACT/SAT requirements. These scores determine eligibility for the programs and scholarships, but are not reviewed by the Admissions Committee. These scores can be either official or self-reported via the form in the student’s admissions portal.

International students and students who attend a high school outside of the United States still need to submit one of the approved forms of proof of English language proficiency.

If I choose to send in my scores, do they have to be official scores?

Students who choose to submit SAT or ACT scores may share either official or self-reported scores. Students sharing self-reported scores will not be required to submit official score reports unless they are admitted and choose to enroll. We permit students to self-report test scores through a form in their student portal. Students should not super score their own results or recalculate scores in any way; scores should be sent exactly as they are received.

I chose to apply test-optional, but now I’d like my scores considered. Can I change my mind after I apply?

No. Once your application is submitted, you are unable to change your method of application. If you have questions about whether or not test-optional is right for you, contact your admissions counselor.