GRE Scores for Science Programs


Aiming for a science program, like Computer Science or Chemistry, and looking for what GRE score you’ll be expected to have to get into your dream school? Here’s the info from ETS chart that tells us the average GRE scores for science programs’ applicants based on survey data they collect from test takers.

GRE Scores for Science Programs (Intended Applicants)

SpecialtyVerbalQuantitative
Physical Sciences (General)151159
Chemistry153158
Computer Science148158
Earth, Atmospheric, and Marine Sciences154155
Mathematical Sciences153163
Physics and Astronomy156162
Natural Sciences—Other151152

The scores above are intended majors. What does “intended” major mean? It simply means that that these are the average scores of people planning on applying to graduate school in a specific major.

Finding a Real Score Range for Physical Sciences 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 a range of scores you could expect:

GRE Scores for Science Programs by Program Rank

       
SpecialtyProgram Rank #1-10, VerbalProgram Rank #1-10, QuantitativeProgram Rank #11-50, VerbalProgram Rank #11-50 QuantitativeProgram Rank #51-100, VerbalProgram Rank #51-100, Quantitative
Physical Sciences (General)160-164165-169158-162162-166154-158159-163
Chemistry162-166164-168160-164162-165158-162156-160
Computer Science157-161164-168155-159161-165151-155158-162
Earth, Atmospheric, and Marine Sciences163-167161-165161-165158-162157-161155-159
Mathematical Sciences162-166169-170160-164166-170156-160163-167
Physics and Astronomy165-169168-170163-167165-169159-163162-166
Natural Sciences—Other160-164158-162158-162155-159154-158152-156

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.

ProgramVerbal
Mean Score
(50th
percentile)
Verbal
Good Score
(70th
percentile)
Verbal
Great Score
(90th
percentile)
Physical Sciences (Overall)151156162
Chemistry153158164
Computer Science148153159
Earth, Atmospheric, and Marine Sciences154159165
Mathematical Sciences153158164
Physics and Astronomy156161167
Natural Sciences—Other151156162
ProgramQuant
Mean Score
(50th
percentile)
Quant
Good Score
(70th
percentile)
Quant
Great Score
(90th
percentile)
Physical Sciences (Overall)159161167
Chemistry158160166
Computer Science158160166
Earth, Atmospheric, and Marine Sciences155157163
Mathematical Sciences163165170
Physics and Astronomy162164170
Natural Sciences—Other152154160

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

While getting into a top science program can be tricky, a GRE score of 160 or higher in both Verbal and Quant will make you a competitive candidate in many top 100 programs. However, this varies highly by specialty and program rank, so be sure to check yours above!

Remember that you will be applying to a hard science program, so applying to graduate school is anything but easy; this is just a “good-enough” approach that should put you in a decent position to create the appropriate study goals. So if you’re interested in a PhD in Physics from MIT, or a Master’s in Computer Science from NYU, then this is a good place to start.

 

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