GRE Scores for Engineering Programs

Applying to graduate school and wondering what’s the average GRE score for engineering programs? Want to know what score you need to get accepted to the best engineering schools, like those at MIT? Unfortunately, the average scores vary greatly by school, and not all schools are forthcoming with their admittance scores. Luckily for you, each year, the US News and World Report is kind enough gather whatever score data they can get from graduate schools and put it all together for us in a nifty little book and website.

Lucky future engineers! Unlike some programs, engineering programs do submit data to US News & World. This means that we know the GRE scores for admitted students in the top 100 engineering programs.

So let’s take a look at that data, and then what that data tells us. (Because let’s face it: everyone knows that for engineers, data interpretation is more than a little important.)

Average GRE Quant Scores for Engineering Programs

US News & World Rank School Average GRE (Quant) of Admitted Engineering Students
1 MIT 166
2 Stanford 167
3 University of California – Berkeley 166
4 (tie) California Institute of Technology 168
4 (tie) Carnegie Mellon University 166
4 (tie) Purdue University 164
7 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor 166
8 Georgia Institute of Technology 164
9 University of California–San Diego 165
10 University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign 165
11 Texas A&M University 162
12 (tie) Cornell University 165
12 (tie) University of Southern California 165
12 (tie) University of Texas – Austin 164
15 Columbia University 167
16 University of California – Los Angeles 166
17 Johns Hopkins University 165
18 University of Pennsylvania 166
19 Northwestern University 165
20 University of Maryland 165
21 Harvard University 166
22 (tie) Princeton University 167
22 (tie) University of Washington 163
24 Duke University 166
25 North Carolina State University 161
26 (tie) University of California–Santa Barbara 164
26 (tie) University of Colorado–Boulder 161
26 (tie) University of Wisconsin–Madison 164
29 Rice University 168
30 Ohio State University 162
31 (tie) Northeastern University 163
31 (tie) Virginia Tech 162
33 (tie) Pennsylvania State University 163
33 (tie) University of California–Davis 162
33 (tie) University of Minnesota–Twin Cities 164
36 (tie) Boston University 164
36 (tie) New York University 164
38 (tie) University of California – Irvine 163
38 (tie) University of Virginia 164
38 (tie) Yale University 167
41 (tie) Arizona State University 161
41 (tie) Vanderbilt University 163
43 (tie) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 162
43 (tie) University of Rochester 163
45 (tie) University of Dayton 155
45 (tie) University of Florida 160
47 (tie) Iowa State University 160
47 (tie) University of Delaware 162
47 (tie) University of Notre Dame 163
47 (tie) University of Pittsburgh 162
47 (tie) Washington University in St. Louis 165
52 Case Western Reserve University 166
53 Dartmouth College 164
54 (tie) Brown University 166
54 (tie) Colorado School of Mines 159
54 (tie) Rutgers University 163
54 (tie) University of Massachusetts – Amherst 164
58 University of Utah 163
59 (tie) Michigan State University 162
59 (tie) University at Buffalo-SUNY 161
59 (tie) University of Tennessee–Knoxville 159
62 (tie) Stony Brook University 165
62 (tie) University of Arizona 160
62 (tie) University of Texas–Dallas 162
65 Tufts University 163
66 (tie) Auburn University 160
66 (tie) Colorado State University 158
66 (tie) Lehigh University 163
66 (tie) Rochester Institute of Technology 161
66 (tie) University of Houston 160
71 (tie) Clemson University 160
71 (tie) Oregon State University 159
71 (tie) University of Central Florida 158
71 (tie) University of Connecticut 160
75 (tie) George Washington University 161
75 (tie) University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill 160
77 (tie) Washington State University 160
77 (tie) Wichita State University 159
79 (tie) Drexel University 159
79 (tie) Stevens Institute of Technology 161
79 (tie) Syracuse University 162
79 (tie) University of California–Riverside 162
79 (tie) University of Illinois–Chicago 157
84 (tie) Missouri University of Science & Technology 156
84 (tie) University of Iowa 160
84 (tie) University of New Mexico 157
84 (tie) University of Texas–Arlington 157
88 (tie) Illinois Institute of Technology 159
88 (tie) Michigan Technological University 157
88 (tie) New Jersey Institute of Technology 158
88 (tie) University of California–Santa Cruz 160
92 University of Cincinnati 160
93 (tie) George Mason University 159
93 (tie) Mississippi State University 158
93 (tie) Naval Postgraduate School N/A
93 (tie) University of Nebraska–Lincoln 159
93 (tie) Worcester Polytechnic Institute 161
98 (tie) Florida A&M University — Florida State University 159
98 (tie) Texas Tech University 159
98 (tie) University of South Florida 158

What Can We Take Away from Engineering Programs’ Average GRE Scores?

If you’re applying to graduate programs in Engineering and are wondering about your GRE scores, this table provides an enormous amount of information. This is particularly true if you look at the data in terms of correlation between school rankings and GRE scores (quant). If you do, you may notice:

  • The average GRE score (quant) of students admitted to top-10 Engineering programs is 166
  • The average GRE score (quant) of students admitted to Engineering programs ranked 11-50 is 164. While this is very close to the scores of students admitted to top-ten programs, note that the scores from 11-30 push this average way up; scores only start to drop appreciably from around 31-50.
  • The average GRE score (quant) of students admitted to Engineering programs ranked 51-100 is 160.

While GRE scores are not the only factor that adcoms look at, you’ll see that there is a strong relationship between a program’s rank and the scores of its admitted students.


Verbal Score for Engineering?

So where’s the verbal data?

In most cases, it’s available on the individual school pages on U.S. News & World. However, your verbal scores will play such a small role in your admission to engineering schools that it’s not worth stressing about. Average, in this case, is good enough! (Average verbal scores are around 150, while the average verbal scores of those intending to pursue entry into engineering programs are 149.)

What does that mean for you? Well, while an average GRE quantitative score will put you at a major disadvantage in your application, an average verbal score will put you right in the middle of the pack.

That’s not say don’t study for verbal! Definitely check with your intended schools and see what information they reveal about the weight of verbal scores. It could be that scoring in the 75th percentile puts you ahead, or it could be that only your quantitative score is important. That might ultimately be a mystery, but just keep in mind that scoring around average in verbal won’t be killer.

Average GRE Scores for Future Engineers

As we’ve seen, average quant scores may prove to be a disadvantage for you, especially if you’re applying to competitive programs. So just what is the average GRE score of test-takers intending to apply to engineering school? We’ve already seen that in verbal, it’s 149—but brace yourself, because it’s 159 in quant for engineers taking the test. To contextualize that 159, it’s in the 69th percentile.

Average GRE Scores by Engineering Focus

However, those averages start to vary a little when we take focus and specializations into account. Check out the average GRE quant scores for different tracks.

GRE Scores of Intended Engineering Students by Track

Engineering Track Average GRE Quant Score of Students Intending to Study This Track
Chemical Engineering 161
Civil Engineering 158
Electrical Engineering 159
Industrial Engineering 159
Materials Engineering 162
Mechanical Engineering 159
Other 160

Again, you can see there’s not a whole lot of flexibility in scores, but that’s not surprising, given the quantitative nature of engineering.

What GRE Score Do You Need for Engineering Programs?

While there is no magic bullet score that will get you in to the best engineering schools, a quantitative score between 161-166 will put you in average company for the top 100 programs. Therefore, you should try to get into the 160s. Again, that’s not a ton of breathing room, but, hey, you want to be an engineer? You should probably be pretty decent at math.

How Do You Get a Score Good Enough to Get In?

The answer to this tough question depends on your available time and skill level in math (and verbal!). First you’ll need a good study plan, probably a math focused one. A lot of Magoosh students have used these schedules to great success. You’ll also need some good GRE resources. Be careful, there’s a lot of GRE prep materials out on the market to sift through, and a lot of it’s not great. My colleague Chris Lele has reviewed the major GRE prep books and it’s worth a read. And of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend checking out Magoosh, as our students regularly experience strong gains in quantitative scores.

Due to the overwhelming response in the comments, I’ve had to shut them off, so some final advice for those in search of whether or not your scores are good:

1. Remember that schools assess more than your GRE
2. The internet is your friend. Go through US News and then check the internet for schools that seem like a good fit.
3. Snoop on the forums for more specific advice. There are always people willing to help there.
4. If you still have questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to admissions committees, professors, and current students.

Good luck, everyone!


  • 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.

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