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For Omkar Singh*, BTech. grad from Pillai College of Engineering in 2020,  getting into University of Dayton, MS Civil Engineering without GRE is like a dream come true. “GRE waiver, life-saver!” he says. The same sentiment is echoed by Naina Soni*, power electronics engineer at TCS who, come Spring, is all set to start her term at Stevens Institute of Technology. “Pursuing a Masters in Business Analytics without GMAT was unheard of two years ago…at least something worked well for me in the pandemic”, she says. Like these two, many ‘lockdown grads’ and working professionals applied to and got through their dream colleges in 2020 without exam scores, only on the basis of their applications.

Typically, Masters in the USA requires GMAT or GRE scores. A GMAT score of 680 plus or GRE score of 300 plus is enough to get admission into Masters programs of tier 1 and tier 2 public and private universities in the US. However, of late, many universities are either making GMAT/GRE score requirement optional or are waiving it altogether.

This article answers all your questions about pursuing MS courses in the US without GRE or GMAT. Before we see which universities no longer require GMAT and GRE scores for MS admissions, let’s address:


1. Why are universities waiving GMAT and GRE score requirements?
2. Which universities have permanently waived off GRE scores?
3. Which universities have temporarily waived off GRE scores?

Why are universities waiving GMAT and GRE score requirements?

Universities have recognized the difficulty that students faced due to the pandemic. With many test centers closing, students were unable to schedule their exam or even if they were able to do so, they were unable to take it due to lockdown or being sick themselves. For example, a recent update on MIT Graduate Admissions Policy reads:

“For the 2022 graduate admission process, given the potential difficulty in access to testing due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the department will not require GRE tests for applications for graduate admission for 2022. We will thus not use GRE scores as a basis for evaluating candidates for admission in the 2022 application process.”

Similarly, Kent State University’s admission page has a notice saying:

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, GRE testing has temporarily been waived from the application requirements for a number of our graduate programs – both master’s and doctoral – including…”

And goes on to list some 30 programs, including Computer Science, Business Analytics, Chemistry, and Physics, that no longer require GRE scores.

Notably, some universities attach conditions to GRE waiver. For example, College of Management, UMass Boston states that if applicants have GPA more than 3.3 or work experience of more than 5 years or a higher(postgraduate degree) from an accredited institute, they can apply for Masters without GRE.

Which universities have permanently waived off GRE scores?

In GRE webinars that we conduct every week, many students have raised this question. Mostly a pandemic takeaway, GRE waiver is currently applicable till Fall ’22 intake at many universities in US. Some universities, however, have permanently waived off GRE scores for their MS programs. These are University of California, Caltech, and University of Michigan-School of Environment and Sustainability. According to these universities, GRE is an expensive exam and students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds like blacks, Hispanics, international students from poor countries, are unable to take it. This suppresses diversity within the program which is the pride of many US universities.

Which universities have temporarily waived off GRE scores?

Our admissions experts have compiled a list of top universities in US offering MS without GRE:

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

One of the world’s top universities of the world, MIT does not require applicants to apply with a GRE score for certain programs. These are:

  • MS Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • MS Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • MS Computational Science and Engineering

2. Purdue University

This public land grant research university is among the top 20 universities offering MS in the USA without GRE for some courses. In fact, GRE score requirement varies from department to department.  While Department of Mechanical Engineering has waived GRE score only till Spring 22, Department of Computer Science clearly says that GRE scores are not required and will not be considered even if you submit them. Department of Civil Engineering takes a more ambivalent stance ‘We do not GRE scores but you can submit them with your application.’

Masters programs that have no GRE requirement in Purdue:

  • MS Computer Science
  • MS Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • MS Environmental and Ecological Engineering

3. Stevens Institute of Technology

Located in New Jersey, this private research university has a GRE test optional policy for 2022 intakes.   Students can definitely consider MS in the USA without GRE at this university.

Courses to explore:

  • MS Business Analytics
  • MS Robotics
  • MS MIS

4. The University of Dayton

This private university located in Ohio, has GRE optional policy for some courses.

Courses offered without GRE:

  • MS Civil Engineering
  • MS Mechanical Engineering
  • MS Computer Engineering
  • MS Electrical Engineering
  • MS Renewable and Clean Energy
  • MS Aerospace Engineering
  • MS Chemical Engineering

5. California State University

CSU is the largest 4-year public university system in the US. It has 23 campuses offering great learning opportunities. It is an excellent option for MS in the US without GRE.

Courses offered with GRE waiver:

  • MS Civil Engineering
  • MS Mechanical Engineering
  • MS Chemistry

6. Boston University

Boston University is a private research university located in Massachusetts. It offers graduate and undergraduate programs in sciences, arts, medicine, business, humanities and more. Students looking for masters in the US without GRE can explore:

  • MS in Buisness Analytics (on request)
  • MS Bioinformatics
  • MS in Biology
  • MA in Mathematics
  • MA in Statistics

7. Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private research university located in Boston that offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. It co-op/internships program ranks no. 1 in the United States. Northeastern has waived GRE scores for all Masters till Spring ’22 and has gone test-optional for 2022-23 academic year.

Courses without GRE score requirement:

  • MS Computer Science
  • MS Computer Systems Engineering
  • MS Industrial Engineering
  • MS Data Analytics Engineering
  • MS Civil Engineering
  • MS Environmental Engineering
  • MS Chemical Engineering

8. San José State University

SJSU is the oldest public university on the West Coast. It is well recognised for its research and technology-based programs. If you are looking for Masters in the US without GRE, this is definitely a good choice. While some programs require students to take the GRE, many of them accept students based on their profile and IELTS or TOEFL scores.

Courses that don’t require you to take GRE:

  • MS in Data Analytics
  • MS in Civil Engineering
  • MS-Engineering
  • MS Chemical Engineering
  • MS Engineering Management (till Spring ‘22)
  • MS Industrial and Systems Engineering (till Spring ‘22)
  • MS in Mechanical Engineering (till Spring ‘22)
  • MS Materials Engineering

9. George Mason University

This public research university is located in Fairfax County, Virginia and is well known for its research programs. It offers undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and law programs. Mason has research partnerships with many government organizations, non-profits, health systems and international finance organizations like NASA, NOAA and IMF.

Courses with GRE waiver till Spring ‘22:

  • MS Civil & Infrastructure Engineering
  • MS Health Informatics
  • MS Data Analytics Engineering
  • MS Applied and Engineering Physics

10. University of Michigan, Dearborn

It is a public university that offers over 100 academic majors and minors, 43 master’s degree programs and 6 doctoral degree programs. Its school of engineering and college of business are well recognized.

Courses with conditional GRE waiver:

  • MS in Business Analytics
  • MS Information Systems
  • MS Supply Chain Management
  • MS in Accounting
  • MS in Marketing

At Jamboree, we have partnerships with many of the above universities. Explore Jamboree Partner Universities for profile assessment by university admission committee members, application fee waivers, better chances of scholarships and more. Connect with our admission counselors for a 15 minute free session and we will answer all your questions regarding GRE waivers and help you chart out your admissions roadmap.

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