Graduate Record Examination scores are an application requirement for many graduate programs and help admission committees assess your candidacy; however you can waive this requirement with some institutions given previous academic preparation and substantial professional experience. Understanding who is eligible for this waiver, along with the procedure for requesting it, can help you streamline the application process for your desired graduate program.
Qualifying for a GRE waiver varies among institutions and degree programs. As an applicant for master’s degree programs at some universities, however, you can apply to waive the GRE requirement provided you have an adequate grade point average, typically above roughly a 3.0. Those applying for doctoral degrees can attempt to have the GRE requirement waived if they hold a research or professional doctorate degree from an accredited institution or are applying following completion of a master’s degree. Some graduate programs also allow GRE waivers if you can provide evidence you have received adequate results on a version of the exam more than five years old.
Drafting a Written Request
Appealing for a GRE waiver begins with a written request that details your academic and professional experience. This statement can include your areas of research or relevant industries in which you have worked within the last five to ten years that demonstrate both your preparation for your desired field of graduate study as well as your verbal and quantitative abilities.
Assembling Application, Licensure, Resume and Transcripts
Accompanying your written statement should be a completed waiver request application form, if applicable, along with official copies of your transcripts verifying all degrees you hold. You can also include a copy of your resume and any current licenses or certifications you hold to further support your professional credentials.
Each GRE waiver request is considered on a case-by-case basis, so simply meeting the qualifications for the waiver does not mean you are automatically approved. As the due date for waiver request applications vary greatly, you can check with your respective program to determine your specific deadline. Some programs that offer GRE waivers still require scores for financial aid, so you should be aware of your intended university’s policies.
- New Jersey City University: Update on Graduate Requirements and Test Waiver Request for Summer and Fall 2013
- California Lutheran University: Graduate Programs School of Education and Department of Psychology: Petition to Waive GRE
- University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: Policy for GRE Waiver Requests to the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work
- University of South Florida College of Public Health: Request to Waive the GRE Requirement
- University of Maryland Baltimore County: Computer Science GRE Waiver Request
- Indiana University: School of Public and Environmental Affairs Admission: GRE/GMAT Waiver Criteria Policy
Teresa J. Siskin has been a researcher, writer and editor since 2009. She holds a doctorate in art history.