Some graduate programs exempt GRE requirement for applicants

Because of the epidemic, GRE tests and MCAT exams are affected: most GRE test centers are closed, and MCAT exams are shortened. Graduate school admissions are facing new challenges. Chase (Junyan) Li | Photographer & Videographer

By Trisha Porzycki | Reporter

With COVID-19, Baylor’s graduate programs have brought peace of mind for students as they exempt entrance tests, including Graduate Record Examinations.

When shutdowns and city guidelines canceled GRE tests and allowed at-home testing, universities were forced to reevaluate their graduate programs’ qualifications.

“They do now offer at-home tests, and we have watched some webinars on it, and they seem safe and trustworthy. We are accepting at-home tests,” Tosha Hedrickson, the graduate school’s Admissions and Recruitment Director, said.

Each graduate program is at its discretion in deciding whether they need a GRE score from the applicant.

“However, we have over a hundred programs at Baylor, so it’s on a program by program bases. Some programs are very adamant, and they still have to take the GRE. Some programs are waiving the GRE requirement for the 2020 – 2021 admission year.”

Fredericksburg junior Julie Krebs recently applied for the Sport Pedagogy graduate program and was relieved to hear she didn’t need to submit a GRE score.

“After talking to the program director, I found out that I only need a 3.0 GPA and three letters of recommendation,” Krebs said. “Going into it, I was nervous about having to take the GRE, but I found out I don’t need to take it for this program – it was such a relief.”

Directors from individual programs are willing to work with students who do not meet the GPA requirement.

“They went through the whole process with me and explained that your GPA and recommendations were the most important,” Krebs said. “He explained that even if a student doesn’t fit the 3.0 requirement, they can submit a reason why they should still be admitted into the program and provide the graduate school with why they didn’t get a 3.0 GPA. The whole process was straightforward and stress-free.”

Hendrickson explained that graduate applicant numbers rose significantly during the summer and fall.

“Unfortunately, some have lost their jobs, and they thought I would go back to graduate school, and some want to change professions. A lot of individuals are looking at who was essential during this time,” Hendrickson said. “Baylor is accommodating international students who can’t get here because of restrictions. We have online classes for those individuals, as well.”