Test Optional Admission

William Paterson University is pleased to offer a test-optional admissions policy. According to our assessment, high school performance in academic, college-prep and rigorous coursework remains the primary measurement of predicting college readiness and student success. It has been determined that SAT and ACT test scores only provide a snapshot and do not give us an accurate review of student talent. Our test optional policy reasonably safeguards that students selected for admission are capable of success within our academic programs. It also supports our mission of servicing the state’s broad socio-economic and ethnic diversity through the admission of a talented student body.

The Application Review Process

During our review, we will take a holistic approach and focus on your high school performance and achievements. We will ensure you have completed at minimum 16 units of college-preparatory work:

  • English (4 units): composition, literature
  • Mathematics (3 units): algebra I, geometry, algebra II
  • Laboratory Science (2 units): biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, anatomy/physiology
  • Social Science (2 units): American history, world history, political science
  • Additional (5 units): math beyond Algebra II, laboratory science beyond chemistry, foreign language, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, honors courses

While not required, students may submit supporting documentation that highlights individual talents, interests and achievements. As such, examples of this documentation for submission include:

  • Letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, employers, etc.
  • Brief personal interest statement
  • Resume/Co-curricular document that includes evidence of:
    • Community service activities/projects
    • Leadership roles in organizations such as athletic and/or academic teams
    • Musical, theatric and/or artistic performance activities
    • Employment history

Our most competitive candidates for admission possess a 3.00 cumulative high school GPA on an unweighted 4.00 scale. These students typically continue a solid course sequence in the junior and senior years and engage in extracurricular commitments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • Will it hurt my chances of being accepted if I apply test-optional?
  • If I apply test-optional, will I be considered for merit-based scholarships?
  • If I apply test-optional, may I be considered for the University Honors College?
  • If I apply test-optional, may I be considered for the nursing program?
  • If I apply test-optional, may I be considered for the music or fine art program?
  • As an international student, may I apply test-optional?
  • Will I be required to submit my scores later on?