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 RankSchoolAverage GRE (Quant) of Admitted Engineering Students
3University of California - Berkeley166
4 (tie)California Institute of Technology168
4 (tie)Carnegie Mellon University166
4 (tie)Purdue University 164
7University of Michigan - Ann Arbor166
8Georgia Institute of Technology164
9 University of California--San Diego165
10 University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign165
11Texas A&M University 162
12 (tie)Cornell University165
12 (tie)University of Southern California165
12 (tie)University of Texas - Austin164
15Columbia University167
16University of California - Los Angeles166
17Johns Hopkins University165
18University of Pennsylvania166
19Northwestern University165
20 University of Maryland165
21Harvard University166
22 (tie)Princeton University 167
22 (tie)University of Washington163
24 Duke University166
25North Carolina State University161
26 (tie) University of California--Santa Barbara 164
26 (tie) University of Colorado--Boulder 161
26 (tie)University of Wisconsin--Madison164
29Rice University168
30Ohio State University162
31 (tie)Northeastern University163
31 (tie)Virginia Tech162
33 (tie)Pennsylvania State University163
33 (tie)University of California--Davis162
33 (tie)University of Minnesota--Twin Cities164
36 (tie)Boston University 164
36 (tie)New York University164
38 (tie)University of California - Irvine163
38 (tie)University of Virginia164
38 (tie)Yale University167
41 (tie)Arizona State University161
41 (tie)Vanderbilt University163
43 (tie)Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute162
43 (tie)University of Rochester163
45 (tie)University of Dayton155
45 (tie)University of Florida160
47 (tie)Iowa State University160
47 (tie)University of Delaware162
47 (tie)University of Notre Dame163
47 (tie)University of Pittsburgh162
47 (tie)Washington University in St. Louis165
52Case Western Reserve University 166
53Dartmouth College164
54 (tie)Brown University166
54 (tie)Colorado School of Mines159
54 (tie)Rutgers University163
54 (tie)University of Massachusetts - Amherst164
58University of Utah163
59 (tie)Michigan State University162
59 (tie)University at Buffalo-SUNY161
59 (tie)University of Tennessee--Knoxville159
62 (tie)Stony Brook University165
62 (tie)University of Arizona160
62 (tie)University of Texas--Dallas162
65Tufts University163
66 (tie)Auburn University160
66 (tie)Colorado State University158
66 (tie)Lehigh University163
66 (tie)Rochester Institute of Technology161
66 (tie)University of Houston160
71 (tie)Clemson University160
71 (tie)Oregon State University159
71 (tie)University of Central Florida158
71 (tie)University of Connecticut160
75 (tie)George Washington University161
75 (tie)University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill160
77 (tie)Washington State University160
77 (tie)Wichita State University159
79 (tie)Drexel University159
79 (tie)Stevens Institute of Technology161
79 (tie)Syracuse University162
79 (tie)University of California--Riverside 162
79 (tie)University of Illinois--Chicago157
84 (tie)Missouri University of Science & Technology156
84 (tie)University of Iowa 160
84 (tie)University of New Mexico157
84 (tie)University of Texas--Arlington157
88 (tie)Illinois Institute of Technology159
88 (tie)Michigan Technological University157
88 (tie)New Jersey Institute of Technology158
88 (tie)University of California--Santa Cruz160
92University of Cincinnati160
93 (tie)George Mason University159
93 (tie)Mississippi State University158
93 (tie)Naval Postgraduate SchoolN/A
93 (tie)University of Nebraska--Lincoln159
93 (tie)Worcester Polytechnic Institute161
98 (tie)Florida A&M University -- Florida State University159
98 (tie)Texas Tech University159
98 (tie)University of South Florida158

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.
Improve your GRE score with Magoosh.

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 TrackAverage GRE Quant Score of Students Intending to Study This Track
Chemical Engineering161
Civil Engineering158
Electrical Engineering159
Industrial Engineering159
Materials Engineering162
Mechanical Engineering159

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!

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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.