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Recommendations for Schools that do not require the GRE

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Posted

Hi everyone,

I've been trying to find schools that do not require the GRE for psychology applications. So far, I only know of Teachers College as one of the universities that meets this condition. It would really help if you could suggest others. I'm just trying to keep my options open :)

Thanks in advance! :)

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What types of programs are you looking for? Psychology phd? It's very rare to find PhD programs that do no have a GRE requirement and I would suggest not to apply to those schools. It's nice to have options but you don't want to go to a less than reputable school just because there was no GRE requirement!

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I've been looking at a Master's Degree in Psychology with an educational track (such as Developmental Psychology or Neuroscience in Education). Yes, I completely agree with you about not compromising the quality of education just because of the GRE requirement :) I'm just trying to work around my predicament. I recently took the GREs and obtained low scores (mid-500s). And of course, there's also the option of taking the GRE again, but i also realized that there are still reputable schools that are not as stringent with these conditions. As i mentioned earlier, Teachers College seems to be one of them. Perhaps, you could make other recommendations? I'm just really exploring all possible options before going through the arduous task of studying for the GRE again. I figured it wouldn't hurt just to explore this other option first :)

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Posted

Yeah, hate to break your heart, it is extremely doubtful from my experience of grad school searching to find any schools that do not require the GRE for a psychology Phd. or even a Masters. I would recommend dedicating yourself to studying for the GRE once again, if you dedicate yourself to studying really hard, then there is no reason (this is my opinion course) why you shouldn't see an improvement in your score. a mid 600s scores could greatly improve your grad school prospects.

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Yeah, hate to break your heart, it is extremely doubtful from my experience of grad school searching to find any schools that do not require the GRE for a psychology Phd. or even a Masters. I would recommend dedicating yourself to studying for the GRE once again, if you dedicate yourself to studying really hard, then there is no reason (this is my opinion course) why you shouldn't see an improvement in your score. a mid 600s scores could greatly improve your grad school prospects.

yes I would take a year off and study for the GRE while working on getting some research pub/presentation. My friend got a 1150 or so the first time, studied the entire summer and got 1350 the second time around.

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Posted

I wouldn't be so quick to judge, though.

NYU has a great MA in Mental Health Counseling and does not require the GRE. Additionally, University of Toronto offers an MA and PhD program in Counseling Psyc and does not require the GRE. I think Long Island Uni doesn't require it either. Those are just a few. They're out there!

I don't see it as a measure of a program's greatness...there are just certain faculties who do not believe that the GRE is a true measure of success in Grad School (based on research), so they don't require it for admission.

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't be so quick to judge, though.

NYU has a great MA in Mental Health Counseling and does not require the GRE. Additionally, University of Toronto offers an MA and PhD program in Counseling Psyc and does not require the GRE. I think Long Island Uni doesn't require it either. Those are just a few. They're out there!

I don't see it as a measure of a program's greatness...there are just certain faculties who do not believe that the GRE is a true measure of success in Grad School (based on research), so they don't require it for admission.

GRE is the probably the best predictor of graduate success... what research have you found that shown otherwise?

Edited by donnyz89

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Posted

GRE is the probably the best predictor of graduate success... what research have you found that shown otherwise?

Not sure why the downvotes, there is data on this, even if people don't like it. GRE is just as predictive as GPA. In-person interviews (which many people think are predictive) are actually the travesty; they are not predictive beyond the paper record.

With two BIG caveats for the GRE data I've seen:

1. It was produced by ETS and there could be a conflict of interest.

2. It is very hard to measure "graduate success" in a way that is reliable and convenient. The studies I've seen used first-year GPA, which is only a small component of grad school.

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Posted

GRE is the probably the best predictor of graduate success... what research have you found that shown otherwise?

See, while I think the GRE can be useful for predicting dedication and certain aspects of intelligence, I don't think it's a measure of graduate success. Let's face it, being able to do basic high school math and knowing a few obscure words does not mean you're going to succeed in life.

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Posted

This is anecdotal... but I've always heard of studies that have shown of the unimportance of the GRE as a predictor of graduate success

I'm up in Canada though, and I know we probably have slightly different attitudes than America about this

The more Iook at this topic the more I think that this poster should re-take the GREs (whether or not they predict grad success) because it limits the poster's options significantly, and the poster should probably apply to the best fitting schools if they want to go to grad school, right?

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Posted

GRE is the probably the best predictor of graduate success... what research have you found that shown otherwise?

Actually, an old 1997 Cornell University study did not find a strong correlation between the GRE and ultimate grad school success.http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Aug97/GRE.study.ssl.html (Though, as you may suspect, other studies indicate otherwise). For professionals who have been out of the academic arena and are returning to school, they likely wouldn't score as highly as a 22-year-old recent graduate, yet they certainly have the intellect, experience and maturity to excel. It is a presumptuous, and dare I say, arrogant attitude to assume that a test score is a measurement of a person's intellect and capabilities.

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Posted

The more Iook at this topic the more I think that this poster should re-take the GREs (whether or not they predict grad success) because it limits the poster's options significantly, and the poster should probably apply to the best fitting schools if they want to go to grad school, right?

This is the best advice in this thread. Every time somebody asks, "Should I (re)take the GRE?" it devolves into a discussion of the GRE's merits or lack thereof. The fact remains that to get in, you have to buy in to the system. For those who doesn't like the GRE, remember this thread in the future when you're sitting on an admission committee, or making admissions policy for your university. Until then, play the game, take the GRE, and score well, else you're limiting your chances to even get into graduate school.

Interviews ALSO have little ability to predict success in graduate school beyond the written record, but despite this many graduate schools--especially in the U.S.--do in-person interviews before decisions. (See research by Robyn Dawes, e.g., the book "House of Cards".) But I don't see anybody here railing against interviews in the same way they rail against the GRE. Let's see some consistency.

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Posted

The below is the best advice in this thread!

I was just having a conversation about this

This is such a good point, I'm personally going to follow this advice

This is the best advice in this thread. Every time somebody asks, "Should I (re)take the GRE?" it devolves into a discussion of the GRE's merits or lack thereof. The fact remains that to get in, you have to buy in to the system. For those who doesn't like the GRE, remember this thread in the future when you're sitting on an admission committee, or making admissions policy for your university. Until then, play the game, take the GRE, and score well, else you're limiting your chances to even get into graduate school.

Interviews ALSO have little ability to predict success in graduate school beyond the written record, but despite this many graduate schools--especially in the U.S.--do in-person interviews before decisions. (See research by Robyn Dawes, e.g., the book "House of Cards".) But I don't see anybody here railing against interviews in the same way they rail against the GRE. Let's see some consistency.

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Posted

I don't think most schools use interviews to predict grad school success, but rather to choose graduate students they think can fit in well with the department. The prediction of success is what got you to the interview.

The biggest predictors of success in graduate school are you letters of recommendation and your statement of purpose, and the information they contain- your motivation, work ethic, past research experience, publications, etc. GRE and GPA are both fairly poor predictors- it's usually not the coursework that causes people to drop out of graduate school, but rather a lack of motivation or drive, or a lack of research experience.

Just my 2 cents worth on the discussion.

To the OP: Mid-500s aren't great, but they aren't bottom of the barrel either. I think you have a good shot at studying some more, re-taking the exam, and then applying to some mid-tier programs.

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Posted

Not sure why the downvotes, there is data on this, even if people don't like it. GRE is just as predictive as GPA. In-person interviews (which many people think are predictive) are actually the travesty; they are not predictive beyond the paper record.

With two BIG caveats for the GRE data I've seen:

1. It was produced by ETS and there could be a conflict of interest.

2. It is very hard to measure "graduate success" in a way that is reliable and convenient. The studies I've seen used first-year GPA, which is only a small component of grad school.

the same reason why ogranizations don't like to use personnel selection tests but rather intuition and unstructured interviews. Anyways, most people don't think GRE or any standardized scores mean anything, which is fine, but there are not statistically better measure or predictor of grad success. Most research show "intuition", "unstructured interview", and other non-standardized methods of selection are pretty much fail across the board. Not surprised at the thumb downs though.

and people use the word "predictor" so cavalierly... how do you measure personal letter? how do you measure LOR? how can someone say something is a predictor when you can't even measure it?

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Posted

Teacher's College is a great school. You may want to also look into an MSW. NYU, Hunter College and Columbia all have Masters of Social Work programs that don't require or place little emphasis on GRE scores. They are great schools and great programs. With an MSW there is a 2 year internship requirement (while you take classes) so it's a little intense. But clinical social work is the same as being a therapist. You may not be a "psychologist" but you can still provide therapy to clients. Social Work programs put little emphasis on GRE scores because they know that there are a variety of factors that can influence a score (you could have just had a bad day or english may not be your first language). They know that GPA is a better predictor of success in graduate school because you have proved that you can do the work. Really, do you need to know the formula to find the length of an arc in a psych graduate program? Probably not.

I have a MS in Education, MSW and MA (psychology). I'm now going for a phd in psychology, but just because I want to continue doing research and publishing.

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Posted

It's a small crime, but a crime nonetheless to re-animate a long dead thread. So - I'm sorry.

 

But this thread came up when I searched on Google, so for the sake of future readers, don't believe the hype...

 

Almost every major at Oxford doesn't require the GRE - it's not required for London School of Economics (LSE) and by the way, there are more LSE degrees working in Obama's administration today than Harvard, Yale, or any of the big american universities which all require the GRE. For future posters looking for programs that don't require the GRE - look to the UK, also look at all the top rated Canadian schools. Somehow all the huge universities with incredible reputations in Canada like UofT, UBC, York, etc. manage just fine without using the GRE in all their programs.

 

Also, here is a great list of graduate programs that don't require the GRE - including degrees from Columbia, Penn, MIT, UC Berkeley, NYU, and Johns Hopkins: http://ainsleydiduca.com/grad-schools-dont-require-gre

 

But there's more - I mean... haven't you ever wondered: What is the GRE?

 

1. It's a standardized test. What does it test? Your preparation skills for taking the GRE. Nothing else. And it's a for-profit product, sold alongside expensive tools for learning how to score well on it. If you're smart enough to go to graduate school, that much should be obvious.

 

2. It's also a classic tool used to maintain inequality in a nation with some of the greatest inequality in the so-called developed world/global north/whatever you want to call it.

 

3. It's also a way to save time if you're an admissions committee who, because you work in the U.S., are overworked, and underpaid, and will someday soon likely be made up of nothing but seasonal employees without benefits or rights (once all the tenured faculty are replaced with adjuncts).

 

I'm personally boycotting it. I finished an MA without it, and am planning to do a PhD without it. I will teach and do research without it - and I will always encourage my departments to remove the requirement from admissions processes - as some are now starting to do.

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Posted

I see your point, but in all honesty its not that hard to study for the GRE and get a halfway decent score and then open up your options to all schools instead of the small window of schools that don't require it (hoping they are a good fit for you).

You seem to have a very poor perception of the GRE. I would guess that you scored poorly on it and now advocate schools that don't require it.

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Posted

I see your point, but in all honesty its not that hard to study for the GRE and get a halfway decent score and then open up your options to all schools instead of the small window of schools that don't require it (hoping they are a good fit for you).

You seem to have a very poor perception of the GRE. I would guess that you scored poorly on it and now advocate schools that don't require it.

 

Well, you've missed two points.

 

1. I haven't taken it, and won't. Like any standardized test, I choose to boycott it. You assume that I would care if I got a low score on a test which is a test of how well you prepare for a test. I wouldn't. But, as I said I haven't taken it.

 

2. The rest of the world outside the U.S. is not a 'small window' - and on top of that I'm actively NOT interested in programs that use the GRE as a measure of prospective students. That choice says something to me about the program - like coursework, research interests, grad student unionization, etc. So, it's a deciding factor in the fit of the program for me. 

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Posted

Coincidentally, I just ran into this post which is a beautiful example of why GREs are a horrible scam. This post is a perfect description of what the GRE is testing for, the ability to take the GRE:

 

 

So the question is, why would you trust your education to a department, or university system that believes this is a useful way to choose students? Granted, many departments only use it to 'cull' their applications - but there are some, even in the social sciences and humanities who actively describe how important the GRE is to their admissions. This might be up your alley - but for those of you who think it's BS - find a program that recognizes the BS when they smell it and doesn't use the GRE (or any standardized test for that matter) - or that requires it only because their institution does, but does not consider the score (there are many doing this now).

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Posted (edited)

It's a small crime, but a crime nonetheless to re-animate a long dead thread. So - I'm sorry.

 

But this thread came up when I searched on Google, so for the sake of future readers, don't believe the hype...

 

Almost every major at Oxford doesn't require the GRE - it's not required for London School of Economics (LSE) and by the way, there are more LSE degrees working in Obama's administration today than Harvard, Yale, or any of the big american universities which all require the GRE. For future posters looking for programs that don't require the GRE - look to the UK, also look at all the top rated Canadian schools. Somehow all the huge universities with incredible reputations in Canada like UofT, UBC, York, etc. manage just fine without using the GRE in all their programs.

 

Also, here is a great list of graduate programs that don't require the GRE - including degrees from Columbia, Penn, MIT, UC Berkeley, NYU, and Johns Hopkins: http://ainsleydiduca.com/grad-schools-dont-require-gre

 

But there's more - I mean... haven't you ever wondered: What is the GRE?

 

1. It's a standardized test. What does it test? Your preparation skills for taking the GRE. Nothing else. And it's a for-profit product, sold alongside expensive tools for learning how to score well on it. If you're smart enough to go to graduate school, that much should be obvious.

 

2. It's also a classic tool used to maintain inequality in a nation with some of the greatest inequality in the so-called developed world/global north/whatever you want to call it.

 

3. It's also a way to save time if you're an admissions committee who, because you work in the U.S., are overworked, and underpaid, and will someday soon likely be made up of nothing but seasonal employees without benefits or rights (once all the tenured faculty are replaced with adjuncts).

 

I'm personally boycotting it. I finished an MA without it, and am planning to do a PhD without it. I will teach and do research without it - and I will always encourage my departments to remove the requirement from admissions processes - as some are now starting to do.

 

Hi Canis,

 

I would be curious to know what content programs should measure when selecting students.  I have read some articles giving a pretty decent r between GRE scores (general and subject GREs) and first year grad school performance.

 

As someone who has a little bit of training in selection methods (through I/O and HR coursework), I think it's a good idea to base selection decisions on measures that can be standardized in order to limit selection bias.

 

Using qualifications such as research experience, letters of recommendation, publications may all be a good idea, however, these can be unfairly distributed to the privileged in the same way access to preparation for the GRE is.

 

Another consideration is the research that shows that GRE scores don't really increase all that much with prep courses (despite the advertising claims.)

 

How about GPA?  Would you also eliminate its use in selection decisions?  GPA can be an unreliable tool to compare students across schools - and even within schools if two students took the same course from different professors.

 

So how would you recommend that schools ensure that they are selecting the students with highest aptitude for success in their program?  I don't mean to be argumentative.  I really am interested in your plan.

Edited by Bren2014

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Posted

Seems like if you wanted to protest the use of the GRE, there are more useful and productive ways than to limit your career based on programs that don't require it.

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Seems like if you wanted to protest the use of the GRE, there are more useful and productive ways than to limit your career based on programs that don't require it.

 

Well, again - completely missing the point...

 

It doesn't limit my career to go to a full funded, top school, with my ideal POIs, in a department that is well organized, funded, and smart enough to recognize the GREs aren't a useful indicator of potential student success. It's does the opposite. It ensures that I'm in a department where they don't think of students as numbers.

 

If you're someone who loves reducing complex human lives into statistics, programs that value the GRE might be right for you! But in my case, and for other students - they're not the right programs.

 

Part of this comes from the fact that the BA in the U.S. is the new American high school diploma. Students are not independent thinkers when they're graduating from college in the U.S. - so they're still thinking like high school students when they're looking at PhD programs. As a result, PhD programs are treating them like high school students. This is also reflected in the essays people write about their life stories instead of their research plan.

 

On the other hand, you have a good point about working from the inside out. For example, when Timothy Leary was arrested and put in prison, they gave him a standardized test to determine what kind of person he was, and which work detail he should be assigned to. It turned out that as a PhD in psychology, he had designed some of the tests they gave him - so he filled them in appropriately so they would make him a gardener at a low security prison. And they did, and he escaped.

 

So, yes, if you can design the system, or hack the system, all the better. But aside from the tyranny of the GRE, I'm also boycotting the tyranny of the corporations commodifying education through testing all the way from the 'teach to the test' problems in grade schools - through the GRE. Education, and your education specifically, should not be a commodity - it should be your path of bliss. 

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Posted

Hi Canis,

 

I would be curious to know what content programs should measure when selecting students.  I have read some articles giving a pretty decent r between GRE scores (general and subject GREs) and first year grad school performance.

 

As someone who has a little bit of training in selection methods (through I/O and HR coursework), I think it's a good idea to base selection decisions on measures that can be standardized in order to limit selection bias.

 

Using qualifications such as research experience, letters of recommendation, publications may all be a good idea, however, these can be unfairly distributed to the privileged in the same way access to preparation for the GRE is.

 

Another consideration is the research that shows that GRE scores don't really increase all that much with prep courses (despite the advertising claims.)

 

How about GPA?  Would you also eliminate its use in selection decisions?  GPA can be an unreliable tool to compare students across schools - and even within schools if two students took the same course from different professors.

 

So how would you recommend that schools ensure that they are selecting the students with highest aptitude for success in their program?  I don't mean to be argumentative.  I really am interested in your plan.

 

 

These are great questions!

 

First, the GRE does nothing to eliminate 'bias.' If there's one thing all graduate admissions are, it's biased.Undergrad admissions are hidden away and standardized to a much greater degree with little if any contact between students and decision makers. Graduate on the other hand rely on the idea (for the PhD at least) that Professor and student will be colleagues, that they will spend as much as 8 years of their lives working together, that they will tie their professional lives to one another. Also, selection bias applies if you want to take a group of subjects, do a study, and then say something about the results applying to a larger community than the group participating in the study. A PhD program is nothing like this.

 

In admissions processes, they make spreadsheets with all the students and they rank them. They include gender, race, and all the information that you might think 'shouldn't' matter. But it all does. The advisor/advisee relationship is a kind of marriage - they are choosing who they want to marry. Professors pay close attention to WHO wrote your letters, if they know them, and which theorists you use in your writing sample - how you write your statement - and so on. The pay attention to how you write your emails, how your personality comes off in emails. The very fact that there can be a 'kiss of death' in the process says that this is not a process about eliminating selection bias.

 

What the GRE does instead is it allows admissions committees to only pay this much attention to a small number of applicants. It gives them a reason to cut off most of the applications. Again, let me say the GRE is not considered in terms of the final analysis - it is a way to reduce the number of applications that they will seriously consider. Why? Because they have limited funding, because they have limited time, because they don't want to read 200 applications, they want to read 30, and pick 5 students. So, it's an easy way to ignore all of the students below a certain score. And I've seen this process, and that's what they do. Granted it's different at every school - but the process I saw involved discussions about class, race, how much money students had, where they came from, who wrote the letters, and whether the faculty thought the students would be capable of working the way that they work in that school. They want to transform you into one of them, they are adopting you into their academic family - they don't want a bad fit. So GREs don't matter in that process. But they do matter in the very beginning when they draw a line in the list and barely consider anyone below it. And that is simply a matter of convenience, and has nothing to do with any of the studies which have alternately shown and then not shown a relationship between success in school and GRE.

 

GPA is another great question - and also a meaningless number. In the top 15 candidates in the process I witnessed, GPA ranged from 3.3 to 4.0 - some of those with lower GPAs were ranked higher because of their statements, writing samples, or because letters came from faculty who were well respected by the admissions committee. GPA doesn't matter because it doesn't track performance across different schools. If you go to certain schools with insane grade inflation (like Harvard) you will always have almost all As. If you go to schools without grade inflation, like Reed College, you won't - in fact at Reed only 10 students in 28 years graduated with a 4.0. Overall the trend for inflation is up, but, schools are still different.

 

So, they know they can't rely on GPA either. My suggestion is to do what the schools in Europe, UK, and Canada do - make it like a job application. Ask for a statement, a research plan, a CV, and transcripts. Require students to get an advisor to agree to work with them before applying. And then judge the applications on their merits, all of the applications. This takes time - a lot more time. And schools in the U.S. are falling apart, so they can't handle it - and as the BA has become the new high school diploma, everyone is trying to get MAs and PhDs - way more than ever before. So, applications are skyrocketing, and funding is lower than ever, so the number of places are down. The faculty that I spoke with said that in the past they would only get 20 or so good applications, and the rest they could easily ignore. Today, they get 200 great applications, so they only way they can do the process is to cut off a large number using something arbitrary. It's a sad, sad thing - all made possible by the unquestioning acceptance of the role of the GRE in the admissions process by students, and by universities.

 

The bottom line, I think, is that standardized tests aren't an indicator of success - certainly not in the long term. I mean, look at the current situation - thousands of people who got admission to programs using GREs and have their PhDs, but can't find any meaningful work. Yes, that's an economy problem, but it's also a structural problem. All those people working as adjuncts (some of whom are fighting back) - all took GREs and then when they finish they dutifully accept positions working for free, with no job security or benefits. Clearly the GRE wasn't a good judge of their class consciousness, but it did correctly predict they would do whatever the Academy told them to do. Instead, how about we start recruiting more revolutionary PhDs?

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