Universities skipping GRE requirement due to COVID -19 : A bigger trend in play here

5 min readSep 26, 2020

For decades, a standardized test (GRE/GMAT) has been essential to admission to most of the graduate programs close. While the coronavirus pandemic disrupts economy worldwide especially colleges and universities, the Educational Testing Service unveiled a GRE and a TOEFL which can be taken at home due to the CoronaVirus effect. This is similar to what Amazon and other companies have done to their test exams. The TOEFL and GRE tests were conceived to be conducted on a live human proctoring machine.

There we earlier concerns that the exams like GRE and GMAT puts underrepresented groups at a disadvantage. An increasing number of programs are removing the GRE as a prerequisite to apply. We had seen this trend earlier but has COVID-19 accelerated this adoption? Here are few examples

University of Mississippi : The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media is the latest to join the #nogre bandwagon during this COVID-19 pandemic. The school has decided to suspend the GRE requirement for fall 2020 admission to graduate programs. It also is introducing a 4+1 program designed for academically strong students who want to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism in just five years.

The University of New Mexico : The University of New Mexico has suspended the GRE criteria for the 2020 entry period of the Physician Assistant Program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Purdue University: Purdue University temporarily changes admission requirements for the Food Science Graduate Program due to COVID-19. For admissions, the GRE requirements are temporarily waived from 15 April 2020–15 July 2021.

During COVID-19, the university also made the temporary adjustment to admission criteria for English proficiency, the graduate school temporarily approves the following English proficiency tests in response to the short-term closures of English proficiency test centers in COVID-19 pandemic countries.

St. Mary’s University : In terms of the problems arising from COVID-19 for standardized testing, St. Mary’s University briefly administered optional assessments for most of its graduate programs for the GRE and GMAT graduate school entry exams. If all files have been submitted by a graduate applicant in qualifying programs except for a GRE or GMAT test score, then their file will be considered complete. Highly qualified applicants for the Fall 2020 Ph.D. program may get a conditional acceptance and submit their GRE test scores at a later date.

The exclusion extends to candidates for graduate programs in Summer 2020 and Fall 2020, with the exception of candidates for the Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision, and the Juris Doctorate programs.

Cornell University : Throughout the fall 2020 term, Cornell’s graduate programs have indefinitely suspended the criteria throughout Graduate Record Examination (GRE) review and graduate management admissions exams. The resolution recognized that applicants did not automatically have access to resources that would allow them, specifically reliable internet access, to succeed on the exam.

The University of Texas at San Antonio: To assist graduate candidates, the Graduate School has indefinitely postponed evaluation of the GRE, GMAT, official TOEFL test scores, and approved transcripts for admission to its graduate programs until further notice, in coordination with all UTSA colleges and with the approval of the University of Texas System.

UTSA became Texas’ first institution to relinquish test scores and accept unofficial transcripts. Absent test scores and official transcripts, graduate admission committees must review each application in a comprehensive way and temporarily adjust the weights applied to the remaining admission requirements.

University of Alabama : UA News has announced that the UA Graduate School will temporarily waive the requirements for admission and language test scores for the summer and fall 2020 semesters and the spring 2021 semester. The goal is to accommodate applicants better during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reform is immediately effective and will impact all applicants, both on-campus and online, whose scores have not been obtained by March 15. When the situation in COVID-19 progresses, programs can choose to reinstitute test score requirements.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin : The UTPB criminal justice department has agreed to abolish the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) because it is cost-prohibitive and does not demonstrate a student’s ability to successfully complete the department.

Louisiana Tech University : In response to the current difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Business at Louisiana Tech University has announced that several steps will be taken to accommodate applicants to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Accountancy (MAcc) programs.

The College will temporarily waive the GMAT and/or GRE requirement for MBA and MAcc applications for the Summer and Fall 2020 terms due to the closing of several academic testing sites. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 will be required for those seeking a GMAT / GRE waiver before consideration of the application.

Fairmont State University : Fairmont State University has announced that it will continue to take steps to temporarily adjust the admission requirements for graduate studies in an effort to alleviate stress for graduate students dealing with the COVID-19 impact. The release noted that these revisions will not lower the admission threshold, but rather remove possible obstacles for students who wish to enroll in the semester of Fall 2020.

A university release announced that it is lifting the most rigorous entrance exams for admissions to the graduate degree program for the fall 2020 semester. According to the report, exams include a Graduate Record Analysis (GRE), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Middle Tennessee State University: As of Covid-19, many of the MTSU programs temporarily waive Graduate Research Examinations, or GRE, Graduate Management Admissions Test, or GMAT, as well as other admission examination criteria for summer 2020 and fall 2020.

The University Of Southern Mississippi : In response to the emerging challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) will continue to be waived as conditions for admission to graduate programs at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) through the summer and fall of 2021 semesters.

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