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Get a Masters Degree in Public Health with No GRE

As part of Dornsife's commitment to equity and diversity, GRE test scores are not required for master's degree program applications.

GRE Waiver for Graduate School Programs in Public Health

Dornsife School of Public Health does not require the submission of GRE scores as part of applications to masters programs.

Waiving GRE requirements is an important way to make our application process more equitable for an economically, socially, and culturally diverse range of students. This decision was made in 2019 after careful consideration of the mounting evidence that the GRE is not only an unfair barrier to a graduate education, it is also an ineffective way to identify students who will do well in graduate school, or in public health careers after graduate education.

The GRE test costs more than $200 alone, and test preparation courses – one of the few reliable methods of raising a score – may cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. This can be an insurmountable challenge for students with limited financial resources.

What is the GRE?

The GRE, which stands for Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test that can be used as an application requirement for some graduate schools. The test is administered by ETS, which issues a score to each test taker. 

Does the GRE Determine Academic Preparedness for Grad School?

An analysis of the value of the GRE, published in Nature, reported what many educators discussed for years — the idea that the GRE is, in their words, “poor at selecting the most capable students and severely restricts the flow of women and minorities into the sciences.” A GRE score, they continue, is more likely related to a student’s socioeconomic status than “their intellectual capacity or academic preparation.” Several studies have confirmed these findings, and have motivated many prestigious graduate schools and colleges to reconsider the wisdom of requiring GRE scores as part of the admissions review process.

For these reasons, we came to the conclusion that requiring GRE scores of applicants to our masters programs was inconsistent with Dornsife’s founding principles of social justice and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Equity is the foundation of our work as a school, but the concept also extends to how we engage with the world and our students.

A Fair Chance at a Masters in Public Health - No GRE Required

We are dedicated to offering all students who wish to study public health here at Dornsife a fair chance to be accepted into the program of their choice. Most importantly, we know that a diverse workforce is critical to high quality and impactful public health research and practice. Prospective students may apply for a Master of Public Health or a Master of Science with no GRE required.

At Dornsife, we already have the privilege of teaching, mentoring, and learning from students from all types of communities and countries around the world. We expect the GRE waiver only increases this good fortune.

As our School continues to grow and thrive, we look forward to broadening the types of students who graduate from our programs and become the next generation of health professionals who will go out into the nation’s communities and make a difference.

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