Stanford Adjusts GRE Requirement

Different graduate schools will be permitted to require the test or not to do so.

April 16, 2018

Stanford University's Faculty Senate voted last week to end a requirement that all graduate programs require the Graduate Record Exam for admissions. Going forward, individual graduate schools may decide whether to require the GRE.

The shift comes amid growing competition in the area of graduate and professional school admissions testing. The GRE generally has been making inroads in law school and business school admissions -- creating new options for students and for law and business schools seeking to attract more applicants.

A Stanford account of the shift there cited competition as a key reason for adjusting the testing policy. Some institutions that compete with Stanford for top graduate talent do not require the GRE, and various graduate programs do not want potential students discouraged from applying to Stanford.

In other cases, programs are not sure they need the information the GRE provides.

David Goldhaber-Gordon, professor of physics and chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies, said in a statement that "not all data may be useful for all disciplines." He said that individual graduate programs "are better positioned to determine the role of the GREs in evaluating their applicants."


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