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)University of Michigan - Ann Arbor166
7Purdue University164
8Georgia Institute of Technology165
9 University of California--San Diego166
10 (tie)University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign166
10 (tie)University of California - San Diego165
10 (tie)University of Texas - Austin165
13Texas A&M University163
14 (tie)Columbia University167
14 (tie)Cornell University166
16University of California - Los Angeles166
17Johns Hopkins University166
18University of Pennsylvania168
19Northwestern University167
20 University of Maryland164
21Princeton University 167
22 Harvard167
22 Duke University166
24 (tie)North Carolina State163
24 (tie)University of Washington164
24 (tie) University of Wisconsin--Madison165
27 (tie)University of California--Santa Barbara164
27 (tie)University of Colorado--Boulder163
29Virginia Tech163
30Ohio State University160
31 (tie)Northeastern University163
31 (tie)University of Minnesota--Twin Cities166
33 (tie)Rice UniversityNA
33 (tie)University of California--Davis163
35Pennsylvania State University164
36 (tie)Boston University 165
36 (tie)University of California - Irvine164
38New York University165
39 (tie)Vanderbilt University164
39 (tie)Yale University167
41 (tie)Arizona State University162
41 (tie)University of Virginia164
43 (tie)Iowa State University162
43 (tie)Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute164
45University of Rochester164
46 (tie)University of Dayton157
46 (tie)University of Delaware162
46 (tie)University of Florida162
46 (tie)Washington University in St. Louis166
50University of Notre Dame164
51 (tie)Brown University166
51 (tie)Case Western Reserve University 166
51 (tie)Rutgers University163
51 (tie)University of Pittsburg162
51 (tie)University of Utah163
56 (tie)Dartmouth College165
56 (tie)University of Massachusetts - Amherst164
58 Michigan State University162
59 (tie)Colorado School of Mines159
59 (tie)University at Buffalo-SUNY160
59 (tie)University of Tennessee--Knoxville160
62University of Texas--Dallas162
63 (tie)Colorado State University161
63 (tie)Lehigh University164
63 (tie)Stony Brook University165
63 (tie)University of Arizona162
67 (tie)George Washington University163
67 (tie)Tufts University163
67 (tie)University of Connecticut161
67 (tie)University of Houston161
71 Auburn University158
72 (tie)Clemson University161
72 (tie)Rochester Institute of Technology161
74 (tie)Drexel University163
74 (tie)Oregon State University159
74 (tie)Syracuse University162
74 (tie)University of Central Florida159
74 (tie)University of Illinois--Chicago161
74 (tie)University of Iowa161
80 (tie)Stevens Institute of Technology160
80 (tie)University of California--Riverside 164
80 (tie)University of Texas--Arlington157
83 (tie)Illinois Institute of Technology159
83 (tie)Missouri University of Science & Technology158
83 (tie)University of California--Santa Cruz163
83 (tie)University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill160
87 (tie)New Jersey Institute of Technology158
87 (tie)University of New Mexico157
89 (tie)Michigan Technological University159
89 (tie)Washington State University160
89 (tie)Worcester Polytechnic Institute163
92 (tie)University of Cincinnati160
92 (tie)University of South Florida158
94 (tie)Binghamton University--SUNY 159
94 (tie)Brigham Young University
94 (tie)Texas Tech University157
94 (tie)University of Alabama--Huntsville158
94 (tie)University of Kentucky160
94 (tie)University of Missouri160
94 (tie)University of Nebraska--Lincoln160
94 (tie)Wichita State University154

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 161.
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 70th 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!

P.S. Ready to improve your GRE score? Get started today.

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