What are the GRE scores required for Harvard Admission?

One of the most typical questions Harvard grad school applicants have is what GRE score is required in the particular department and program they have chosen. In many universities, such as Harvard, standardized test scores such as the GRE are part of the application requirements. The required score differs from each department and from program to program. This article covers the minimum, average, and required GRE scores to successfully apply to Harvard.

What is Harvard School?

Harvard is a well-known school worldwide. It was founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Harvard is the first institution that offered higher education in America. Harvard is very challenging with a 4.8% acceptance rate. Harvard’s schools and institutes include the Harvard Business School, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Extension School, School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Divinity School, Graduate School of Education, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, Graduate School of Design, and T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (

What are the postgraduate programs offered at Harvard?

Here is a list of all the graduate programs offered at Harvard:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Earth Sciences
  • Economics
  • History

These are the programs offered by the different Harvard School divisions requiring GRE score for admission. (1)

Is the GRE score required for Harvard admission?

Yes, the GRE is a required part of the application for some graduate schools at Harvard (not all the schools accept GRE scores). Among the schools that accept the GRE are Harvard Business School, Law School, Graduate School of Design, Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Harvard Kennedy School.

It is important to note that Harvard does not only require a single criterion for admission. Aside from GRE scores, graduate school hopefuls should also prepare letters of recommendation, essays, and other application requirements.

How recent must my GRE scores be?

GRE scores are valid for five years. If the student is applying for the 2022-2023 academic year, the GRE test must have been taken in the year 2016. Different Harvard schools have different required dates for GRE scores. For instance, the Graduate School of Education requires that the test be taken on or after July 1, 2016, while the School of Arts and Sciences requires that the test be taken no earlier than September 1, 2016, for 2022 admission. (2)

Read more: GRE Scores

How many GRE scores does Harvard accept?

Up to two sets of official GRE scores are accepted by some Harvard schools. Harvard Graduate School of Education, for example, accepts two but does not average test scores. They look at each set of results separately. (5)

What is a good GRE score to successfully apply to Harvard?

The required GRE score depends on the type of program the student will apply to, but for over 50% of the programs offered at different schools within Harvard, the average GRE score requirements are in the upper 80th percentile. That’s about 162 in Quant, 158 in Verbal, and 4.5 in Analytical Writing. (5)

Read more: GRE Score Requirement

What is the range of Harvard’s Average GRE Score?

The required score in the quantitative and verbal sections ranges from 145 to 170. In both areas, candidates should aim for a score of 163. The average score in analytical writing should be 3.5. Furthermore, the average total accumulated GRE score required for Harvard University admission is about 326. (6)

What is Harvard’s Average GRE score for Business School?

The following are the average GRE scores for each program offered at Harvard Business School:

Name of Program Offered

Average GRE Quantitative Score

Average GRE Verbal Score

Average GRE Analytical Writing Score

Average Undergraduate GPA

MBA

167

163

5.0

3.7

MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences

164

162

5.0

3.8

PhD in Business Administration

165

161

5.5

3.85

PhD in Business Economics

164

162

5.0

3.75

PhD program in Organizational Behavior

165

161

5.0

3.8

The average GRE scores for Harvard Business School are 166 for Quantitative, 162 for Verbal, and 5.0 for Analytical Writing. (7)

What is Harvard’s average GRE score for Engineering and Applied Sciences?

The following are the average GRE scores for each program offered in the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences:

 

Name of Program Offered

Average GRE Quantitative Score

Average GRE Verbal Score

Average GRE Analytical Writing Score

Average Undergraduate GPA

Applied Mathematics (Ph.D.)

168

160

4.5

3.9

Applied Physics (Ph.D.)

167

161

5.0

3.85

Bioengineering (Ph.D.)

167

160

4.5

3.9

Computer Science (Ph.D.)

168

161

4.5

3.7

Electrical Engineering (Ph.D.)

168

162

5.0

3.85

Environmental Science & Engineering (Ph.D.)

168

161

5.0

3.9

Master in Design Engineering

168

162

5.0

3.9

Master’s in Computational Science and Engineering

167

162

4.5

3.80

Master’s in Data Science

168

161

4.5

3.85

Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering (Ph.D.)

167

161

4.5

3.8

MS/MBA: Engineering Sciences

167

162

4.5

3.8

The average GRE scores for the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are 167 for Quantitative, 163 for Verbal, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing. (8)

What is Harvard’s average GRE score for the Graduate School of Design?

The following are the average GRE scores for each program offered at the Harvard Graduate School of Design:

 

Name of Program Offered

Average GRE Quantitative Score

Average GRE Verbal Score

Average GRE Analytical Writing Score

Average Undergraduate GPA

Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design

160

156

4.5

3.6

Master of Architecture in Urban Design

159

158

4.0

3.6

Master in Urban Planning and Public Policy

158

157

4.5

3.65

Master in Urban Planning and Public Health

160

157

4.0

3.6

Master in Urban Planning and Public Administration

159

157

4.0

3.58

Master in Urban Planning and Juris Doctor

159

158

4.5

3.6

Master in Urban Planning

159

156

4.0

3.7

Master in Landscape Architecture

160

156

4.5

3.65

Master in Design Studies (MDes)

159

160

4.0

3.6

Master in Architecture

159

157

4.0

3.6

Doctor of Design Program (DDes)

159

157

4.0

3.6

The average GRE scores for Harvard Graduate School of Design are 159 for Quantitative, 158 for Verbal, and 4.0 for Analytical Writing. (9)

What is Harvard’s average GRE score for the Graduate School of Education?

The following are the average GRE scores for each program offered at the Harvard Graduate School of Education:

 

Name of Program Offered

Average GRE Quantitative Score

Average GRE Verbal Score

Average GRE Analytical Writing Score

Average Undergraduate GPA

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education

158

159

4.5

3.5

Master’s in Education

156

159

4.0

3.6

The Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.)

157

160

4.5

3.65

The average GRE scores for Harvard Graduate School of Education are 157 for Quantitative, 158 for Verbal, and 4.0 for Analytical Writing. (10)

What is Harvard’s average GRE score for the T.H. Chan School of Public Health?

The following are the average GRE scores for each program offered at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:

 

Name of Program Offered

Average GRE Quantitative Score

Average GRE Verbal Score

Average GRE Analytical Writing Score

Average Undergraduate GPA

Doctor of Public Health

160

158

5.0

3.8

Master in Health Care Management

159

157

4.5

3.7

Master of Public Health

160

157

5.0

3.65

MPH in Epidemiology Online/ On-Campus

159

158

4.5

3.65

PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health

160

158

5.0

3.8

PhD in Biostatistics

161

158

5.5

3.85

PhD in Population Health Sciences

160

158

4.5

3.8

PhD program in Health Policy (Management)

162

165

5.0

3.7

The average GRE scores for Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health are 160 for Quantitative, 158 for Verbal, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing. (11)

What is Harvard’s average GRE score for Harvard Kennedy School?

The following are the average GRE scores for each program offered at the Harvard Kennedy School:

     

Name of Program Offered

Average GRE Quantitative Score

Average GRE Verbal Score

Average GRE Analytical Writing Score

Average Undergraduate GPA

Master in Public Administration

160

162

4.5

3.65

Master in Public Administration in International Development

159

164

5.0

3.7

Master in Public Policy

159

163

4.5

3.6

Mid-Career Master in Public Administration

158

162

4.5

3.65

PhD in Public Policy

162

164

5.0

3.7

PhD in Political Economy & Government

161

165

5.0

3.8

PhD in Social Policy

162

163

4.5

3.8

PhD in Political Science

GRE is not required

The average GRE scores for Harvard Kennedy School are 160 for Quantitative, 163 for Verbal, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing. (12)

What is Harvard’s average GRE score for Harvard Medical School?

The following are the average GRE scores for each program offered at Harvard Medical School:

     

Name of Program Offered

Average GRE Quantitative Score

Average GRE Verbal Score

Average GRE Analytical Writing Score

Average Undergraduate GPA

PhD in Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics

GRE recommended, not required

3.8

PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.85

PhD in Immunology

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.75

PhD in Neuroscience

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.8

PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.8

PhD in Virology

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.85

For Harvard Medical School, the GRE is only recommended and not required. Instead, applicants are required to take the MCAT or Medical College Admission Test. (13)

What is Harvard’s average GRE score for the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences?

The following are the average GRE scores for each program offered in the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences:

     

Name of Program Offered

Average GRE Quantitative Score

Average GRE Verbal Score

Average GRE Analytical Writing Score

Average Undergraduate GPA

Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry (PhD only)

156

161

4.5

3.5

Master’s and PhD in Celtic Languages and Literatures

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.6

Master’s and PhD in History of Science

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.7

Master’s and PhD in Middle Eastern Studies

154

157

4.0

3.6

Master’s and PhD in Music

Specialization in Composition

156

161

4.5

3.5

Masters and PhD in Anthropology

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.7

Masters and PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

155

162

4.5

3.6

Masters and PhD in South Asian Studies

155

162

4.5

3.6

Masters in Regional Studies–East Asia

157

163

5.0

3.7

Masters in Regional Studies–Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

158

163

4.5

3.7

Music Theory (PhD only)

156

161

4.5

3.5

Musicology/Ethnomusicology (PhD only)

156

161

4.5

3.5

Musicology/Historical (PhD only)

156

161

4.5

3.5

Performance Practice* (Master’s only)

156

161

4.5

3.5

PhD in African and African American Studies

153

164

5.0

3.7

PhD in American Studies

GRE is not required

GRE is not required

GRE is not required

3.8

PhD in Astronomy

GRE is not required

GRE is not required

GRE is not required

3.9

PhD in Biophysics

168

164

5.0

3.9

PhD in Chemical Physics

166

162

4.5

3.98

PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology

166

162

4.5

3.98

PhD in Comparative Literature

153

164

5.0

3.6

PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences

166

162

5.0

3.8

PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations

155

163

5.5

3.7

PhD in Economics

168

165

5.5

3.8

PhD in English

GRE is not required

GRE is not required

GRE is not required

3.7

PhD in Film and Visual Studies

156

167

5.0

3.7

PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures

154

162

5.0

3.8

PhD in Government

156

161

4.5

3.7

PhD in History

151

164

5.0

3.8

PhD in History of Art and Architecture

157

162

4.5

3.7

PhD in Human Evolutionary Biology

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.6

PhD in Inner Asian and Altaic Studies

GRE is required but scores are not available

GRE is required but scores are not available

GRE is required but scores are not available

3.6

PhD in Physics

GRE is not required

GRE Subject in Physics is optional

GRE is not required

GRE Subject in Physics is optional

GRE is not required

GRE Subject in Physics is optional

3.8

PhD in Psychology

157

162

4.5

3.7

PhD in Religion

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.7

PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures

158

165

5.0

3.8

PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures

GRE is not required

GRE is not required

GRE is not required

3.9

PhD in Sociology

GRE is required but scores are not available

GRE is required but scores are not available

GRE is required but scores are not available

3.8

PhD in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology (SHBT)

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.8

PhD in Statistics

168

159

4.5

3.9

PhD in Systems, Synthetic, and Quantitative Biology?

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

GRE recommended, not required

3.7

PhD in The Classics

153

163

4.5

3.8

The average GRE scores for Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences are 158 for Quantitative, 162 for Verbal, and 4.7 for Analytical Writing. (14)

What is the GRE score required for a Master of Science at Harvard?

The GRE scores required for Masters in Science at Harvard would be 162 for Verbal, and 164 for Quantitative. However, the GRE is not the only factor that will help students get admission to Harvard. TOEFL and GPA marks are also requirements to consider. (15)

Can I get into Harvard with a low GRE score?

The applicant’s chances of admission will be substantially reduced if their GRE scores are significantly low. According to Harvard GSE, “We have seen that the program can be quite challenging under these circumstances. In recent years, successful applicants with lower scores have presented compelling professional experience and provided evidence of demonstrated academic ability in other areas of the application.” (16)

What are the three options for score submission to Harvard?

The applicant’s chosen degree program will note one of three options regarding submission of scores for the GRE General Test:

  • Required. Applicants must submit GRE General Test results.
  • Optional. Applicants may submit GRE General Test results if they wish.
  • Not Accepted. Applicants shouldn’t submit GRE General Test results because the scores will not be considered when applications are reviewed.

For those programs that say GRE scores are only recommended or optional, it would be ideal that applicants take it since it may boost their chances of admission. (17)

How do I send GRE scores to Harvard?

This is how applicants can send their scores to Harvard:

  1. Request that GRE scores be sent to the academic institutions of your choice.
  2. Be sure to select the correct Harvard admissions office because each has its own ETS school code. (i.e Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ institution code is 3451)
  3. Use the ETS code to send GRE scores to the chosen Harvard School.
  4. Make sure that GRE score reports are sent to a certain school’s admissions office by the application deadline.

Although an official score report from Educational Testing Service (ETS) is required, applicants can upload personal score reports from examinations taken within the last five years if you have them. (18)

References:

  1. https://www.harvard.edu/programs/?degree_levels=graduate
  2. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/admissions/FAQ/gre-general-test
  3. https://gsas.harvard.edu/admissions/apply/completing-your-application
  4. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/admissions/FAQ/gre-general-test
  5. https://brightlinkprep.com/harvard-average-gre-and-gpa/
  6. https://study.com/articles/careers-and-education/what-is-the-average-gre-score-for-harvard-university.html
  7. https://brightlinkprep.com/harvard-average-gre-and-gpa/
  8. https://brightlinkprep.com/harvard-average-gre-and-gpa/
  9. https://brightlinkprep.com/harvard-average-gre-and-gpa/
  10. https://brightlinkprep.com/harvard-average-gre-and-gpa/
  11. https://brightlinkprep.com/harvard-average-gre-and-gpa/
  12. https://brightlinkprep.com/harvard-average-gre-and-gpa/
  13. https://brightlinkprep.com/harvard-average-gre-and-gpa/
  14. https://brightlinkprep.com/harvard-average-gre-and-gpa/
  15. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-GRE-score-required-for-an-MS-in-Harvard
  16. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/admissions/FAQ/gre-general-test
  17. https://www.reddit.com/r/gradadmissions/comments/olieko/should_i_take_the_gre_if_a_program_doesnt/
  18. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/admissions/FAQ/gre-general-test