What Grad Schools Do Not Require the GRE: Exploring Alternative Paths to Graduate Education

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Are you considering pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree but find yourself dreading the thought of taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examination)? Well, you’re not alone! The GRE has long been a staple requirement for many graduate school admissions, serving as a measure of a candidate’s aptitude for advanced studies. However, an increasing number of graduate schools are recognizing that standardized tests like the GRE may not be the best indicator of an applicant’s potential for success. In this article, we will explore a range of graduate schools that do not require the GRE, offering alternative pathways to achieving your academic goals.

What is the GRE?

Before we delve into the world of GRE-free graduate schools, let’s briefly understand what the GRE is and why it has held such significance in the admissions process. The GRE is a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) that assesses verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. It has been widely used as a benchmark to evaluate applicants’ readiness for graduate-level coursework.

Why do Some Grad Schools Not Require the GRE?

The decision of certain graduate schools to waive the GRE requirement stems from various factors. One key consideration is the recognition that standardized tests may not accurately reflect an applicant’s true potential. Many argue that such tests can be biased, favoring certain demographics or backgrounds and potentially hindering diversity and inclusivity in graduate programs. Additionally, some schools believe that an applicant’s academic achievements, professional experience, and recommendation letters provide a more comprehensive understanding of their capabilities.

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List of Grad Schools that Do Not Require the GRE

Now, let’s explore a comprehensive list of graduate schools and programs that have chosen not to make the GRE a mandatory component of their admissions process. These schools are leading the way in reevaluating the role of standardized testing in graduate education, and their progressive approach may resonate with your aspirations.

Business Programs

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business: This prestigious institution does not require the GRE for its MBA program. The school believes in evaluating applicants holistically, considering their accomplishments, personal qualities, and potential contributions to the business world.
  • Harvard Business School: Another top-ranked business school that has waived the GRE requirement, Harvard encourages applicants to showcase their unique abilities and experiences to demonstrate their readiness for the program.
  • MIT Sloan School of Management: MIT Sloan acknowledges that while the GRE can be informative, it is not the sole determinant of success. As a result, they have adopted a flexible approach, allowing applicants to decide whether or not to submit their GRE scores.

Social Sciences and Humanities Programs

  • University of Chicago, Division of the Social Sciences: This renowned institution emphasizes the importance of diverse perspectives and unconventional thinking. Their decision to waive the GRE requirement reflects their commitment to evaluating applicants based on their intellectual potential rather than standardized test scores.
  • Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs: Columbia recognizes that applicants to their international and public affairs programs come from diverse backgrounds, and their potential cannot be accurately captured by a single exam. Hence, they have shifted their focus to a more holistic evaluation process.
  • Yale University, Department of History: The Department of History at Yale values the intellectual accomplishments and potential of applicants, rather than their performance in a standardized test. Consequently, they do not require the submission of GRE scores.
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Engineering and Technology Programs

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), School of Engineering: MIT’s School of Engineering believes that an applicant’s academic achievements, research experience, and personal qualities are better indicators of success in their programs. As a result, they have waived the GRE requirement for many of their departments.
  • Stanford University, School of Engineering: Stanford’s School of Engineering understands that the GRE may not always reflect an applicant’s true abilities and potential contributions to the field. Thus, they have removed the GRE requirement for most of their engineering programs.
  • University of California, Berkeley, College of Engineering: UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering recognizes that the GRE is just one aspect of a candidate’s profile. They evaluate applicants based on a range of factors, including academic achievements, research experience, and letters of recommendation, without placing undue emphasis on standardized test scores.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Grad Schools not Requiring the GRE

  1. What are the potential advantages of applying to grad schools that do not require the GRE?
  2. Will not submitting GRE scores negatively impact my chances of admission?
  3. Are there any specific eligibility criteria for programs that waive the GRE requirement?
  4. Can I still submit my GRE scores if I believe they will strengthen my application?
  5. Are there any potential disadvantages of not submitting GRE scores?


In conclusion, the landscape of graduate school admissions is evolving, with an increasing number of institutions recognizing that the GRE may not be the best predictor of an applicant’s potential for success. By exploring the numerous graduate schools that do not require the GRE, you can find alternative paths to pursue your academic aspirations. Remember, the decision to forego the GRE requirement does not diminish the rigor and quality of these programs. Instead, it reflects a commitment to evaluating applicants more holistically, allowing you to showcase your unique abilities and experiences. So, embrace the opportunities offered by these forward-thinking institutions and take the first step toward your dream graduate education.

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