Departments remove GRE requirements for 2020–2021 graduate admissions cycle

All graduate programs in School of Engineering will not require GRE

Many MIT departments have made Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) optional or are not accepting scores for the 2020–2021 graduate admissions cycle.

In the School of Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical EngineeringMaterials Science and Engineering, Nuclear Science and Engineering, and Medical Engineering and Medical Physics are not accepting GRE scores for the 2020–2021 admissions cycle. The departments of Biological Engineering and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society have made GRE scores optional.

In the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the History, Anthropology, Science, Technology, and Society graduate program are not accepting GRE scores this cycle. Political Science and Philosophy have stated that they will make GRE scores optional for the 2020–2021 admissions cycle.

In the School of Science, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; Chemistry; Mathematics; and Physics will not be considering GRE scores for the 2020–2021 admissions cycle.

The Linguistics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Biology, and Brain and Cognitive Sciences departments have not required GRE scores since before this admissions cycle.

The GRE General and Standard Tests are standardized tests traditionally required for admission into graduate programs in the U.S. GRE Subject Tests are offered for Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology.

Graduate Admissions Coordinator Liza Ruano wrote in an email to The Tech that the MIT Graduate Admission website, which includes information on application deadlines, degrees offered, application requirements, and standardized testing, has been updated “as departments have made us aware of their GRE policies for the upcoming cycle.” Ruano added that “departments also update their individual program websites regarding their application requirements as decisions are made.”

Hamsa Balakrishnan, associate head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, wrote in an email to The Tech that the “decision to no longer accept GRE scores was made independently of the COVID-19 pandemic” and “based on faculty discussions early this year.”

Peter Fisher, head of the Physics Department, wrote in an email to The Tech that he “will charge the physics department education committee to look into” whether the Physics Department’s revised GRE policy will remain after this admissions cycle “during Fall and make recommendations for any changes for” the 2021 academic year.

Educational Testing Service, the organization that administers the GRE, announced Aug. 20 that the September and October GRE Subject Test administrations “have been canceled due to impacts from the pandemic” and that “the next opportunity to take a Subject Test — assuming health conditions improve — will be April 2021.”

Update 8/28/20: This article was updated to indicate that the Department of Mechanical Engineering is neither requiring nor considering GRE scores during the 2020–2021 application cycle. A previous version of this article stated that department had made the GRE optional.