MPH program eliminates GRE application requirement
July 17, 2020
Starting with the fall 2020-21 application cycle, the Virginia Tech Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program will no longer require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores. This decision applies to all MPH programs (e.g., full- and part-time MPH, accelerated undergraduate to MPH, and dual and simultaneous degrees). GRE and other test scores submitted as supplemental material will not be considered, or even viewable, during application review.
Program faculty and staff supported this decision based on concerns that the GRE undermines student diversity for underrepresented, underserved, and economically disadvantaged students. The GRE weakly predicts which students will be successful academically when entering graduate school. Additionally, the GRE says little about the perseverance and innovation required to finish graduate school and enter professional fields. The GRE also presents a significant financial burden due to the cost of both the exam, and preparation courses and materials.
“At Virginia Tech, we have a commitment to serve our Appalachian communities and to train a diverse and interdisciplinary group of future public health leaders," said Laura Hungerford, Department Head of Population Health Sciences and Interim MPH Program Director. "We have a focus on infectious diseases, public health education, and One Health and the GRE doesn’t distinguish strengths in these areas. We hope that changing this requirement removes a barrier for students.”
Program faculty and staff will monitor the impact of eliminating the GRE application requirement. This will include evaluating the impact on admissions decisions, diversity of applicants, and academic success of students.
SOPHAS applications for the 2020-21 cycle will open on August 18.