Universities in the USA Offering GRE Waivers in 2024: Courses, Requirements, and Advantages

published on 24 January 2024
Universities in the USA Offering GRE Waivers in 2024: Courses, Requirements, and Advantages
Universities in the USA Offering GRE Waivers in 2024: Courses, Requirements, and Advantages

In recent years, a growing number of universities in the United States have started to offer GRE (Graduate Record Examination) waivers for certain programs, providing an alternative pathway for prospective graduate students. This article explores the landscape of universities that do not require the GRE in 2024, the courses available, and the requirements for obtaining a GRE waiver. Additionally, we'll delve into the benefits of these waivers and the reasons behind the increasing trend among universities.

Universities in the USA Offering GRE Waivers:

As of 2024, several reputable universities across the United States have joined the trend of granting GRE waivers for specific graduate programs. These universities are recognizing that standardized test scores may not be the sole predictor of a student's potential success in graduate studies. Some notable institutions include 

  • University of Chicago
  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Cornell University
  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Michigan
  • Columbia University
  • University of Pennsylvania

Courses Available Without GRE:

MBA Programs: Many business schools have started waiving the GRE requirement for their MBA programs, focusing instead on applicants' work experience, recommendation letters, and personal statements.

Public Health Programs: Some universities offering Master's in Public Health (MPH) or related programs have eliminated the GRE requirement, emphasizing relevant work experience and a strong academic background.

Information Technology and Computer Science: Certain computer science and information technology programs have waived the GRE, especially for applicants with substantial industry experience or a strong academic record.

Social Work: Many MSW (Master of Social Work) programs have recognized that professional experience and personal statements are better indicators of an applicant's suitability for the field than GRE scores.

Public Policy and Administration: Graduate programs in public policy and administration are increasingly waiving the GRE, instead focusing on applicants' professional experience and dedication to societal issues.

Requirements for GRE Waivers:

While universities vary in their criteria for granting GRE waivers, common requirements include:

Significant Professional Experience: Many programs consider applicants with extensive work experience in the relevant field as a substitute for GRE scores.

Exceptional Academic Background: A strong undergraduate GPA and a compelling academic history can sometimes lead to a GRE waiver.

Outstanding Letters of Recommendation: Impressive letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant's capabilities and potential in graduate studies may contribute to a waiver.

Compelling Personal Statement: A well-crafted personal statement demonstrating the applicant's passion, goals, and relevant experiences can be a decisive factor in obtaining a GRE waiver.

Benefits of GRE Waivers:

Increased Access and Diversity: Waiving the GRE requirement broadens access to graduate education, allowing individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to pursue advanced degrees.

Focus on Holistic Evaluation: Universities are recognizing the limitations of standardized testing and are shifting towards a more holistic approach to evaluate applicants, considering a combination of academic achievements, professional experiences, and personal attributes.

Attracting Non-Traditional Students: By eliminating the GRE requirement, universities are attracting non-traditional students, such as working professionals and individuals with unique life experiences, who may bring valuable perspectives to the academic community.

Reasons Behind GRE Waivers:

Validity Concerns: Critics argue that standardized tests may not accurately predict a student's success in graduate studies, leading universities to question the validity of GRE scores as a sole admissions criterion.

Promoting Inclusivity: By waiving the GRE, universities aim to create a more inclusive and diverse student body, recognizing that relying solely on standardized test scores may disproportionately disadvantage certain demographic groups.

Adapting to Changing Trends: Universities are adapting to changing trends in graduate admissions, understanding that many students, especially those with professional experience, may not perform well on standardized tests despite having the skills necessary for success in graduate programs.


As we move further into 2024, the landscape of graduate admissions in the United States continues to evolve. The trend of universities waiving the GRE requirement reflects a shift towards a more holistic evaluation of prospective students, emphasizing diverse experiences, professional accomplishments, and personal qualities. As a result, this movement not only benefits applicants by providing alternative pathways to graduate education but also contributes to the creation of a more inclusive and dynamic academic environment. Students considering advanced degrees should carefully research and consider universities that align with their goals and values in this changing landscape of admissions requirements.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which universities in the USA are offering GRE waivers in 2024?

Several universities in the USA are offering GRE waivers in 2024. Some examples include the University of Chicago, MIT, Cornell University, Stanford University, and Harvard University. However, policies may vary, and it's essential to check with each specific institution for the most up-to-date information.

What are the common requirements for obtaining a GRE waiver?

While the requirements for GRE waivers can vary by university, common criteria often include significant professional experience, advanced degrees, strong academic records, or other standardized test scores such as the GMAT. Each university will have its own set of criteria, so it's advisable to review the specific requirements of the chosen institution.

How can I apply for a GRE waiver?

To apply for a GRE waiver, candidates should check the admission requirements of the respective university. Most universities will outline the specific conditions under which a GRE waiver may be granted. Generally, this information is available on the university's official admissions website or can be obtained by contacting the admissions office directly.

Are there advantages to obtaining a GRE waiver?

Yes, there can be advantages to obtaining a GRE waiver. Waiving the GRE requirement may streamline the application process for individuals who have significant work experience or other qualifications that make them strong candidates for admission. Additionally, it can save time and resources associated with preparing and taking the GRE exam.

Can international students also avail GRE waivers?

Yes, international students may also be eligible for GRE waivers at certain universities in the USA. However, it's crucial for international applicants to carefully review the admission policies of each institution, as the criteria for obtaining a waiver may differ based on factors such as academic background, professional experience, and other qualifications.

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