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GRE Score Waiver: Is It A Permanent Solution for Public Health Programs?
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Rachita Mitra

Content Curator

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of new changes were visible in the education system and the most remarkable change was made in terms of the standardized tests. The public health programs of University of Michigan had accepted the GRE score waiver policy for a year or so. As a result of it, other public health programs consider the GRE score as unnecessary for admission purposes. It is yet to be discussed whether GRE is required or not for the public health programs, but in recent years the necessity of GRE is questioned a number of times.

Why The Necessity of GRE is Under Consideration?

Actually, GRE is assumed to be a barrier for qualified candidates who want to enroll in public service programs. The pandemic showed that the admission process can still go smoothly even without the fulfillment of GRE requirements.

Though in the majority of the universities, GRE score is still considered as the major factor for admission, it may soon get some modification. During the pandemic, GRE centers are shut and graduate and undergraduate candidates are now unable to take the exam. The online alternatives are also inaccessible for a number of candidates.

At this moment, temporarily the policy of GRE waiver is accepted for one year till the take of 2021. News revealed that 76% of the public health programs which are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health are also experiencing the GRE waiver facility. It seems that this is going to be a permanent solution in many public health programs after the pandemic.

The main reason behind permanently skipping GRE score is the GRE fees, score sending fees, exam predictability, and bias. Moving on to its online alternative, accessibility is the main problem of it. Due to these socioeconomic issues, GRE appears more unsuitable in the last few years. According to Jess Miller’s research, the option of GRE waivers is experiencing huge acceptability in such a short time.

In the last 11 months, an increase of 800% of the GRE waiver policy is observed, which is nonetheless remarkable. It is also seen that 1200 majors from 150 public health programs had accepted the GRE waiver policy – Biostatistics is the latest one among these.

It is correctly addressed that the pandemic introduced the new systems like the at-home standardized tests. At the same time, the pandemic has shown that the admission process can still go on without the standardized tests.

The fact that GRE score will not be required for public health programs further – is not true, yet, the possibility of this statement to be true cannot be completely neglected. It is because a huge number of programs are using the GRE score waiver policies and their admission is still going smoothly. So, in the post-pandemic situation, the accrediting authority of the public health programs may consider the GRE waiver policy as a permanent solution to ensure the admission of the candidates from any race and socioeconomic background with ease.

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