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List of universities with GRE waiver for
Fall 2021

by Swathi Subhash Nair on November 19th, 2020

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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many American universities have waived the GRE requirement for the Fall 2021 admission cycle only. You can find the list of the top 50 universities (and their departments) in the US that have waived off GRE for Fall ’21 academic year at the end of this post! Before that, let’s discuss some frequently asked questions and concerns about the GRE being waived off in the admission process.

Comparison between Fall and Spring intakes

1. With the GRE waived, what do admissions committees look for?

With GRE waived, universities will now look into all the other admission documents like your GPA, research or projects, Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendation. These will be given more importance now than before.

2. If the GRE is waived, should I send in my GRE score anyway?

If you check the university website, you can see that some departments or universities ask you not to send your GRE scores in, but some university websites do say that the GRE for Fall 2021 is optional. So, if it is optional, it is up to you whether you would like to send it in.

If you have a good GRE score that you would want the admissions department to be aware of, make sure to send it in. Avoid sending it in if you don’t have a good score. Somewhere around the GRE score of 310 and above should help compliment your GPA. There are, of course, exceptions wherein if your GPA is relatively low, you can send in your GRE score to make up for it.

3. Will competition rise because of the GRE waiver?

Yes and no. Yes, because the barrier to entry to apply to these colleges has decreased. Hence, more students may be applying to these colleges. No, because you can’t really predict the quality of the profile of these students. If they are students who have an ideal profile and a great shot at these universities, then yes, they are your competition. But if these are students that the universities are not going to take a second look at, then no, they are not your competition. It is difficult to guess if competition is really going to increase, but you should apply to the universities you feel are the best for you and give it your all!

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4. Is this only for Fall 2021 admission?

Most of the universities in the list below have only stated Fall 2021 with the exceptions of a few who have stated it’s waived off for Spring ‘22 as well. But for universities who haven’t mentioned anything about the academic year in 2022, it is too early to tell. We have no idea how long pandemic is going to continue or when students are going to be able to take the GRE tests in their respective exam centers. So, the universities have not mentioned anything about Fall 2022 or other intakes.

5. Are TOEFL / IELTS waived too?

In a few universities, they have waived off TOEFL/ IELTS. Some have even mentioned that you can provide the score once you have gotten into the college. However, most universities still require you to present a TOEFL or an IELTS score.

6. What about universities outside the US?

We are not sure as there are too many universities across the globe that have GRE test scores as an admission requirement. We suggest that you check the university website and the website of the department you are applying to for more information on this. If you still cannot find it, you can always email your university and ask them about the GRE waiver. But in the list below, we talk only discuss about the universities in the US that have waived off GRE for Fall 2021.

List of top 50 US universities that have waived off GRE for Fall 2021

Disclaimer: We have not gone through all the universities and departments in the US, so there are chances that we might have missed out on a few. Make sure to check the website of the university and of the department you are applying to confirm.

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About the Author

Swathi Subhash Nair

Swathi Subhash Nair

Swathi is a journalism graduate from Cardiff University and Mumbaiker by heart. She is an avid reader and enjoys a good cup of tea during therapy sessions. She believes in taking a step back by relaxing with a long road trip and playing her ukulele. Her mantra: Make this world a happier place to live in, one word, one note at a time.

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