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Harvard GRE Scores

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This post was updated in May 2019 to reflect the latest information.

Ah, the dream to go to Harvard. Each year thousands of graduate school hopefuls seal their dream in an application envelope to have it exchanged for a thin, hope-crushing letter of rejection from the mysterious admissions committee. Reality hurts, but maybe, just maybe, you won’t be one of them. There are certainly a lot of factors in play when applying to graduate school, but the GRE ranks as one of the more important ones. But what score do you need? Well, that’s tough nut to crack. Let’s start with the ones we know for certain.

Average Harvard GRE scores for Engineering and Education

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Depending on your program, Harvard GRE scores range from about 155 to 167 on Verbal and Quant. Here’s the US News & World Report data on the engineering and education for Master’s and PhD programs at Harvard:

ProgramAverage VerbalAverage Quantitative
Engineering - Master's161165
Engineering - PhD160167
Education - Master's159155
Education - PhD164159

Unfortunately, as you can see, there’s not one definitive number I can give you to know where you stand or what you should be aiming for. The slight disparity in scores reflects the different expectations of a PhD student versus a Master’s student, so broadly speaking you should adjust your own expectations in your preferred field based on what degree you’re pursuing.

Of course, average GRE scores for Harvard vary greatly across disciplines.

Estimating Harvard GRE scores in other disciplines

Sadly, most of the graduate schools within Harvard aren’t quite as forthcoming with their GRE scores, so we’ll have to do a little estimation to find out what, say, Harvard Kennedy School’s average GRE scores are or what GRE score you’ll need to get accepted into a social science program like economics, psychology, or sociology.

Below is an estimated range of scores you could expect from Harvard’s ranked programs. For more on the methodology behind the numbers, see Methodology. 🙂

ProgramUS News RankEstimated Verbal RangeEstimated Quantitative Range
Biological Sciences4158-162159-163
Chemistry4158-162163-167
Computer Science18150-154161-165
Earth Sciences8159-163160-164
Economics1159-163160-164
English8162-166154-518
History4161-165154-158
Mathematics3158-162168-170
Physics2161-165167-170
Political Science1161-165157-161
Psychology3157-161154-158
Public Administration3157-161155-159
Sociology1157-161154-158

Resources to get the GRE scores you’ll need

Check out the following links for more help preparing for the GRE:

Methodology

Using the limited score data in the US News & World Report’s release on graduate schools (for engineering and education), I created a block scale that assumes a standard difference between the ETS’s average of intended applicants of a specific major and the rank block (ie Ranks 1-10, 11-50, 51-100). Next I added the expected difference to the average score of the intended major and spread 2 points on either side of that to create a nice range. It would look like this:

ProgramRankRank blockIntended ScoreExp DifferenceRange
English1#1-101570 points164-168

Of course, you could argue that this isn’t perfect, and I’d have to agree. This is just intended to give you a general idea of what you should be aiming for. 🙂

Notes about comments

Due to the overwhelming amount of comments I was getting on this post, I’ve decided to turn them off. While I’d love to give everyone some kind of hard and fast number for your chances (it’s a nerve racking, opaque experience, I know), I unfortunately can’t. This is because there are numerous factors involved in the admissions decisions and most of those factors aren’t the GRE. The best I can do is tell you below/at/above the score range, but that information you can see for yourself above. My universal recommendation is that you check where you stand compared to the tables above. Then have a look at the forums to see student experiences. Good luck! 🙂

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