MPH Programs that Don't Require a GRE: Application Tips and Guidance

Published on: Oct 12, 2023

Over the past ten years, there’s been a swift decline in the number of academic institutions that require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)1. A growing number of public health graduate schools no longer require applicants to take the GRE. This became increasingly popular with the pandemic in 2020, and MPH programs are asking for relevant work experience or a previously earned master’s degree. Waiving the GRE eliminates barriers for candidates and allows for a more inclusive and diverse public health workforce2

Why Universities are Waiving the MPH as a Requirement

Many MPH programs are waiving this requirement for numerous reasons. There’s an increasing belief that GRE scores do not reflect a candidates’ intellectual ability and are more connected to their socioeconomic status3. The GRE doesn’t predict academic success. Studies have shown there’s weak, if any, correlation between academic success and GRE.

Moreover, Baylor University believes eliminating these GRE requirements will advance the nation’s communities “by expanding the students who graduate from public health programs and become the next generation of health professionals who make a difference”3. While these beliefs became apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan State has been discussing this removal of the GRE requirement since the 2018 academic year.

The dean of the University of Michigan, DuBois Bowman states: “Research tells us that high GRE test scores tend to correlate with a student’s socioeconomic status, race, and gender. The test has been shown to underpredict the success of students in underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and women in STEM fields”4.

The elimination of this requirement will create a more equitable and inclusive public health workforce.

MPH Making an Impact

MPH Programs without a GRE Requirement

Below are brief summaries of MPH Programs with no GRE requirement, and some of the highlights of each program. There are numerous other programs that are no longer requiring the GRE, so if you don’t see the institution you are looking for on this list, don’t be discouraged.

Final thoughts

All in all, removing the GRE requirement is essential to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive public health workforce. The GRE requirement poses financial obstacles, as well as racial and ethnic biases, and has no significant correlation to academic success. Taking a detailed and holistic approach to reviewing students’ applications sans the GRE is a sweeping trend that is not losing steam anytime soon. This allows future MPH candidates to create a more realistic and comprehensive view of their unique abilities during the application process, and further expand the dynamic and strong public health workforce.

About the Authors

Written by:

Melisa Gebizlioglu, MPH

Melisa Gebizlioglu, MPH, is an experienced project manager at a nationally ranked Accountable Care Organization. Her current work focuses on seamless integration of electronic health records (EHR) to enhance care quality for patients. She has previously worked in health systems in the Greater Philadelphia area on numerous quality improvement and population health initiatives. She received her Master of Public Health degree from Drexel University. Prior to her work in the population health space, she worked as a certified Exercise Physiologist at fitness and wellness centers, and obtained her certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.

Opinions and information published by the author here on are of my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of my employer or other organizations for my designated roles.

Melisa Gebizlioglu portrait photograph

Melisa Gebizlioglu, MPH

Education: Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health

Reviewed by:

Katherine Paul, MPH

Katherine Paul, MPH is a senior project manager at a leading medical communications and publications organization. She supports multidisciplinary teams handling large-scale accounts, the deliverables of which improve health outcomes and patient well-being. Ms. Paul holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Health Promotion from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health and passed the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) shortly after graduation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Dickinson College.

Ms. Paul previously worked at a public health non-profit where she managed all aspects of diverse health-related projects, including the implementation of a randomized controlled clinical trial on sexual health for teens with developmental disabilities, as well as the evaluation of a statewide tobacco cessation program with more than 20,000 annual cases. She has developed and delivered posters and presentations at national conferences including the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting. 

Opinions and information published by the author here on are of my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of my employer or other organizations for my designated roles.

Katherine Paul

Katherine Paul, MPH

Editorial Lead

Education: Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health

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