Michigan Public Health Permanently Eliminates GRE Requirement for MPH and MHSA Programs

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To increase equity and access to public health education, the University of Michigan School of Public Health is permanently eliminating GRE standardized test scores from the application requirements for all Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) programs. 

This comes after a one-year pilot in which the school did not require GRE test scores from individuals applying to any of its master- or doctoral-level programs for a Fall 2021 start. During this time, the Michigan Public Health leadership team collected information from stakeholders across the school and considered a variety of factors—including GRE test effectiveness, continued barriers to test accessibility, admissions data, and campus and peer institution benchmarking.

GRE test scores will be suspended from the application requirements for all Master of Science (MS) and PhD programs for individuals applying to begin their studies in Fall 2022. During this time, the school will continue to collect admissions data to guide future decision-making for MS and PhD program application requirements.

“Discussion around eliminating the GRE requirement has been ongoing since the 2018-2019 academic year,” said DuBois Bowman, dean of Michigan Public Health. “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.” 

Even before removing the GRE requirement, Michigan Public Health had been practicing a holistic application review process, in which reviewers give careful consideration to all credentials presented by each applicant. Holistic review ensures that no single factor, such as a test score, leads to either accepting or denying an applicant.

However, even with holistic review, the GRE requirement presents a range of potential barriers for applicants, including financial and time barriers that may unfairly disadvantage some applicants, particularly those from underrepresented groups.

“At Michigan Public Health, we are committed to addressing systemic racism within our school as well as creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive school environment,” said Bowman. “Eliminating the GRE requirement is one change in a series of many that will help us reduce barriers that have prevented access for students of color and other underrepresented groups.”