Best Online Graduate Schools & Master’s Programs [No GRE Required]

Explore top online graduate schools and master's programs that don't require GRE scores. Discover a range of fields from business to tech and nursing to sociology.
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Updated on May 23, 2024
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If grad school is in your future, you might be dreading the standardized test requirement. But is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) always required for grad school? Here's some good news: A growing number of programs no longer require GRE scores for admission. Although test-optional and no-GRE master's programs may add requirements like an interview, it's easier than ever before to choose a test-optional graduate program.

Follow this guide to learn how to apply to GRE-free master's programs, and discover why some schools are nixing GRE requirements.

Featured Online Master's Degrees

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Top Online Master's Degrees With No GRE Requirement

You can earn a master's degree in business, healthcare, education, tech, and other fields without submitting GRE scores. Check out our list of the best graduate programs with no GRE required to find the right fit for you.

1. Accounting

You can earn a master's in accounting without taking the GRE. With a master's degree, you'll qualify for advanced accounting careers, including roles like CPA and accounting manager. How much can you earn? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest-paid accountants made a median pay of more than $137,280 per year as of May 2023.

2. Business Administration (MBA)

You can apply to online MBA programs without GRE scores — and some programs don't require the GMAT, either. Apply your leadership and analytical skills in high-paying management careers like operations manager, management analyst, or general manager.

3. Communication

Dissect political speeches and analyze advertising strategies as a grad student in communication. With your master's in communication, you can become a technical writer, journalist, or public relations manager. And many communication grad programs don't require the GRE for admission.

4. Computer Science

Tech companies often pay salaries above the national median. And a master's in computer science can take your career to the next level. Per the BLS, computer scientists earned a median salary of $145,080 per year in May 2023, and tech managers made a median annual wage of $169,510.

5. Counseling and Psychology

Many counseling and psych careers require a master's degree. Earn your master's in counseling online to become a mental health counselor. Or, you can pursue a master's in psychology to become an industrial-organizational psychologist.

6. Criminal Justice

You can take on leadership roles with a master's in criminal justice. You'll learn how to manage police departments and lead emergency management teams. With your master's degree, you can become a police supervisor, federal law enforcement agent, or emergency management director.

7. Education

Want to launch your career as a teacher or move from the classroom into administrative roles? With an online master's in education, you can become a K-12 principal, increase your salary as a teacher, or specialize in areas like instructional design or educational technology.

8. English

Strengthen your communication and analytical skills with a master's in English. You can work in publishing, editing, technical writing, or education — or check out other English careers. While many English programs require the GRE, you can find programs that don't require scores, as well.

9. Finance

You can earn a master's in finance without taking the GRE. You'll learn to manage portfolios and reduce risk in a finance program. After graduation, you'll qualify for roles like financial manager. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $156,100 per year as of May 2023, per the BLS.

10. Healthcare Administration and Management

Healthcare is a growing field. And hospitals need administrators and managers to operate. With a master's in healthcare administration, you'll strengthen leadership and analytical skills with courses focused on the healthcare industry. How much can you earn in nonclinical healthcare roles? Medical and health services managers earned a median of $110,680 annually as of May 2023, per the BLS.

11. Higher Education

Want to work at a college? A master's in higher education can launch your career as a college administrator. You'll learn how to manage student services and evaluate programs. After graduation, you can work in student development, community college administration, or other higher education careers.

12. History

You can study the past without taking the GRE. Today, a growing number of history master's programs no longer require GRE scores. You can pursue careers in education, museum studies, archival studies, or research with a graduate degree in history.

13. Human Resources

Learn how to manage HR teams by applying to a master's in human resources program with no GRE required. You can become an HR manager or pursue other high-paying human resources careers, like training and development manager.

14. Human Services

Many human services careers require a graduate degree. A human services master's degree can prepare you for leadership responsibilities. You'll learn how to evaluate programs and manage human services teams. And the human services field offers many no-GRE master's programs. A master's in human services can lead to a higher earning potential. Social and community service managers reported a median salary of $77,030 per year in May 2023, per the BLS.

15. Information Technology

The tech field is hot. And you don't need GRE scores to get your master's in information technology online. You'll study data management, software development, and cybersecurity before pursuing careers such as an information security analyst or IT manager. Some management-focused IT programs require GMAT scores. Make sure to check the admission requirements before applying.

Expertise in the law can give you an edge in business. During a master's in legal studies program, you'll explore legal research, contract law, and the regulatory system. With a legal studies master's degree, you can work in compliance, labor relations, human resources, or finance. Interested in online legal studies programs? Look for universities and law schools that don't require GRE or LSAT scores.

17. Liberal Arts

Studying liberal arts strengthens your research, writing, and critical thinking skills. By earning a master's in liberal arts, you can advance your interdisciplinary skills. While some programs require GRE scores, many waive that requirement.

18. Marketing

Specialize in digital marketing or marketing management by earning your master's degree in marketing. You'll strengthen your analytics skills and learn how to lead marketing campaigns. After graduation, you'll qualify for marketing careers like marketing manager. The ROI on a master's in marketing can be high — marketing managers earned a median salary of $156,580 per year in May 2023, according to the BLS.

19. Nursing (MSN)

Many of the highest-paying nursing careers require a master's degree. With an online MSN degree, you can become an advanced practice RN, nurse educator, or lead nurse. While many MSN programs require an active RN license, most don't ask for GRE scores to apply. Specialized MSN programs prepare nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives for careers with the potential for six-figure salaries.

20. Political Science

You can specialize in public policy, campaign strategy, or political theory with a master's in political science. You'll qualify for political science careers like political scientist, survey researcher, or campaign manager. You can also apply your political skills in the business field.

21. Psychology

Earn your psychology master's degree online to become a therapist or counselor. You'll strengthen analytical and research skills while preparing for the workforce or doctoral programs. Grad school can also give you specialized training working with children, the elderly, or other vulnerable populations. You can become an industrial-organizational psychologist with a master's degree. According to the BLS, these professionals made a median pay of $147,420 per year as of May 2023.

22. Public Administration

You'll study public financial management, city management, and public policy in your online MPA program. With an MPA degree, you can work in the public or nonprofit sectors. Or, you can put your degree to work as an urban or regional planner.

23. Public Health

You can earn a graduate degree in public health without taking the GRE. After earning an online MPH degree, you can become a leader in public health. You'll study exciting topics like health education, epidemiology, and public health policy. With an MPH, you can become an epidemiologist or public health specialist. It's also a great option before applying to med school.

24. Social Work

An online MSW degree will prepare you to take on clinical responsibilities. You'll explore social justice while building program administration skills and completing practicum requirements. After graduation, you'll meet the requirements for clinical social work careers.

25. Sociology

Sociologists put society under the microscope. A sociology master's program allows you to strengthen your research and analytical skills. You'll prepare for roles like sociologist or survey researcher through courses on applied sociology and statistical methods.

26. Sports Management

You can take on leadership roles in the exciting sports industry with a master's in sports management. You'll study sports marketing, athlete management, and event management. After graduation, you can put your degree to work as an athletic director, sports agent, or facility director. As the sports industry continues to grow, management training will likely offer new opportunities.

27. Theology

Apply a scholarly lens to faith with a master's in theology. You'll strengthen pastoral skills while examining theological texts. Depending on the program, you can pursue vocational ministry roles or work for faith-based organizations. While many programs waive the GRE requirement, some may require proof of proficiency in a biblical language.

28. Web Development

You can earn a master's in web development without a computer science degree or GRE scores. During a web development program, you'll strengthen your programming and full-stack development skills. Web developers made a median salary of $92,750 per year in May 2023, according to the BLS. A master's in web development can help you stand out among candidates who may have bachelor's degrees or bootcamp certificates.

Why Do Some Schools No Longer Require the GRE?

Several educational institutions have stopped mandating the GRE, primarily because research suggests a weak link between GRE outcomes and success in postgraduate studies. The test has been criticized for potentially marginalizing underrepresented groups and imposing a significant financial strain.

Critics of the GRE emphasize that while it provides handy numerical information for admissions, it falls short in predicting students' success in school.

Moreover, the expense associated with the test and its preparation could prove daunting for low-income students. The timed nature of the test could also disadvantage students whose first language is not English.

Factors Influencing Application to Schools Offering GRE Waivers

Schools that offer GRE waivers assess applicants based on other factors, including transcripts, professional and research experiences, and letters of recommendation.

Universities will likely pay close attention to your academic performance, including your GPA, the courses you chose, and any honors or awards you've earned to see if you're prepared for the specific grad program you've applied to.

Relevant professional experience can be important, as it exhibits your capacity to use your knowledge and skills in real-life situations. Research projects can highlight your knack for independent study and problem-solving abilities.

Robust letters of recommendation from people who can vouch for your academic prowess, work ethic, research potential, or professional accomplishments can make a significant difference to your application. Finally, most graduate programs require applicants to submit a statement of purpose your statement of purpose, which allows you to express your motivations for applying, academic and professional objectives, and research interests.

When Not to Submit GRE Scores

There are specific situations where you might decide to forgo submitting your GRE test scores when applying to grad programs that are test-optional. These include:

  • Looming application deadlines that necessitate focusing on other application prerequisites
  • A low score that doesn't help your application
  • The other materials in your application are strong on their own

If you have a high undergrad GPA, substantial professional experience, or powerful recommendation letters, you might choose not to incorporate your GRE scores.

Frequently Asked Questions About GRE Scores

Are your GRE scores more important than your GPA?

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Most graduate programs value your GPA more than your GRE scores. Your GPA represents four years of work, while your GRE score indicates your proficiency at a single standardized test.

In spite of that, some programs set a minimum GRE score for admission. And a high GRE score can help if your GPA is lower. If you're worried about your GRE score, you can look into test-optional and no-GRE master's programs.

Do online master's programs require the GRE?

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Some online master's programs require the GRE, but many do not. Certain programs may also provide GRE waivers based on academic or professional achievements.

What is a good GRE score for graduate school?

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When applying to grad programs, applicants often want to know what counts as a good GRE score. The answer depends on the program and school. For example, programs with a quantitative focus care more about the quant score, while humanities programs value a higher verbal score.

Competitive programs admit students with GRE scores in the 90th percentile or higher, while other programs place less value on standardized test scores. If you struggle with standardized tests, consider researching grad schools that don't require GRE scores.

Which Ivy League schools don't require GRE scores?

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Every Ivy League university offers master's programs with no GRE requirement. However, that doesn't mean you can go to an Ivy League grad school without taking a standardized test. Depending on the program and school, you may need to take a different test than the GRE.

For example, Ivy League MBA programs require GMAT scores for admission. When applying to graduate programs, make sure to research program-specific admission requirements because programs at the same university may ask for different materials.

Why is the GRE no longer required at some schools?

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Graduate schools are moving away from requiring the GRE due to concerns about its relevance and fairness. Additionally, the test is criticized for not aligning well with the skill sets needed in certain majors and for reinforcing educational and socioeconomic disparities.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed May 10, 2024. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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