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Articles / Applying to College / Are SAT's Required for International Applicants to Parsons?

Are SAT's Required for International Applicants to Parsons?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | May 31, 2013
Question: Hi, I have gone through all the requirements to apply for a BFA (Photography) at Parsons School The New School of Design in NYC. Nowhere is it specified that international students have to submit their SAT scores.

Are SAT scores compulsory for admission to Parsons for international students?

The admissions maze can be difficult and frustrating to navigate, and searching for information on college Web sites often feels like a wild goose chase. When I looked for SAT/ACT requirements on the Parsons Web site, I saw that these tests are required ONLY for domestic students. So I called the school to confirm and was told by “Charlene" that this is indeed correct. International students do not have to submit SAT or ACT results. But, if English isn't your native language, you WILL have to prove English proficiency:


English is the language of instruction at The New School. You must be able to understand English well and express yourself clearly in speech and writing.

TOEFL or IELTS is not required if you are a citizen of any of the following countries and your native language is English: England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or South Africa. TOEFL or IELTS is not required if you have earned a 4 year degree from a U.S. College/University.

Minimum Scores Required:TOEFL Internet-based test: 92 IELTS: 7.0

The TOEFL score report must be submitted directly to The New School by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Information on taking the TOEFL can be found online at www.ets.org/toefl. Contact the office of admission if you have questions on comparison scores for other forms of the TOEFL (e.g. paper-based). Parsons The New School for Design's TOEFL code is 2385.

Additional information for the IELTS can be found on their website at www.ielts.org.

The SAT is also accepted with a minimum score of 500 on the Critical Reading section required for admission.

Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 to waive the TOEFL requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information at www.newschool.edu/ce/englishlanguagestudies/.

If English is not your first language and you don't live in one of the TOEFL-exempt countries listed above but you DO attend a high school where the primary language of instruction is English, I suggest that you submit your SAT score (if it's over 500) or contact the school to ask about possible test exemption.

Hope that helps, and good luck.



Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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