GRE Scores for Arts and Humanities Programs

Okay, okay, I know that the arts and humanities encompasses quite a wide swath of concentrations, from studio art to philosophy, but that’s how the ETS likes to lump them into one group and so I guess there’s a common thread in there somewhere. For these programs, the importance of the GRE ranges from vital to negligible, but if you’re here reading this page, I can assume that you actually care about what scores you’ll need.

Anyway, here’s the score data from the ETS chart providing the average GRE scores for majors based on survey data collected from test takers.

GRE Scores for Arts and Humanities Programs: Intended

Arts and Humanities (General)156150
Arts—History, Theory, and Criticism157151
Arts—Performance and Studio153151
English Language and Literature157149
Foreign Languages and Literatures156151

The scores above are those of test-takers intending to pursue graduate work in that field. What does “intended” mean? It simply means that that these are the average scores of people planning on applying to graduate school in a specific area.

GRE Score Range for Arts and Humanities Programs

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Using a scale drawn from the limited score data in the US News & World Report’s report on graduate schools, here’s the range of average scores you could expect:

GRE Scores for Arts and Humanities Programs by Rank

SpecialtyProgram Rank #1-10: VerbalProgram Rank #1-10: QuantitativeProgram Rank #11-50: VerbalProgram Rank #11-10: QuantitativeProgram Rank #51-100: VerbalProgram Rank #51-100: Quantitative
Arts and Humanities (General)165-169156-160162-166152-156159-163149-153
Arts—History, Theory, and Criticism166-170157-161163-167153-157160-164150-154
Arts—Performance and Studio162-166157-161159-163153-157156-160150-154
English Language and Literature166-170155-159163-167151-155160-164148-152
Foreign Languages and Literature165-169157-161162-166153-157155-159150-154

If you are viewing this chart on a mobile device and cannot see all of the columns for schools ranked #1-50, try turning your device horizontally or view this page on the web.

GRE Scores: 50th/70th/90th Percentiles

You can learn more about percentiles in this score percentiles post, but for quick reference, 50th percentile scores are average, 70th percentile is considered good, and 90th percentile is considered great.

Mean Score
Good Score
Great Score
Arts and Humanities (General)156161167
Arts—History, Theory, and Criticism157162168
Arts—Performance and Studio153158164
English Language and Literature157162168
Foreign Languages and Literatures156157167
Mean Score
Good Score
Great Score
Arts and Humanities (General)150151158
Arts—History, Theory, and Criticism151152159
Arts—Performance and Studio151152159
English Language and Literature149150157
Foreign Languages and Literatures151152159

What Can We Take Away from Arts and Humanities Programs’ Average GRE Scores?

Note that it could very well be that the methodology used here doesn’t apply to creative programs performance and visual arts, as the GRE scores could be flat across all tiers of scores (since GRE scores are probably relatively unimportant).

The scores of philosophy program applicants are some of the highest of any group, pushing the top program averages to near-perfect levels. For English applicants, it’s no surprise how high the verbal scores are, though scores below those of philosophy students might be a relief to some. 🙂

Remember that you should bear in mind the relative importance of the GRE for your program. The GRE score for history programs is likely going to be weighed a lot differently than if you’re pursuing some kind of performance masters.

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  • Chris Swimmer

    Chris Swimmer is an analyst at Magoosh who divides his time between marketing and research projects and helping folks out with their math hang ups while studying for the GRE and the GMAT. Follow him on Google+! And you can follow him @chrisrswimmer on Twitter.