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We are replacing the GRE requirement

The Faculty of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Riverside are happy to announce that we will no longer accept the GRE for consideration of admission to our graduate program. 

This change is being implemented for the current round of graduate student applications, due in January 2021, for admission in Fall 2021.

We have moved to make this change for several reasons. The GRE is ineffective as an assessment of graduate student potential, and penalizes students from less advantaged backgrounds: 

  • Published research suggests that there is little correlation between GRE scores and graduate student success. 
  • The GRE exam is expensive (>$200) and difficult to take (requiring a stable internet connection and webcam), which can deter students from less advantaged backgrounds from applying.
  • As with other standardized tests, applicants with greater financial resources can often gain an unfair advantage – by enrolling in test prep courses, and/or paying to take the GRE multiple times.  

We are replacing the GRE requirement with a holistic assessment of applicants' skills, characteristics and experiences, aimed at selecting for attributes that we value in our graduate students (e.g. creativity, curiosity, perseverance) that are not assessed via standardized testing.  Further details will be provided in the Graduate Program pages on our website. We hope that this more equitable assessment method will encourage applications to our graduate program from applicants of all backgrounds. 

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