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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.


By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.