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USC GRE Scores

Usc_football_logo USC GRE scores
This post was updated in March 2017 to reflect the latest information.

Though a school known nationwide for its elite football program, the University of Southern California is a lot more than just high profile sports programs in sunny Southern California; it also boasts a few top ranking graduate programs that deserve elite status themselves. For this reason, it’s imperative that you have the right GRE scores to make the cut.

So what are they exactly?

 

Average GRE scores for USC – Engineering and Education

Here’s the US News & World Report data on the engineering and education programs at USC:

ProgramEstimated VerbalEstimated Quantitative
Engineering - Master's151166
Engineering - PhD155166
Education - Master's151150
Education - PhD161157

 

Estimating USC GRE scores in other disciplines

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

ProgramUS News RankEstimated Verbal RangeEstimated Quantitative Range
Biological Sciences55154-158149-153
Chemistry49156-160159-163
Computer Science20150-154157-161
Earth Sciences25157-161156-160
Economics37157-161161-165
English33160-164150-154
Fine Arts69154-158146-150
History38159-163149-153
Mathematics46145-160164-168
Physics60157-161157-161
Political Science51157-161147-151
Psychology26155-159150-154
Public Administration4157-161155-159
Social Work12152-156146-150
Sociology40155-159150-154

To see where those scores fall, check out the GRE percentile rankings.

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 4 #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. 🙂 Admissions is not an exact science.

Notes about comments

While I’d love to give everyone some kind of hard and fast number for your chances (it’s a nerve wracking, 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! 🙂

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.

28 Responses to USC GRE Scores

  1. Sachin December 11, 2013 at 1:26 am #

    I have GRE-304 (Q-154 V-150 AWA-3) Acad-59%

    Please advise me if it is worth taking a chance to apply for ms in Material science and engineering at USC?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer December 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Hey Sachin! Those scores are admittedly a bit on the low side for a school like USC. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but I would definitely expand my options if I were you. )

      Best,
      Chris S

  2. Mugdha Kulkarni December 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Hello, I have scored 311 in GRE and *& in TOEFL. My academic CPI is 8. So, are there any chances for me to get admission in USC , LA for MS in CS ?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer December 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      Hey Mugdha! The CS programs at USC are quite competitive, so it’s impossible to say what someone’s chances are. The best advice is to make sure the rest of your application is in order. 🙂

      Chris S

  3. JAIDEEP SINGH November 27, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    HI

    I HAVE A GRE SCORE OF 320 QUANT 170 AND VERBAL 150 WITH A AWA SCORE OF 3.0. I HAVE PUBLISHED AROUND 15 PAPERS IN SAE INTERNATIONAL USA AND TWO PATENTS ARE PENDING. I HAVE A WORK EXP OF MORE THAN 2 YRS IN AUTOMOTIVE R&D. I HAVE ALSO STARTED MY OWN DESIGN FIRM FOR WHICH I GOT AWARD FOR US BERKELEY AND WITS SOUTH AFRICA AND MANY OTHER INTERNATIONAL AWARDS. I WAS FEATURED IN NATIONAL TELEVISION MANY TIMES FOR AGGRESSIVE BUSINESS STATERGY AND INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS.

    MY QUESTION IS WITH A LOW AWA SCORE DO I STAND A CHANCE IN GETTING ADMITTED TO OHIO STATE, PENN STATE, UMICH, CORNELL, CLEMSON AND OTHER UNIVERSITIES OF THIS RANGE.

    REGARDS
    JAIDEEP SINGH

    P.S. YOU BLOG IS REALLY HELPFUL.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer December 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Hey Jaideep! Those are impressive experiences. If you’re worried about the AWA, then I’d reach out to those programs to see how heavily they weight them. It will vary by school. The good news is that a lot of times you can make up for this in your Statement of Purpose and other writing samples.

      Chris S

      • Jaideep Singh December 5, 2013 at 3:01 am #

        Hello,

        Thanks for the reply. Can you suggest me good universities where I can stand a chance of getting admission along with good financial aid. Also guide me if the universities I am applying are correct choice for the scores and profile I have.

        Clemson, Ohio State, UMich, Penntate, Michigan Tech, UCSD. Suggest me if my profile can get me admitted to a university with beter reputation then the one selected. I am interested in Master’s in Mechanical with specialization in Dynamics or Combustion.

        Regards
        Jaideep Singh

        • Chris Swimmer
          Chris Swimmer December 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

          Hey Jaideep! That’s research I think you’ll need to do. Harness the power of the internet and you’ll get all of the answers you need. 🙂

          Best,
          Chris

  4. Rohan November 12, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    how much gre score required for MS in Game Design And Development . Does all major required same Gre score or it differ …????
    My Gre score – 294
    Toefl – yet to give …
    Do I need to retake gre for some decent university . Do I have to suffer from any problem with this score during admission and visa …. trying to apply for fall 14 ..
    REPLY ….HELP ME FRNDS …I M NEED…

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      Hey Rohan! That program probably has very similar requirements to the Computer Science degree, which really means high Quant and average verbal. You’ll need the GRE for almost every decent program in the US (there are a few exceptions). Your GRE is likely on the low end for the upper level schools though. Good luck!

      Chris S

  5. Naveen November 2, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Hi Team,

    My GRE score is 315 (Quant I have high score: 169), But verbal is low (146). I have 2 years of Work experience. My UG % is quite high. CGPA close to 9. What are my admission chances in Southern California University? I heard since the university is in California region, this is still ambitious for me. Please reply back.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 3, 2013 at 1:21 am #

      Hey Naveen! There are so many factors to consider, it’s quite difficult to say. Most important of which is your intended degree. 146 is low all around, even for science programs, but it is probably doable. 🙂

      Best,
      Chris S

      • Naveen November 3, 2013 at 6:03 am #

        Hi Chris,

        I intend to do MS in Computer science. I have one research paper to my credit and my academics also good (9.0 CGPA). Is CS difficult in Southern california? At least from your past experiences.

        Thanks

        • Chris Swimmer
          Chris Swimmer November 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

          Hey Naveen! All of the top CS programs are quite competitive, so you really have to try to stand out. 🙂

          Chris S

  6. Sunny September 9, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    Hi chris,
    My name is Sunny. I am planning to pursue ms in cs with specialization in video game development from USC. I have completed my bachelors and masters in computer application with 68.8% in both and have one year of work experience as a programmer. My main concern is matching up with the admission criteria of USC. I am a little disappointed with my academics. Its my passion forcing me to pursue this course. As a hobby , I have developed a few 2D games using DirectX SDK. I am planning to give GRE by november 2013 and would like to apply for fall 2014 batch. All I want to ask from you is that, will there be any chance of my application being selected in USC , if i score 320 or above in GRE.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Hey Sunny! Unfortunately it’s pretty tough to say one way or the other. A good GRE score and a strong personal statement (showing off just how passionate you are) can go a long way to cover for mediocre academics. 🙂

      Best,
      Chris S

  7. Ananth September 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi Chris, I am planning to apply for USC electrical engineering for spring 2014. GPA 8.75/10 plus 3 yrs of exp in electronics industry . TOEFL 98 , GRE 306 and filed 3 patents. What are my admission chances.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      Hey Ananth! Unfortunately it’s pretty difficult to give even an estimation of admissions chances. I’d have a look around on the message boards and with the schools themselves to see what info you can glean. 🙂

      Best,
      Chris S

  8. Araravi August 22, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    Hello,
    I have a gre score of 310( 152-V and 158-Q)
    And a CGPA of 8.53. Do I have a chance of getting into the Electrical Graduate program in USC?? Please Let me know if my Quants marks are enough.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

      Hey Araravi! It’s best to use the scores above as general guide. No scores will guarantee admittance to any program. I’d recommend getting in contact with the school directly to see if they can point you in the right direction. Also, check out the grad school forums to get past students’ experiences. 🙂

      Best,
      Chris S

  9. mansi August 15, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Hii,
    I got 312 score in GRE.
    Verbal-152
    Quant-160
    My cgpa is 9.6/10
    What are my chances of getting admission in USC??

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 16, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Hey Mansi! I can’t say for certain. Remember there are a lot of different points that adcoms consider when reviewing applications. Definitely reach out to your program to get a better idea!

      Best,
      Chris S

  10. Ritika July 6, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Hi Chris !

    Thanks a lot for this estimate ! I wanted to know the minimum GPA required for USC. If I get around 325-330, will an average CGPA like 7.5 affect my application ?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer July 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

      Hey Ritika! For most programs, there is no “minimum” anything. I’d check with the program directly to see if they can offer any insight!

      Best,
      Chris S

  11. Prashant Singh July 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Thanks a lot, Chris for this significant piece of information.

    USC, happens to be my first choice to pursue an MS in Computer Security. Besides, it has plethora of other great CS courses which makes their graduate program a dream to chase especially for an IT professional like me. 🙂

    I just wanted to ask, If you could provide me with few more Universities which offer good graduate programs in the field of IT or Computer Security & their respective GRE scores.

    Thanks a bunch, for keeping Magoosh immensely precious to be a great GRE companion for every US education aspirant. 🙂

    You guys, Rock!

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer July 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

      Hey Prashant! Admittedly I’m not too familiar with IT or Computer Security, but I’d check out US News and then head over to thegradcafe.com and see if you can find other people talking about programs.

      Best,
      Chris S

    • Sandeep Kamble September 17, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      I am also planning for Computer Security / Information Security . I have listed the following universities, might be helpful for you.

      Carnegie Mellon University
      Georgia Tech University
      University of Southern California
      Purdue University
      Northeastern University

      • Prashant Singh September 22, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

        Hey Thanks a bunch, Sandeep!

        I have CMU, & GeorgiaTech already on my list. And, will definitely checkout Purdue & Northeastern!


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