The validity of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) has been a source of debate and contention over its supposed ability to predict the success of graduate school applicants. Issues that possibly affect GRE scores are one reason that students potentially seek out grad schools that don’t require GRE testing as part of the application process. We have found some of the best grad schools that don’t require GRE.
Several sources, including the authors of an article published in PLOS, question the usefulness of the GRE. The authors discussed the fact that data from Vanderbilt University Medical School found the GRE to be a weak to moderate predictor of graduate school GPA. The resulting suggestion was that graduate schools should rely less on standardized GRE as an indicator of potential student progress and productivity.
Reasons to Consider Grad Schools that Don’t Require GRE Scores
A contributor to The American Spectator revealed that schools are increasingly making standardized testing such as the GRE optional or are dropping the requirement altogether. The author explains that some schools with MBA programs will accept evidence that demonstrates ‘strong academic merit’ rather than a requirement that students take the GRE as part of the admissions process.
Many colleges and universities that offer graduate degrees are starting to focus more on academic achievement and other potential indicators when making admissions decisions. There are reasons for concern other than the alleged weakness of using the test as a predictor of academic success. There are technicalities to taking the test recently pointed out, possibly leading to even greater numbers of prospective students to consider grad schools that don’t require GRE scores for admission.
A report in Science, a publication of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), indicates that when GRE testing went primarily online after the spread of COVID-19, that ‘scores of academics’ raised questions and concerns about the validity and equity of the online test. One concern is that taking the GRE online potentially places some students at a disadvantage. Prospective students taking the online test have often voiced complaints, with one student referring to it as ‘a nightmare.’
Avoid the issues with taking the GRE when you choose to attend one of these grad schools that don’t require a GRE.
Tuition rates listed for each school cover the cost of each credit hour, and does not include the cost of any required fees or supplies. Some tuition rates are estimated where a school charges different tuition rates for different programs. It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to know the cost of tuition and all related fees to pursue a graduate degree or to complete a particular graduate program.
Here are the Best Grad Schools that Don’t Require GRE!
1. Western Governors University
Earn a graduate degree at Western Governors University, which is one of the grad schools that don’t require GRE score submission. There are four online colleges that are part of the school. Consider the seven master’s level programs in business, 16 graduate degree options for teachers, four graduate programs in information technology, and eight graduate degree options in nursing and health.
The university offers students the benefit of starting classes on the first of the month, any month, throughout the year, after the student is accepted and enrolled at the school.
- Tuition: est. $252 per credit hour
- Accreditation: NWCCU, CAEP, AAQEP, CCNE, CAHIIM, ACBSP
2. West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M University offers 24 graduate degree programs that do not require the student to take the GRE. If a student chooses a program with a GRE requirement, there is a possibility that the student could obtain conditional admission. The school instructs students to consult with the appropriate program advisor regarding the conditional admission.
Graduate students that want to pursue an online degree can submit a waiver if their particular program requires submission of GRE scores. Choose from degrees with no GRE requirement in agriculture, communications, studio art, engineering, music, nursing, social work, and other programs. There is one instance in which GRE scores are required: for students with a GPA less than 3.0. Otherwise, it is waived.
Some students are potentially eligible for a waiver that significantly reduces the cost of tuition.
- Tuition: $465 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CCNE, ACBSP, ABET, Texas Education Agency’s State Board for Educator Certification
3. Ohio University
There are many graduate programs offered at Ohio University that do not require the GRE. This is true of both traditional students attending classes at one of the campus locations, or students pursuing an online graduate degree. If you discover that your desired program is one of the few that does require the GRE, do not get discouraged. Look for a statement on the specific program’s page that is identical or similar to the statement on the Master of Science in Food and Nutrition Sciences page. The statement indicates that the GRE is required, but, ‘There are no minimum scores for the GRE. It is only one of several criteria used for admission.’ The fact that there is no minimum score required likely encourages students with lower scores to still confidently apply to the school.
There are more than two-dozen master’s and doctoral degrees offered at the school. Consider a new career or expand your expertise in your current career field by choosing a degree in medicine, engineering, arts, education, social work, or other options. The affordable tuition is likely a benefit to prospective graduate students.
- Tuition: $505 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, AACSB, CCNE
4. University of Massachusetts Lowell
The University of Massachusetts Lowell, more commonly simply called UMASS Lowell does not require GRE for its M.Ed. and Education Specialists programs. Students that wish to apply for a master’s degree in another area can submit a GRE waiver. The specific colleges that allow students to apply for the GRE waiver include the College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, Manning School of Business, and the Kennedy College of Sciences.
Doctoral students still have a GRE requirement, unless stated otherwise for a specific program.
- Tuition: est. $507 per credit hour
- Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education, ASAC of ABET, NASM, NCATE, CCNE, CAMPEP
5. Northcentral University
Northcentral University boasts a class size of one, which is each individual student. The completely online graduate programs at the university focus on guiding students to develop skills and knowledge that is necessary to succeed and make a positive difference in their chosen career field. Another incentive to submit an application to pursue your graduate degree is the fact that Northcentral University does not require submission of GRE scores for admission consideration.
Students submit transcripts and other documents included in the enrollment packet. Select your graduate program from 25 master’s degree options, including graduate degrees in education, business, nursing, legal studies, information technology and other options. Some students continue their education after receiving their master’s degree and enroll in a doctoral degree program.
Tuition varies slightly among the individual master’s degree programs.
- Tuition: est. $774 per credit hour
- Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission, ACBSP, COAMFTE, CCNE, CSWE (Pending)
6. Carlow University
Students that apply to earn a graduate degree at Carlow University do not have to worry about submitting the GRE when completing the application process. The admissions process requires that students submit a personal essay, two recommendations, their resume or curriculum vitae, and official transcripts. There are other possible requirements for admission to a particular program.
Enjoy attending classes at Carlow University locations in the Pittsburgh area, or complete your graduate degree in the online classroom. Most graduate programs charge the same tuition, with exception of the MEd in Secondary Education, MEd Art Education, MEd Educational Leadership/Principal Certification courses programs which only charge $600 per credit hour. The Executive MBA tuition is $1,051 per credit, and the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program which charges $891 per credit hour.
- Tuition: $902 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, CSWE, CCNE, APA, Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, IACBE
7. University of Dayton
The University of Dayton has been educating students from Dayton Ohio and countries around the world for more than 150 years. Many students that earn their bachelor’s degree at the school continue on to earn a graduate degree. The majority of graduate programs at the university do not require a GRE, but offer students the opportunity to submit a GRE score if they want it considered during their admissions process.
The university encourages students to engage the world, and believes that knowledge and action are powerful. The University of Dayton offers more than 50 master’s degree programs, 12 doctoral programs, and a number of post-graduate certificates. Consider pursuing a graduate degree in education, criminal justice, business, engineering, management, law, or counseling.
- Tuition: est. $925 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, ABET, ABA, AACSB International, CAEP, NASAD, CACREP
8. Saint Joseph’s University
Although the admissions requirements at Saint Joseph’s University indicate that a GRE is required for the Graduate Business program, for the biology and psychology graduate programs, students have the option of applying for a waiver. The university takes prior academic excellence, professional work experience, or professional licensure in lieu of the submission of GRE scores. Students should consult with an advisor to obtain information about waivers and other accepted admissions documents.
The following is the criteria for obtaining a GMAT/GRE waiver based on GPA, work experience or a master’s degree if you plan to be part of their business programs:
- Earned a cumulative, undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4 point scale with a minimum of 60 credit hours in one of the following: as a business major from an AASCB accredited institution; or has an Arts & Sciences major from a similarly ranked or accredited institution.
- Earned a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or higher in one of our Graduate Certificate Programs
- A minimum of 5 years of full-time progressive professional experience that entails a significant scope of responsibility (managing people and/or projects) and employs in-depth quantitative and analytical skills.
- Earned a terminal degree (Ph.D., M.D., D.O., J.D., DBA, etc.) or a Master’s degree (M.S., M.A., etc.) from an accredited, not-for-profit institution.
- Licensed in the United States as a CPA, CFP, CFA, PMP or have earned Yellow Belt or higher Six Sigma certification.
Consider programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Health Studies and Education, or the Haub School of Business. It is interesting to note that 99 percent of the school’s 2018 graduate class either obtained employment or were continuing their education beyond the master’s degree within six months of receiving their degree.
- Tuition: est. $1,008.33 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, AACSB
9. University of New England
Graduate students do not have to submit the GRE when they apply to most programs at the University of New England. The majority of graduate programs instead look to undergraduate cumulative GPA and work experience, rather than focusing acceptance on a GRE score.
Students have the opportunity to pursue a graduate degree either on-campus or online. Do you have an interest in marine science, or ocean food systems? These are just two of the unique graduate programs at the school that does not have a GRE requirement.
The school, like most graduate schools, has different tuition rates for individual graduate programs.
- Tuition: est. $1,012 per credit hour
- Accreditation: New England Commission on Higher Education, CAATE, ACBSP, CODA, COA, ACEN, ACPE, COCA, Commission on Accreditation (COA) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
10. Simmons University
Start your graduate degree at Simmons University straight from earning your undergraduate degree, or after starting your career. The school does not require GRE submission for most programs, and it is optional for a couple of the graduate degree programs.
Simmons University says that it links passion with purpose, and pledges to give students a meaningful return on their educational investment. Select your preferred graduate degree from options in behavioral analysis, teaching, education, health professions, nursing, library science, social work and other options.
- Tuition: est. $1,193 per credit hour
- Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education, Association for Behavioral Analysis International, American Library Association Committee on Education, CCNE, AACSB, Council on Social Work Education Committee on Accreditation
11. University of San Francisco
The University of San Franciso offers several graduate programs that do not require students to submit GRE scores for admission. The College of Arts and Sciences only suggests that students consider the usefulness of the GRE ‘for additional evidence of quantitative ability.’ Students in the MSN program do not have a GRE requirement. The MBA likely requires submission of the GRE, but the School of Management does not require it for admission for most programs. Prospective students are potentially eligible for a waiver if their program has a GRE requirement and they are able to demonstrate exceptional work or academic experience.
- Tuition: est. $1,355 per credit hour
- Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), AACSB, ABA, CALBAR, CCNE, NASPAA, CTC.CA
12. Johns Hopkins University
The debate on the value of the GRE is somewhat evident at Johns Hopkins University. Although the Bloomburg School of Public Health still requires the GRE for admission, most other programs do not have the requirement. In fact, the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences voted against a GRE requirement. Department Chair Anand Gnanadesikan wrote that the GRE scores failed to find the ‘diamonds in the rough’ among talented students. He further suggested that the GRE could serve as a barrier to identifying strong applicants.
One benefit to prospective graduate students applying to one of the many programs is the fact that the school indicates that, ‘Of the programs that require the GRE, there is no minimum score requirements.’
- Tuition: est. $1,179 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, CEPH, CCNE, AACSB, Liaison Committee on Medical Education
13. Princeton University
Princeton University announced in 2019 that the school was making a submission of the GRE optional for students in 14 graduate programs. Sarah-Jane Leslie, Dean of the Graduate School, noted that the excellence of graduate school education at Princeton depends upon the ability of the school to attract students that are talented ‘from all backgrounds and identities.’
Another benefit of considering Princeton University Graduate School is the fact that the university charges the same tuition for all master’s degree-seeking students, and for all doctoral degree students. Tuition costs also include the Student Health Plan (SHP) fee.
- Tuition: est. $3592.66 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ABET, TEAC
Searching for a graduate school that does not require the GRE as part of the admissions process is a tedious task. We did the work for you in selecting these schools as the best potential options.
We ranked each school by assigning a unique score for tuition and ranked each school using the tuition cost and fact that a GRE is either not required, or the school allows a waiver.
We do our very best to be honest, accurate, and fair in all of our rankings. We do not permit any school to pay us for higher placement in our rankings. If a specific school wishes to be sponsored, we list that school separately from our ranked schools, and clearly label that school as SPONSORED.
Please contact us to include your school in our rankings, or if you would like to update the information for your school.