GRE Scores for Masters (MS) in USA

By Aarushi Jain Updated On - Jun 30, 2022 05:45 PM

US universities are known for their high-quality, career-oriented MS programs, and by taking the GRE exam, individuals can demonstrate that they are qualified to attend those institutions. Let us know more about the GRE cutoffs for studying at one of the top US universities.

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GRE Scores for Masters (MS) in USA: The Graduate Record Examination or the GRE exam is administered by ETS and is one of the most widely recognised graduate examinations for students wanting to pursue higher education abroad. So, if you want to get into one of the top universities in the US, you know how important a solid GRE score is in the application process.

Frequently, applicants want to know what a decent score would be to get into their preferred graduate school. The GRE scores will vary based on the school you attend. Again, it varies based on the field you choose within a specific university or institute.

In case you are confused about the GRE cutoff requirements for US universities, you have arrived at the right place. Here, we will walk you through the GRE cutoff and average GRE scores for different MS programs at different US universities. 

What is GRE Cutoff?

Before we jump onto the GRE cutoff for US universities, let us throw some light on what the GRE cutoff actually means. The GRE exam is intended solely for graduate or doctorate degree candidates in any discipline. The exam was designed to assess the verbal, analytical, and mathematical abilities of GRE test-takers. However, the ETS (Educational Testing Service) has not established a specific cutoff for GRE. 

GRE scores are accepted by over 1,200 business and graduate schools around the country. GRE scores are accepted for higher education in 94 countries across the world, including the US. Also, every university would have its required GRE cutoff. As a result, any score above the GRE cutoff for US universities in 2022 would automatically qualify their application.

In other words, an average GRE Score or GRE cutoff 2022 is a score that is neither the greatest nor the lowest. It has to be somewhere in the middle. Candidates should keep in mind that a high GRE score would only boost their chances of admission to their preferred university and make them eligible for any scholarships offered by their particular universities.

Sections in the GRE Exam

Average Estimated Score

Quantitative Reasoning

152.57

Verbal Reasoning

149.97

Analytical Writing

3.48

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GRE Cutoff for Top US Universities

Tabulated below is a range of GRE cut off for top US universities. Candidates seeking admission to the universities listed below might use the GRE cutoff scores as a guideline. Candidates should visit the official website of the university too to learn more about the GRE cutoff for their chosen program.

GRE Accepting US Universities 

Verbal

Quantitative

Writing

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

158

159

5.3

Stanford University

159

158

4.8

University of California, Berkeley

153-156

167

4.5

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

158

160

4.5

Pennsylvania State University

150

165

3.0

University of Florida

154

165

3.0

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

155

167

5.0

University of Virginia

163

166

4.5

California Institute of Technology

160

157

5.0

Georgia Institute of Technology

158

167

4.3

University of California – San Diego

162

160

5.5

University of Washington

156

167

4.0

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

160

167

5.0

The University of Texas, Austin

155

165

4.0

Ohio State University

156

165

4.0

Average GRE Cutoff for Different MS Degrees in US

Now that you are aware of the GRE cutoff for US universities, tabulated below are some GRE average scores for studying for Masters in US as per the different fields of study. 

Field of Study 

Average Verbal Score 

Average Quantitative Score

Physical Sciences

151

160

Life Sciences

151

151

Business

151

156

Social Sciences

153

152

Arts And Humanities

156

150

Though the above table shows the average GRE scores for various universities, the average GRE score for the top-ranked schools is substantially higher. Let us look at how much the average GRE score or the GRE cutoff changes depending on the school or program to which you want to apply.

Note: During the Covid-19 pandemic, many schools relaxed the GRE requirement. The scores shown are historical patterns from previous years.

Average GRE Scores for MS in Engineering

Given below are the average GRE scores or the average expected GRE cutoff for US universities to study MS in Engineering

University Name

Average Verbal

Average Quantitative

Harvard University 

158 to 160

163 to 166

Stanford University

162

168

Yale University 

155

167

Carnegie Mellon University

153

163

University of Southern California

151

166

University of California - Los Angeles

158

168

Cornell University

153

160

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Average GRE Scores for MS in Computer Science

Find the average GRE scores or the average expected GRE cutoff for US universities to study MS in Computer Science

University Name

Average Verbal

Average Quantitative

Harvard University 

160

164

Stanford University 

162

166

University of Pennsylvania

159

168

Princeton University 

164

167

Yale University 

162

166

University of California - Los Angeles

155

161

Cornell University

160

164

Columbia University

155

161

Average GRE Scores for MS in Physics

Given below are the average GRE scores or the average expected GRE cutoff for US universities to study MS in Physics

University Name

Average Verbal

Average Quantitative

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

167

167

Harvard University 

167

167

Stanford University 

167

167

University of California-Berkeley

167

167

University of Pennsylvania

162

164

Princeton University 

168

170

Yale University 

162

164

University of Southern California

159

162

Cornell University 

167

167

Columbia University

162

164

Average GRE Scores for MS in Chemistry

The average GRE scores or the average expected GRE cutoff for US universities to study MS in Chemistry are mentioned below: 

University Name

Average Verbal

Average Quantitative

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

164

163

Harvard University

(GRE not required but optional)

164

163

Stanford University 

164

163

University of California-Berkeley

164

163

University of Pennsylvania

(Not required but recommended for Physical Chemistry applications)

159

160

Princeton University 

(Not required but recommended)

164

168

Yale University 

159

160

University of Southern California

156

158

University of California - Los Angeles

158-160

161-163

Cornell University 

164

163

Columbia University

164

163

Average GRE Scores for MS in Mathematics

The average GRE scores or the average expected GRE cutoff for US universities to study MS in Mathematics are mentioned below: 

University Name

Average Verbal

Average Quantitative

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

165

167

Harvard University

(General GRE not required. Subject GRE required)

165

167

University of California-Berkeley

165

167

University of Pennsylvania

160

164

Princeton University

168

168

Yale University

165

167

University of Southern California

157

162

University of California - Los Angeles

165

167

Cornell University

160

164

Columbia University

165

167

Average GRE Scores for MS in Psychology

The average GRE scores or the average expected GRE cutoff for US universities to study MS in Psychology are presented below: 

University Name

Average Verbal

Average Quantitative

Harvard University 

(GRE is optional)

163

154

University of California-Berkeley

163

160

University of Pennsylvania

158

151

Yale University 

163

154

University of Southern California

158

151

University of California - Los Angeles

163

154

Cornell University

158

151

Columbia University

Combined score >310

Combined score >310

What is a Good GRE Score for MS in US?

A good GRE score is greatly influenced by the university/college of your choice. Candidates must find out what the GRE cutoff is for the specific subject at the university. This information would be freely accessible on the university's official website. Once you get the number, candidates should keep in mind that they must aspire higher in order for their application to stand out and for their results to speak for themselves. 

Candidates may also use the table below as a reference only. Please keep in mind that the score range stated below is not necessarily true for any specific college, but rather to offer a GRE test-taker a broad notion of what a decent GRE score and GRE cutoff for US universities could be like.

Furthermore, the ETS publishes test statistics (test percentage distribution of scores) for different fields for the whole range of scores applicants receive in each of the GRE sections during a three-year period. This GRE score range (which applies to both the verbal and quantitative sections) has been organised and rated based on the widespread opinion of what a good or not-so-good GRE score might be.

GRE Score Range

Ratings

165-170

Excellent

155-164

Very good

140-149

Needs Improvement

130-139

Poor

Best GRE Score Range

These GRE scores will place you in the top 10% of all GRE test takers for pursuing MS in US:

GRE Sections 

Best GRE Score Range 

GRE Verbal Section

163-170

GRE Quantitative Section

165-170

GRE Analytical Writing

5.0-6.0

Competitive GRE Score Range

These GRE scores will place you in a strong position for admission to US universities (top 25% of all GRE test-takers).

GRE Sections 

Competitive GRE Score Range 

GRE Verbal Section

158-162

GRE Quantitative Section

159-164

GRE Analytical Writing

4.5

Good GRE Score Range

These GRE scores will place you ahead of the pack (50% or higher), but they will not be as helpful when applying to highly competitive master's programs at top US universities.

GRE Sections 

Good GRE Score Range 

GRE Quantitative Section

153 - 158

GRE Verbal Section

152 - 158

GRE Analytical Writing

4.0 

The GRE cutoff for US universities is a key aspect of the application process for MS in US. However, keep in mind that it is not simply the GRE score that is important; other aspects of the application will be considered. An impressive undergrad score, professional experience, or extracurricular activities would be beneficial, and your letters of recommendation (LOR), as well as your statement of purpose (SOP), can all contribute to a great application.

Furthermore, as previously said, there is no optimum answer to what your GRE score/GRE cutoff should be in order to get admitted to a given program because each school has its own GRE cutoffs and averages. As a result, you should check with the university where you want to apply to discover what the average GRE scores have been in past years.

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FAQs

What are the average GRE scores across top US universities?

The average GRE scores across top US universities aspirants to study MS in the USA are as follows:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): verbal - 158; quantitative - 159; writing - 5.3
  • University of California, Berkeley: verbal - 153-156; quantitative - 167; writing - 4.5
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA): verbal - 155; quantitative - 167; writing - 5.0

What is GRE Cutoff?

All universities would demand a minimum GRE score for candidates to participate in the admission process. This is commonly known as the GRE cutoff for that university. Candidates should keep in mind that the GRE cutoff is the bare minimum and does not guarantee admission.

What is the average GRE score for US universities?

As mentioned above also, the average GRE score and GRE cutoffs are heavily influenced by the type of university picked and the program admission standards of US universities. However, candidates can use the following to get an idea of what their average GRE score might be.

How much GRE score is required for MS in CS in US universities?

GRE scores for MS in computer science range from 310 to 320 in US universities. The average GRE verbal and quantitative score necessary for an MS in computer science is between 155 and 165. Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT, Columbia, and Princeton are just a handful of the finest universities in the United States that accept GRE scores for MS.

Is GRE score of 331 good to study in the US?

Yes, the GRE score of 331 is a good score for test-takers willing to study in the US. As you all know, the GRE exam is intended to assess candidates' analytical writing, mathematical thinking, and verbal reasoning abilities. A cumulative GRE score of 331 will place you in the top 10% of all GRE test takers. 

What average GRE scores do I need to apply for Yale University?

To apply to Yale University, the Verbal and Quantitative GRE scores on average range from 155 to 165 and 160 to 167, respectively. These results fall between the 76th and 92nd percentiles for quantitative scores and between the 69th and 96th percentiles for verbal scores.

What GRE score do I need for Columbia University?

The Verbal Reasoning GRE scores of admitted candidates at Columbia University vary from 154 to 167, and the Quantitative Reasoning GRE scores range from 156 to 170. A lot of graduate programmes prefer applicants with Verbal and Quant scores in the 160s, or in the top 5-20%.

Is a GRE score of 340 considered good for Stanford University?

Yes, a GRE score of 340 is considered a good GRE score for Stanford University. Stanford University considers a GRE score of above 320 for verbal reasoning scores of 160–170, quantitative reasoning scores of 160–170, and analytical writing scores of 4-5 to be good.

Is GRE compulsory for pursuing an MS in USA?

Yes, GRE is compulsory for pursuing an MS in USA for some universities. The GRE is an important factor that can improve your admission chances. However, other factors such as your projects, academics, extracurricular activities, work experience certificates, statement of purpose (SOP), and a holistic assessment of your profile and potential as a prospective student can also positively influence your admission chances.

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