Girl telling us about universities that do not require GRE

Top US schools that don’t require GRE

Last Updated on September 16, 2021 by iSchoolConnect

Before shortlisting universities for your 2021 applications, check out this list of schools that don’t require GRE. Applying to these colleges will not only save you money, but it also might spare you from taking the 3-hour long test!

GRE is a standardized assessment required by most graduate schools in the US. Needless to say, the scores of the exam play a critical role in the admission process. However, there are some universities that do not require you to submit GRE scores for admission. In this blog, you can read about some of the top US schools that don’t require GRE.


Columbia University

Distinguished personalities like President Barack Obama, Robert Kraft, SNL star Kate McKinnon, magnate Warren Buffet, and many others are proud alumni of Columbia University

Columbia University is a proud member of the Ivy League of universities. The university offers quite a few programs that don’t evaluate students solely on the basis of GRE scores. Applicants for some specific programs such as MS or MA in Journalism, MS in Neuroscience and Education, MA in Early Childhood Education, several programs in the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, etc. don’t need to send in their GRE score with their university applications.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT is one of the schools that don't require GRE
Tests are not the only factor, or even the most important factor, considered during MIT admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is widely regarded as one of the world’s top universities for computer science and engineering fields. MIT is one of the most prominent schools that don’t require GRE, and it believes in testing the students’ caliber using unconventional factors. Specifically, students applying for Ph.D. programs like Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Linguistics, Media Arts and Science, etc. are exempted from giving the GRE exam.


Northeastern University

Northeastern University
Northeastern University is home to students from over 139 countries

Regarded as one of the most prominent universities in Boston, Northeastern University is famous for its graduate programs and offers several programs without asking for GRE scores. In exchange for no GRE scores, this university demands that the students preferably submit Letters of Recommendation that will help compound their overall university application. Programs such as Masters in Bioinformatics, Nanomedicine, specific Chemistry programs, etc. do not need students to submit their GRE scores.

University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley offers Masters in usa without gre
University of California, Berkeley has 184 Academic Departments and Programs

The University of California in Berkeley offers admission in Ph.D. without making GRE compulsory. Applicants can take admission without GRE in some programs while in others they have the option but are not obliged. Some of these programs are:

  • Ph.D. in Architecture and Environmental Design (Optional)
  • Master of Science in Architecture (Optional)

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San José State University(SJSU)

San José State University campus
To get into SJSU, you must meet both the minimum SJSU Eligibility requirements & the graduate degree program requirements

San José State University is another great addition to the list of schools that don’t require GRE. Located about an hour away from San Francisco, California, SJSU is widely known for its research and technology-based programs. While SJSU has a specific set of programs that need no GRE scores, they definitely need students to submit their IELTS or TOEFL scores as proof of English proficiency.
Some of these programs at SJSU include:

Alabama A&M University

Alabama A&M university building
This university has a Testing Services Center that coordinates all university testing activities

Alabama A&M University focuses on student learning and prepares them for a myriad of challenges and opportunities. It offers several programs and is one of the best universities without GRE requirements. Students who are interested in the following programs don’t have to worry about giving the GRE exam.

  • Food Science
  • Physics
  • Education Specialist
  • Psychology
  • Family & Consumer Sciences
  • Biology
  • Elementary Education
  • Social Work

Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University offers Master's degree without GRE
The CMU offers over 70 graduate degree programs at the master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels

Central Michigan University believes in fostering a culture of integrity, respect, and leadership. If you were looking for a Master’s degree without GRE requirements, you don’t have to look elsewhere. The university offers a Master’s of Science in Administration without GRE or GMAT exams.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester institute of technology campus
Along with a stunning campus in Rochester, RIT has 4 other campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai, and Kosovo

Rochester Institute of Technology focuses on working at the intersection of technology, the arts, and design. It offers various programs in different fields such as engineering, science, fine arts, computing, and the like. The university is one of the best ones offering master’s in USA without GRE. In this university, you don’t need to worry about giving GRE for the following programs-

  • Product Development
  • Communication and Media Technologies
  • Manufacturing Leadership
  • Applied Statistics

University of Iowa

University of Iowa doesn't require GRE for few courses.
Founded in 1847, this institute is the oldest university in Iowa, USA.

Applicants that desire a Master’s without GRE in the Midwest can opt for the University of Iowa. The university specializes in enhancing the knowledge of its students in computer science. Students can choose the Master’s of Computer Science (MCS) program without worrying about their GRE scores. However, this exemption is only for the non-research version of the degree.

Other notable schools that don’t require GRE

Apart from the universities mentioned above, there are other institutions that don’t mandate GRE scores during admission:

  • New England Institute of Technology
  • University of the Potomac
  • New York Film Academy
  • Ferris State University
  • University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (Only MS in Computer Science)
  • West Texas A & M University
  • Full Sail University
  • Monroe College (GRE required if GPA is less than 3.0)
  • Monterey Institute of Inter Studies
  • National University
  • Tiffin University
  • Webster University
  • Digital Film Academy
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Monterey Institute of International Studies, and more.

Please note that while these universities don’t require GRE exam scores, many of them might need you to have a GPA of 3.0 or more and some relevant work experience.

Not all universities are listed above

As I’ve already mentioned, the list of grad schools waiving GRE has been changing. So if there’s a university or a course that you are interested in and you can’t find it on this list, don’t fret!

Go to the university website and check their Graduate page. Or look at the program page itself. If the application requirements on these pages do not mention GRE that submitting GRE scores is optional, you might not need to take the test after all! Unless you end up shortlisting a college that does require you to share your GRE scores.

So, should I take the GRE or not?

My only suggestion to you is this – shortlist your colleges wisely.

Don’t just pick universities because they are not giving GRE waivers. Choose them because you like the course and find the curriculum fascinating. And if that means you have to take the GRE test, do it.

In case you are facing any technical difficulties at home or if ETS does not offer the GRE at-home version in your country or your region, email the university. If they say you will definitely have to submit the scores, return to this blog about grad schools waiving GRE. Shortlist universities that you like, and apply!

You might end up at a place better than you had dreamed of.

Help me prepare for GRE!

Since not all courses and universities are waiving GRE, you might have a few on your shortlist that are asking students to submit GRE scores.

In that case, it’s best to start preparing for the test as soon as you can. To begin with, check out this blog on ‘All about GRE’ and then head over to the article I have written on ‘GRE at-home.’ You will find out about GRE test dates, exam pattern, registration, and scoring. The first blog also has a sample paper for you to practice.

Moreover, the second blog will help you set up your room and your PC (among other things) to help you take the test at home.

So, what are you waiting for? Head over and start preparing!

And in case you get stuck or have any questions (or if you’re still not sure about giving the GRE exam), feel free to reach out or drop a comment below.

We would be very happy to help!

Rashmi Kango

A writer by day and a reader by night, Rashmi is a quirky cog, in the wheel that is iSchoolConnect. She spends her days writing intriguing and informative articles about all things Higher-Ed.

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11 thoughts on “Top US schools that don’t require GRE”



  2. hello im Daniel and im from Ghana. I want to study molecular biology,biotechnology or plant breeding in the US but i havent taken the GRE test yet. Can u recommend some schools for me please.

  3. Hi, I am from Nigeria and I would like to study for my MBA or Msc Finance without going through GRE/GMAT route
    Kindly assist

    1. Hi Christiana! There are many universities that you can apply for based on your scores and preferences. To know more about it, you can just book a free counseling session with us here.

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. I have been in US past 22 years and I have all 22 years of IT Architect experience
    Can I join any IVY league or Stanford/Berkeley/MIT kind of colleges with my experience with out GRE ? for Data Analytics in MS ?

    1. Hi, I’m from Nigeria would like to do my masters in science or Health without going through the GRE route. Thank you in Anticipation

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