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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
GMAT or GRE
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 with 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.
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 Featured Schools with PHD Programs That Don’t Require GRE
- Nursing Practice (DNP) – Simmons University
- Computer Science (DCS) – Colorado Technical University
- Information Technology (DIT) – Capella University
- Business Administration (DBA) – Walden University
- PhD in Developmental Psychology – Capella University
- PsyD Clinical Psychology – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
- PhD in Information Systems– Nova Southeastern University
- PhD in Organizational Leadership– Northcentral University
- 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.
- Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)
- Western Governors University
- Purdue University Global
- Strayer University
- Capella University
- Walden University
- Colorado Technical University
- Northcentral University
- Liberty University
- University of Southern California
- Simmons University
- Nova Southeastern University
- University of Scranton
- Benedictine University
- American University
- NYU School of Social Work
- Boston University
- Antioch University
- Utica College
- Ashford University
11 Featured Schools with Masters Programs that Don’t Require GRE
|Healthcare Administration||Southern New Hampshire University|
|Teaching Degrees||Western Governors Univeristy|
|Business Administration (MBA)||Purdue University Global|
|MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling||Capella University|
|Excutive MBA||Loyla University|
|Master of Social Work||Capella University|
|Public Health (MPH)||California Baptist|
|Master of Science in Criminal Justice||Capella University|
|Public Administration||Seton 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 University||Official Transcripts, Two letters of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose|
|The Chicago School of Professional Psychology||All applicants full application is viewed on an individual basis|
|Nova Southeastern University||Undergraduate GPA or 18 graduate credits to avoid GRE|
|University of Hartford||Online Graduate Application, Transcripts, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation|
|Northcentral University||Completed Application, Bachelor’s Degree, Transcripts|
|Purdue University Global||Bachelor’s Degree, Transcripts, Interview|
|Walden University||Bachelor’s Degree, Resume, Employment and Educational history|
|California Southern University||Bachelor’s degree, Completed Application, Official Transcripts|
|Sacred Heart University||Bachelor’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 GRE||Other Admission Requirements to Help Waive GRE|
|1. Purdue University Global||MS in IT, MHA, MS in Human Services||Undergraduate Transcripts, communication with enrollment advisor|
|2. Arizona State University||MS Clinical Research Management, Masters of Educations||Official Transcripts, Specific Undergrad GPA|
|3. Rutgers University||MPA, MSW, MHA, Masters of Arts Liberal Studies||Academic Performance, More|
|4. University of Central Florida||MSN, MS NonProfit Management, MSW||Undergrad performance, Personal Statement|
|5. Georgia State University||Masters of Education, MA Sociology, MS School Psychology||2.5 Undergrad GPA, work experience including management|
|6. Thomas Edison State University||MBA, MSN, Masters of Public Service Leadership||2.75 Undergrad GPA, Personal Statement, 3-5 Years Work Experience|
|7. Franklin University||MS Computer Science, MS Accounting, MBA||Varies, but often GPA based.|
|8. Northcentral University||MS in IT, MS Computer Science, MHA||Official Transcripts, communication with enrollment advisor|
|9. Drexel University||MS Project Management, MS Sports Management, MA Legal Studies||Undergrad 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 Programs||Acceptance Rate|
|Saint Mary’s University||91%|
|Sonoma State University||90%|
|University of New England||80%|
|Nova Southeastern University||79%|
|Saint Joseph’s University||76%|
|Grand Canyon University||73%|
|University of Cincinnati||73%|
|Ball State University||65%|
|Point Park University||65%|
|University of San Francisco||65%|
|West Texas A&M University||65%|
|Florida International University||59%|
|Texas A&M International University||52%|
|Johnson & Wales University-Online||43%|
|Stevens Institute of Technology||41%|
|University of Florida||39%|
|Colorado State University Global||N/A|
Schools With PHD & Masters Programs
- Take advantage of some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, while earning a degree 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.
Popular Online Programs
Business Administration, Psychology, Information Technology, Human Services…