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Biology grad programs that don't require the GRE

John H. McDonald

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I've put together a list of biology grad programs in the U.S. that tells you which ones do or do not require the GRE. At this point 73% of programs do NOT require the GRE, and another 10% didn't require it for fall 2021 admission due to COVID and haven't announced yet whether they'll require it for 2022. So the trend of grad programs dropping the GRE requirement has reached the point where you may not need to take the stupid GRE. I hope this list is useful, but keep the following in mind:

1) This is a list of BIOLOGY grad programs, in the U.S. I don't know what's going on in other fields or other countries.

2) If you don't plan to take the GRE, but one of the programs you're thinking about is listed as requiring the GRE, don't rule it out. Many programs have outdated information on their web pages, so if you email their graduate program director, they may tell you that their web page is wrong and they no longer require the GRE.

3) Some of the programs that don't require the GRE say that it is "optional" or "recommended." A really good score MIGHT help you get into one of those programs, especially if your grades are mediocre, or if you're from a country with a grading system that's unfamiliar to the admissions people. (American graduate admissions people should be familiar with Chinese and Indian grading systems, but they get fewer applicants from other countries.) I was chair of a graduate admissions committee for 20 years, and I'd be more impressed by applicants who spent more time doing undergrad research instead of GRE prep, but not everyone feels the same way.


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