A new study published yesterday looks into the need to reevaluate the admission criteria for physics Ph.D. applicants. The study, linked above, found that the difference in Ph.D. completion rates between applicants with GRE quantitative scores in the 90 percentile and 10 percentile was less than 10 percent.

However, those same quantitative GRE scores are hurting the field’s diversity and physics is already one of the least diverse STEM fields. Currently, only about 20% of physics Ph.D.s are women and just over 5% are members of underrepresented minorities.

If you are wondering about the GRE Physics Subject Test and GRE Verbal scores, they were not found to be statistically significant. Most American pure physics or astrophysics programs currently require the subject test. It would be interesting to see if any of them will consider revising their admissions policies. (We can always, hope, right?!)


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