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GRE Scores for Engineering Programs

This post was updated in May 2018 to reflect the most recent information available.

Applying to graduate school and wondering what’s the average GRE score for engineering programs? Want to know what score you need to get accepted to the best engineering schools, like those at MIT? Unfortunately, the average scores vary greatly by school, and not all schools are forthcoming with their admittance scores. Luckily for you, each year, the US News and World Report is kind enough gather whatever score data they can get from graduate schools and put it all together for us in a nifty little book and website.

Lucky future engineers! Unlike some programs, engineering programs do submit data to US News & World. This means that we know the GRE scores for admitted students in the top 100 engineering programs.

So let’s take a look at that data, and then what that data tells us. (Because let’s face it: everyone knows that for engineers, data interpretation is more than a little important.)

Average GRE Quant Scores for Engineering Programs

US News & World RankSchoolAverage GRE (Quant) of Admitted Engineering Students
3University of California - Berkeley166
4 (tie)California Institute of Technology168
4 (tie)University of Michigan - Ann Arbor166
5 Carnegie Mellon167
7Purdue University165
8Georgia Institute of Technology164
9 University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign166
10 (tie)University of Southern California166
10 (tie)University of Texas - Austin165
12 (tie)Columbia University167
12 (tie)Texas A&M University164
12 (tie)University of California - San Diego166
15Cornell University166
16University of California - Los Angeles165
17Princeton University166
18 (tie)Johns Hopkins University166
18 (tie)University of Pennsylvania166
20 (tie)Northwestern University165
20 (tie)University of Wisconsin-Madison164
22 (tie)Harvard University167
22 (tie)University of Maryland165
24 (tie)North Carolina State164
24 (tie)University of California-Santa Barbara164
26 (tie) Duke University166
26 (tie)University of Washington163
28University of Minnesota-Twin Cities164
29 Ohio State University165
30 (tie)Rice University166
30 (tie)Virginia Tech163
32 University of Colorado - Boulder162
33 (tie)Pennsylvania State University164
33 (tie)University of California - Davis163
35 (tie) Boston University165
35 (tie)University of California - Irvine164
37 (tie)Northeastern University162
37 (tie)Vanderbilt University164
39 Yale University167
40University of Virginia165
41 (tie)New York University164
41 (tie)Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute165
43 (tie)Iowa State University165
43 (tie)University of Florida163
45 (tie)Arizona State University162
45 (tie)University of Rochester165
47 (tie)Brown University166
47 (tie)University of Delaware166
47 (tie)University of Pittsburgh164
50 (tie)Case Western Reserve University165
50 (tie)Washington University in St. Louis167
52 (tie)Dartmouth College165
52 (tie)Rutgers University164
54 (tie)University of Dayton158
54 (tie)University of Notre Dame163
56 (tie)Colorado State University165
56 (tie)Michigan State University163
56 (tie)University of Tennessee - Knoxville160
58 (tie)Colorado School of Mines159
58 (tie)University of Arizona161
58 (tie)University of Utah161
61 (tie)Lehigh University165
61 (tie)University at Buffalo-SUNY163
61 (tie)University of California-Riverside163
61 (tie)University of Texas-Dallas163
65 (tie)University of Illinois-Chicago161
65 (tie)University of Massachusetts-Amherst154
67 (tie)Stony Brook University-SUNY164
67 (tie)University of Connecticut162
69 (tie)Clemson University158
69 (tie)Tufts University163
69 (tie)University of Houston161
69 (tie)University of Iowa162
74Illinois Institute of Technology160
75 (tie)Auburn University154
75 (tie)Oregon State University160
75 (tie)Rochester Institute of Technology160
75 (tie)Stevens Institute of Technology161
75 (tie)Syracuse University162
75 (tie)University of Central Florida159
75 (tie)Washington State University161
82Drexel University158
83 (tie)Michigan Technological University161
83 (tie)University of New Mexico158
83 (tie)University of Texas-Arlington157
86 (tie)George Washington University164
86(tie)University of University of California-Santa Cruz 163
88 (tie)New Jersey Institute of Technology158
88 (tie)University of Missouri 162
88 (tie)Worcester Polytechnic Institute163
91 (tie)Texas Tech University160
91 (tie)University of Cincinnati162
91 (tie)University of Nebraska-Lincoln161
91 (tie)University of South Florida158
95 (tie)University of Alabama-Huntsville157
95 (tie)University of Kansas159
97 (tie)Brigham Young University162
97 (tie)Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis162
97 (tie)Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge160
97 (tie)Southern Methodist University162
97 (tie)Tulane University161
97 (tie)University of Kentucky158
97 (tie)University of Miami160
97 (tie)University of Oklahoma159
97 (tie)University of South Carolina159

What Can We Take Away from Engineering Programs’ Average GRE Scores?

If you’re applying to graduate programs in Engineering and are wondering about your GRE scores, this table provides an enormous amount of information. This is particularly true if you look at the data in terms of correlation between school rankings and GRE scores (quant). If you do, you may notice:

  • The average GRE score (quant) of students admitted to top-10 Engineering programs is 166
  • The average GRE score (quant) of students admitted to Engineering programs ranked 11-50 is 165. While this is very close to the scores of students admitted to top-ten programs, note that the scores from 11-30 push this average way up; scores only start to drop appreciably from around 31-50.
  • The average GRE score (quant) of students admitted to Engineering programs ranked 51-100 is 162.

While GRE scores are not the only factor that adcoms look at, you’ll see that there is a strong relationship between a program’s rank and the scores of its admitted students.

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Verbal Score for Engineering?

So where’s the verbal data?

In most cases, it’s available on the individual school pages on U.S. News & World. However, your verbal scores will play such a small role in your admission to engineering schools that it’s not worth stressing about. Average, in this case, is good enough! (Average verbal scores are around 150, while the average verbal scores of those intending to pursue entry into engineering programs are 149.)

What does that mean for you? Well, while an average GRE quantitative score will put you at a major disadvantage in your application, an average verbal score will put you right in the middle of the pack.

That’s not say don’t study for verbal! Definitely check with your intended schools and see what information they reveal about the weight of verbal scores. It could be that scoring in the 75th percentile puts you ahead, or it could be that only your quantitative score is important. That might ultimately be a mystery, but just keep in mind that scoring around average in verbal won’t be killer.

Average GRE Scores for Future Engineers

As we’ve seen, average quant scores may prove to be a disadvantage for you, especially if you’re applying to competitive programs. So just what is the average GRE score of test-takers intending to apply to engineering school? We’ve already seen that in verbal, it’s 149—but brace yourself, because it’s 159 in quant for engineers taking the test. To contextualize that 159, it’s in the 73rd percentile.

Average GRE Scores by Engineering Focus

However, those averages start to vary a little when we take focus and specializations into account. Check out the average GRE quant scores for different tracks.

GRE Scores of Intended Engineering Students by Track

Engineering TrackAverage GRE Quant Score of Students Intending to Study This Track
Chemical Engineering161
Civil Engineering158
Electrical Engineering159
Industrial Engineering159
Materials Engineering162
Mechanical Engineering159

Again, you can see there’s not a whole lot of flexibility in scores, but that’s not surprising, given the quantitative nature of engineering.

What GRE Score Do You Need for Engineering Programs?

While there is no magic bullet score that will get you in to the best engineering schools, a quantitative score between 161-166 will put you in average company for the top 100 programs. Therefore, you should try to get into the 160s. Again, that’s not a ton of breathing room, but, hey, you want to be an engineer? You should probably be pretty decent at math.

How Do You Get a Score Good Enough to Get In?

The answer to this tough question depends on your available time and skill level in math (and verbal!). First you’ll need a good study plan, probably a math focused one. A lot of Magoosh students have used these schedules to great success. You’ll also need some good GRE resources. Be careful, there’s a lot of GRE prep materials out on the market to sift through, and a lot of it’s not great. My colleague Chris Lele has reviewed the major GRE prep books and it’s worth a read. And of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend checking out Magoosh, as our students regularly experience strong gains in quantitative scores.

Due to the overwhelming response in the comments, I’ve had to shut them off, so some final advice for those in search of whether or not your scores are good:

1. Remember that schools assess more than your GRE
2. The internet is your friend. Go through US News and then check the internet for schools that seem like a good fit.
3. Snoop on the forums for more specific advice. There are always people willing to help there.
4. If you still have questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to admissions committees, professors, and current students.

Good luck, everyone!

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