PhD Programs Without a GRE Requirement

In 2017, 428 schools in the United States offered doctoral programs, according to the National Science Foundation. Some of these schools and programs had entrance requirements for admission into PhD programs that did not include Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) tests.

What is the GRE?

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examinations, are sometimes required by colleges or universities as part of the admissions process prior to granting entrance into specific graduate degree programs. They can help schools decide whether an applicant is ready for the more rigorous study and research requirements at the graduate level. Only prospective students who have earned a bachelor's degree are eligible to take the two tests. The general test measures critical thinking, writing, verbal, and reasoning skills, and the second test is subject specific.

Types of Schools and Universities that Offer PhD Programs Without a GRE Requirement

Both online and traditional, regionally accredited, schools and universities may offer admission into PhD programs without submitting GRE scores. However, it is important to remember that each program and school have different requirements for admission. These schools will almost certainly expect you to meet both standard and graduate admissions requirements before approving your application.

Common PhD Program Admissions Requirements

A quick scan of the websites of colleges and universities that offer PhD programs will provide you with some general information about many common admissions requirements. For example, you will probably learn the required number of credit hours you must earn before you can begin a PhD program. This often equals the number of credits necessary to have earned a master's degree; sometimes the credits earned in a bachelor's degree will suffice. Another common admissions requirement is a grade-point average no lower than a specific point on a 4-point scale. Some schools require that you write an essay detailing why you want to pursue a PhD in a specific area, or you might need to submit letters of reference from personal and/or academic sources.

PhD Programs or Fields of Study

The National Science Foundation (NSF) showed us that in 2017 there were at least 7 broad fields of study at the doctoral level. They were categorized in the areas of life sciences, physical and earth sciences, math and computer sciences, psychology and social sciences, engineering, education, and humanities/arts.

Life Sciences PhD Program Description

In the area of life sciences, there are several subjects you can study. The general topics include agricultural, biological, and health sciences. Specifically, under biological sciences, you may find programs in anatomy, botany, zoology, or other subjects. Each school has its own specific admissions requirements for PhD programs, and some may be found that don't require the GRE.

Physical and Earth Sciences PhD Program Description

Physical sciences include astronomy, physics, and other sciences. Earth sciences subjects include oceanography, geosciences, and other sciences such as atmospheric science. You will need to review the admissions requirements in any of these programs to determine schools that don't requires a GRE.

Math and Computer Sciences PhD Program Description

Math and computer sciences programs are straightforward. However, there are variety of topics under each program that you may be interested in pursuing, including statistics or programming. Like all other PhD programs, you might find those that do not expect you to pass the GRE.

Psychology and Social Sciences PhD Program Description

Psychology and social sciences programs offer studies in economics, linguistics, political science, anthropology and other subjects. In the economics area, however, agricultural economics is sometimes split off as a separate area of study. Check the admissions requirements at your schools of choice to pin down those that don't require GRE scores.

Engineering PhD Program Description

Engineering is a very broad topic that contains many potential subject areas. You may select from civil, biomedical, nuclear, electrical, or a number of other engineering specialties. When you have determined which program you want to pursue, you can explore the various school requirements to find those that waive the GRE.

Education PhD Program Description

There are several specializations that you can pursue in a PhD program in education. Curriculum and instruction, educational administration, adult and post-secondary education, and special education and teaching are only a few of the programs available. As with all other PhD programs, you will need to check various schools to determine those where the GRE isn't required.

Humanities PhD Program Description

Humanities PhD programs are rather broad in nature. These programs may include art history, history, philosophy, or interdisciplinary studies. Because of the many directions these programs can take, passing the GRE examination or a different entrance test may not be required; however, you will need to look at the admissions requirements for your school and program of choice to be sure.

There are 7 general program areas with many specialized concentrations from which you can choose a PhD program, as well as hundreds of graduate schools in the United States that offer PhD programs. In each area of study, prospective PhD students may successfully find programs that do not require the GRE for acceptance.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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