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​What We Look For

You are probably wondering what it is that makes you stand out during the admissions process. At Syracuse University, you will be considered based on the following:

Preparation and Purpose

Your academic performance is a significant factor in our admissions decision, especially your senior year accomplishments. Your participation in honors and advanced placement courses and/or meaningful electives demonstrates your commitment to maximize your college experience.

Educational Background

Schools across the country differ in their curriculum, grading policies, and overall quality. Your school’s profile will be a guide when putting your course selections and grades in context.

Standardized Test Performance

SAT/ACT scores will not be required for students applying for Fall 2023, Fall/Spring 2024 or Spring 2025 admission. Students who choose not to submit test scores will not be disadvantaged and will remain eligible for merit scholarships.Read the full details surrounding this update.

If you choose to submit your test scores, your SAT or ACT score will also be considered as part of your application (whichever is higher). If you are considering the Score Choice option for the SAT, please be aware that all of your test scores will be required. This works to your benefit—your application will be considered using the highest combination of your SAT scores. Both the old and new revised SAT will be accepted. If you take the new revised SAT, the essay is not required. If you take the ACT, the writing portion is not required.

Syracuse University does not require or consider the SAT subject tests.


Grades are only part of our admissions equation. Your personal essay illustrates your goals, interests, experiences, and values. Though an interview is not mandatory, it is an ideal way to further personalize your application.

The Opinion of Others

An evaluation from your guidance counselor and two academic teacher recommendations give admissions representatives a sense of your unique gifts, capabilities, and accomplishments. These testimonials help to round out who you are as a student—and a person.

Extracurricular Activities

The Admissions Committee will review your after-school activities, volunteer work, or employment, to see how each illustrates your organizational and leadership skills, as well as your commitment to helping others.

Special Talent

Several programs at Syracuse University include a talent component, including art and design, architecture, drama, and music. Talent is evaluated by faculty members, and their evaluations are shared with the Admissions Committee.

Strength of Character

Syracuse University is looking for more than academically prepared students. Syracuse students innovate and take risks, they are people of integrity and good citizenship. You are a strong candidate if you strengthen and support those around you, even as you are working to develop yourself.

You have the opportunity to showcase your strength of character in your response to the short answer question on our application: “Why are you interested in Syracuse University and how do you see yourself contributing to a diverse, inclusive, accessible and respectful campus?”

The Selection Process

Over 41,000 students applied for the fall 2022 semester for a first-year class of about 3,700 students. Each college has specific enrollment goals. When your application and materials are considered, difficult decisions must be made. They are not always a statement of your ability, but a matter of competition. Keep in mind that you can always indicate a second-choice college for admissions, and will be considered on a space-available basis.