The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had already made Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores optional for admission to its graduate program, but now the department has decided to eliminate the scores entirely.
Department Head Cathy Murphy explains this recent decision.
“The Department made the GRE optional for chemistry graduate student admissions some time ago; now we are going all the way and are eliminating it as part of our admissions process,” Murphy said. “We want our pool of applicants to be as broad and diverse as possible. It’s an experiment; once we have a few years of data, we can decide whether this is something we will continue to do, or something we should revisit.”
This decision means that all GRE scores, both GRE General Test scores and GRE subject/chemistry scores, are now eliminated from the admissions process. The department had already made GRE subject/chemistry scores optional with the Fall 2015 admissions cycle, and in the last few years, made the GRE General Test scores optional.
There is a growing number of science graduate programs across the U.S. that are eliminating the GRE requirement in response to studies showing that the test scores may not be a good predictor of success in graduate school, and there are also concerns that the standardized exam places underrepresented groups at a disadvantage in gaining admission to programs.
Studies by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which creates and administers the GRE, has found discrepancies in scores based on race, class, and gender that do not correlate with academic success.