Due to the impact of COVID-19 on standardized testing across the country, Massachusetts Maritime Academy will be "test optional" for the 2020-2021 application cycle. Students applying for Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 will be able to submit their application with or without the SAT or ACT.

MMA's Director of Admissions Josh Tefft says this is the right decision at the right time for everyone. "Applying to college can be stressful, even during the best of times. We recognize the testing challenges that the pandemic has caused has become a big concern, so we wanted to ensure our applicants that we hear you, and we are here to help.  By providing this choice, students have one less thing to worry about as part of the process.  Mass Maritime has always placed a stronger emphasis on high school transcript, GPA, and academic rigor, and continues to use a holistic approach to our application review process.  We hope that this change will help to alleviate some of the added barriers posed by the ongoing pandemic."

Test optional applications will be reviewed in the same way as those with submitted scores. MMA will use the other application components to evaluate files (including high school transcript, personal essay, letters of recommendation, resume, interview, etc.). While there are no additional requirements for students applying as test optional, submission of any additional documents that candidates feel may be relevant is encouraged, along with a campus visit and a personal interview. Please note that applicants with a GPA below 2.5 must submit a letter of reference from a teacher or school counselor for consideration in their review.

IMPORTANT: Applicants who earn admission and decide to enroll must submit SAT/ACT scores (if available) for research purposes on retention, persistence, and future admission selection standards.  


Will I be eligible for merit scholarships if I choose to apply as test-optional? Yes! Our merit scholarships this year will be based on your high school GPA.  Applicant's eligibility will be considered during the review process and notified of a scholarship in their acceptance letter.

Are there any restrictions to who can apply as test-optional? No.  All students will have the opportunity to apply as "test optional" during this upcoming application cycle.  Please note that, unless otherwise waived, international students are still required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS exam scores to demonstrate English proficiency.  Information regarding the possibilities for a waiver can be found on the International Student Applicant page on our website.

Will it hurt my application to apply test-optionally? No! Applicants with or without test scores will be reviewed by our counselors with an approach that considers the whole student - cumulative GPA, academic rigor and course selection, math and science performance, extra curricular activities, work experience, and anything else that is a part of your application. We are evaluating applications as a dynamic combination of all of these things, not measuring based on a single factor. Students that have test scores should still submit them as they will not hurt, only help the application.

I’m not sure if my scores are good enough. Should I submit them? While there is no "cut-off" number that separates "good” from “bad” test scores, if you feel that your scores are a good representation of you as a student, you should submit them! If not, you don’t have to. Additionally, our counselors are looking to review you in the best possible light - which means that if your scores are not helping you, our counselors will be focusing on other factors. As a point of reference, our average (not minimum) scores among previous applicants are an 1100 on the SAT, and 23 on the ACT.

If my scores were already sent to MMA or are included on my high school transcript, can I still apply as test-optional? Yes. If you would like to be reviewed without the scores that were submitted, just select that option on your application. Your counselor will not use the scores as part of your application review.

If I am applying for a more “competitive” program, should I submit my test scores? You can, but it is not required. Any information you feel is relevant or positively reflects your abilities as a student will be considered during the evaluation process. Again, test scores can only help your application to the Academy. 

I plan on applying for Fall 2022 (or beyond), will I need to submit SAT or ACT scores with my application? Yes. Our test optional policy is a temporary change due to the impacts of COVID-19 and is only applicable for the 2020-2021 cycle. If we extend the policy, we will make a follow up announcement.