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Top 25 Graduate Schools That Don’t Require GRE Scores [2019 Guide]

Top 25 Graduate Schools That Don’t Require GRE Scores [2019 Guide]

Graduate schools that don't require GREGetting admission in a graduate school is often a life-changing event for most career-oriented individuals. Despite my good grades and an inspiring career, I was shocked to learn that most graduate schools require you to take GRE exam.

As a full-time employee of a multinational company, I knew it would take many months to properly prepare for GRE, which meant losing the opportunity to apply for the upcoming semester.

After weeks of research, I was glad to learn that there are several reputable graduate programs that don’t require candidates to take GRE. This is a list of my findings that will hopefully inspire you to take the lead.

Graduate Schools That Don’t Require GRE Scores

Many well-known US graduate schools do not consider GRE as an important source of information to judge a candidate. It also means that other factors such as your skills are more important to the admission committee. If you’re thinking about applying to graduate school, following are some of the programs that do not require GRE test.


Business, Management, and Finance Graduate Programs

Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

A Master’s degree in Business Administration will allow you to work on a managerial level that involves careers as managers and consultants in the private sector, research institutes and government planning sector. This degree offers students a chance to analyze, manage, and research study areas such as finance, administration and marketing.

Master’s in Finance (MA or MS)

The Master in Finance is a professional study that will allow you to learn how to use financial analysis models and techniques. At the end of the study period, students will be able to solve critical investment problems. The aim of the course is to enable students to add value to organizations by creating financial strategies within a complex business environment.

Master’s in Marketing (MA, MS, or MBA)

The Master in Marketing allows students to study marketing techniques that can provide them competitive advantage over their rivals. By identifying potential markets and segments, you will understand consumer purchasing processes. The program also studies methods that provide an overview of the consumer buying patterns in different markets.

Master’s in Accounting (MA, MS, or MBA)

Master’s in Accounting will enable you to understand and develop the practical skills necessary to use some of the latest financial tools. Often, these financial tools are essential for the growth of any organization. You will also get an in-depth knowledge of international accounting reports and business stats.

Master’s in Organizational Leadership (MA, MS, or MBA)

A Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership focuses on leadership qualities to manage the “human aspect” of corporations. As a student, you are likely to gain detailed knowledge of various disciplines such as humanities and social sciences. After graduating, you can help your organization get maximum productivity from its workforce.

Master’s in Management (MA, MS, or MBA)

This degree allows students to gain a solid knowledge of changes that are shaping our corporate environment. You will get in-depth knowledge regarding the objectives of a modern organization that wants to add value to the society. Entrepreneurship, information technology, and creativity are some of the core topics of this program.

Master’s in Human Resource Management (MA, MS, or MBA)

The Master in Human Resources studies the basic concepts linked to the supervision and management of people in the 21st century. You will learn how to deal with corporate employees in a fast paced environment of a large company. The program also allows students to study different tools that are useful in managing workers, efficiently.

Education Graduate Programs

Master’s in Education (M.Ed)

Studying Master’s in Education, students get a broad overview of the educational challenges facing the modern world. You will develop and design educational projects that are vital to a progressive society. Graduates also learn pedagogical and psychological foundations that make up the educational process.

Master’s in Teaching (MAT)

Master’s in Teaching will assist you in creating proposals that support the use of modern technologies. The course promotes learning in the class room. Unlike Master’s in Education, which provides a broader view of educational environment, this course is based on techniques used inside a school environment.

Nursing Graduate Programs

Master’s in Nursing (MSN)

The Master’s in Nursing degree aims to train professionals to handle a variety of medical issues. As a student, you will develop useful skills required in the hospital environment. Students also learn cutting-edge technology that is assisting future nurses to provide specialized care in an ethical manner to their patients.

Master’s in Nursing Practice (MSN-NP)

The main objective of Master’s in Nursing Practice is to provide expert training to students helping them acquire first-hand knowledge of clinical skills. By the end of the Master’s degree, you will acquire the necessary expertise required to work and manage patients using traditional and scientific techniques.

Psychology Graduate Programs

Master’s in Psychology (MA or MS)

The Master’s in Psychology is usually aimed at professionals in social science, health science, and education science. After graduating, you are able to demonstrate a solid background in various types of research methods used in psychology. During your studies, you will also develop solid skills needed to execute projects related to psychology, and create group intervention programs.

Master’s in Forensic Psychology (MA or MS)

The Master in Forensic Psychology provides fundamental skills for the practice of the profession of forensic psychologist in an expert role. As an expert adviser, you will learn to prepare reports for the jury in legal proceedings. You will also acquire the tools and knowledge necessary to prepare the forensic report in different jurisdictions and learn various methods to present such reports before Courts and Tribunals.

Counseling & Therapy Graduate Programs

Master’s in Counseling (MA or MS)

Master’s in Counseling is mainly focused on perusing license in the fields of mental health counseling and school counseling. Enrolling in this program will enable you to learn modern techniques of individual and group counseling sessions. During the course of study, graduate students interact with psychologically disturbed individuals who require effective communication to solve their social issues.

Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (MA or MS)

The Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling degree is designed to prepare highly qualified, entry-level therapists with specialized knowledge in the treatment of couples and families. You are trained to recognize individuals, couples and families from the perspective of our social system. Students build strong conceptual, assessment, treatment planning, and intervention skills based on the main models of couple and family therapy.

Master’s in Pastoral Counseling (MA or MS)

This program trains knowledgeable physicians and counselors to provide counseling services from faith-based spiritual perspective. As a student, you will also get many academic and clinical opportunities to integrate religious and spiritual competencies. The type of training enables graduates to provide a holistic approach to the treatment of an individual.

Social Work Graduate Programs

Master’s in Social Work (MSW)

The Master’s in Social Work is usually designed to improve the quality of life of a particular individual or community. You will likely combine research, crisis intervention, community organization, and strategy to achieve community-oriented results. After graduation, students can work directly with hospitals, NGOs, and various government institutions.

Computer Science & Technology Graduate Programs

Master’s in Computer Science (MS)

Getting Master’s in Computer Science allows you to analyze and design new computer systems. You can also study advanced design techniques associated with artificial intelligence and robotics. Different type of programs in the field also offers extensive industry-experience enabling students to write complex applications related to computers, Internet, and gaming.

Master’s in Information Technology (MA, MS, or MBA)

Master’s in Information Technology allows you to gain a broad knowledge of all ICT areas related to information technology. You will get insight into constantly evolving technology that is the basis of current research and innovation. While studying, graduates conceive, plan, and manage the development of complex computer applications. You will also study IT systems from business and institutional context related to the latest gadgets in the market.

Master’s in Cybersecurity (MS)

Master’s in Cybersecurity covers legal and ethical aspects of security in the computing world. As you study detailed topics, you will notice that most topics are tailored around security in computers. Accordingly, students learn about various forensic issues that cover sources of data hack. During the study, you will also uncover aspects of communication systems that are prone to cyber attacks.

Theology, Religion, and Divinity Graduate Programs

Master’s in Divinity (M.Div)

The Master of Divinity is mainly designed for students who wish to serve the people of God through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the local church. As a student, you gain comprehensive skills to recognize and understand the different views of our world, and to know how the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ impacts each person in their individual context.

Master’s in Christian Ministry (MA)

The Master’s of Arts in Christian Ministry degree is designed for ministry leaders, church workers, and professional Christian educators who provide services in secondary and higher education. If you’re a minister seeking continuing education, this degree will enhance your desire to gain a better perspective on faith and life.

Master’s in Religion (MA)

If you undertake this course, it will help you gain knowledge of the wide range of interdisciplinary approaches that are applied to religious thinking. Students mainly study religious history of theology and main aspects of different religions. The Master of Science in Religion also includes topics such as the impact of religion on culture, art or psychology.

Master’s in Theology (MA)

As a student of Master’s in Theology, you will learn the nature of divinity by reviewing a variety of religious and philosophical beliefs. It is often, but not always, studied to enhance existing knowledge in a specific religion. Your program will cover comparative religion, philosophy, and spiritual writing as well as the effects of religion on history, economics and politics.

Master’s in Worship Studies (MA)

Master’s in Worship Studies is related to the basic understandings of theological concepts. After enrolling in this program, you will learn to apply your knowledge to scripture to understand worship foundations and traditions. Topics usually include biblical theory of worship, spirituality in post-modern world, ministry issues, history of Christian worship, and pasturing a community.

Liberal & Fine Arts Graduate Programs

Master’s in Fine Arts (MFA)

The Master of Fine Arts degree will allow you to focus on such diverse fields as visual arts, video, film, dance, theater, performing arts, and literary creation, among others. Graduate students mostly specialize in engraving, photography, conceptual art, textile art, illustration, comics and calligraphy.

Masters in Communication (MA)

Masters in Communication prepare students for a wide range of careers ranging from local news agencies to handling international projects in international companies and government organizations. Your Specialization options usually include organizational communication and marketing communication. Also remember that this program is designed for entry to mid-level managers working in the corporate sector.

Public Policy, Public Health, and Public Administration Graduate Programs

Master’s in Public Policy (MA or MS)

Master’s in Public Policy will allow you to study how laws, rules and regulations are created by governmental organizations. The degree program could include the study of municipalities, regional governments, national organizations, and political and non-governmental organizations. Students are also thought to use statistical data to analyze and diagnose the social needs of population.

Master’s in Public Administration (MPA)

Students enrolled in Master’s in Public Administration learn about a number of administrative and management tasks common to nonprofit agencies and government organizations. You learn how to improve efficiency and increase overall success rate of a public project using different policies.

Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

Master’s in Public Health will train you to address public health measures from various perspectives. Students learn different intervention methods allowing them to deal with health problems of a specific population. You will learn techniques such as advocacy intervention, protection, and restoration of community health programs.

Criminal Justice & Law Graduate Programs

Master’s in Criminal Justice (MA or MS)

Master’s in Criminal Justice offers students a chance to learn about prevailing criminal laws. You will learn about criminal phenomena of our time such as corruption, organized crime, corporate crime, and new technologies. Upon graduation, students are well prepared for careers in a range of criminal justice fields that includes job as FBI agent, Air Marshall, Corrections Officer, and Parole Officer.

Sports Management and Exercise Science Graduate Programs

Master’s in Sports Management (MS)

Master’s in Sports Management will allow you to apply tools for success in the sports industry. Topics of study include psychology, management, marketing, policy making, and communications. After graduating, you can find large number of opportunities in management and training positions within sports organizations.

Master’s in Exercise Science (MS)

The Master’s Degree in Exercise Science is designed for professionals who already have a college degree in exercise science, kinesiology, physical education or a related subject. Through this program, you will gain strategic and critical thinking skills needed to understand body dynamics. Knowledge about diet and nutrition that you gain from this program is immediately transferable to the current job market.

Healthcare Administration Graduate Programs

Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA)

The Master of Health Services Administration will allow you to study subjects necessary for the development of leaders in the field of healthcare management. While studying, you will have a chance to learn different aspects of management related to hospitals, healthcare organizations, and public health infrastructure.

Human Services Graduate Programs

Master’s in Human Services (MA)

Master’s in Human Services teach you how you can plan and manage services such as discounted healthcare programs, psychological counseling projects, drug rehabilitation services, and child services. Mostly, courses are related to administering a wide range of public incentives and community-outreach initiatives.

Physical and Life Science Graduate Programs

Master’s in Biomedical Sciences (MS)

The Master’s Program in Biomedical Sciences will allow you to develop necessary skills to integrate interdisciplinary research. The research is a critical part of the program, which includes validating experimental models and testing new drugs in pre-clinical models that can have immediate application to the needs of the patient.

Political Science & International Relations Graduate Programs

Master’s in Political Science (MS)

A Political Science degree covers topics related to the structure and function of governments, and how they influence people and societies. You will also evaluate the political, social and economic aspects of policies. Different lines of investigation include government policies, institutional behavior, political culture, civil society, and intentional geo-political security.

Master’s in International Relations (MA)

Master’s in International Relations combines Political Science to define modern aspects related to globalization, terrorism, ecological sustainability and international financial issues. Your curriculum will focus on complex relationships between nations and state. Students also study the relationship from historical, economic, political, legal and sociocultural perspective to understand impact of these diverse elements on a global scale.


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Doctor of Business Administration will allow you to contribute to business theory by conducting research on a specific topic. The research is aimed at providing strategic and innovative solutions to the complex problems faced by organizations. Most of the research is carried out in the context of global competence, and with ethical principles and of social responsibility.

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Doctor of Education develops education leaders and researchers who are capable of generating specific knowledge regarding the educational problems of the 21st century. As a student, you will conduct analysis and research around the educational infrastructure. Mostly, such programs are also recognized as preparation for administrative positions in schools and colleges.

Doctor of Public Health (DPH)

If you are interested in getting Doctor of Public Health, then prepare yourself to carry out extensive research related to public health and health systems. During the study, students learn how to respond strategically to public health challenges. You will learn how to tackle such problems at the global and national level by positively contributing to the development, management, and innovation of health policies.

Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Doctor of Healthcare Administration will prepare you to deal with the emerging topics of public health practice. It provides the student necessary knowledge and skills to analyze and evaluate health systems by making decisions based on evidence. You will be ready as a future leader to influence policies, programs and institutions through unique skills and knowledge obtained from this program.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

For experienced nursing professionals, Doctor of Nursing Practice offers an opportunity to study the theoretical and philosophical aspects of nursing science. By developing these skills at a broader level, you will be able to help medical scientists and researchers understand medical issues related to nursing and paramedics. Subjects such as epidemiology, anatomy and physiology make up the majority of courses studied in the program.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy is a research program that spans multiple years of study; therefore, graduate degree is necessary to gain admission in a PhD program.. During the time, you will likely undertake a research program under the guidance of a supervisor. In a traditional PhD program, a thesis is defended in front of examiners.

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

The Doctoral Program in Social Work will allow you to conduct research in the field of social policies and welfare. At the end of the program, students are capable of generating quality research proposals that contribute to the development of social policies. The study usually integrates applied and conceptual research.

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Doctor of Psychology extends the student’s understanding of basic psychological issues. The degree will prepare you to work in a wide variety of settings, such as private practices, hospitals and universities. During this program, courses in human behavior, mental disorders and neurological functioning are studied in greater detail.

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)

Doctor of Public Administration allows students to undertake research in the field of public policy. You will examine the evolution and use of different styles and modes of management in the public domain. Common areas of study include criminal justice, human resources, information technology systems, statistics and psychology.

Doctor of Computer Science (DCS)

Depending on the interest of student, Doctor of Computer Science is usually offered as a research-based or academic based program. Research-based programs are mainly focused on on-going research in the industry. The focus of your study and research is based on information security, database systems, compilers, software engineering, and computational theory.

Doctor of Information Technology (DIT)

The objective of DIT is to improve the technical experience of its participants and equip them with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to obtain leadership status in fields related to technology. You will learn about various IT management strategies that can help scientists develop more advanced technology systems.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (DOT)

If you are interest in research, then Doctor of Occupational Therapy can offer extensive learning opportunities to work in a public setting. Scholars usually learn skills that are relevant to a specific population, age range or community. The theory can be applied to various community-based practices by using existing evidence to develop the specific project.

5 Types of Graduate School Waivers for GRE Scores

Previously Earned Graduate Degree

If you have already earned a graduate degree in a related field, GRE requirements are often waived based on previous experience. Doctor of Nursing Practice is an example of such a degree.

Work Experience

Many reputable universities may substitute GRE for work experience. This is particularly true for research-intensive programs where experience is more necessary than previous academic qualifications.

Admission directors of various programs, such as healthcare, public policy, medical science, and business administration, encourage applications from experienced students because these students can positively apply theory to practice.

A number of these schools also have PhD programs without GRE scores required.

Undergraduate GPA Range

You will be happy to know that a number of graduate programs do not require GRE from students if their GPA falls in a particular range. It means that you can increase your chances of GRE exemption with better GPA. The average undergraduate GPA range for most graduate programs is between 2.8 and 3.0.


Some programs, particularly degrees related to business, allow students to provide GMAT scores instead of GRE. If you have already taken GMAT, talk to the admission counselor to waive GRE requirements.

No GRE Policy

Many graduate programs don’t require GRE from their applicants. This policy is usually followed by graduate schools that put greater emphasis on your research work and past experience. In fact, you can always find a school that has a “no GRE” policy.

Should I Send GRE Scores to Grad Schools if they are Optional?

If a school doesn’t require GRE, you can still send your scores if they are good enough to be noticed. Even if GRE is optional, there are a lot of schools that encourage students to send GRE. On the other hand, it’s a bad idea to include low GRE scores, particularly when the school doesn’t ask you to send one.

Are Grad Schools that Don’t Require GRE Scores Reputable

Accredited by same accrediting agencies that require scores

If your school doesn’t require GRE, it doesn’t mean that its reputation is at stake. In reality, “no GRE” is just a part of their admission policy because they are accredited by the same regional bodies, which endorse GRE exams.

Same level of academic quality and excellence

You may not know that all graduate schools are accredited by the same educational body. It means that higher educational institutes in the United States have to follow quality guidelines that are also similar for other institutes.

GRE scores do not determine future academic success

An increasing number of graduate schools are putting less focus on GRE because recent research indicates that GRE scores do not correlate with future success. A recent publication in Science Magazine provides several evidences related to the phenomenon. Therefore, you should not worry about taking GRE.

GRE scores are often misused by admissions committees

Research evidence also suggests that GRE scores are often misinterpreted by the admission committee of schools that rely too heavily on these scores. It is yet another reason why many schools don’t require GRE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which entry exams may be required by graduate schools in the U.S.?

GRE: It is the most common admission test for graduate schools in the United States. You will take exams in basic algebra, arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis. Written material and problems solving skills are also used to compare candidates.

GMAT: The exam is the most preferred admission test for admission into business schools. You will be assessed in analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal sections.

Miller Analogies Test: The test is required for admission to specific degree programs. It is a highly analytics test comprising of 120 questions in the form of analogy.

TOEFL: This admission test is mandatory for international students whose native language is not English. It tests students for their ability to read, listen, write, and speak in English language.

What is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?

The GRE will test you in three areas, which include analytical writing section, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. The score ranges from 130 and 170, where the top 10% of all test takers score an average of 164.

GRE vs. GMAT: What’s the difference?

There are three key differences between the two tests. While GMAT is preferred by business schools, GRE is the choice for admission into most other U.S. graduate programs.

Experts also believe that quantitative sections on GMAT are more difficult than GRE. In contrast, GRE can be difficult for non-native speakers as its verbal section contains more obscure words compared to GMAT.

Did you know that GRE candidates are allowed to return to their questions? In contrast, GMAT format doesn’t allow candidates to go back to previous sections. This difference in format can increase your test anxiety when taking GMAT.

Are there grad schools that don’t require GRE scores?

There are plenty of graduate programs administered by reputable schools that don’t require GRE. Your GRE scores can also be waived depending on experience, GPA, and GMAT scores.

Can you apply to grad school without GRE scores?

Yes, you can definitely apply to graduate schools without GRE score depending on the respective admission policy of each school.

Should I apply to a graduate school without GRE requirements?

You should not hesitate to apply to graduate schools without a formal GRE requirement. A number of reputable schools in the United States do not regard GRE as a prominent factor in their admission policy.

In addition, you can also find a number of colleges that have no dissertation for doctoral programs.

Is the GRE required for adult online students?

Most accredited online graduate programs offer similar quality of education compared to class-based programs. Accordingly, a number of online programs do not require GRE test, while others may provide test waivers, if applicable.

Is the GRE Test Required for Graduate School?

GRE requirements vary from school to school. In the United States, most graduate schools require GRE test; however, you can easily find reputable schools that do not require GRE exam as a part of their admission process.

Can you get a GRE waiver?

It doesn’t hurt to ask graduate school for GRE test waiver. Many schools will waive the admission test if you have many years of relevant experience. A good GPA may also qualify you for the test waiver. Similarly, if you have already taken GMAT, GRE may not be required.

Does applying to a no GRE graduate program save time?

Yes, it is more practical to apply to a no GRE graduate program if you’re short of time. Remember, GRE takes several months to prepare properly. The preparation means that you can delay your application to graduate school by 6 months to one year. If time to completion is a major consideration, check out our article on accelerated online PhD programs.

Hopefully, this information will be able to bust the myth that every reputable graduate school requires GRE. If you don’t have the time to take the test, don’t wait for another semester to get admission. Instead, start looking for program that encourages your skills and experience rather than your test-taking abilities.

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