Grad Schools That Don’t Require the GRE

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Graduate Schools That Don’t Require the GRE

Wonder if there are grad schools that don’t require the GRE exam that you could apply to? The short answer is yes!

Although a popular piece of the US graduate admissions process, you don’t always need GRE scores for graduate schools. At the end of the day, there are many graduate schools that don’t need the GRE for specific programs (or, not at all).

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Some graduate schools also offer GRE waivers for graduate students should you meet their conditions. They may ask that you include it to provide them with a holistic sense of new candidates.

Is the GRE Test Required for Grad School?

Today, more and more universities with accreditation in the United States do not require applicants to take the GRE. Or, de-emphasize it in specific circumstances. Others may only need the GRE if you plan to apply for funding or fellowships. This is the case for the MS in Electrical Engineering at partner school, Villanova.

That stated, because the GRE may not be needed, it does not mean a grad school has low standards. Fit the pieces of the puzzle together to learn all you need to know about grad schools that don’t need GRE scores.

Is the GRE Required for a PhD?

The GRE may or may not be required for PhD programs. To a certain extent, this is determined by the grad school, the type of PhD and the learning format.

No GRE Required: Five Common Policies That Waive the GRE

There are a few common policies you may find in grad schools that don’t need the GRE. However, as a basic rule, it isn’t a great idea to make sweeping generalizations. Always refer to individual schools to see what their admissions process looks like. Speak to an advisor for guidance.

  • Apply eligible work experience and prior college credits toward up to 75% of your undergraduate degree
  • Experience a Purdue Global undergraduate program for an introductory 3-week period. There’s no financial obligation beyond the application fee
  • Competency-based ExcelTrack™ programs may allow you to earn your degree faster and for less money

Undergraduate GPA Minimum

Universities without GRE requirements often still set minimum requirements for undergrad GPA. The minimum is both program and school – specific, as each grad school has its own standards. Look for a range from 2.8 to 3.0 on the ‘low’ side of things.

The bar could be set higher for science and health programs though. For instance, at Jefferson University, applicants to the Physician Assistant Studies program do not need the GRE. They must have a CASPA calculated cumulative GPA and science GPA of 3.25.

Professional Experience

In some universities, work experience may be substituted for the GRE. This is usually at the masters and certificate levels. For instance, at American University, the GRE requirement is waived for several programs. This includes the Master of Public Policy (MPP) and MS in Terrorism & Homeland Sec Policy.

AU states, “The GRE may be waived for admission to the master’s degree and certificate programs listed if the applicant has five or more years of full-time professional and relevant work experience.”

Other Graduate Degree

If you hold another graduate degree, you may find grad programs where the GRE requirement is waived. One example is the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

For example, partner school, Frontier Nursing University’s DNP program, needs no GRE. Applicants hold an MSN, MPH, Masters in Midwifery or a related Masters degree from a nationally (CCNE or ACEN) accredited nursing program.

No GRE Policy With Program Specific GRE Requirements

Some schools such as partner school, Pratt University have a general policy of no GRE. they do make exceptions for some programs.

At Pratt, the GRE is required only for Art Ed, Art History, the combined Art History and Master of Library Sci programs, and the Architecture (First Professional) program. In other words, a grad school’s general ‘no GRE’ policy may have some attached fine print.


In some cases, applicants may need to take the GMAT instead of the GRE. At partner school, Villanova, the Masters in Finance (MSF) needs the GMAT. They state that the GRE could be used in place. Their either/or policy is similar for the Masters in Taxation.

Masters Programs No GRE Requirements

Do all Masters programs need the GRE? Across the board, there are some Masters degree programs that do not generally ask students for their scores. They may have substitute assessment strategies in place. A portfolio, resume, sample of written work are examples.

Do all Masters programs require the GRE?

Generally, some master’s degree programs have no GRE requirements. However, they may have substitute assessment strategies in place. For example, they may assess your portfolio, resume, sample of written work and the like.

MFA Programs

Master of Fine Arts programs generally want to see examples of your best recent work. For instance, partner school Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) doesn’t ask for GRE scores. It does have specific guidelines on your portfolio.

The take-away here is you may want to invest more time in art supplies that to study for the GRE if this is your goal.

Executive MBA Programs

Because EMBA programs typically target experienced executives. They do not generally look at GRE requirements. The number of years varies by program and school. It could range from five to seven.

Said programs usually waive the GRE. They aim to help students expand professional business skills through course work. Yet, an applicant may need a solid resume and might need to do well in an interview.

Partner school, Loyola University’s EMBA Admission Committee “looks for a dynamic, talented group of professionals who currently hold mid- to senior-level leadership roles in business or nonprofit organizations.”

Beyond eMBA programs, a fair number of MBA programs also accept no GMAT or GMAT waivers.

Professional Masters Degrees

Some professional Masters degree programs might waive the GRE. They may have their own admissions tests for the field. LSAT for law school, MCAT for medical school, and often, the GMAT for business school. You may not have to take the GRE, though always check.

Regular MBA programs

Regular MBA programs (not EMBA) may not need the GRE, or for that matter, the GMAT. It all depends. For instance, some online MBA programs target students with at least three years of pro work or manager exp.

See partner school, University of Scranton’s online MBA/MHA for one example. Applicants to the University of Denver, another partner school may apply to have the GMAT waived in the case of significant work experience.

Terminal Masters programs

Terminal Masters programs such as the Master of Architecture (MArch) may also favor a portfolio over test scores. This is the case at partner school, Roger Williams University.

Online Masters Programs

While a broad category with many exceptions. Many online Masters programs do not need the GRE. This does not necessarily point to lower expectations or less rigorous standards.

What it could indicate is, much like executive programs, such programs usually market to at-work professionals. The online grad student may have scores that are no longer valid, but their experience is of value. In some cases, as well, it may make the platform more accessible to a wider array of students.

For instance, look at online Master’s in Data Science (MS DS) at partner school, Utica University. Another is partner school, Colorado Technical University’s Master of Science in Information Technology degree program. Both could enable students to build foundations in the IT environment. Also, online programs may be able to admit more students simply because they do not need to vie for a seat in class. Nonetheless, check to see that the school is accredited and values learning over profit. You may prefer a school where you have to submit scores rather than a comparable program that appears to lack quality standards.

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

Schools That Don’t Require GRE Scores

Grad schools that don’t need GRE scores may be the ticket for you to pursue a degree. Whether or not no GRE necessarily means less highly-ranked schools is going to depend a lot on what you want to study and where you want to earn your grad degree.

The bottom line is to BE PREPARED.

Ultimately, you want to consult the info on graduate program admissions websites, email or call the admissions office to see if the program you want to apply to needs the GRE or if they accept low GRE scores. Make sure as well, to check out admission deadlines so that you could get your paperwork in order well in advance.

PhD Programs Without a GRE Requirement

The GRE may or may not be needed for PhD programs. To a certain extent, this is determined by the grad school, the type of PhD and the learning format. For instance, some online PhD programs do not need the GRE, such as the institutions below.

9 Schools with PHD Programs That Don’t Require GRE

  1. Nursing Practice (DNP) – Simmons University
  2. Information Technology (DIT) – Capella University
  3. Business Administration (DBA) – Walden University
  4. PhD in Developmental Psychology – Capella University
  5. PsyD Clinical Psychology – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  6. PhD in Information Systems– Nova Southeastern University
  7. PhD in Organizational Leadership– Northcentral University
  8. Health Admin (DHA) – Capella University

List of 20 Featured Schools That Don’t Require the GRE

Here is a sample of seventeen grad schools that may have test-optional grad programs. These are across a variety of disciplines. Any list of such schools is bound to change. Refer to the schools below and throughout as examples.

  1. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)
  2. Western Governors University
  3. Purdue University Global
  4. Strayer University
  5. Capella University
  6. Walden University
  7. Northcentral University
  8. Liberty University
  9. University of Southern California
  10. Simmons University
  11. Nova Southeastern University
  12. University of Scranton
  13. Benedictine University
  14. American University
  15. NYU School of Social Work
  16. Boston University
  17. Antioch University
  18. Utica College

9 Featured Schools with Masters Programs that Don’t Require GRE

School Name
Healthcare AdministrationSouthern New Hampshire University
Teaching DegreesWestern Governors Univeristy
Business Administration (MBA)Purdue University Global
MS in Clinical Mental Health CounselingCapella University
Excutive MBALoyla University
Information Security and AssuranceStrayer University
Master of Social WorkCapella University
Public Health (MPH)California Baptist
Public AdministrationSeton Hall

9 Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Psychology That Don’t Require the GRE

The GRE is not required for admission to many online psychology master’s programs. Other psychology programs only require the GRE if your GPA is below the minimum requirement. However, these colleges are frequently still competitive and have additional admissions requirements.


Other Admission Requirements
Pepperdine UniversityOfficial Transcripts, Two letters of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyAll applicants full application is viewed on an individual basis
Nova Southeastern University Undergraduate GPA or 18 graduate credits to avoid GRE
University of HartfordOnline Graduate Application, Transcripts, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation
Northcentral UniversityCompleted Application, Bachelor’s Degree, Transcripts
Purdue University GlobalBachelor’s Degree, Transcripts, Interview
Walden UniversityBachelor’s Degree, Resume, Employment and Educational history
California Southern UniversityBachelor’s degree, Completed Application, Official Transcripts
Sacred Heart UniversityBachelor’s Degree, Transcript, GPA, Resume, Letters of Recommendation

9 Schools with Online Masters Programs That Don’t Require GRE

Some Popular Programs that Don’t Require GREOther Admission Requirements to Help Waive GRE
1. Purdue University GlobalMS in IT, MHA, MS in Human ServicesUndergraduate Transcripts, communication with enrollment advisor
2. Arizona State UniversityMS Clinical Research Management, Masters of EducationsOfficial Transcripts, Specific Undergrad GPA
3. Rutgers UniversityMPA, MSW, MHA, Masters of Arts Liberal StudiesAcademic Performance, More
4. University of Central FloridaMSN, MS NonProfit Management, MSWUndergrad performance, Personal Statement
5. Georgia State UniversityMasters of Education, MA Sociology, MS School Psychology2.5 Undergrad GPA, work experience including management
6. Thomas Edison State UniversityMBA, MSN, Masters of Public Service Leadership2.75 Undergrad GPA, Personal Statement, 3-5 Years Work Experience
7. Franklin UniversityMS Computer Science, MS Accounting, MBAVaries, but often GPA based.
8. Northcentral UniversityMS in IT, MS Computer Science, MHAOfficial Transcripts, communication with enrollment advisor
9. Drexel UniversityMS Project Management, MS Sports Management, MA Legal StudiesUndergrad GPA 3.0+, Letters of Recommendation, Personal Statement

List of 25 Grad Schools That Don’t Require the GRE

To help, we have gathered a sample of twenty-five grad schools that may have test-optional grad programs. Additionally, the list includes acceptance rate data from College Scorecard. Admissions requirements may change, so make sure to view the admissions page for the specific no GRE programs listed below.

Sample No GRE ProgramsAcceptance Rate
Maryville Univerisity
  • Master’s in Accounting
  • Master’s in Data Science
  • Master’s in Software Development
Saint Mary’s University
  • MS in Accounting
  • Master’s in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Social Work
Northcentral University
  • MS in Nursing
  • Master’s in Education
  • MS in Accounting
Sonoma State University
  • MS in Biology
  • Master’s in Business Administation
  • MS in Accounting
University of New England
  • MS in Appiled Nutrition
  • Master of Public Health
  • MS in Education
Nova Southeastern University
  • MHS in Child Protection
  • MS in College Student Affairs
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Ohio University
  • MS in Chemistry
  • MA in English
  • Master of Science in Geological Sciences
Saint Joseph’s University
  • Master’s in Business Administration
  • MS in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Cyber Security
Grand Canyon University
  • Master of Arts in Higher Education Student Affairs
  • MA in Communication Education
  • Master’s in Business Administration
Rowan University
  • Master of Arts in Behavioral Analysis
  • MA in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in School Psychology
University of Cincinnati
  • MHA
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • MS in Criminal Justice
Ball State University
  • Elementary Education
  • Journalism
  • Interior Design
Point Park University
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
  • MA in Community Psychology
  • Master of Education in Athletic Coaching and Administration
University of San Francisco
  • MSN
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
West Texas A&M University
  • Communication MA
  • Counseling MA
  • Curriculum and Instruction M.Ed.
Regis University
  • MS Accounting
  • Marketing MS
  • MS Human Resource Management
Florida International University
  • Master of Science in Construction Management
  • Criminal Justice MS
  • Engineering Management MS
Liberty University
  • Curriculum and Instruction/Elementary Ed
  • Ed Leadership
Texas A&M International University
  • MBA
  • Criminal Justice MS
  • MSN
Johnson & Wales University-Online
  • Master of Public Administration – Criminal Justice
  • Finance MS
  • MS Human Resourse Management
Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Executive MBA
  • MS in Computer Science
  • Ocean Engineering Master’s Program
University of Florida
  • Master of Arts degree in Art Education
  • MA in Art History
  • Master of Music
Boston University
  • Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics
  • Art Education
  • MS in Computer Information Systems
Capella University
  • MBA
  • MS in Human Resource Management
  • Master of Health Admin
Colorado State University Global
  • Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Organizational Leadership
  • Teaching and Learning MS

Graduate programs with no GRE requirement

Take a look at other programs that do not require a GRE:

Online graduate programs with no GRE required:

Schools With PHD & Masters Programs

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