MAPP Eliminates Graduate Record Examination Requirement for Graduate School Admissions

Jul 15, 2020 / Updated Jul 20, 2020

Students working at desk

The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation will no longer require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission to its single degree programs and the majority of its dual degree programs. The decision, which goes into effect for the fall 2020 admissions cycle, is an effort to create a more equitable admissions process for prospective students.

“The opportunity to continue one’s education is critical for ensuring personal career growth and for developing professions and professionals who can respond to today’s issues and demands,” said Interim Dean Donald Linebaugh. “Eliminating the GRE is an important step in ensuring that opportunity is not hampered here at Maryland, and will allow us to recruit the best and brightest candidates for our programs and professions.”

For decades, the GRE has been the litmus test for admission into U.S. graduate programs, but research shows that the test is not a representative indicator of whether a student will be successful in a graduate program. Critics cite that the costs associated with the GRE, including test preparation and the actual exam, are implicitly biased against underrepresented minority students, barriers that have been amplified by the pandemic. The test’s move to an online environment automatically penalizes individuals who don’t have access to reliable internet, an appropriate test-taking environment and high-quality technology.

“Removing the GRE requirement will help to level the playing field for applicants and frankly, eliminates an element of structural racism from our admissions system,” said Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Outreach Madlen Simon. “This is one concrete opportunity to create systemic change to remove barriers to participation in higher education.” 

Learn more about MAPP’s graduate programs and new admissions guidelines on our program admissions page.