This post was updated in March 2017 to reflect to 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 Rank||School||Average GRE (Quant) of Admitted Engineering Students|
|3||University of California - Berkeley||165|
|4||California Institute of Technology||169|
|5 (tie)||Carnegie Mellon||166|
|5 (tie)||University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||166|
|7||Georgia Institute of Technology||164|
|9 (tie)||University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign||164|
|9 (tie)||University of Texas - Austin||165|
|11 (tie)||Texas A&M||164|
|11 (tie)||University of Southern California||166|
|13 (tie)||Columbia University||167|
|13 (tie)||Cornell University||165|
|13 (tie)||University of California - San Diego||166|
|16||University of California - Los Angeles||166|
|18||University of Wisconsin - Madison||164|
|19 (tie)||Johns Hopkins University||166|
|19 (tie)||Northwestern University||166|
|19 (tie)||University of California - Santa Barbara||165|
|19 (tie)||University of Pennsylvania||165|
|24||University of Maryland||164|
|25 (tie)||North Carolina State||164|
|25 (tie)||University of Washington||163|
|27 (tie)||University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||164|
|27 (tie)||Virginia Tech||162|
|29 (tie)||Duke University||164|
|29 (tie)||Rice University||166|
|31||Ohio State University||164|
|32 (tie)||Pennsylvania State University||163|
|32 (tie)||University of Colorado - Boulder||162|
|34 (tie)||Boston University||165|
|34 (tie)||University of California - Davis||163|
|37||University of California - Irvine||164|
|39 (tie)||Northeastern University||162|
|39 (tie)||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||164|
|39 (tie)||University of Virginia||164|
|42 (tie)||Arizona State University||162|
|42 (tie)||University of Florida||163|
|42 (tie)||University of Pittsburgh||162|
|45 (tie)||Iowa State University||167|
|45 (tie)||New York Unviersity||164|
|45 (tie)||University of Rochester||165|
|48 (tie)||University of Delaware||169|
|48 (tie)||University of Notre Dame||163|
|50 (tie)||Case Western Reserve University||164|
|50 (tie)||Washington University in St. Louis||165|
|52 (tie)||Brown University||165|
|52 (tie)||Dartmouth College||164|
|54 (tie)||Rutgers University||163|
|54 (tie)||University of Arizona||162|
|56 (tie)||Colorado School of Mines||160|
|56 (tie)||Michigan State University||162|
|56 (tie)||University of Dayton||157|
|60 (tie)||Lehigh University||165|
|60 (tie)||University of Tennessee - Knoxville||160|
|60 (tie)||University of Utah||161|
|63 (tie)||University of Illinois - Chicago||160|
|63 (tie)||University of Texas - Dallas||162|
|65 (tie)||Auburn University||163|
|65 (tie)||University of Connecticut||163|
|67 (tie)||Colorado State University||167|
|67 (tie)||Stony Brook University - SUNY||165|
|67 (tie)||Tufts University||162|
|67 (tie)||University at Buffalo - SUNY||162|
|67 (tie)||University of California - Riverside||162|
|67 (tie)||University of Iowa||161|
|73 (tie)||University of Houston||161|
|73 (tie)||University of Texas - Austin||158|
|75 (tie)||Clemson University||158|
|75 (tie)||Drexel University||160|
|75 (tie)||University of Central Florida||160|
|78 (tie)||Illinois Institute of Technology (Armour)||160|
|78 (tie)||Oregon State University||160|
|78 (tie)||Syracuse University||162|
|81 (tie)||Rochester Institute of Technology||160|
|81 (tie)||Stevens Institute of Technology||161|
|81 (tie)||University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||159|
|81 (tie)||Washington State University||161|
|85 (tie)||Michigan Technological University||162|
|85 (tie)||University of California - Santa Cruz||164|
|87 (tie)||New Jersey Institute of Technology||164|
|87 (tie)||University of Cincinnati||161|
|89 (tie)||George Washington University||163|
|89 (tie)||Missouri University of Science and Technology||156|
|89 (tie)||University of Alabama - Huntsville||157|
|89 (tie)||University of Missouri||161|
|89 (tie)||University of South Florida||158|
|94 (tie)||Texas Tech University||159|
|94 (tie)||University of Kansas||161|
|94 (tie)||University of Kentucky||160|
|94 (tie)||University of Nebraska - Lincoln||161|
|94 (tie)||Worcester Polytechnic Institute||164|
|99 (tie)||Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge||159|
|99 (tie)||University of New Mexico||145|
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 161
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.
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 Track||Average GRE Quant Score of Students Intending to Study This Track|
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!