The Graduate Record Exam General Test measures the aptitude of prospective graduate school students in verbal and quantitative reasoning and analytical writing skills. Applicants sometimes need to take a GRE subject test, available in areas such as literature, math, psychology and science. Many schools require applicants to achieve a certain score on one or more portions of the GRE for admission, but some doctoral programs do not.
At North Carolina State University in Raleigh, most doctoral programs require the test, but students enrolled in a distance program for the nuclear engineering department are exempt. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, applicants for programs including Afro-American Studies, Entomology, Music and School Psychology do not need to produce GRE scores. West Texas A&M, in Canyon, offers a doctorate in agriculture that does not require the GRE for admission. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge offers a linguistics doctoral degree without a testing entrance requirement.
According to "U.S. News and World Report," many schools have changed from focusing on GRE scores to instead examining applicants' other application information. This is due to concerns about how well the test anticipates success in graduate programs and the possibility of students memorizing answers. Prospective students should contact the school and the doctoral program to learn what portions of the GRE, if any, are needed. The "U.S. News and World Report's" University Directory also offers a list of schools that do not require the test.