Cornell’s Biomedical Engineering (BME) Graduate Program eliminates GRE requirement

students taking exams
By: Kathryn Henion

The Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University today announced that it will no longer consider the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores in making decisions about admission to the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) and masters of engineering (M.Eng.) programs in the biomedical engineering graduate field. The decision was supported by an overwhelming majority of the graduate field faculty, and the change will be effective for the fall 2019 application cycle for all graduate and professional degree programs.

The graduate field faculty was  persuaded by several compelling arguments about the inequities inherent in this standardized test, including numerous recent studies reporting that the GRE shows little correlation with graduate student success and that the test can be biased against women, underrepresented minorities, students from underserved communities, and international students.

Therefore, starting academic year 2019-2020, Cornell's graduate field of biomedical engineering will no longer require GRE scores from applicants, and will review all applications blinded for GRE scores. 

“Removing the GRE scores from consideration is expected to reduce barriers to graduate education and contribute to a fairer and more holistic review process while also providing significant cost savings for applicants,” said Meinig School associate professor and director of graduate studies Jan Lammerding. “As a more diverse and inclusive graduate population will provide tremendous benefits for the biomedical engineering community and future workforce, we anticipate that other graduate programs will join this vision.”

Lammerding also noted that biomedical engineering graduate field will continue to review and make refinements to its holistic review practices for applications to its graduate programs to ensure a fair and unbiased admissions process.

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