The GRE in Public Health Admissions: Barriers, Waivers, and Moving Forward

Front Public Health. 2020 Nov 19;8:609599. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.609599. eCollection 2020.


In the wake of COVID-19, there is an urgent need for a diverse public health work force to address problems presented or exacerbated by the global pandemic. Educational programs that create our work force both train and shape the makeup of access through graduate applications. The Graduate Record Exam has a number of standing issues, with additional barriers created by the pandemic. We trace the GRE waiver movement over several years, focusing on the gradual adoption in CEPH accredited programs and the rapid expansion of temporary waivers as a response to testing access. Going forward, we need to consider gaps in waivers during the pandemic and how this data can be used to shape our future use of the GRE.

Keywords: GRE; SPH; graduate applications; graduate record examination; public health; waiver.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19*
  • Education, Medical / standards*
  • Education, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Measurement / standards*
  • Educational Measurement / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Public Health / education*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • School Admission Criteria / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students, Medical
  • United States
  • Young Adult