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GRE Scores for Science Programs

Aiming for a science program, like Computer Science or Chemistry, and looking for what GRE score you’ll be expected to have to get into your dream school? Here’s the info from ETS chart that tells us the average GRE scores for majors based on survey data they collect from test takers.

Intended Major Verbal Math AWA
Chemistry 153 157 3.9
Computer & Information Sciences 149 158 3.4
Earth, Atmospheric, and Marine Sciences 154 154 3.9
Mathematical Sciences 154 161 3.9
Physics and Astronomy 156 161 4
Natural Sciences – other 151 151 3.8



The scores above are intended majors. What does “intended” major mean? It simply means that that these are the average scores of people planning on applying to graduate school in a specific major.

Finding a real score range for Physical Sciences Programs

Using a scale drawn from the limited score data in the US News & World Report’s report on graduate schools, here’s a range of scores you could expect:

Top 10   #11-50   #51-100  
  Verbal Math Verbal Math Verbal Math
Chemistry 160-164 160-164 156-160 158-162 154-158 156-160
Computer & Information Sciences 156-160 161-165 152-156 159-163 150-154 157-161
Earth, Atmospheric, and Marine Sciences 161-165 157-161 157-161 155-159 155-159 153-157
Mathematical Sciences 161-165 164-168 157-161 162-166 155-159 160-164
Physics and Astronomy 163-167 164-168 159-163 162-166 157-161 160-164
Natural Sciences – other 158-162 154-158 154-158 152-156 152-156 150-154


Remember that you will be applying to a hard science program, so applying to graduate school is anything but easy; this is just a “good-enough” approach should put you in a decent position to create the appropriate study goals. So if you’re interested in a PhD in Physics from MIT, or a Master’s in Computer Science from NYU, then this is a good place to start.

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.

32 Responses to GRE Scores for Science Programs

  1. Joppan December 30, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Hi,
    My GRE score is 304( V:151,Q:153).
    TOEFL : 95
    Can you suggest me some good universities where i can do my ms in computer science.
    Is university of Nevada,Reno possible with this GRE score ?

    • Rita Kreig
      Rita Kreig January 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

      Hi Joppan!

      Looks like your GRE scores meet the University of Nevada, Reno’s minimum requirements for the MS in Computer Science and Engineering. The minimum combined GRE score for the program is 297, and the minimum Quant scores is 152! So, you’re looking good so far :)

      Here’s more info: http://www.unr.edu/degrees/computer-science-and-engineering/ms?view=admissions

      A good number of US universities, both private and public, have an MS in Computer Science. I’d recommend thinking about where you’d like to be and narrowing your search from there. For example, do you prefer to be somewhere warm or cold? In a city, or in a small town? And then look at universities in areas where you’d like to spend a year or two. Also, consider whether or not you’d like a MS in Computer Science only, or an MS in Computer Science and Engineering.

      Happy searching!

  2. MH November 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Hi Chris ,

    I am an Internatinal Fulbright recommended student for Master’s in Electrical Engineering . My GRE score is 313 .
    Verbal = 159 and Quant = 154 , AWA = 3 . My GPA is 2.95/4.0. My application has been submitted to
    Georgia Tech
    Florida State
    North Carolina state
    and
    University of Arkansas
    . I have been asked by IIE to retake the GRE and improve my Quantitative score .Now my question is since my Quantitative score is on the lower side for an Engineering major so if for any reason I am unable to improve my quantitative score , What do you think , how much chance do I have of getting into the aforementioned schools .

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer December 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      Hey MH! Unfortunately, I’d say they’re right, you’ve got to bring up that Quant score. Georgia Tech particularly is a competitive program and even with great extracurricular activities, you’ll need a competitive score. As for specific chances, it’s really hard to say, as that can vary so greatly from applicant to applicant. I wouldn’t even think about that right now.

      Chris S

  3. Anmol November 19, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Hey

    I just took the GRE and I got 154 (V) and 167 (Q). I am going to apply to top schools. I have 3 years research experience with 1 publication and 1 to be published paper. I have a gpa of 3.88 (overall), 3.96 (chemistry) from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I am also a teaching assistant. However, I failed the CHEM gre miserably since I was sick and ended up missing 50 questions. How are my chances?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Hey Anmol! Unfortunately I just don’t have that much experience with the GRE subject tests and how programs view them. Check around on the forums to get a sense of how they’re typically viewed and if you still feel at a loss try to reach out to the programs directly to see if they have any information they can give you. :)

      Chris S

  4. Ashok November 14, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    I want to take an admission in Fall 2014 session for my PhD (Earth Sciences- Geology).

    My credentials are;
    First class Honors in B.Sc. from University of Calcutta
    All India Rank 9 in IIT JAM exam 2008
    M.Sc. Applied Geology, Dept of Earth Sciences, IIT Bombay (CPI- 9.61/10)
    Outstanding student award during M.Sc.
    3 years research experience in IIT Bombay after M.Sc

    I got the following scores;
    GRE- 307; verbal: 152 (53 percentile/% below), quantitative: 155 (61 percentile/% below), Analytical Writing- 3.0 (14 percentile/% below)
    TOEFL- 83; Reading- 17, Speaking- 19, Listening- 23, Writing- 24

    My queries are;
    What are my options/chances in getting moderate universities (rank> 50 in Earth sciences) with these scores?
    Can I be able to get admission with such a low score particularly in TOEFL?
    I want to select 8 universities……out of which 4 universities have already been selected- Univ of Alaska, Fairbanks (Rank -54), University of South Carolina, Columbia (Rank- 81), University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (Rank -108), Colorado School of Mines (Rank -25)
    Kindly suggest me:
    whether my selections are appropriate or not?
    best available universities (another 4) with my score
    Should I dare to select 1-2 universities in the range between 35-50 rank?

    Thanks for the help.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Hey Ashok! Having a wide range of schools is a good idea as long as they fit the research you’re most interested in. I’d say go for a top 50 university but make sure you aim for some good programs at lower tiers as well. As for more programs, that’s something you’ll have to research yourself since there’s a lot to consider when choosing programs. :)

      Good luck!
      Chris S

  5. Shreyas November 1, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    Hey Chris,
    I’m an international student.I have a 318 on my GRE (155 in verbal and 163 in quant) and a 4.5 on my AWA.I also have 115 on my TOEFL.I really want to get into a good university to pursue my masters in computer science.I preferably would like to study in California. Do you think I can get into good universities like USC, UC Berkeley or UCLA with this score ?

    Shreyas.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

      Hey Shreyas! The best answer I can give is a “maybe”. You’d likely be around the middle of the pack for these programs, so you’ll have to find other ways to stand out. :)

      Chris S

  6. Joe October 31, 2013 at 1:44 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I got V145 and Q165 on my GRE and 107 on my TOEFL( R-L-S-W 19-26-26-26). I intend to apply for biological PhD programs. Will top 20 be possible? Thanks!

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      Hey Joe! Your verbal is probably on the low end, but honestly you should check with the programs individually to see how important those scores are. For some, it matters, and for others not quite as much. :)

      Chris S

  7. Karthik October 23, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    I got GRE score V151 ,Q160 interested in MS in Civil Engineering please suggest a good university in US with UG GPA of 8.3 from India.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer October 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      Hey Karthik! I’d start with US News I mentioned above and then do some Googling to find out who is doing the research that interests you the most. :)

      Best,
      Chris S

  8. ankita September 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Hey Chris

    I have taken Gre 310 (160 q / 150 v) 3.5 AW
    And toefl 103
    Undergrad score 8.14 in major and 8.03 overall from India.
    Have done 1 yr undergrad research and now doing a thesis based research. I m interested in phd in biology. What do u reccommend?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Hey Ankita! It sounds like you should do some research to determine which schools fit your interests and experience the best. Research fit is really important for PhD programs. :)

      Best,
      Chris S

      • ankita September 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

        Thank you chris for the reply. I did shortlist some universities but i am really worried about my gpa and gre. The gre score is not upto the mark. Nd since i am from India I need to convert my 10 scale cgpa to the us grading system. If i do it by unitery method my gpa comes to 3.2 is is nt vry good nd if i follow the columbian university scale my gpa comes to 3.7. Could you please tell me what gpa should i upload?

        • Chris Swimmer
          Chris Swimmer October 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

          Hey Ankita! You’ll have to check with the programs. A lot of them have their own standards that they use. A lot will allow you to put in your score is and convert it via their own means. It really varies. Definitely reach out to them to get more information. :)

          Best,
          Chris S

  9. neha September 18, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    I scored 310 (160Q/150V) in GRE and 103 in TOEFL.
    My undergrad btech grade is 8.03/10.
    10th-83.2 & 12th-81.
    I have indulged in a final year project and am doing an ongoing thesis based research work. I am planning to do a PhD in biology and have shortlisted 5 universities
    STONY BROOK SUNY
    SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
    FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA RIVERSIDE
    UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

    could you please tell me what is the probability of getting through these colleges and I am open to suggestions if you have any

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      Hey Neha! I can’t say one way or another unfortunately, and the truth is that I’m not very familiar with those schools. Definitely check around on the message boards to see what information you can find!

      Best,
      Chris S

  10. Karthik September 16, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I have GRE score of 307 (V 148 Q 159 AWA 3.0) ,GPA 8.93/10 and work exp of 2+ yrs in Software development field.

    I am looking for MS in CS from top #10-45 ranked universites in CS.
    I have GRE scores to Cornell Univ , Univ Of Florida , USC, Ohio state Univ columbus.

    DO I need to re-take GRE or I can proceed further ?

    Thanks in advance !

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

      Hey Karthik! It looks like your scores would be a bit on the low end for scores in the range of 10-20, but maybe a bit more on target as you approach #50 or so. :)

      Best,
      Chris S

  11. Arif Masrur September 12, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Hello Chris, I recently took the GRE and had scores of 152 on the Verbal,158 on the Quantitative and 3 on AWA. I have BSc. in Geography and Environment and CGPA 3.42 (scale 4) , among top 10% of my class. I have 1 article publication (US journal), 1 year work and research experience. Now I intend to have my MSc. in USA/Canada.

    How competent I am and what should be my prospective university range? Thanks.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      Hey Arif! Your scores are pretty good, so I recommend checking out the research being done and finding where your interests align best. :)

      Best,
      Chris S

  12. Dolapo August 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Hello Chris. I recently took the GRE and had scores of 158 on the Quantitative and 164 on the Verbal. I’m looking at a PhD in the Top 10 schools. However I have limited research experience. I graduates in the Top 1% of my class and have an Undergrad GPA of 4.67 on a scale of 5. What are your recommendations?

    • Dolapo August 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

      I forgot to mention that the Area I’m interested in is Biology.

      • Chris Swimmer
        Chris Swimmer September 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

        Hey Dolapo! The best advice I can give is for you to reach out to the schools you’re interested in to see if your research interests align. Most people applying don’t have too much on their CVs, so you probably won’t be that far out of the loop. :)

        Best,
        Chris S

  13. Utsav Jamwal August 13, 2013 at 4:07 am #

    Hi Chris, I’m Utsav, I am expecting 325 in GRE – Q165 and V160 and my academic profile is average i.e 65%, I do have a published paper in Database Security and I want to pursue my masters in Game Development/Computer Security, what kind of universities am I looking at?
    A+?
    A?
    A-?
    Your help is appreciated :)

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 16, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Hey Utsav! It’s hard to say for certain, as I’m not extremely familiar with those programs. I’d use computer science as a basic guide for where your scores stand. Then, instead of focusing so much on if your scores are “good enough”, look for programs that match your interests the most. That will get you far!

      Best,
      Chris S

      • Utsav September 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

        Thanks, Chris! :)

  14. Tony July 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Sir recently i got gre score of 163 in quant and 143 in verbal. since i have interest in mechanical engineering so i want to pursue in this field. does my score will help or should i go for retake. i am particularly intersted in cal tech universities and university of Oklahoma for mechanical stream. and one more question that can i get scholarship based on these scores???


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