Columbia GRE Scores

columbia-university-crest - columbia gre scores

Each year, Columbia’s urban campus beckons thousands of applicants to apply to their prestigious graduate school programs. There’s more than just the allure of Manhattan’s Upper West Side; this university is one of the most well-respected in the world.

Like almost every other university in the U.S., the admissions committee uses the GRE as a means to whittle down the field to the most qualified candidates.

Improve your GRE score with Magoosh.

Of course there’s a lot more that they look at than just your GRE score, but the test has become an important indicator for admissions committees at schools like Columbia. So what do you need to get in?


Average GRE scores for Columbia – Engineering and Education

The US News & World Report provides data for only a pair of programs: notably, Engineering and Education. With that in mind, here are the average GRE scores for Engineering and Education programs at Columbia:

ProgramAverage VerbalAverage Quantitative
Engineering - Master's156167
Engineering - PhD159167
Education - Master's155156
Education - PhD/EdD158156

The Verbal Scores range from the 76th-82nd percentiles and the Quantitative in the 92nd percentile for Engineering. For a education programs, Verbal is also between the 76th-82nd percentiles and Quant is in the 59th percentile.

Estimating Columbia GRE Scores in Other Disciplines

So if you’re applying to a Columbia program other than Engineering or Education, are you just out of luck? Not at all! Based on those programs’ rankings and estimated scores, Magoosh was able to estimate Columbia GRE scores for a variety of other grad programs.

Below is an estimated range of scores you could expect from Columbia’s ranked programs.

ProgramUS News RankEstimated Verbal RangeEstimated Quantitative Range
Biological Sciences18159-163156-160
Computer Science13155-159161-165
Earth Sciences5163-167160-164
Fine Arts10162-166157-161
Political Science8166-170159-163
Public Administration13159-163152-156
Social Work3158-162151-155

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:

What We Can Take Away from Columbia’s GRE Scores

The most important thing to take away from any university’s GRE scores is how much they vary by program, and Columbia is no different. With that said, here are a few key facts:

  • Columbia’s Engineering and Education program applicants had similar GRE Verbal scores. However, the Engineering students had far higher Quant scores: 167, compared to 156.
  • Columbia’s highest Quant scores were found (no surprise here) in Mathematics, where average scores are estimated at around 169-170. Wow!
  • Columbia’s highest Verbal scores came from English and Political Science, where students achieved scores estimated at 166-170.

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41 Responses to Columbia GRE Scores

  1. Farhana Lawrence November 16, 2013 at 3:10 am #

    My GRE score is 320 , Tofel 95 and Cgpa 3.5/4 and paper publication in IEEE : 6, will i be able to b admitted in columbia university for msc on computer engineering with scholarship ??

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      Hey Farhana! It’s impossible to say whether or not you’d even be admitted at all, let alone on a scholarship. Scholarships for master’s programs are rare and extremely competitive. Reach out to them to make sure you’re in the right direction. 🙂

      Chris S

  2. Christi November 11, 2013 at 9:21 am #


    I am applying to Columbia’s school of public health, and my quantitative and verbal GRE scores fall right in the range you specified here (152 – quant. 160 – verbal). However, my writing score (3.5) is rather low. How much does Columbia rely on the writing score for applicant consideration?


    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      Hey Christi! This is hard to say since it varies so much from person to person. It’s best to reach out to the program directly, since they’ll often hint how much they weigh the AWA. Good luck!

      Chris S

  3. Ajinkya November 9, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Hi Chris,
    My GRE score- Q:165, V:150 AWA: 3.5
    GPA: 3.99/4.0
    Work exp of 15 months in a highly reputed firm

    What are my chances in Columbia for MS in CS?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      Hey Ajinkya! It’s impossible to say chances for such a highly ranked university. I’d say your scores are in the right place, just make sure the rest of your application is in line. 🙂

      Chris S

  4. Snigdha November 7, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    Hi Chris..
    Thank you so much for your help..
    I am from India, have a score of 160 in quants and 162 in verbal… 4 in awa.. What chances do I have of getting accepted in the Computer Engineering ms program??
    Would be glad if you could reply

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      Hey Snigdha! Remember there’s a lot that goes into applications beyond just your GRE score, especially in the really competitive programs. Check around on forums to see what qualifications your peers have. 🙂

      Chris S

  5. srimadhavan November 5, 2013 at 1:45 am #

    hii.I am planning to apply for financial engineering.My gre scores areq-156 and v-149.What are my chances of getting into the university?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      Hey Srimadhaven! Unfortunately your quantitative scores are a bit on the low side for a program like financial engineering. Of course that doesn’t make your task impossible, just a bit harder. Reach out to the schools and see what you can learn. 🙂

      Chris S

  6. Elle November 2, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I’ve heard that many schools use the GRE as a weed out tool. I will be applying to Columbia’s environmental health science graduate program ( phd). Would my 157V and 158Q be in the range of previously accepted applicants? Thank you so much!

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 3, 2013 at 1:51 am #

      Hey Elle! How the scores are used really depends on the program. I’d check with the program directly to see where you stand. My guess is that you’re in the right range. 🙂

      Chris S

  7. Deepak October 31, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    I am Deepak and my scores are as follows:

    Q: 162, V:161, AWA: 3

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t score well in AWA . Considering that my native language is not English, will I get some consideration from universities like Columbia or will my application will be rejected because of the AWA score? I have good academic records though.

    Thanx for your attention.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 3, 2013 at 1:42 am #

      Hey Deepak! That all depends on the program you’re applying to. I would ask the admissions committee for how heavily they weight the AWA, since it varies. 🙂

      Chris S

      • Deepak November 5, 2013 at 9:23 am #

        Thanx for your reply.

        I am applying for MS in Mechanical Engineering.

        Can bad score in AWA be compensated with good writing score in TOEFL? Also, can my verbal score of 161 anyhow compensate for bad AWA score considering that English is not my native language?



        • Chris Swimmer
          Chris Swimmer November 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

          Hey Deepak! I’d say your TOEFL writing score won’t help so much because it’s a slightly different level and focus of writing than the GRE AWA. That being said, it’s probably best to reach out to the program to see what they say. 🙂

          Chris S

  8. Matt October 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    I am interested in applying to Teachers College (as well as a few other programs). My current GRE score is 160 Q, 164 V, and 4.5 W. While that puts me above the average for both section, I am hoping to get some serious merit-based aid. I have really good recommenders, good grades, and a ton of research experience, but I guess I’m not sure if my scores would be high enough to have a shot at a full ride and if I should consider retaking it. I took the GRE a year ago to apply for a combined AB/MA program; that being said, I would only be able to put about 2 weeks into preparing for it (to apply early enough for financial aid and because of master’s thesis research). I used Magoosh last year and it was super helpful, but some crazy scheduling stuff the weekend before I took it I think hurt my score by a few points. Is there any protocol for contacting an admissions or financial aid office to inquire about this kind of stuff?

    Any advice that you have would be greatly appreciated!



    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer October 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      Hey Matt! I’d say you can reach out to the financial aid office and try to get an assessment of what they’re looking for when they’re giving out these scholarships. 🙂 Unfortunately scholarship decisions are a pretty tough nut to crack, so there’s not much advice I can offer you there. Good luck!

      Chris S

  9. Gabe October 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Hey I want to get into the Sustainable Development PhD program at Columbia. I had a 3.58 GPA (physics major) in college with lots of research experience. However, my GRE scores were 162Q and 165V. Do you think that’s good enough and if it isn’t, where could I go to find out (info is ambiguous on the website). Thanks.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer October 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

      Hey Gabe! I’m not very familiar with the program, so it’s hard to say. I’ll venture to guess that your scores are fine for this program, or at least average. The best idea is to look at programs similar in content and ranking and see what those scores are. It’s generally a good guideline. 🙂

      Chris S

  10. Rob September 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    161 Verbal / 156 Quant – Want to apply to the Epidemiology PhD program, housed within the School of Public Health. Unfortunately was not as high a quant as I had received on practice tests – or was expecting. Do I have a shot at acceptance based on GRE score? Thanks!

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      Hey Rob! It’s hard to say. I don’t know very much specifically about the Epidemiology scores for Columbia, but I do imagine that the Quant would be reasonably high. That being said, PhD is a lot about research/applicant fit, so I definitely recommend reaching out to someone at the school to shed more light. 🙂

      Chris S

      • Chen October 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

        I got 153 for V and 167 for Q, my GPA is 3.8 from a US university. Do you think I could try to apply MS of Electrical Engineering of Columbia University? I saw verbal should be 154….Thanks

        • Chris Swimmer
          Chris Swimmer October 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

          Hey Chen! Remember that the scores are just guidelines, most programs don’t have hard and fast cutoff numbers. So if the rest of your app is strong, then that’s okay. 🙂

          Chris S

  11. Sean September 3, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    HI Chris,

    I’m interested in Operations Research MS program in Columbia, I wonder do you have a GRE score range for that specific program?



    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Hey Sean! Unfortunately I’m not very familiar with scores in that area. My advice is to see which program most closely aligns with the kind of skill set required in your program. That’s typically a pretty good indication. 🙂

      Chris S

  12. jan August 22, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    Hi, I am interested in Columbia’s MA in Education program… do you happen to know the average scores for that? thanks!

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Hey Jan! The US News does report those scores directly. For the MA, the GRE scores are 153 in Quant and 156 for Verbal. I’d say those are pretty reasonable scores for such a good program! Anyway, I added in the PhD/EdD scores for education above. 🙂

      Chris S

  13. Gul August 13, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I want to get into a public policy school, please could you let me know if I stand a- chance in getting into a good school given my below GRE scores.

    155: Quantitiative
    157: Verbal
    4.5 : Analytical Writing


    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 16, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      Hey Gul! There are tons of public policy schools out there with varying requirements. I’d suggest narrowing your scope by researching the programs that interest you the most and seeing where you stand then.

      Chris S

      • Gul August 16, 2013 at 11:46 am #

        Many thanks Chris, I shall do that.

  14. Narasimha August 2, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    I am looking to pursue financial engineering at Columbia/Carnegie Mellon/Berkeley.
    I got a score of 332 165 verb 167 quant,but my CGPA isnt good.
    Do you think i should try for a better score and how much do you think my chances would improve with a better score

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Hey Narasimha! It’s hard to say for certain. Remember there are other factors that are considered when you apply. I’d focus on beefing those up since your current GRE scores are so good. 🙂

      Chris S

  15. Roy August 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    I just gave my GRE. I got 168 in quant and 147 in verbal. Does this score help me to surpass the cut off limit in most of the us programs other than best ones like berkley, stanford, chicago ofcourse. I am looking for a phd program in statisticis with finance specialization or math finance or theoretical statistics etc.Please help me. I am undecided about whether should I retake the exam or not. Thanks in advance.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer August 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

      Hey Roy! Wow, you really killed the math section! Congrats. I admit that verbal score is a bit on the low end, and if you’re undergrad/masters wasn’t in English, you’ll probably be required to take the TOEFL anyway. At this point, you should reach out to universities and poke around on forums to see what information you can dig up about other people’s experiences. 🙂

      Chris S

  16. Ginny July 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Am trying for masters in math or applied math at NYU or columbia.
    I have 166 verbal and 165 quant.
    Where does this place me in terms of other
    Should I retake ?


    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer July 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      Hey Ginny! As you can see in the chart, that puts you right in the middle of the pack!

      Chris S

  17. Sharma July 10, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    I really need your advice related to the university selection. GRE score319 V156 M163. Please reply soon.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer July 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

      Hey Sharma! Picking your potential schools requires knowing a lot more about someone than just scores. Check out US News, research school websites and reach out to universities, alumni, students!

      Chris S

  18. Tsegaye June 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    I am Ethiopian. My score is poor I think, verbal 136, math 157. Writing 3. I am considering retaking the test. But I would like to know any Engineering school elsewhere that I van qualify for. Moreover, my financial handicap necessitates me to apply for scholarship too. Thank you for all your comment

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer June 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Hey! Unfortunately a verbal score that low (in addition to your writing) will preclude you from the majority programs even though verbal isn’t that important. You should retake the GRE to try to get your verbal up to at least around 145-150 and your math a little bit higher.

      Chris S

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