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Cornell GRE Scores

Cornell Logo - Cornell GRE scores

This post was updated in March 2017 to reflect the most recent information.

Cornell’s campus in Ithaca combines an Ivy-level education with the tranquility of rural upstate New York. If you’re dreaming of scenic tree lines and weekend getaways to New York City, you’re definitely not the only one! Thousands of talented, well-rounded students apply to Cornell each year. A fantastic, well-rounded application is your best bet at getting accepted! This includes having a mix of a competitive GPA, strong letters of recommendation, and (possibly) work experience. Your GRE score is just another piece of the puzzle that can make or break your application. That being said, what GRE scores should you be aiming for to get into Cornell? Chances are an average GRE score will not be enough.

Below, we identify the GRE score ranges to strive for based on Cornell’s graduate school programs.

Average GRE Score for Cornell Engineering

Before we get to Cornell’s GRE score ranges, let’s start by discussing the scores that we do know! Thanks to US News & World Report rankings, we have the average GRE scores for Cornell’s engineering program. As you can see, whether a PhD candidate or not, Cornell’s engineering program attracts very talented individuals.

ProgramAverage VerbalAverage Quantitative
Engineering - Master's155165
Engineering - PhD159165

Now, that we’ve covered engineering, we can get to the other fun stuff! Here we have listed 14 different Cornell programs with national rankings and estimated GRE score ranges. Check out the methodology section below to see how we got these numbers.

Estimated GRE Scores for Cornell Academic Programs

ProgramUS News RankEstimated Verbal RangeEstimated Quantitative Range
Biological Sciences11156-160155-159
Computer Science6152-156162-166
Earth Sciences16157-161156-160
Fine Arts27156-160152-156
Political Science19159-163153-157
Public Administration41155-159150-154
Social Work17152-156146-150

Resources to get the GRE scores you’ll need

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


Using the limited score data in the US News & World Report’s release on graduate schools (for engineering and education), we 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 we 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 we’d have to agree. This is just intended to give you a general idea of what you should be aiming for. 🙂

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11 Responses to Cornell GRE Scores

  1. Person March 31, 2018 at 9:29 am #


    Why did you leave out the Analytical Writing section?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 2, 2018 at 9:32 am #

      Hi there,

      I’m actually not sure why the AWA score wasn’t included in this blog post. Our intent here is to provide an overview of admissions criteria (we have these sorts of blog posts for several top schools), and students should always complete their own research before applying to a school. I imagine that one reason we didn’t include AWA scores is because different departments interpret AWA scores in different ways. I encourage you to contact the specific department you plan to apply to and research their average AWA scores and how they use the AWA in the admissions process!

  2. Sincliar H. November 20, 2017 at 9:34 pm #


    I have a 299 GRE score (148 Verbal & 151 Quant.). I am applying for a Masters of Public Administration for Fall 2018. Although my verbal is low and my quant score falls within in the estimated quant. range, I am currently taking three graduate courses at NYU(public admin.) this semester and have been doing very well. Do you think I should retake the GRE or should I just work with these scores?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 21, 2017 at 5:36 am #

      Hi Sinclair,

      Thanks for reaching out! Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I’m afraid that I can’t provide you with the exact answer you’re looking for! It’s important to realize that your admission depends on so much more than your GRE scores–if you are a strong candidate in different areas, a lower score might not hurt you that much. However, you should check the Cornell website and see if they have a minimum score requirement for admissions. My best advice would be to contact some people from Cornell, such as current and former students or admissions counselors, to get their take on it. It might make the most sense to focus on crafting a strong application, but you should do some more research before making your decision 🙂

  3. Rafael Sandoval August 12, 2017 at 3:39 am #

    I just took the GRE yesterday (August 10th, 2017) and scored:
    160 V and 156 Q

    I want to apply to Cornell’s Biochemistry program. Should I aim for higher scores or will these do?

  4. houken July 23, 2017 at 5:17 am #

    Hi! I’ve just finished my GRE today and I got V156 + Q170 (AW awaiting). I am planning to apply for a PhD position at Cornell’s Engineering department. I am worrying that my verbal score isn’t good enough because the data shows that the average of PhD students at Cornell have an average of 159. But on the other hand my quant score should be acceptable so I’m wondering is there a reasonable chance for me to get into the Doctoral course ?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 26, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

      Hi there,

      First of all, CONGRATS on such a stellar score! You don’t see perfect math scores every day, and you should be proud of that! Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I can only be of limited help here–the best course of action would be to contact the Engineering department directly and see what they say! Based on some other information we have in our blog, however, I don’t think you need to worry too much about that verbal score. Check out this blog post for more information: 😀

  5. Carlos November 24, 2016 at 8:30 am #

    what if i have 141quanti and 146 verbal

    Do I have any chance at Cornell? For a phd, I mean i have good recommendations but my previous master doesn’t have GPA is just PASS/Fail system

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 24, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

      Hi Carlos,

      To be honest, with your current scores, Cornell will likely be a reach. I would highly recommend retaking the exam for a higher score. Given the competitiveness of the program, you want to at least be average. Note that your application is as strong as your weakest piece.

  6. Sushant Banjara August 22, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

    I have already taken a GRE test and my score exceeds the average score of Cornell, although my score is not exceptional. I need some advice on the application procedure and which part I should focus on.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 23, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

      Hi Sushant,

      Congrats on taking the GRE and scoring well! Our experience is in test prep and not the admissions process for individual schools, so it’s difficult to give you a good answer. I recommend that you look through the admissions section of Cornell’s website and try to schedule a time to talk to an admissions officer. That should give you some more information on exactly what Cornell is looking for in an applicant 🙂

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