Rice goes GRE-optional for grad programs, will grant fee waivers to graduates of Texas schools

ChBE is eliminating the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) standardized test requirement for its 2021 graduate programs.

Rice campus

Rice University — including the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering — is eliminating the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) standardized test requirement for its 2021 graduate programs.

“Rice doesn’t have a university-wide GRE requirement, although many degree programs have required the exam,” said Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Seiichi Matsuda. “Because COVID-19 has made it difficult for many students to take the GRE, all of our graduate programs have agreed to go GRE-optional this year.”

Rice joins a number of U.S. graduate programs that have temporarily suspended the GRE requirement. The coronavirus pandemic forced examinations usually administered worldwide by the Educational Testing Service to be postponed or canceled.

Matsuda said each degree program at Rice can define whether to describe its approach as GRE-optional, GRE-optional-but-recommended or GRE-optional-but-strongly-recommended. Prospective students should check with their program of application for details.

Rice will also waive application fees for doctoral applicants who are graduates of institutions in Texas and bordering states Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico or who have a permanent address in these states.

“People who are applying to graduate school have worked hard and we want to make applying a little easier,” Matsuda said. “Rice attracts applications from around the country and around the world. We’ve decided to eliminate the application fee for the immediate region as a way to encourage people in the local community to continue with their education.”

Rice graduate applications will open soon, and prospective students can apply by visiting gradapply.rice.edu.

Katharine Shilcutt, Rice University Public Affairs