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GRE Scores for Engineering Programs

This post was updated in May 2019 to reflect the most recent information available.

Applying to graduate school and wondering what’s the average GRE score for engineering programs? Want to know what score you need to get accepted to the best engineering schools, like those at MIT? Unfortunately, the average scores vary greatly by school, and not all schools are forthcoming with their admittance scores. Luckily for you, each year, is kind enough gather whatever score data they can get from graduate schools and put it all together for us in a nifty little book and website.

Engineering GRE - image by Clemmonsdogpark

Lucky future engineers! Unlike some programs, engineering programs do submit data to US News & World. This means that we know the GRE scores for admitted students in the top 100 engineering programs.

So let’s take a look at that data, and then what that data tells us. (Because let’s face it: everyone knows that for engineers, data interpretation is more than a little important.)

Average GRE Quant Scores for Engineering Programs

US News & World RankSchoolAverage GRE (Quant) of Admitted Engineering Students
3University of California - Berkeley166
4Carnegie Mellon
5 (tie)California Institute of Technology168
5 (tie)University of Michigan - Ann Arbor166
7Georgia Institute of Technology165
8Purdue University164
9University of Southern California165
10University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign166
11 (tie)Columbia University168
11 (tie)University of California - San Diego167
11 (tie)University of Texas - Austin165
14Cornell University167
15Texas A&M University163
16University of California - Los Angeles167
17 (tie)Johns Hopkins University166
17 (tie)Princeton University167
17 (tie)University of Pennsylvania166
20Northwestern University166
21Harvard University166
22 (tie)University of Maryland165
22 (tie)University of Wisconsin-Madison164
24 (tie)Duke University166
24 (tie)North Carolina State163
24 (tie)University of California-Santa Barbara164
27 (tie)Ohio State University164
27 (tie)Rice University167
27 (tie)University of Minnesota-Twin Cities166
27 (tie)University of Washington163
31 (tie)University of California - Davis163
31 (tie)University of Colorado - Boulder162
31 (tie)Virginia Tech163
34Northeastern University163
35Pennsylvania State University164
36 (tie)Boston University165
36 (tie)University of California - Irvine165
38Yale University168
39Vanderbilt University164
40New York University165
41 (tie)University of Virginia164
41 (tie)Iowa State University165
41 (tie)Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute164
44Arizona State University152
45 (tie)University of Florida162
45 (tie)University of Rochester165
47 (tie)Brown University166
47 (tie)University of Dayton155
47 (tie)University of Delaware
47 (tie)University of Notre Dame164
47 (tie)University of Pittsburgh163
52 (tie)Case Western Reserve University164
52 (tie)Rutgers University164
52 (tie)Washington University in St. Louis166
55 (tie)Dartmouth College166
55 (tie)Michigan State University162
55 (tie)University of Utah164
58 (tie)Colorado School of Mines160
58 (tie)University of Massachusetts - Amherst164
58 (tie)University of Tennessee - Knoxville161
61 (tie)Colorado State University160
61 (tie)Lehigh University165
63 (tie)University at Buffalo-SUNY161
64 (tie)Stony Brook University-SUNY165
64 (tie)University of Arizona162
64 (tie)University of Texas - Dallas163
67 (tie)Tufts University163
67 (tie)University of Connecticut161
69 (tie)Auburn University159
69 (tie)Clemson University162
69 (tie)University of Houston161
69 (tie)University of Illinois - Chicago162
73 (tie)Oregon State University160
73 (tie)University of Iowa160
75 (tie)Drexel University158
75 (tie)George Washington University164
75 (tie)Rochester Institute of Technology160
75 (tie)Stevens Institute of Technology161
75 (tie)Syracuse University163
75 (tie)University of California - Riverside163
75 (tie)University of Central Florida159
82 (tie)Illinois Institute of Technology160
82 (tie)Missouri University of Science & Technology160
82 (tie)University of Texas - Arlington157
85 (tie)Michigan Technological University160
85 (tie)University of New Mexico157
87 (tie)University of California-Santa Cruz163
87 (tie)Washington State University160
89 (tie)New Jersey Institute of Technology158
89 (tie)University of Cincinnati
89 (tie)University of South Florida159
89 (tie)Worcester Polytechnic Institute163
93 (tie)Air Force Institute of Technology157
93 (tie)Texas Tech University159
95 (tie)Binghamton University - SUNY158
95 (tie)Brigham Young University
95 (tie)Mississippi State University157
95 (tie)Oregon Health and Science University159
95 (tie)University of Kansas158
95 (tie)University of Kentucky160
95 (tie)University of Miami159
95 (tie)University of Missouri161
95 (tie)University of Nebraska - Lincoln159
95 (tie)University of South Carolina161
95 (tie)Wichita State University154

What Can We Take Away from Engineering Programs’ Average GRE Scores?

If you’re applying to graduate programs in Engineering and are wondering about your GRE scores, this table provides an enormous amount of information. This is particularly true if you look at the data in terms of correlation between school rankings and GRE scores (quant). If you do, you may notice:

  • The average GRE score (quant) of students admitted to top-10 Engineering programs is 166
  • The average GRE score (quant) of students admitted to Engineering programs ranked 11-50 is 165. While this is very close to the scores of students admitted to top-ten programs, note that the scores from 11-30 push this average way up; scores only start to drop appreciably from around 31-50.
  • The average GRE score (quant) of students admitted to Engineering programs ranked 51-100 is 161.

While GRE scores are not the only factor that adcoms look at, you’ll see that there is a strong relationship between a program’s rank and the scores of its admitted students.


Verbal Score for Engineering?

So where’s the verbal data?

In most cases, it’s available on the individual school pages on U.S. News & World. However, your verbal scores will play such a small role in your admission to engineering schools that it’s not worth stressing about. Average, in this case, is good enough! (Average verbal scores are around 150, while the average verbal scores of those intending to pursue entry into engineering programs are 149.)

What does that mean for you? Well, while an average GRE quantitative score will put you at a major disadvantage in your application, an average verbal score will put you right in the middle of the pack.

That’s not say don’t study for verbal! Definitely check with your intended schools and see what information they reveal about the weight of verbal scores. It could be that scoring in the 75th percentile puts you ahead, or it could be that only your quantitative score is important. That might ultimately be a mystery, but just keep in mind that scoring around average in verbal won’t be killer.

Average GRE Scores for Future Engineers

As we’ve seen, average quant scores may prove to be a disadvantage for you, especially if you’re applying to competitive programs. So just what is the average GRE score of test-takers intending to apply to engineering school? We’ve already seen that in verbal, it’s 149—but brace yourself, because it’s 159 in quant for engineers taking the test. To contextualize that 159, it’s in the 72nd percentile.

Average GRE Scores by Engineering Focus

However, those averages start to vary a little when we take focus and specializations into account. Check out the average GRE quant scores for different tracks.

GRE Scores of Intended Engineering Students by Track

Engineering TrackAverage GRE Quant Score of Students Intending to Study This Track
Chemical Engineering161
Civil Engineering158
Electrical Engineering159
Industrial Engineering159
Materials Engineering163
Mechanical Engineering158

Again, you can see there’s not a whole lot of flexibility in scores, but that’s not surprising, given the quantitative nature of engineering.

What GRE Score Do You Need for Engineering Programs?

While there is no magic bullet score that will get you in to the best engineering schools, a quantitative score between 161-166 will put you in average company for the top 100 programs. Therefore, you should try to get into the 160s. Again, that’s not a ton of breathing room, but, hey, you want to be an engineer? You should probably be pretty decent at math.

How Do You Get a Score Good Enough to Get In?

The answer to this tough question depends on your available time and skill level in math (and verbal!). First you’ll need a good study plan, probably a math focused one. A lot of Clemmonsdogpark students have used these schedules to great success. You’ll also need some good GRE resources. Be careful, there’s a lot of GRE prep materials out on the market to sift through, and a lot of it’s not great. My colleague Chris Lele has reviewed the major GRE prep books and it’s worth a read. And of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend checking out , as our students regularly experience strong gains in quantitative scores.

Due to the overwhelming response in the comments, I’ve had to shut them off, so some final advice for those in search of whether or not your scores are good:

1. Remember that schools assess more than your GRE
2. The internet is your friend. Go through US News and then check the internet for schools that seem like a good fit.
3. Snoop on the forums for more specific advice. There are always people willing to help there.
4. If you still have questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to admissions committees, professors, and current students.

Good luck, everyone!

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