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GRE Scores by Program Major

To see the average GRE scores for each academic discipline, take a look at our GRE Scores Infographic!

Over the past few months I’ve written about GRE scores for pretty much every imaginable school/major scenario. You can find links to those and more at the bottom of this post. This post is a summary of these past posts so you can find all of the score information in one convenient table. So without further ado, here are the estimated GRE scores by program, grouped by program ranking:

GRE scores by program area

Top
10
#11
- 50
#51
- 100
Program Verbal Math Verbal Math Verbal Math
Hard Sciences 159-163 162-166 155-159 160-164 153-157 158-162
Social Sciences 160-164 153-157 156-160 151-155 154-158 149-153
Life Sciences 158-162 154-158 154-158 152-156 152-156 150-154
Arts and Humanites 164-168 153-157 160-164 151-155 158-162 149-153
Top
10
#11
- 50
#51
- 100
Program Verbal Math Verbal Math Verbal Math
Education* 160 154 157 153 155 150
Top
10
#11
- 50
#51
- 100
Program Verbal Math Verbal Math Verbal Math
Engineering* 157-161 162.8 153-157 162.2 151-155 159.8
Top
10
#11
- 50
#51
- 100
Program Composite Composite Composite
Businesss* 326-330 318-328 310-322

* – For more about how these scores were derived, see the full posts, linked to below.

Calculating these GRE scores by program

Unfortunately most programs don’t release their scores. If you call them up, they’ll happily tell you there’s no minimum score (in most cases, there are exceptions of course!). That wouldn’t do very much to assuage those fears, dear readers. Instead, using the limited score data in the US News & World Report’s release on graduate schools (for engineering and education), I created a block scale that assumes a standard difference between the ETS’s average of intended applicants of a specific major and the rank block (ie Ranks 1-10, 11-50, 51-100). Next I added the expected difference to the average score of the intended major and spread 2 points on either side of that to create a nice range. It would look like this:

Program Rank block Intended Score Exp Difference Range
Science #1-10 157 11 points 166-170

 
This applies to all the programs without an asterisk in the chart at the top of the post.

Scores by Program Breakdown

For a more detailed look at each of these (eg, finding Chemistry or English GRE scores), check out the following posts:

Resources to get the GRE scores you’ll need

Check out the following links for more help preparing for the GRE:

 

About the Author

Chris Swimmer is an analyst at Magoosh who divides his time between marketing and research projects and helping folks out with their math hang ups while studying for the GRE and the GMAT. Follow him on Google+! And you can follow him @chrisrswimmer on Twitter.

48 Responses to GRE Scores by Program Major

  1. mark December 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    155 v 151 q 4.5 awa any chance of getting into university of colorado mba program?

    • Rita Kreig
      Rita Kreig January 1, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      It depends! Which University of Colorado? – Boulder, Colorado Springs, or Denver? They all accept the GRE.

      In general, students who score above 150 in quant and in verbal are in good shape for getting into a University of Colorado MBA program. I’d recommend looking at each school’s admissions website for specifics.

      For example, here’s the admissions info provided by UofC Colorado Springs:
      http://www.uccs.edu/business/index/academics/master-of-business-administration-(mba)/how-to-apply/mba-application-faqs.html

      Congrats on your GRE score and good luck with applications :)
      Rita

  2. Douglas J. Bender December 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    I took the GRE a few days ago, and scored a combined 328 (168 V, 160 Q). I have a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics (and partial fulfillment towards an M.S. in Applied Mathematics). I am hoping to be accepted into a PhD in Informatics program (my strong preference is Indiana University’s). I realize the combined score is pretty good, but I was wondering if I should perhaps retake the GRE, due to my Quantitative score being on the rather low-end for those enrolled in science PhD programs. (I had struggled with the flu and a high fever for about five days before taking the test; and the only preparation I had was to take two online practice GRE tests the day before the actual exam.)

    Would it be wise to retake the test, given all of this; or would it be unnecessary? Lastly, do GRE scores factor much, if at all, into receiving Research Fellowships? If so, would my scores probably qualify me, or should I retake the exam to try to increase my relatively-low Quantitative score.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • Rita Kreig
      Rita Kreig January 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      Hi Douglas,

      Congratulations, your combined score is excellent! However, my guess is that your program’s adcom will be impressed with the combined overall score, but will look closest at your quant score. If you think you can bring that score up, I would recommend taking the GRE one more time. When I was applying to grad school, I took the GRE twice – the first time, I had the flu and did OK, the second time I was healthy and made major improvements. How you feel and your mental state are hugely important factors in standardized test scores. And if you’re worried now, a better score could provide you with better peace of mind and more confidence heading into applications. (I know it’s expensive and annoying to take the GRE again … but it could really be worth it.)

      To answer your second question, GRE scores can factor into Research Fellowships, but they are not a primary factor. This really depends on the program (most programs are more interested in matching your interests to the research.)

      Good luck :)
      Rita

  3. abi November 26, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I have just finished my test 2 hours ago. I got 155 (v) and 162(q).
    Is it good enough to go to Berkeley (Electrical engineering Master).

    This is my first time, so I rather confidence that I will score higher in my next attempt.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer December 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      Hey Abi!

      Your averages are right on for the program, but remember that these are extremely competitive programs so you’ll need to stand out in other aspects of your application. :)

      Chris S

  4. Ehsan November 11, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    Hi Chris. Your efforts are much appreciated my friend. Very eye-opening statistics and very different from what the top schools are pretending what the average scores of their applicant pool are. Just one question : I am an international student and I recently took the GRE exam. (my scores 162 verbal, 160 quant, 4.5 writing). Is this score sufficient for a school like say Boston College for political science and any other schools with similar ranking ? Or should I just retake the exam ?! (Considering that I took the exam only once and honestly I wasn’t adequately prepared and there might be a legitimate chance that I could score significantly higher, although bearing in mind that would probably postpone my plans until a couple of months later).

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      Hey Ehsan! I’m sure you could score higher, but you should consider whether or not that’s the smartest use of your time at the moment. I’d say your score are reasonable enough to move on to other areas of your app, but if you feel like you can do a lot better, then just go for it!

      Chris S

  5. KT November 9, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Hey Chris,
    Scored 297 in GRE, ( v 139, q 158)
    Toefl 103 ( r 23 l 26 s 26 w 28)
    Gpa 3.8
    Need to pursue Ms in Pharmacology.. Will this score be sufficient to get this program..

    Thanks in advance

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Hey KT! There’s a lot that goes into an application, so I can’t tell you one way or another. Your Verbal score is definitely on the low end for most programs, though. Try reaching out to the programs and seeing what they say. :)

      Chris S

  6. Sam November 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I got a score of 310, 160 Quant and 150 Verbal. I have a GPA of 3.24. I am applying for masters in Energy at ETH zurich. Do you think these scores are competitive enough?

    Thanks for Magoosh!

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

      Hey Sam! Unfortunately I don’t know much about scores for programs in Europe. I’d check with them directly to see how much information they can give you. :)

      Chris S

  7. Kristine October 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I scored a 156 on the verbal and 154 in the quantitative section of the GRE. I am interested in pursuing my masters or PhD in chemistry. Is this a competitive enough score? If not, how much improvement is needed?

    Thank you for this blog.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 3, 2013 at 1:04 am #

      Hey Kristine! I’ll be honest, I’d say the quantitative score is a bit on the low end, especially for a PhD. Getting into the 160’s should be safe enough. :)

      Chris S

  8. Jennifer October 28, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Hi Chris! Thanks for useful posting!

    I took GRE and GRE subject exam (chemistry) without really studying.. (which I am regretting now)
    I took GRE twice; I got 152 on verbal, 170 on quantitative and 3.5 for essay for the first exam and then 153 on verbal, 166 on quantitative, and 3.5 for essay.
    And for GRE subject (chemistry), I got 740.

    I graduated from NYU, Chemistry B.S. major. I have a GPA of 3.96/4.00.
    And I have a year of research experience so that I could graduate with the highest honor in chemistry— but I wasn’t really happy with my lab and am not really close to the professor of the lab so I am not thinking of getting a reference letter from him.

    I am thinking about applying to the graduate program for chemistry.. I have several questions.

    1. what is the difference between the masters degree and phD? I prefer masters degree only because it requires only two years when phD is five years… but when I get a job, would phD be much helpful than masters degree? If so, why?

    2. Are my GRE scores too low for applying top schools? Should I spend one more year for studying GRE and applying next year?

    3. Another reason why I am thinking of applying next year is that I haven’t chosen what I want to study in a graduate school. I like organic chemistry; but I am not sure what specific research I want to work on for two to five yrs, depending on the graduate program. Also, I am worrying that what I found interesting might be the subject that, scientists in general think, have no potential useful application… making my research meaningless.

    Please give me some advice… Thank you!!!

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 3, 2013 at 1:02 am #

      Hey Jennifer! Questions #1 & #3 are questions you’ll have to find the answers on your own, either through personal decision or reaching out to the schools you think are interesting. For #2, I’d say they’re probably good enough, considering you’d be going for a science degree, but it seems like you’ve got a lot of thinking and research to do first. :)

      Best,
      Chris S

  9. sreeanth October 16, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    hii i scored 272 in first attempt in gre .and in second attempt i got 276.i cannot go for third attempt now.i want to apply for ms in us for aeronautical engineering.suggest me colleges for my marks.i am writing my tofel next month.my academic is 70 %..plz reply asap.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer October 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      Hey Sreeanth! Honestly there aren’t many programs for which a 276 is an acceptable score especially in aeronautical engineering. I would do whatever is possible to get that score up, even if it means waiting a year. Good luck!

      Best,
      Chris S

  10. vv September 29, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    hi my friend got 280 in her gre and wants to apply for business .she wants to write again .will writing gre affect her admissions.she studied for 10 days and got that score.

    • vv September 29, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      she wants to get 310 in her next time and write again.

      • Chris Swimmer
        Chris Swimmer October 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

        Hey VV, a 280, as you can see above is on the low side for most schools. A 310 would be much more acceptable, though a 30 point jump would be pretty spectacular. Taking the test again typically won’t be frowned upon, however. :)

        Best,
        Chris S

  11. George September 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I just took my first swing at GRE with intent to go after MS in Aerospace Engineering in one of South California schools. My raw scores came out 160 for Math and 164 for Verbal. Does having a higher verbal score over Math affect my grad admissions chances?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Hey George! I wouldn’t worry about having a higher than expected average in verbal, but rather about having a high enough quant. Check around to see if you can get some more info online. Also check out this post: GRE Scores for Engineering Programs

      • Reeta October 13, 2013 at 11:21 am #

        Hey Chris,

        In the situation that your quant is not high enough for example, quant :159, verbal:162, would this create major problems for applying to computer science engineering courses? Mostly because I do not think I can retake the test owing to how its already so close to November…

        Thanks!

        • Chris Swimmer
          Chris Swimmer October 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

          Hey Reeta! That really depends on a lot of factors, especially how highly ranked the school is. A lot of CS applicants at the top end will be well above a 159, but once you get to mid range schools, you’re running about average. :)

          Best,
          Chris S

  12. PA September 17, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    I scored 157 Quant / 157 Verbal after 10 days of study. I also spent 90% of that time only studying math. What chances do you think I have of scoring 167+ Quant / 163+ Verbal? I want to get into one of the top 10 for hard sciences/engineering?

    Thanks alot!

    • PA September 17, 2013 at 9:13 am #

      btw, I work full-time.. so that was 10 days of study while working full-time.. thnx again

      • Chris Swimmer
        Chris Swimmer September 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

        Hey PA! You’re aiming for a 16 point overall improvement, which would honestly be on the “incredible” side of things. I’m not saying it’s not possible. I’ve seen students go up 20 points or more, but that’s typically on the lower end of the score scale (it’s easier to move from a bad to a mediocre score than from a mediocre to a good score). But aim high! Check out Magoosh if you haven’t already. It might be able to bump you up to what you need. :)

        Best,
        Chris S

  13. Bill September 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    Hello Chris and GRE community,

    Hats off to Magoosh team for maintaining such a great blog.

    I gave GRE for the first time on 5th September 2013 and got 164 in Quant, 159 in Verbal and 3.5(UGH) in AW. Should I need to give GRE again to get in top 10-20 electrical engineering courses. Should I need to give a second attempt especially to strengthen my analytical writing?

    I think, I have other remarkable achievements.

    Thank you,

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Hey Bill! I doubt the AWA is extremely consequential to your admissions chances in electrical engineering. I’d try to check with the schools as well as on the forums to see what info you can glean. :)

      Best,
      Chris S

  14. Hotash September 13, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    Hey Chris,

    I’m willing to pursue masters degree in engineering from USA. But, my undergraduate CGPA is too low (2.91 in the scale of 4, 63.14% marks). In WES evaluation, it may be above 3.00. My friends are suggesting me that a good GRE score can compensate my CGPA and improve my profile. But, I can’t be so optimistic because, most universities require minimum CGPA of 3.00 for graduate admission.

    So, before taking preparation for GRE, I want your opinion. Should I go for GRE and make a good score ? Will everything go in vain?

    • Hotash September 13, 2013 at 5:59 am #

      Thanks in advance. I’m eagerly waiting for your reply

      • Chris Swimmer
        Chris Swimmer September 13, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

        Hey Hotash! It’s true that many adcoms look at some kind of combination of GRE/GPA, but to what extent really depends on the program. I’d expect that if a program says the cutoff is 3.00 then you’ll have to make a case for being accepted (hardships, etc). I’d reach out to the programs you’re interested in to try to get as much info as possible.

        Best,
        Chris S

        • Hotash September 13, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

          Hey Chris,

          I am from Electrical and Electronic Engineering background. I have some IEEE conference publications on power system, biomedical engineering and wireless sensor network. Now, I’m trying publish my research in an international journal. Currently, I’m completing an MBA degree.

          So, please give me information about the programs related to my research interest.

          Thanks

          • Chris Swimmer
            Chris Swimmer September 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

            Hey Hotash! Unfortunately, you’ll have to do that research on your own! I’d start with US News and then see who is publishing papers in your area of interest. Then check around the grad school forums. :)

            Best,
            Chris S

  15. Ashwin September 5, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    Hey Chris,
    Finally reached your blog.
    After a month’s preparation, I took GRE two days back and my score turned out to be V147 Q158 = 305 . Yet to take Toefl.
    I have 3.5 yrs of IT experience. Current designation is Lead Developer in Samsung Research India.
    Graduated from CEG, Anna University with CGPA 8.6 ( M.Sc C.Sc 5YRS Integrated).
    Can you please suggest if my GRE score is sufficient to get into decent universities for Computer Science or should I consider taking the exam again.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      Hey Ashwin! All the info I can give you is simply based on your GRE scores. I recommend you check where your scores put you in terms of ranking range, but remember there’s plenty of flexibility with scores. It will get you in the door, but not much more. :)

      Best,
      Chris S

  16. Aditya September 4, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Hey Chris! I’m a Magoosh premium member and gave my GRE couple of days back. I got a score of 320 (166 Q, 154 V). Along with this, I have 26 months of work exp and am from a premier institute (IIT) in India but my grades are pretty low (6.52/10). I tried to compensate that with a couple of finance related certification on which I scored distinction grade.

    Will this score be sufficient (along with other aspects of my profile) to get me into following schools for Financial Engg. program?

    1. Columbia
    2. Georgia Tech

    Thanks in advance.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      Hey Aditya!

      It’s tough to say. Those are particularly tough schools to get into so even those with nearly perfect stats find themselves with rejection slips. :( Of course by the same token many with lower scores have made it in. My advice is to focus on what makes you the perfect candidate for those programs and why your undergrad GPA isn’t necessarily a reflection of that (adcoms know that people change and grow, they’re humans too!).

      Best,
      Chris S

  17. Rahul September 2, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    Well, I have got a GPA of 3.37 in my undergraduate degree from India; I have registered my GRE and TOEFL by the end of October,2013. I am trying to keep up my score as high as possible. But I am quite confused about getting into a good university for studying masters in US or elsewhere. Could anyone enlighten me with some possibilities, that I might get a chance to study in a good university with this GPA?
    Can I get to study somewhere good, so that I wont be confused about applying to a good university or otherwise it’ll just be a waste of time as well as money?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      Hey Rahul! The best bet is to do as much research as possible on the programs you’re interested in. I think most applicants (especially international) really hurt their chances because they’re applying for a “name” program as opposed to one that fits best with their skills and interests. Start there, research on the forums, and then apply. Remember US grad programs take a lot more into consideration than simply a GRE score. :)

      Best,
      Chris S

  18. rizwan August 29, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    hey! yesterday i gave gre and i got 308 ( verbal-147 quant-161)
    and my acads are 7.1/10. Is it possible to get admission in San jose state university in aeronautical engineering.If not then pls suggest some universities for aeronautical engineering.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      Hey Rizwan! I don’t really know too much about that school specifically, and even if I did, remember there are a lot of factors that go into school selection. I recommend checking around on forums and doing a little bit of homework to figure out who’s doing the work you find most interesting and fits your skill set. :)

      Best,
      Chris S

  19. Rohitash August 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for sharing this. Could you please comment on GRE score for PhD programs in Pharmaceutical Sciences (10-50, 50-100)

    Cheers!
    Rohitash

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      Hey Rohitash! Unfortunately I don’t have any info on those programs at the moment! I’d check around on forums and with specific programs to see what you can find out!

      Best,
      Chris S

      • Rohitash August 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

        Thanks Chris! I tried to fathom some information on the forums but couldn’t get a clear picture. Let me know if you find anything.

        Cheers!
        Rohitash

  20. Ajinkya August 27, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    First of all thanks to all the Magoosh team for an excellent blog and great eBooks!!

    I gave my GRE on Aug 26 2013 and scored 329 (V-162 Q-167)

    I wanted to ask whether I should give a 2nd attempt to improve my prospects for admission

    Also whether a score increase is possible with 3 months of study?

    Thanks

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

      Hey Ajinkya! Glad you find our stuff helpful! I think in three months you can definitely improve your score, though I have to say it’s already pretty good!

      Best,
      Chris S


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