Is the GRE Required for a PhD? Grad Schools No GRE!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. For instance, some online PhD programs do not require the GRE, such as the institutions below.
written by Rana Waxman
9 Featured Schools with PHD Programs That Don’t Require GRE
- Nursing Practice (DNP) – Simmons College
- 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 Administration (DHA) – Capella University
Featured SchoolsOnline universities are not the only ones with the ‘No GRE’ policy in place for doctorate programs. Applicants to partner school, John’s Hopkins University’s Doctor of Education (EdD) program, need a Masters degree and other material, but not the GRE.
Is the GRE Test Required for Grad School?Today, more and more universities have policies in place that do not require applicants to take the GRE. Or, de-emphasize it in specific circumstances. Still others may only require 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, just because the GRE may be taken out of the admissions equation, it doesn’t 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 require GRE scores.
DID YOU KNOW? In the graduate school admissions process, the level of emphasis that is placed upon GRE scores often varies widely between schools and University departments.
No GRE Required: Five Common Policies That Waive the GREThere are a few common policies you may find in grad schools that don’t require 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 and speak to an advisor for guidance.
- Undergraduate GPA Minimum: Universities without GRE requirements often still set minimum requirements for undergraduate 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 ‘minimum’ side of things.
- Professional Experience: In some universities, work experience may be substituted for the GRE in specific programs – usually at the masters and certificate levels. For instance, at American University, a partner school, the GRE requirement is waived for several programs. This includes the Master of Public Policy (MPP) and MS in Terrorism & Homeland Security Policy.
- Other Graduate Degree: If you hold another graduate degree, you may find graduate programs where the GRE requirement is waived. One example is the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
- No GRE Policy With Program Specific GRE Requirements: Some schools such as partner school, Pratt University have a general policy of no GRE but makes exceptions for some grad programs.
- 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) requires the GMAT although they state that the GRE could be submitted in place. Their either/or policy is similar for the Masters in Taxation.
List of 20 Featured Schools That Don’t Require the GRE
- 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
Masters Programs with No GRE RequirementsDo all Masters programs require the GRE? Across the board, there are some Masters degree programs that do not generally ask students for their scores, although they may have substitute assessment strategies in place. A 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 but does have specific guidelines with respect to 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. While the number of years vary by program and school, it could range from five to seven. Said programs usually waive the GRE because they aim to help students expand professional business skills. However, an applicant may need a solid resume and might need to do well in an interview. Case in point, 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 although 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 in addition, though always check. Regular MBA programs (not EMBA) may not require 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 professional work or managerial experience. See partner school, University of Scranton’s online MBA/MHA for one example. Applicants to University of Denver, another partner school could also apply to have the GMAT waived in the case of significant work experience. 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 require 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 advanced 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.
11 Featured Schools with Masters Programs that Don’t Require GRE
- Healthcare Administration – SNHU
- Teaching Degrees – Western Governors University
- Business Administration (MBA) – Purdue University Global
- Human Resource Management – Ashford University
- MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling – Capella University
- Executive MBA – Loyola University
- Cybersecurity – Strayer University
- MS in Social Work (MSW) – Capella University
- Public Health (MPH) – California Baptist
- MS in Criminal Justice – Capella University
- Public Administration (MPA) – Seton Hall
Should I Apply to Grad Schools That Don’t Require GRE Scores?Grad schools that don’t require GRE scores may be the ticket for you to pursue an advanced 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 requires 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.
- 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…