Add Princeton University to the growing list of schools that are making the GRE optional for graduate school applicants. In Princeton’s case, the following 14 departments voted to make the GRE optional:

  • Art and Archaeology
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • English
  • French and Italian
  • Geosciences
  • Molecular Biology
  • Music Composition
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Spanish and Portuguese

From what we’ve read and heard, the consensus among these fourteen departments was pretty unanimous. They have all bee influenced by studies indicating the predictive powers of standardized tests are overrated as well as by their desire to increase the diversity and number of applications they receive.

There is a bit of a trend developing here. It’s not yet nearly as pronounced as the trend by law schools to drop the LSAT requirement, but Cornell’s English department dropped the GRE requirement about six months ago and Penn’s philosophy department dropped the GRE requirement almost a year ago to the day.

Obviously, we would be very happy to see the GRE requirement dropped at all graduate school programs. We are hopeful it will happen, but we are a long way from a proverbial ‘tipping point’ at the current time.

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