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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Colorado: Moves to Drop GRE requirement

Beginning with the current 2019-2020 application cycle, the Colorado School of Public Health is eliminating the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as an admissions requirement for its MPH and DrPH graduate programs.  Immediately, applicants to the school will have the option to submit GRE scores if they feel their scores strengthen their application. Those not submitting GRE scores will not be penalized.

The school’s leadership reached this decision to assure that a requirement to take the GRE would not pose a barrier to recruiting the most diverse student body possible in order to make ColoradoSPH more inclusive and ensure that Colorado’s public health workforce meets the growing needs of the state.

Graduate schools nationwide are moving away from the GRE because it serves as an application and admissions barrier. The GRE and preparation for the test are not only expensive, but the test is unintentionally biased based on variation in scores by socioeconomic status, race, and gender. The Educational Testing Service, which administers the GRE, reports that women score on average 80 points lower than men, and African Americans score 200 points lower than whites. Because of the focus on the GRE in admissions processes, this can limit schools from admitting a diverse student body.

In addition to serving as a barrier to graduate education, studies have shown that the GRE is not a very good predictor of graduate school success. In 2015, ColoradoSPH studied the utility of GRE scores in predicting success in the school’s programs. The findings agreed with a study at the Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Graduate Program. Both studies found that while the GRE had some ability to predict success in graduate school, other variables such as undergraduate GPA were better indicators of future success.

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