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Harvard GRE Scores

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This post was updated in May 2018 to reflect the latest information.

Ah, the dream to go to Harvard. Each year thousands of graduate school hopefuls seal their dream in an application envelope to have it exchanged for a thin, hope-crushing letter of rejection from the mysterious admissions committee. Reality hurts, but maybe, just maybe, you won’t be one of them. There are certainly a lot of factors in play when applying to graduate school, but the GRE ranks as one of the more important ones. But what score do you need? Well, that’s tough nut to crack. Let’s start with the ones we know for certain.

Average GRE scores for Harvard – Engineering and Education

Here’s the US News & World Report data on the engineering and education for Master’s and PhD programs at Harvard:

ProgramAverage VerbalAverage Quantitative
Engineering - Master's160*167
Engineering - PhD159*167
Education - Master's160*155*
Education - PhD163158

*US News & World Report has not provided updated information for these scores; however, we have included these as the last listed scores for this program.
 
Unfortunately, as you can see, there’s not one definitive number I can give you to know where you stand or what you should be aiming for. The slight disparity in scores reflects the different expectations of a PhD student versus a Master’s student, so broadly speaking you should adjust your own expectations in your preferred field based on what degree you’re pursuing.

Of course, average GRE scores for Harvard vary greatly across disciplines.
 
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Estimating Harvard GRE scores in other disciplines

Sadly, most of the graduate schools within Harvard aren’t quite as forthcoming with their GRE scores, so we’ll have to do a little estimation to find out what, say, Harvard Kennedy School’s average GRE scores are or what GRE score you’ll need to get accepted into a social science program like economics, psychology, or sociology.

Below is an estimated range of scores you could expect from Harvard’s ranked programs. For more on the methodology behind the numbers, see Methodology. 🙂

ProgramUS News RankEstimated Verbal RangeEstimated Quantitative Range
Biological Sciences4156-160159-163
Chemistry2156-160163-167
Computer Science16149-153160-164
Earth Sciences8157-161160-164
Economics1157-161162-166
English8160-164151-155
History4159-163150-154
Mathematics2156-160168-170
Physics3159-163167-170
Political Science1159-163154-158
Psychology3155-159151-155
Public Administration4154-158151-155
Sociology1155-159151-155

Resources to get the GRE scores you’ll need

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

 

Methodology

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 Rank block Intended Score Exp Difference Range
English 1 #1-10 157 7 points 162-166

 

Of course, you could argue that this isn’t perfect, and I’d have to agree. This is just intended to give you a general idea of what you should be aiming for. 🙂

Notes about comments

Due to the overwhelming amount of comments I was getting on this post, I’ve decided to turn them off. While I’d love to give everyone some kind of hard and fast number for your chances (it’s a nerve racking, opaque experience, I know), I unfortunately can’t. This is because there are numerous factors involved in the admissions decisions and most of those factors aren’t the GRE. The best I can do is tell you below/at/above the score range, but that information you can see for yourself above. My universal recommendation is that you check where you stand compared to the tables above. Then have a look at the forums to see student experiences. Good luck! 🙂
 

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