Updating the GRE Requirement
This document contains information about changing the GRE admissions requirement for a program either temporarily or permanently.
Many graduate programs are considering removing the GRE as a requirement for admissions to their program, whether temporarily because of COVID-19 or permanently. This document is meant to help answer some of the questions that come up about how to do this.
My program wants to stop requiring the GRE for just this year of admissions due to COVID-19, but we will use it again for admissions after that. What do I need to do?
Because this is a temporary change to admissions practices, we do not advise changing Guide.
If you feel you must make edits in Guide, our recommendation is to add a note below the Admissions Table indicating that for the Fall 2021 cycle of admissions, the GRE requirement is waived due to COVID-19, but not to change the table itself. You would need to remember to remove this statement at a future date.
What other guidance has the Graduate School released related to the GRE requirement and COVID-19?
The Graduate School made the following changes on the listed websites to communicate to applicants that some programs may be waiving the GRE even if it is not updated in Guide.
“Consequently, our admissions committees and our program faculty will be empathetic to COVID-19 challenges and allow flexibility in the evaluation of applicants, especially in the use of Spring 2020 grades. Some programs have also decided to drop or allow flexibility to their GRE requirement.”
“Does my program require the GRE?
“GRE: The Graduate School does not require the GRE. Your academic program may or may not require it. Please check your for details. Due to issues surrounding COVID-19 some programs have decided to drop or allow flexibility with their GRE requirement.”
My program wants to permanently remove the GRE requirement. When can I update Guide? When will it publish with the change?
There are some considerations to timing. A change to admissions content is a change to “governed content,” meaning it requires approval by the designated authority within the administrative unit, school/college, Graduate School, and Provost’s Office. It varies by school/college if the Academic Planning Council will need to review and vote on a change to the GRE requirement, so we advise you to get in touch with your school/college academic planner early in case you need to meet an APC meeting materials deadline. Please contact Graduate School Academic Planning Specialist Emily Reynolds if you are not sure who this person is.
Guide publishes in relation to the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Changes to admissions are allowed during the fall and spring editions, which publish June 1 and mid-October, respectively. Note that due to the way admissions works at the graduate level, admissions changes published in Guide take effect immediately for the open application(s).
The Spring 2021 edition of Guide will publish on October 16, 2020. However, all changes need to be completed and approved through all workflow steps by October 2, 2020. Please plan ahead for meetings or discussions to make this change happen by the October 2 deadline. This means if your school/college APC does require a vote on the change, your program would need to plan ahead to meet their September meeting materials deadline. GFEC and UAPC do not vote on changes to admissions requirements for graduate programs.
If you miss this deadline of October 2, the next available publication of Guide is June 1, 2021. For Fall 2021 admissions, this is very late for changes to requirements, so we ask that you try to plan ahead.
What do I need to update in Guide?
The admissions section of Guide is updated using a Lumen Programs Proposal (click “Lumen Program Proposal System” at the link). The Lumen KB can be found here, but if you still need help editing the proposal, please contact Emily Reynolds or Graduate School Assistant Dean for Academic Analysis, Planning, and Assessment Jenna Alsteen.
In the Admissions Table, change the entry next to “GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)” to “Not required.” You are able to edit the table by double-clicking on it.
What if we change our GRE requirement without updating the Guide, or we miss the deadline and have to wait to update the Guide?
Guide is the university’s official document of record for academic matters, and it is advertised to both applicants and students as the reliable source of information. If your admissions requirements are out of date in Guide, you should keep this in mind as you review applications. Some applicants will have paid money and taken the time to prepare for the GRE when they didn’t need to. We would advise that respecting this effort and invested resources seems reasonable for a transition year before you are able to advertise early the removal of the requirement.
The Graduate School does not require the GRE, but to facilitate a holistic review process, graduate program coordinators are able to hide GRE scores from admissions reviewing committees through Applicant Review. If the GRE requirement was removed fairly late into the time period applicants prepare to apply to Graduate School, we would not recommend hiding the scores for that transition year due to the reasons given above. Programs may also remove the GRE checklist item on the Manage Tab of the Applicant Review system. This will remove the requirement from the applicant status check.