There’s no doubt about it – one of the most feared and dreaded parts of graduate education is the GRE exam. For many years, it’s been the standard test for students applying for graduate school, and no one has ever been particularly happy about it. The general and subject GRE exams are tough; they take many hours of study, and they pretty much wipe out a whole day with high-intensity test-taking. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to take the GRE. There are more and more programs, and even whole schools, no longer requiring the GRE for applicants.

As a general rule, most degrees that focus on science and humanities will require a GRE for a master’s level degree. A masters degree without GRE or GMAT test requirements may focus on specific areas of study. For example, a school may waive the test for students who study social work or nursing, since the GRE does not have subject tests in those fields. Public health, criminal justice, and other fields of study that do not directly relate to the topics studied in the test may not require a GRE.

Ranking No-GRE Master’s Programs Online

To rank the best no-GRE master’s programs online, Best Master’s Programs editors did a thorough search for accredited, well-respected colleges and universities that make a point of not requiring the GRE, or of waiving GRE requirements under certain circumstances. From there, we ranked the programs according to factors important to graduate degree seekers: Cost, Salary Potential, and Student Satisfaction, based on data from College Scorecard, IPEDS, and Niche.

1. Northcentral University

When you’re looking for no GRE masters programs online, you want to consider the online options at Northcentral University. The online programs allow you to study a variety of degree options, but it does not require a GRE to get into the school. Students can study anything from psychology and health administration to nursing and teaching. The variety of programs allow students to focus on their goals for their education.

A key reason Northcentral University stands apart as an accredited school is the flexibility. Students can take online courses that allow them to work at their own pace. The accelerated courses allow students to finish their master’s degree within one year. Alternatively, students can slow down and take more time for their degree if they have a complicated schedule or need more time to study. That allows students to focus on their personal goals and plans. Northcentral University offers a Legacy Scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition for six students who qualify for the scholarship each year.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: Many

2. Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers no GRE masters programs online that allow students to focus on their career objectives and plans. The online degree programs do not require students to provide a GRE or a GMAT score to gain admission to the program. The school offers master’s degree programs in a variety of fields, including criminal justice, finance, and healthcare administration. Students do need to qualify for the program by providing details about their undergraduate degree and grades; however, they do not need to present a GRE or GMAT for admissions.

A key way Colorado State University differs from other programs is the focus on adult learners. The fully online programs are designed around the needs of working adults who may have personal obligations or responsibilities. That flexibility allows students to accomplish their goals and work on their degree at a pace that fits their situation and lifestyle. Colorado State University is a military-friendly option that offers discounts on tuition to active duty military servicemen and women, as well as veterans and military families.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: Many

3. University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin offers a no-GRE option for students in their engineering master’s program who do not have a GRE test score. The online program is an award-winning option that allows students to learn from experienced professionals and professors who have worked in rigorous environments. That allows students to learn from the first-hand knowledge of their professors and discover innovative ways to address concerns. The program does not require a GRE score. Students will need to provide transcripts for their undergraduate degree.

The University of Wisconsin offers real-world and hands-on experience to students in the engineering program. It encourages students to focus on their studies and explore options in relation to their work. The hands-on approach ensures that students are prepared for rigorous careers and fast-paced work environments that may test their abilities as they work in engineering. The University of Wisconsin offers hybrid online programs in engineering that allow students to keep up with their obligations and work. The hybrid programs require students to take some courses on-campus.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MEng – no GRE for engineering online

4. University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas offers a no-GRE Master’s in Education that does not require test scores for admittance. Students must provide transcripts of their undergraduate program and must have a 3.0 GPA or higher to qualify for GRE exemption. Students with a lower GPA in their undergraduate program may need to provide a GRE score to get into the program.

The University of Arkansas offers students an opportunity to network with professionals in the field of education. That allows students to advance in their career as an educator or in an educational leadership role. It sets the school apart because it focuses on the needs of students who may be looking into long-term opportunities to advance in their career while working on a master’s degree. The University of Arkansas offers scholarships to students in the master’s program. That helps cut the costs of a higher level of education.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MEd – no GRE for education masters

5. University of Miami

Students looking for a master’s program that does not require a GRE may want to consider the MPA program at the University of Miami. The no-GRE Master’s of Public Administration program counts work experience in public service as an alternative to the GRE when applying for the program. Students who do not have work experience will still need to submit their GRE scores; however, students who meet the experience requirements are able to waive the GRE test.

A key way the University of Miami stands apart is the focus on holistic education. The degree program does not expect students to focus on only one aspect of their studies. It encourages students to explore different perspectives through their online system. It also helps students stay on task with their education without leaving the comfort of home. It is designed around the needs of working adults who have personal and professional obligations. The University of Miami allows online students to participate in online and in-person networking opportunities that help with career objectives.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MPA – GRE waived for experience

6. American University

American University offers an online MS in International Relations and Business program that does not require a GRE or GMAT for admissions. Students will need to provide a transcript for their undergraduate degree and must meet the standards of the university for their grade point average. Students must also provide a resume and letters of recommendation for the online degree program.

American University stands out by offering students an in-person global immersion that helps with their education. The global immersion helps students gain an understanding of how to navigate different international and global cultures when working in business or an international relations position. It gives students hands-on experience with handling situations in an international environment that prepares them for the rigors of working in international business settings. American University offers an accelerated online program that takes only 18 months to complete and prepares students for a career in international business positions.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MS in International Relations and Business

7. Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University does not require a GRE score for admissions into their master’s degree programs. The school offers several online master’s degree programs, including criminal justice and business intelligence. The variety of programs help students find a degree that fits their long-term plans for a career. Whether you are planning to work in law enforcement or you want to work in business or education, you can find a program that fits your goals.

Saint Joseph’s University stands apart by offering uncommon master’s degree programs through their online format. The Food Marketing degree or the Business Intelligence degree focus on specific areas of education that help students with their career objectives. It gives students the specialized education they need for particular jobs and career objectives. Saint Joseph’s University offers certifications to further enhance a master’s degree program and improve student options for specialized career paths.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: Many

8. Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University offers a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership that does not require students to provide a GRE score. The degree program does require students to provide transcripts from their undergraduate program and meet their standards for grade point average. Generally, students need a 3.0 cumulative GPA or they must provide a GPA statement explaining the reasons for the lower grades.

A key way Gonzaga University stands apart is the opportunity to select a concentration that enhances student skills in a specific area of organizational leadership. That helps students focus on their career goals and study topics that relate directly to their plans. Students can select from four concentrations when studying for their master’s degree. Gonzaga University offers study abroad options for students focusing on organizational leadership degrees.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MA in Organizational Leadership

9. University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco offers three online master’s degree programs that do not require a GRE for students to gain admissions. Since the classes are online, the school waives the GRE standards and does not require it for the online students. Students can study public health, public administration, or nursing at the master’s level through online programs.

The University of San Francisco differs from other programs by focusing on innovative and up-to-date online learning opportunities. The school uses the latest technology to ensure that online degree programs and courses are immersive and focused on the needs of students. It adapts and improves over time to keep up with modern advances in technology and to give students a positive experience. Classes sizes at the University of San Francisco are small, which allows students the opportunity to talk to professors and get help when concerns or questions arise.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MSN, MPH, MPA – no GRE for online

10. Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University offers a GRE waiver for students taking the online master’s degree program in leadership. The GRE waiver applies to students who have work experience and meet the criteria for their grades at the undergraduate level. Students will need to submit a resume and their transcripts, even if they meet the standards for a waiver. Students who do not have the appropriate level of experience are required to provide a GRE score.

Louisiana State University stands apart from other programs by focusing on quality education with top-tier professors. The online programs offer an education from the same respected professors as the on-campus programs. That ensures that students have access to professionals who can answer their questions and help them prepare for a challenging career. It also gives students the opportunity to gain insight based on a professor’s personal experiences as a leader. The online masters in Leadership from Louisiana State University offers accelerated courses so students can complete their degree in one year.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MS in Leadership – GRE waiver with experience

11. Boston University

Boston University offers a variety of no-GRE master’s programs online that do not require a GRE or a GMAT for admissions. The programs that do not require the test scores are through the Metropolitan College online programs, so students should evaluate each program carefully to ensure that it qualifies for a waiver and does not require the test scores. You will still need to provide appropriate resumes, letters of recommendation, and transcripts to get into the school.

A key way Boston University stands apart is the wide array of online programs. Students can study multiple topics that range from Art Education to Criminal Justice. The variety of online master’s programs ensures that students can find a program that fits their long-term career objectives. It gives students a flexible option to keep up with their plans. Boston University allows students to enhance their skills through individual online courses as well as professional certifications.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: No GRE or GMAT for Metropolitan College online programs

12. Florida International University

Florida International University offers an online master’s degree in criminal justice that allows students to start their education without providing a GRE test score. The program does require students to maintain a 3.2 GPA or higher in their upper-division classes from their undergraduate studies to qualify for the program. It also requires students to have a “B” grade for undergraduate research.

Florida International University focuses on the research aspects of criminal justice as well as the potential long-term goals of students. The online program is designed around students who plan to pursue a higher level of education for their career. Since it focuses on research and higher studies, it offers fast-paced courses that are designed around the rigors of a career in the criminal justice field. Florida International University offers credit for internships when students pursue an internship for hands-on experience.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MS in Criminal Justice – no GRE

13. University of Vermont

The University of Vermont offers a Master of Public Health program online that does not require a GRE test score to gain admission into the program. The degree program focuses on teaching students the research skills they need for their career as well as the impact of public policy on the health of large groups. That ensures that students are prepared for the challenges of working in their career and have the ability to understand and participate in research studies.

A key way the University of Vermont stands apart for their online program is the focus on flexibility. Students are encouraged to work on their classes when it fits their needs. That flexible approach ensures that students are able to keep up with their obligations to an employer or family while they finish a master’s degree for their future. The University of Vermont is ranked in the top 50 schools for master’s degrees in public health studies.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MPH

14. Ohio University

Ohio University offers many online masters degree programs that do not require the submission of a GRE Score during the application approval process. Ohio University’s no GRE masters programs online in the field of engineering is one of the many areas of study offered. Ohio University’s distance learning degree options offer students and working learners the convenience and flexibility often needed to complete the degree. Ohio University’s graduate online degrees in Engineering have been recognized by US News as among the best.

Ohio University was established in 1804. Ohio University is a member school of the University System of Ohio. The school’s 1,800± acre- college town campus is home to more than 20,000 students. OU’s total student enrollment across all the university’s campuses is nearly 35,000. Ohio University holds the distinction of being the institution of higher education chartered by the United States Congress.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: No GRE for online masters

15. Regis University

Regis University’s College of Business and Economics offers a variety of no GRE masters programs online related to the business industry. For example, Regis University’s Master of Science (MS) in Organizational Leadership prepares students to become critical thinkers and future leaders. The MS in Organizational Leadership requires the completion of 30 graduate credit units. Coursework includes Logic and Critical Analysis and Strategic Leadership, to name a few.

Regis University is a coeducational institution of higher education that was established in 1877. Regis University is affiliated with the Roman Catholic (Jesuit) Church. The school’s 80+-acre campus, located in the Mile-High city of Denver is home to more than 8,300 students studying for academic degrees from Regis University’s five colleges/schools. Regis University is a member school of the Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: Many business programs

16. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati offers no GRE masters programs online in the fields of health administration and education leaderships that can be completed without the need for on campus visits. The no-GRE Master of Health Administration (MHA) program requires the completion of 40 credit units. Coursework includes Global Health Systems, Health Economics, and Health Policy and Regulation, among others. The no-GRE Master of Educational Leadership (MEd) requires degree candidates to complete 30 graduate credit units.

The University of Cincinnati was established in 1819 as a research institution of higher education. UC operates with several campuses in Cincinnati. Together all UC campuses serve nearly 46,000 students. US News recognizes UC as the 75th best public university in the country. The University of Cincinnati holds the distinction of being the oldest school in the city of Cincinnati, and the second biggest university in Ohio.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: Many

17. Maryville University

Maryville University of St. Louis offers a wide variety of online graduate degrees that do not require a GRE Score when applying for admission. The no GRE required online masters programs are available in the study areas of accounting, business and cyber security, to name a few. Maryville University has been recognized among the best for its economic value and ‘a best national’ university. Maryville University’s distance learning platform offers remarkable flexibility for working learners and busy parents.

The Maryville University of St. Louis was established in 1872 as a private institution of higher learning. The school’s suburban campus is home to nearly 6,500 students studying for the 90-degree programs offered. Maryville University was originally established in St. Louis by the Society of the Sacred Heart. The board of trustees of Maryville University still must include five members of the laity.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: No GRE for most online masters

18. Ball State University

Ball State University (BSU) offers a wide selection of online graduate degree programs with submission policies that do not require a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) when applying for admission. These 100% online Master of Arts (MA) programs include the study areas of Interior Design, Journalism, and Elementary Education. US News and World Report recognizes many of Ball State University’s online Master of Arts degree among the top in the Midwest region of the US and across the nation.

Ball State University was established in 1918 as a public institution of higher education. The school’s Muncie campus covers more than 1,000 acres and serves more than 22,000 students. Ball State University operates with eight colleges/schools that offer more than 300-degree programs. Ball State University began with a gift to Indiana from the industrialists — the Ball Brothers.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MA in Elementary Education, MA in Journalism, MA in Interior Design

19. Wilkes University

Wilkes University’s Passan School of Nursing offers a no-GRE Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program that can be completed online and without the need for a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Score at any time during the application process. Wilkes University’s MSN online program offers concentrations in the following specialties — Nurse Practitioners, Nursing Informatics, Family Nurse Practitioner, or Nurse Execution, among others. The school participates in the United State’s VA’s Yellow Ribbon GI Education program.

Wilkes University was established in 1933 as a private institution of higher learning known as the Bucknell University Junior College (BUJC). Wilkes University offers degree programs from the seven colleges/schools. Wilkes University’s Wilkes-Barre campus is home to more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Originally, Wilkes University was established as a satellite facility of Bucknell University.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: MSN

20. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers many graduate online programs that need no GRE Score for admission into the program. Grand Canyon University offers 100% online masters programs in the areas of Communication, Criminal Justice, Health Care, Science, Tech & Engineering and Business. GCU’s graduate programs have been the choice of more than 70,000 students. It is noted that GCU’s tuition rates are viewed as competitive. Grand Canyon University’s no GRE required master’s degree programs are accredited degrees.

Grand Canyon University was established in 1949 as a nonprofit private institution of higher education. The school is affiliated with the Evangelical Christian Church. Grand Canyon University’s student enrollment on-campus exceeds 20,000 students. GCU’s online student enrollment is approximately 70,000 students. By total enrollment on-campus and online, Grand Canyon University is recognized as the largest Christian University in the world.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: No GRE is minimum GPA is met

21. Texas A&M International University

Texas A&M International University offers a variety of online graduate degrees that do not require a GRE Score to become enrolled. TAMIU’s no-GRE distance learning masters programs are available in the areas of business, criminal justice, education and nursing. TAMIU’s online education graduate degree courses have been recognized nationally for their value and level of academic quality. TAMIU is ranked third of all Texas schools that offer online education programs in the state of Texas.

Texas A&M International University was established in 1969 as a public institution of higher education. Texas A&M International University is a member school of the Texas A&M University System. The school’s 300+- acre campus is home to more than 7,400 students studying for degrees from the school’s four colleges/schools. Texas A&M International University has been recognized among the top regional universities in the west.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: No GRE for online programs

22. University of New England

The University of New England offers a no-GRE Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program that does not require the submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score submitted to enter the public health graduate degree program. UNE’s online master’s degree program in public health requires the completion of 46 credit units to graduate. The University of New England’s online MPH degree program has received CEPH (Council on Education for Public Health) accreditation and can be completed in as little as 1 ½ years.

The University of New England was established in 1831 as a coeducational university. The University of New England operates with additional campuses in Portland, ME and internationally in Morocco. The school’s rural campus serves more than 6,000 students at the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level. The University of New England has recognized among the best universities by US News, Forbes, The Princeton Review, and Money Magazine.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: Many

23. Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice offers online graduate degree programs without an admission requirement of a GRE Score. Nova Southeastern University has received accreditation as a CAEP provider for the school’s elevated quality of its educator preparation. Nova Southeastern University’s doctoral level criminal justice program holds the distinction of being the first online doctoral program in the United States (1971). The College of Education offers 20 accredited degree programs.

Nova Southeastern University was established in 1964. The school’s 475+-acre campus in Fort Lauderdale is home to nearly 21,000 students studying from the various level degree programs offered by Nova Southeastern University’s 18 colleges/schools. Nova Southeastern University’s campus was built upon what was once a Naval outlying Landing Field from WW II.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: No GRE for online masters

24. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota overs a variety of online graduate degree programs that do not require a GRE score to gain entrance. Degree candidates enrolled in Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s MPA degree program can complete the degree entirely online and in two years. Coursework includes the Practice of Ethics, Effective Communication, Strategic leadership, and Community Engagement, to name a few. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s MPA degree also requires the completion of a 3 credit unit capstone culminating project.

The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota was established in 1912. The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is affiliated with the Roman Catholic (Lasallians) Church. The school’s campuses serve more than 4,700 students. Additionally, the school’s campus is home to the immaculate heart of Mary Seminary. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota operates several campuses through the State of Minnesota and internationally in Jamaica and Kenya.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: Many

25. West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University offers a wide variety of no-GRE online graduate degrees that have no requirement of the submission of a GRE to earn entrance into the program. For example, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a number of Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs and a graduate degree program in Educational Leadership that can be completed entirely online, offering working learners the flexibility and convenience they need to find the time to complete the degree.

West Texas A&M University was established in 1910 as a teacher’s training normal school. West Texas A&M University’s campus is about 12 miles to the south of the metropolitan city of Amarillo. Through its six colleges/schools, West Texas A&M University offers about 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The school’s suburban campus serves more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate degree students. West Texas A&M University is a member school of the Texas A&M University System. The renowned southwest artist, Georgia O’Keefe was the school’s Art Department chair.

No-GRE Master’s Degrees: No GRE for online

Do I Need to Take the GRE?

When you are planning to attend a graduate-level degree program, you may have questions about the application process and the requirements for the school. While every school has specific standards, a common question is when should I take the GRE? As a general rule, identifying when to take the GRE depends on the school you plan to attend.

Do I need to take the GRE for my degree? In most cases, you will need the test to qualify for many graduate programs. The standards may vary based on the school and program, so you will want to look into the details of the school before you determine that you do not need the test. The GRE doesn’t make grad school harder to get in, but it may not be to your advantage.

The challenge in relation to your GRE is the test score. How many times can you take the GRE to get the result you want? In general, you can take the test up to five times in one year. Each retest requires you to wait 21 days before you sit for the test. By retaking the test, you may improve your scores; however, you should be aware that the GRE does limit the number of times you qualify to take the test each year.

Keep in mind, we’re not saying not to take the GRE – we’re just saying you might not have to. Even if you are looking into a program that does not require a GRE, there are situations that may require the test. In some cases, the school waives the GRE test scores if you meet specific qualifications for your work experience or for your grades in an undergraduate program. Plus, unless you’re only applying to programs that do not require the GRE, some program you want to apply to will require it. Due to the variety of potential options, you may need to take the test to avoid complications with your application. Don’t shut yourself out of the running just because you’re afraid of the test.

What Fields Do Not Usually Require the GRE?

When you are looking into no GRE masters programs, you may notice that schools do not always require the GRE for every major or area of study. In some cases, the school differentiates its standards based on your plans for a degree. Some fields that consider the GRE less important include:

A key factor that may impact a school’s standards is your plans for where to study. An online master’s no GRE or GMAT test solution may help students who want to avoid the test while still finishing a degree. Online programs set different standards for admissions when compared to programs on-campus, so students have a variety of options in relation to a school’s standards for admissions.

Should I Bother Applying with a Bad GRE Score?

When you are looking into schools that do not require a GRE score, it may bring into consideration whether to apply with a bad score or avoid the GRE entirely. Is the GRE difficult? As a general rule, the test focuses on knowledge students with an undergraduate degree should know based on their studies.

In many cases, the test is used when students have a low GPA on their transcripts or to assess potential in students. It may not be necessary if you meet other requirements and standards in relation to your grades and education.

The determining factor is identifying when you have a bad score. What is a bad GRE score? Ultimately, it depends on the program. As a general rule, it is considered a good score if students have a cumulative score of 305 or higher when adding the math or verbal scores. The average student scores between 150 and 152 on different sections of the GRE. When students meet or exceed the average, it improves their chance of getting into a better school. A bad score is anything below the average score, particularly if it is significantly lower than average.

Is the GRE Worth the Cost?

The GRE is worth the cost if a school or program requires the test scores for students to qualify for a program. How much is the GRE? It depends on your situation. The cost of the standard test through most of the world is $205; however, students may pay more in some countries. Registering for the test late will result in an additional fee.

While the basic cost relates only to the test, expenses associated with preparation may vary significantly. Students should be aware that preparation courses or programs may increase the cost of the GRE. Depending on your learning style and your preferences, you may add a few dollars or a large fee to your costs. You will want to evaluate your needs and goals before you determine if paying for study materials is worth the additional cost.

Related Rankings:

25 Best Online Master’s in Education Degree Programs
25 Best Master’s in Public Health Online
Top 25 Online Master’s in Public Administration
Top 25 Online Master’s in Nursing Degree
Top 25 Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration