Good Scores on the New GRE for Engineering Programs

Interested in going to graduate school in engineering? Wondering what a good score on the new GRE is for graduate programs in engineering? “It’s Not GREek!” breaks down the new GRE score ranges for US News & World Report’s top 150 graduate programs in engineering.

Top 50:
Quantitative Score Range for Admitted Students: 159 – 166
Verbal Score Range for Admitted students: 154-160

Top 51-100:
Quantitative Score Range for Admitted Students: 156 – 160
Verbal Score Range for Admitted Students: 149 – 152

Top 101 – 150:
Quantitative Score Range for Admitted Students: 155 – 159
Verbal Score Range for Admitted Students: 150 – 153
Want to continue studying engineering in graduate school? You better know your math!!
Getting a high quantitative score on the new GRE is extremely important.  It’s nearly impossible to be admitted to any graduate programs in engineering without a quantitative score of at least 155.  For top 50 programs, you should be aiming for a 161 or higher.  Several graduate engineering programs in the top 50 boasted average new GRE scores of 170 on the quantitative section for admitted students.  That means the average student who came into the program had a perfect score on the quantitative section!!

So, does that mean I can ignore the verbal score?
In short, no.  Many engineering graduate programs stress that while they’re looking for very high quantitative scores, they are also seeking out well-rounded applicants with the ability to communicate.  Candidates with low verbal scores will not be appealing to engineering graduate schools, no matter how high their quantitative score is.  Several of the engineering programs at University of California-Berkley, for instance, say candidates who are applying should have both verbal and quantitative scores above the 85th percentile.  On average, the top 50 graduate schools were looking for verbal scores at or above the 70th percentile.  Ideally, you should be aiming for a verbal score no more than five points lower than your quantitative score.

Are you applying for a master’s program?
If so, you may be in luck! Verbal scores for candidates admitted to the master’s programs at engineering schools tended to be a little lower than the scores for candidates admitted to doctoral programs, however, a high quantitative score is still required for both types of programs.

Does your dream school require a higher score than the one you have currently? Check out TestMaster’s GRE preparation courses and get that high score!

Come back soon for more information about the scores you need on the new GRE to get admitted to the graduate programs of your choice.

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110 Responses to Good Scores on the New GRE for Engineering Programs

  1. Wyatt says:

    I’m guessing these scores come from US news reports and the ETS concordance table? Do you think with the new “raised ceiling” on scores that the range for the top 50 will go up? Does the new version of US new’s report have new GRE score averages?

  2. Jocelyn says:


    Thank you for your question! The scores did come from US News and World Report and were converted with the concordance tables provided by ETS. The graduate programs we’ve spoken with indicated that they are still receiving approximately 50% old GRE and 50% new GRE scores. We suspect this is why US News and World Report is continuing to report old GRE score averages instead of new GRE averages, even in their newest releases.

    As more students take the new GRE, the average quantitative scores for admitted students to engineering programs may increase due to the new scoring scale. ETS has indicated the new scale will show a wider range of ability at the high end of the spectrum. As more students score above the 94th percentile on the new GRE, the average quantitative scores for admitted students may increase slightly. Keep in mind though, that even on the old scale, few programs had average quantitative scores of 800! As long as you are making above a 160 on the quantitative section of the GRE, you should have a decent shot at a top 50 engineering program.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Siddharth Rao says:

    I have a Bachelor of Engineering degree in computer science from India with a GPA of 3.5(72.07%).I have a GRE score of 301(148 Verbal,153 Quant and 3.5 in AWA) with a TOEFL iBT score of 101.Also I have work experience with Fidelity Investments as a Software Engineer.

    How can I proceed further.Are these scores fine?

    • Jocelyn says:


      Whether or not the scores are “fine” will depend on the programs to which you are applying. Currently, your scores are in about the 50th percentile for both the math and verbal. I would recommend contacting the programs that interest you and asking them what the average GRE and TOEFL scores are for admitted students. Remember that in addition to test scores, GPA, and work experience, schools also take into account factors such as your letters of recommendation, personal statement, and research interests. Hope this helps!

  4. Usha RY says:

    Are scores of quant-162 and verbal 151 good enough for engineering programs?

    • Jocelyn says:

      @ Usha RY,

      Whether not a score is good enough depends on the program to which you are applying. We recommend contacting the specific programs to which you are applying and asking them about the average GRE scores for admitted students. They will be able to tell you if your scores are good enough. Hope this helps!

  5. Alex says:

    I’m preparing to take the GRE in case I end up going to grad school for some form of Aerospace of Mechanical Engineering Masters, possible PHD but most likely just Masters.

    I’ve been practicing mainly for the quant section and on all my recent practice exams I’ve been getting around 163 quant and 158 verbal. As this score has become pretty consistent I’m confident that I’ll make something very similar to that when I do take the real exam.

    I’m still not sure exactly which graduate school or program I would be going to, but I’d like your opinion of how solid those scores are for USA engineering schools in general. Based on the numbers above I think I’m ok… but I’d still like your opinion.

    Also, what’s your opinion on the written section?

    • Jason says:

      Sounds like you have some scores to be proud of! To be extra sure, you should really narrow down your list of schools and contact their admissions offices to find out how you compare to other applicants past and present. The top ten schools will probably expect a perfect or near perfect math score, for instance. As for the written section, it really depends on the school. The written section clearly will not be a top priority for Engineering schools, but the more prestigious the programs you apply to are, the more picky they can (and must) be, so remember that when faced with two students who have the same quantitative score but different non-quantitative scores, they are going to pick the one with the higher non-quantitative score, all other things being equal. Remember, if you discover you need to raise your score a little more to be a competitive applicant for your dream program, you can always study the GRE with the experts at Test Masters (

  6. mounika says:

    my gre score is 284 is that a good score math 148 and verbal 139

    • Jason says:

      Ideally, the GRE distribution will likely be a general bell curve in which the majority of test takers score around 150 on the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections, so a “good” score would be in the upper 50%, about 150 or above. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that a “good” score always depends on what score you need to get into your desired program. To be sure that your scores are competitive, you should research what kinds of scores admitted students got last year and in years before. This information is usually available on graduate programs’ websites, although you can also call their admissions offices if you can’t find an answer to one of your questions online. If you want to compare your scores with the scores of students who took the old GRE, focus on comparing the percentiles instead of the numerical scores. If you decide you want extra help preparing for the GRE, you can always study with the experts at Test Masters, of course (

  7. P Nag says:

    Is gre score quant 160, verbal 155, analytical 5.0, & academic GPA 4 (82%) is good for masters/ Phd admission in engineering?

    • Jason says:

      Ideally, the GRE distribution will likely be a general bell curve in which the majority of test takers score around 150 on the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections, so a “good” score would be in the upper 50%, about 150 or above. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that a “good” score always depends on what score you need to get into your desired program. For an engineering program, the quantitative section is clearly going to be the most important. To be sure that your scores are competitive, you should research what kinds of scores admitted students got last year and in years before. This information is usually available on graduate programs’ websites, although you can also call their admissions offices if you can’t find an answer to one of your questions online. If you want to compare your scores with the scores of students who took the old GRE, focus on comparing the percentiles instead of the numerical scores. If you decide you want extra help preparing for the GRE, you can always study with the experts at Test Masters, of course.

  8. Natalie says:

    Looking for a PhD program in biomedical eng.

    I took the new GRE a month ago, 165 quant and 157 verbal, no news on the AW yet, but I’m confident in my writing. I did a dual degree in college in electrical eng. and biomedical eng, but just made a 3.0, so I was hoping to make up for that with a really good GRE score. My score is ‘good’ but is it enough to make up for my bad GPA? (On the upside, you’d be hard-pressed to find a non-technical course in my college curriculum)

    I’m also working in medical research right now at a university, so I’ll have work experience on my resume and hopefully papers, might that help counter the GPA? Thanks so much for your help.

    • admin says:

      Natalie, a lot of programs focus more on the last 60 hours (or upper class credit hours) of your GPA so hopefully that part is better than the cumulative 3.0 GPA. For sure working and the fact that you did a dual degree will be helpful (as well that there are not that many PhD women candidates out there) I would try to apply to a school where you can get an interview as part of the process to advocate your case. Nothing is wrong with calling up the school and simply asking the question you are looking to answer here. PhD programs are more about your interests and research than pitting you against classmates for the purposes of getting a grade so lead with your passion and interests in the field shaped by your work history. Be glad you, unlike some others, can communicate your thoughts and leverage that ability to make them see beyond a number.

  9. AMIL says:

    Hi I scored 310. qaunt – 163 , verbal – 147
    I want to apply for MIS/CS.

    Can you tell me which univ I should aim for??

    I have my retake in few days and will try to shoot 320+ this time.

  10. gaurav says:

    GRE VERBAL : 380 , GRE QUANT : 800
    TOEFL : 94 ( R : 19, L:27, S:23, W:25 )
    I am applying for MS Computer Science Fall 2013
    Please suggest me few good universities which don’t give importance to GRE verbal score.

    • Calvin says:

      Because you speak English as a second language, many universities will be more lenient with regard to your GRE verbal score. They will, however, generally require a minimum TOEFL score. Harvard’s minimum TOEFL score for Computer Science graduate students, for instance, is 80:

      Considering that Harvard is one of the most selective universities in the US, it would seem that you are in good shape, at least with respect to your TOEFL and GRE scores. Of course, if they have to choose between you and someone else who got a 120 on TOEFL, then they may choose the other guy (all other things being equal). If you want to raise your TOEFL or GRE Verbal scores, Test Masters offers courses in both. Also, keep in mind that your scores expire after a certain amount of time. Harvard, for instance, states that “Applicants who took the TOEFL more than two years ago must repeat the test,” so make sure your scores are up to date. Hope this helps!

  11. Sohil says:

    I have got a GRE
    V:153 Q:168 A:4.0
    I have applied to the Top 30 colleges for Masters in Computer Science in the field of machine learning
    i have 89%GPA and decent research experience
    what are my chances

    • Calvin says:

      Your near perfect quantitative score should be competitive, and I would think that score would be the most important to machine learning programs. As to the other scores, it depends on the specific programs to which you are applying. I recommend calling the admissions offices of each program to which you are applying and asking them what the average Verbal and Analytical Writing scores of admitted students are. If after that you still feel insecure, you can always retake the GRE. Indeed, it is usually wise to take the test twice, since most universities will consider only the highest score for each section, regardless of which test it comes from. If you want help preparing for the GRE in the future, Test Masters offers personalized GRE tutoring and classes. I teach GRE Verbal myself. Best of luck!

    • soona says:

      I have got a GRE with the following score
      V:151 Q:170 A:3.0
      with the master GPA of 4 out of 4, But I do not have any journal paper, Please suggest me few good universities which don’t give importance to Paper

  12. Sohil says:

    not all 30 btw..iv applied to like 10..2 from 1-10 5 from 10-20 and another 2 from 20-30

  13. Madhav Lolla says:

    Took my GRE today. Did my verbal terribly bad. (:(). One awful day and it had to been on the test day. Split being Q:166 V:149 (T:315) (I was never that bad in verbal really! :\, always did better than 155 in almost all nondescript mock tests). All i wanted to ask is before the exam, which unfortunately went wrong, i had few colleges above top 25. Is there any chance of a top 50 in US now? , considering that i have such an ignominious 14X in one column. As far as my acads are concerned, i have 3.6 in 4 point sc in Electrical Engg, few projects in my field, probably 1 internship(i’m yet to receive an ‘assured’ call-up) before i can apply and thats all. Any response much appreciated

    • Madhav Lolla says:

      Forgot to add that i’m an Indian.

    • Calvin says:

      If you are from India and plan to take the TOEFL in addition to the GRE, then graduate programs may be more forgiving of lower GRE Verbal scores as long as you have a high enough TOEFL score. Otherwise, it depends on the specific programs to which you are applying. I recommend calling the admissions offices of each program to which you are applying and asking them what the average Verbal scores of admitted students are. If after that you still feel insecure, you can always retake the GRE. Indeed, it is usually wise to take the test twice, since most universities will consider only the highest score for each section, regardless of which test it comes from. If you want help preparing for the GRE in the future, Test Masters offers personalized GRE tutoring and classes. I teach GRE Verbal myself. Best of luck!

      • Madhav Lolla says:

        I made an IELTS appointment for Jan 5th ’13. I do have an inclination to re-write, but i’m afraid i’ll be late on deadlines if i do that. Thank you for the reply btw 🙂

  14. Prashant says:


    I have a GRE score of verbal 145 and quant 167. I want to apply for financial engineering/ mathematics program.

    Please advice if this is okay score to go with.


    • Calvin says:

      Your high quantitative score should be competitive (although it might be worth trying for a perfect 170, since a perfect score is very impressive and it seems within your reach), and I would think that score would be the most important to financial engineering/mathematics programs. As to the other scores, it depends on the specific programs to which you are applying. I recommend calling the admissions offices of each program to which you are applying and asking them what the average Verbal and Analytical Writing scores of admitted students are. If after that you still feel insecure, you can always retake the GRE. Indeed, it is usually wise to take the test twice, since most universities will consider only the highest score for each section, regardless of which test it comes from. If you want help preparing for the GRE in the future, Test Masters offers personalized GRE tutoring and classes. I teach GRE Verbal myself. Best of luck!

  15. Nikhilesh says:


    I have a GRE score of 296 (Q-158 V-138 AWA-3.5). It was a bad day for me, generally i was about 150 in verbal in my mock exams that i took before appearing for GRE but somehow my bad luck got an extremely low score in verbal.
    I have a TOEFL score of 105 (speaking-24).
    My academic score is 72% in my BE.
    I am currently planning to apply for Master in Computer science at
    University of Texas-Arlington
    Wright State university
    University of North Texas
    North Dakota State University

    are these good choices for CS and will i be able to get admission in this universities. Apart from these which are good choices for me??

    • Calvin says:

      105 is a very decent TOEFL score, and should make up somewhat for lower Verbal and Analytical Writing scores on the GRE. However, if you normally score higher it would be a shame not to take the test again to try to show what you’ve got – it is usually wise to take the test twice, anyway, since most universities will consider only the highest score for each section, regardless of which test it comes from. As you know, there are many factors that go into a university’s admission decision, such as GPA, class rank, recommendations, experience in the field, and (of course) GRE scores, among other things. Each university will have its own distinct requirements for admission into their masters and doctoral programs, and those requirements are generally available on your preferred university’s admissions page. You can also call the admissions departments of the programs you’re looking at and just ask! Admissions officers are usually very friendly and willing to help prospective grad students research their programs. You should be proud of the work you’ve done to get the scores you have, but there is certainly still room for improvement. If GRE prep is an option, be sure to check out GRE course options here!

      As for CS programs, you have some very respectable choices, although I would always recommend talking to current students at your prospective schools in order to find out what they like and dislike about their programs. For other ideas, try reading our blog post dedicated to the top computer science programs in the country. Best of luck!

      • Nikhilesh says:

        well all the other aspects apart from my GRE verbal score is very good.. i have extremely good and well written recomm letters from my tutors and HOD and my class rank is pretty much at the top 6% in my class(60 students)..and i have a consistent and good score in my undergraduate study as well,the universities i have listed are the only good univ that are within my affordable budget when it comes to tuition fee… i failed to mention that am from ‘India’ so its really expensive for us to apply for other univ…
        My main choice of college is Texas -Arlington as many of my classmates are currently studying there and they gave a positive remark regarding the CS program there..the others are back up colleges… so is there a considerably high change of me getting admission in Arlington?? based on the current credentials that is.. my primary goal is to get an admission, ltr i plan to transfer if i can get a high gpa in my first graduate year..

        • Nikhilesh says:

          and also would it be possible for you to tell me 1 or 2 top universities that i can apply to and have a change of getting in to.. even if that chance is minimal i would like to know which those universities are.

          • Calvin says:

            As I said in my previous response, much of this information can be found on the university’s website, specifically this easy to find page about Computer Science Admissions:

            The scores listed there are on the old scale, in which each section was scored out of 800. You can convert these scores to the new scale using the chart released by the test makers, available here:

            Doing proper research is an important part of applying to graduate school. You must take advantage of the information offered to you by the schools to which you are applying. I would recommend calling or emailing admissions officers at those schools with school-specific questions in the future, as establishing contact them is an important way of letting them know that you are seriously considering them, which increases your chances of admission. I cannot tell you what schools you will or will not get into; for better or worse, university admissions in the United States is not an exact science. There is no magic number that guarantees admission. This is the only answer I can give you. Best of luck!

  16. praj_k says:


    I have a GRE score of 321 (Q-164 & V-157) and Writing – 3.
    I also have around 7 years of experience in Software Development.

    I am applying for fall 2013 for Masters in Computer Science.
    Though my gre score is in the range of most of the Universities average GRE score, I am a bit skeptical about my writing sore. Could you please suggest how much my writing score will affect my Masters Admissions.


    • Calvin says:

      Dear praj_k,

      The writing score probably won’t matter that much to Computer Science programs; however, it does depend on the program. If the program is fairly competitive, admissions officers may use it to choose between otherwise equal applicants, since all things being equal, a higher score is better. The best way to know for sure is to contact the individual programs and ask. And remember, if you want extra help getting your writing score up (or any of your scores), you can study with GRE experts like me at Test Masters. Hope this helps!


  17. Yazan abu zahra says:

    Hey; i got a 133 verbal and 155 quantitative scores in the GRE
    I have been told that its low score to get into graduate schools for masters programe while am seeking to a construction engineering and project planing programme its related to tge civil engineering studies ! But at the same time arabic is my native language so i found it pretty hard to get an over 150 score in the verbal section ! Please advice !!
    Thanks 🙂

    • Bill says:

      Dear Yazan,

      If you are a non-native English speaker applying to a graduate school in the United States, you will be required to submit a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Some schools will require a minimum TOEFL score to even consider your application; other schools, while not necessarily requiring a minimum TOEFL score, will have an average or standard TOEFL score by which they judge your grade. The required or standard scores vary from school to school and department to department. This information is usually readily available on the admissions webpage of whatever college or university you are applying to.

      A good TOEFL score won’t necessarily balance out a bad GRE Verbal score; however, for the purposes of admission, when considering an applicant who is a non-native English speaker, admissions officers want to be reassured that the applicant will be able to communicate effectively in an academic environment. Therefore, even if you are unable to demonstrate an absolute mastery of English on your GRE Verbal, so long as you can demonstrate effective competency in the language (through a good TOEFL score) you should be all right. This is especially true for Engineering students (as opposed to departments or programs that require a greater fluency in English).

      Essentially, as a non-native English speaking Engineering graduate school applicant, it is more important to demonstrate competency in the English language rather than perfect fluency. This can be done with a good TOEFL score. As an Engineering applicant your chances of being admitted won’t be diminished too much by a less than perfect GRE Verbal score. All that said, however, a 133 is less than a less than perfect score. If at all possible, I would recommend GRE preparation prior to your next GRE exam. It will not be necessary for you to get a perfect score to be admitted to your school of choice, but keep in mind there are many competitive international students and a high GRE Verbal score is an excellent way to distinguish yourself.

      Hope this helps!

  18. sucheta says:

    hi jason,
    my score is
    verbal-149 and quant – 155
    toefl not given and awa – not yet recieved.
    I wish to pursue my masters in electrical engineering / telecommunications.
    What are the prospects of getting into top 50 university.
    And how does ranking matter in terms of quality of course provided in college.

    • Bill says:


      Admission to a top tier graduate school is not determined entirely by your GRE score; in fact, there are a number of other criteria (including GPA, class rank, work experience, personal statement, recommendations, and finances, among other things) that go into an admission decision. That said, your GRE score does play a significant role in any graduate school admission decision. A single point can make a huge difference on the new GRE; let’s look at a few examples to see how your score compares. Harvard’s avg. GRE score is 321, the University of Texas at Austin’s is 318, and the University of Florida’s is 307. As you can see, your score doesn’t put you far off of some of the less competitive graduate schools. A general rule of thumb as far as graduate school admissions are concerned is this: an average score is a 150 on both sections of the GRE, and a good score can be considered anything above a 155 on the GRE Verbal and above a 160 on the GRE Quantitative section. Whatever constitutes a good score may vary from department to department and from school to school, but these are good guidelines to follow. If you have an excellent GPA and resume, then your score might not hinder your acceptance into a top 50 university; however, if you are middle-of-the-road in these other areas, then you absolutely need to boost your GRE score to help you chances of being accepted into your university of choice.

      Ranking is useful and indicative of the quality of a program, but you do not necessarily need to attend a top tier university to receive a top tier education. Research different universities, investigate the publications and work of the professors who teach there and what their specific niches are; if you find a university or faculty staff that you can be excited about, then you have found the school for you.

      Hope this helps!

  19. Ishant says:

    I got 321 in gre, can i get fullbright scholarship with this score? I want to do ms in mechanical enginering.. so which universities should i apply?

    • Bill says:


      Obtaining a Fulbright Scholarship is very difficult, and requires an extremely well thought-out statement of purpose. If it is something you are interested in, I encourage you to learn more about it here. A 321 is certainly a good GRE score, but ultimately that will have very little to do with whether or not your are awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. As for which universities you should apply to… that depends on a whole range of factors, from what is convenient to what is affordable. The best way to decide which university you will ultimately attend is to just start looking!

      Hope this helps.

  20. Bill says:

    Hi Jocelyn and newgre community,
    Thanks a lot for the useful information you are sharing.

    I gave GRE this month and got QUANT score of 164, VERBAL 159 and a terrible AW score of 3.5. I have an undergraduate GPA of 3.72/4 and graduate GPA of 3.92/4.
    I have other achievements/awards in hardware and software contests and 3 international journal publication with one publication having >10 citations. Also around 10 international conference publications.

    I have around 2 years job experience in a core electronics research institute.

    Should I need to give GRE again for getting admission in Top 5 -10 electronic engineering doctoral PhD courses?

    Please suggest me the possibilities.

    Thank you,

    • Bill says:


      You will not necessarily have to take the GRE again (although the higher your score, the higher the likelihood you will be admitted to a top 10 university). To put your application in perspective, your credentials put you at or around the averages for admitted students to Harvard. Our advice is, unless you really feel like you can improve your scores by taking the GRE again, to start focusing on the other parts of your application. Make sure your resume is up to date, that your recommendations have all been written and submitted, and cross the t’s and dot the i’s on your personal statement as that is extremely important for admission to top tier graduate schools.

      Hope this helps!


  21. Arnob says:

    My GRE score is 315 (quant-159, verbal-156)…is my quant score sufficient to get admission in Doctoral program for Electrical engineering in top 50-100 ranked us varsities????

    • Bill says:


      Your score is well above average, although ideally you would like to score a 160+ on the the quantitative section for an engineering program. Keep in mind that your admission will also hinge on other parts of your application. Other important parts of your application include your professional resume and work experience, recommendations, and undergraduate GPA. Check with the universities you have targeted to get a better idea of the specifics, as they vary widely from school to school.


  22. SACHIN says:

    I got 146 in quant and 138 in verbal.I want to pursue master’s in cs.Which universities should i apply or should i retake the exam

  23. SACHIN says:

    i have 3.32 gpa and secured 146 in quant and 138 in verbal.Am i able get a seat in utd for cs

    • Calvin says:

      Dear Sachin,

      According to the UT Dallas website, “GRE scores of 153 and 155 for the verbal and quantitative components, respectively, are advisable based on our experience with student success in the program.” So, you may have a little work to do. Please consider a Test Masters GRE Prep course to help you get where you need to be!


  24. Nassif says:

    I got a 166 in quant and 155 in verbal for the GRE. Honestly i was expecting a lot more for verbal and was confused about giving the GRE once more. I recently gave my TOEFL iBT and got 114/120. I studied at a premier Indian university and I also have a good internship and also a summer research to corroborate my profile. My GPA is average and I’m quite worried about that. So i want to apply for MS in Petroleum to Colorado School of Mines, University of Texas-Austin. I know these are the top programs with high competition. Can you honestly tell me if i stand a decent chance to get into these programs. If not, which other college should I look to target for and it would fall in my range?. And should I consider giving the GRE one more?(I hope that’s a no). Any guidance would be highly appreciated.

    • Nassif says:

      I forgot to mention i did bachelors in chemical engineering and i have 1 year work exp in a core chemical industry. My summer internship was in a Petroleum Refinery and my summer project was at Indian Space Research Organisation. My undergrad projects was loosely related to Oil & Gas topics. Hope i gave all the required info.

    • Bill says:


      If you feel like you can do better than you should absolutely take the GRE again, just so long as you can do so before the application deadline. Did you prepare before you took it the first time? You would be amazed at the difference a little preparation will make. As for your score- it’s not bad, and most engineering programs are going to emphasize your quantitative score over your verbal. Plus your great TOEFL score will make up for being a little behind some schools’ average verbal score.

      Both the schools you mentioned are top programs, so the applicants to both universities will be competitive. It will ultimately boil down to your GPA and GRE score, while your extracurricular and work experience will really help if the review committee has to make a decision between you and another student. The truth is you have a chance of being admitted to both schools (Texas a bit more than Mines, probably), but you should definitely apply to at least two or three schools that you are more confident of being accepted to, just in case. Which schools you target really just depends on your own preferences, a good resource to help you narrow down the list can be found here.

      Hope this helps!

  25. sourav roychowdhurys says:

    I want do my MS in aerospace engineering from california institute of technoogy. what are the score requirements in GRE and TOEFL. Also what are the additional qualifications necessary???
    I have done my B.E. in mechanical engineering from India. I have worked for 2 yrs in Infosys as a stress engineer for Airbus projects. Also I have a 2 yrs. experience as a stress engineer in UTC Aerospace systems.
    Please advise

    • Bill says:


      If you are worried about what kind of GRE score you will need for a school like Cal Tech, please read this recently published article, “What is a good score on the GRE?”

      Cal Tech is one of the best engineering schools in the country, arguably comparable to schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. It is an extremely competitive school. Like most extremely competitive schools, Cal Tech does not have any minimum score requirements; however, a good GRE score and high GPA are basically a must to be accepted. It sounds like you have done a good job preparing yourself professionally, but you can expect to need a GRE Quantitative Reasoning score of at least 160 or higher to be considered for admission.

      As for the TOEFL… actually, you do not have to take the TOEFL. Before you get too excited, you do have to take an English proficiency exam, but it does not necessarily have to be the TOEFL. I encourage you to consult this Caltech Graduate Admissions FAQ for more information.

      Hope this helps!

  26. Sabya Bandyopadhyay says:

    Hi Jocelyn, I am a little scared here. I got a GRE Quants:- 161 and Verbal:- 167 Total :- 328 with an AWA:- 4.0. I pretty much messed up my Quants inspite of being good in maths (high school medallist) and having a good preparation. It was a bad day. My gpa converted to U.S scale is 3.5/4. I am working on a couple of journal papers and they should be done by the time i apply. My overall profile is pretty good with lots of projects. I also did a paid intern at UMass Lowell this summer. All my work is focussed on Medical Instrumentation, my intended subject for grad school. How will my low maths score dampen my chances of getting into a top 50 school in my field with reasonable funding? Thank You in advance

    • Bill says:


      The short answer is that your QR will not significantly impact your chances of admission; the long answer is that your QR score may negatively impact your chances of admission, depending on the specific schools you are applying to. There is always a certain amount of luck when it comes to admission to top tier graduate programs. For these types of the schools, the program requirements are so stringent and the competition so stiff that, ultimately, even if you do everything right, you still might not be admitted.

      Your composite score is great, though! Given your undergraduate GPA, which is consistent with the median GPA of admitted students to top tier graduate programs, and professional experience (particularly if the papers being published are peer reviewed, which I assume is the case), you should be cautiously optimistic of your chances of admission to a top 50 school.

      Hope this helps!

  27. SB says:

    I took gre today and got 165 verbal, 160 quants. will i get into Cornell, U Michigan, Perdue or Princeton?

    • Bill says:


      A composite score of 325 is excellent! Congratulations! However, that score alone will not be enough to guarantee you admission to your graduate school of choice; remember that many other factors play a role in the admission process – undergraduate GPA, recommendations, professional experience, and extracurricular activities, among many other factors, are all items that might impact an admission decision, particularly for top 10 schools.

      Hope this helps!

  28. kirandeep says:

    I wanna persue phd program in abroad after completion of my mtech in engg. Please give me information about gre exam

    • Bill says:


      “GRE” stands for Graduate Record Examination; it is primarily used as an admissions test for graduate school. The GRE is broken down into three separate components: the Quantitative Reasoning section, the Verbal Reasoning Section, and the Analytical Writing Assessment. How important your GRE score will be to admission to your school and program of choice is entirely relative to the school or program to which you choose to apply. You can learn more about what constitutes a good GRE score here.

      Hope this helps!

  29. Jake says:

    Hi I have studied in BS electrical engineering and average GPA is 4.0/4.0. GRE score is 150 verbal, 161 Quant, and 3 writing. I have a few conference experience and accepted one journal(second author) and two post section abstract paper(first author). I think I got bad scores in GRE. I am still considering about retaking gre. Are these scores and experiences enough to apply Harvard, MIT, Sanford, and UT Austin or any kind of top 20 ranked school in us?

    • Bill says:


      If you are really serious about being admitted to the schools you listed, you should definitely take the GRE again. As I pointed out in another recent post, these types of schools typically expect their students to score above average (at least above average) on both sections of the GRE. If you could raise your VR score closer to a 155-160 and raise your QR score just slightly, you would greatly improve your chances of admission to a top tier graduate school.

      Hope this helps!

      • Prabu says:

        I did my GRE and got qty 159 and verbal 142 ,i am panning to apply for Mechanical Engineering Phd.It this score is sufficient .?

        • Bill says:


          The answer to this question is relative to the requirements of the schools and programs to which you will apply. Generally speaking, a Quantitative Reasoning score of 159 will meet the minimum requirements to apply to a top 10 school (note: “minimum requirements to apply” might be misleading in this case as most schools actually use these as suggested minimum requirements).

          All else being equal (in terms of GPA, recommendations, experience, etc.), you would improve your chances of admission to a good school by taking the GRE once more. You should also note that even as a potential Engineering PhD applicant, many top tier universities will have similar Verbal score minimum requirements (for example, the suggested minimum Verbal score for the UCLA Mechanical Engineering graduate program is above the 70th percentile – which translates to around a 155-156+).

          Hope this helps!

  30. Manish says:

    Hi Bill,
    I have a bachelor’s degree in Civil engineering with GPA 8.3/10
    Have 3 years of Experience in project planning & management with top construction company in India.
    My GRE score is 311 (167 Quant, 144 Verbal)
    TOEFL score is awaited.
    How should i proceed futher?

    • Bill says:


      Your Verbal score is below average; however, a high enough TOEFL score (100+) should demonstrate enough fluency in English to keep up in an academic setting. Otherwise, your Quantitative Reasoning score and undergraduate GPA are very good!

      The very next step in this process should be identifying the specific schools and programs you want to apply to. The step after that should be identifying the schools you should apply to (note: these are not always the same schools – things like cost, location, availability of aid/scholarship, and many others factors should be considered when selecting which schools you will apply to). Beyond that, you should begin identifying deadlines and application requirements. The easiest way to figure out what you need to do next is to start! Start by visiting the university webpages of the schools you will apply to.

      Hope this helps!

  31. Manish says:

    Hi bill,
    I want to pursue MS in construction management from US.
    Have 3 years Exp. with top company in India
    My GRE Score is 311 (167 Quant, 144 verbal)
    Grad’s : 3.25/4
    High school : 80%
    Reseach: 1 reserach paper publish and 2 competition won.
    Target university: Illinois Urbana, Texas Austin, Georgia.
    your opinion will be of extreme help.

    • Bill says:


      As listed here, your credentials would make you a competitive applicant to any of the universities you’ve listed – except for your GRE Verbal scores. Your GRE Verbal score is well below what would be considered acceptable for a US student applying to one of these three schools (for example, the usual GRE Verbal score requirement for the University of Illinois at Urbana is a 154); however – as an international applicant you will be given a certain amount of flexibility in this regard. My advice to you would be to prepare for and take the TOEFL, if you have not done so already.

      Hope this helps!

  32. Arshia says:

    Hi, and many thanks in advance for the time your putting to read this. Today I took the GRE exam (I live in far east by the way, that is Iran 🙂 ). Verbal was awful 151, Quantitative part was great 170, and AW is yet to be announced. Considering the fact that my TOEFL score is 116/120, and my GPA (in electrical engineering) is 3.4/4, I’m planning to apply for msc or doctoral program in universities ranked between 40 and 150. I’m really concerned about my GRE grade however, as I fear it would prevent me from getting an admission, so any professional thought is appreciated.

    • Bill says:


      Your TOEFL score should be high enough to assuage any concerns an admission officer might have about your ability to follow along in an English-speaking classroom, and your Quant. score should be high enough to earn you consideration for most programs. It sounds like your goals are realistic given your scores and GPA. You should be fine!

      Hope this helps!

  33. Sai says:

    GRE- 318 (169-Quant, 149-Verbal), AWA-4.5/6.0 , TOEFL-107 (27-R,29-L,27-S,24-W)
    Civil Engineering B.Tech final yr student from the top NIT in India… GPA is 8.90/10… with an internship at IISc… A research paper on the same is presented in the proceedings of a National conference which is now under consideration for being published in a journal. Another paper recently presented in a technical symposium (won a prize). Two mini projects during the industrial trainings at two govt. organisations. Involved in many extra-curricular and Social activities right from my school level. I’d like to apply for colleges like UIUC, UT Austin, Texas A&M, Purdue etc., Kindly evaluate my profile and honestly comment on my chances of getting into these universities… and please do suggestions about the other colleges which I can apply.

  34. Arshia says:

    Hi and thanks for any time you’re putting into reading my comment. I wanted to know your opinion about my scores, given that I’m from Iran (Far East, and no I’m not a terrorist, I’m friendly 🙂 ).
    TOEFL Score : 116
    GRE Scores : V=151, Q=170, AW=4
    GPA : 3.4
    I’m hoping to continue my studies in electrical engineering (electronics and devices), and I wanted to know your opinion about my chances and the universities I could have a shot at.
    Kindest Regards

  35. harshit vijayvargia says:

    Hi jason
    I gave my gre today and scored 320
    170- quant
    BE-7.5 CGPA
    ,I am applying for MIS programs so can a low score in verbal affect my credentials !!

  36. Jason says:


    I want to get into Stanford’s graduate engineering program (icme data science.

    GPA: 3.6
    GRE: 146v, 161q, 5w
    I have a lot of the math and computer science courses they are looking for. I also have some work experience.
    I’m worried that I wont get in due to my verbal reasoning being too low.
    Looking for your opinion. Will they understand that my verbal skills are good enough for the program based on my writing score or interview?

    Looking for suggestions and insights.

    • Bill says:


      Stanford is such a great school that even with such an excellent writing score, you will still be at a disadvantage due to your low verbal score. In this case, you should probably consider taking the GRE again. Don’t forget that if you take the GRE multiple times, you can always use Score Select so that you are sharing only your best GRE score for the purpose of admission.

      Hope this helps!

      • sanjeedha says:

        Can I get MS in software engineering for UTD with my gre score of 153 in verbal and 154 in Quant’s with a poor away score of 3.I have GPA of 3.71 in BE and 4 in masters

  37. Hawk says:

    Hi Bill,

    My GRE score (taken on 29/12/14) is Q: 159, V: 155, AWA is awaited. I have applied to UMich, UIUC and Caltech PhD programs in Mechanical Engineering. My IELTS is 8.0 (equivalent to a TOEFL of 110-114). Other factors are: BSc top 10%, MSc top 1%, recommendations, publications, work experience…etc.). Do I have a chance? Do I need to retake the GRE (next available is on 21/01/15 probably after committees convene!).

    Please advise. Thank you!

  38. RJ says:


    I want to pursue MS financial engineering or MS operations research.
    I wish to get into Columbia (MSOR) , NYU or UCLA (MFE).

    GRE : 316 (Quant: 161 ; Verbal: 155)
    Indian student
    10th – 92%
    12th- 83%
    5 year Dual degree of B.E + MBA from one of the top Indian universities.
    Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial) – 3.2/4
    MBA (Finance major) – 3.7/4
    Attended Summer school at London School of Economics – Finance (AF250)
    Few finance projects and engineering projects.

    Can you let me know what are my chances to get into any of the universities I mentioned?

    (I have not got my AWA scores yet.)

  39. Mayank Gupta says:

    My GRE score is 311(q 163 v148 awa3) and my Toefl score is 86(>20 in each section).
    Some universities have a minimum requirement of 80 and some have 90.
    Can u pleasse tell me how my Toefl is going to affect my profile in both the cases??

  40. Dilbert says:


    I’ve just received my GRE results, 164 QR, 153 VR, 4.0 AW, english being my 3rd language, I still got IELTS 8.5 band, with L 8.5 R 9.0 W 7.5 S 8.5. I graduated with an MSc in Aerospace Engineering, with a 2:1 on the English system.

    I aim for a phD in Aerospace eng. in a top 100 US university. Could you please tell me if I stand any chance?

    Thank you,

  41. Shah Dishant says:

    My gre score is 314(v-144 q-170), ielts- 7.5 band

    i want to pursue ms in either vlsi or wireless communications
    can you suggests some good universities where i could get admission?

    any help will be appreciated

  42. dishant says:

    have got 314 in GRE (v-144, q-170) ; IELTS- 7.5
    i am looking for some universities in VLSI or Wireless where i can get enrolled
    please suggest some universities.

    any help will be appretiated

  43. Aryal says:

    Hi I took the GRE exam today and got the scores: 145(verbal) and 165(Quant). Does my low verbal score hinder my acceptance for admission in universities? I want to go for electrical engineering and have a decent academics(9.03/10) and 3 research papers.Please help me regarding this.

    • Bill says:


      Are you an international student? If so, I would recommend supplementing your application with a TOEFL score. A high enough TOEFL score (100+) would go a long way toward assuring admission officers that you are fluent enough in English to keep up in an academic environment. Your Quantitative Reasoning score is great! As are your academics! The real concern here is demonstrating a sufficient command of English to keep up in an English-only classroom. It is only the truly top flight universities (think Stanford or Harvard) whose average engineering graduate student has Verbal Reasoning score better than 155/160; unless you are targeting this type of school, you should not worry too much about this.

      Hope this helps!

  44. ASHISH says:


  45. Eti says:

    Hey I got a GRE score of 328 verb- 160 quant-168 and AWA 3.5
    I am an international applicant(India), living in Tennesse with my husband right now, and planning for doing MS in computers.

    Is my AWA score really low. What colleges can I apply? are there some good colleges in Tennesse(Relocation would be a problem for us)??

  46. Lovlesh says:

    Hi. I recently took GRE and scored 167 in Quant and 150 in Verbal. Verbal didn’t go really well. I am yet to give TOEFL. I have got a GPA of 7.9/10 and got two year’s of work exp in the relevant field. I wish to apply for engineering courses in the top 10-20 U.S. universities for masters in Mech. Eng. Will I be able to get a Uni with the awful verbal score or I should consider retaking GRE?

  47. Surya says:

    Sir please evaluate my profile
    I have got 317 in GRE and 101 in TOEFL. I have my academic cgpa of 8.2(on a scale of 10). I have some financial issues. Can I get full scholarships and if so name some universities such that i can excel myself in studies and financial problems. Sir please get me out of this

  48. pratika says:

    I would like to do MS in chemistry.My GRE score is Q155 and V 141 awa 3. Will the verbal scores be drawback for getting admission into good university? and i would be applying for second masters in US which is thesis based. I have got 8/10 cgpa in masters from india and bachelors with 73% and 2 papers published.Is there any problem if i would like to do a second master?

  49. PDutta says:

    Hey So i gave my GRE in March and will be applying for Fall’16.My Split is up 170(Quants). +159(329).(Had an Off day with the Verbal RC’s)
    Since I’m targeting the top 15-20 programs,If i compensate for my RELATIVELY low Verbal score with a strong TOEFL one between 115-120 ,should it make a difference ?
    I got a 4 in the AWA btw.


    • PDutta says:

      I will be changing branches as well from ECE to CS(Data Sci).Will that cost me a couple of points as well?
      I have a few international conference publications(IEEE) and have taken many ML and Data Sc online courses as well.

  50. Prahlad says:

    I wrote GRE and got 307 i.e., V 145 and Q 162. Also, my IELTS score is 7 overall with L_8, R_6.5, W_6 and S_7. Are these enough to get into tier 2 and lower tier 1 universities. Electrical is my field of interest and I’m applying for fall 2016. I’m a bit considered about funding also.
    Not in a mood of retake.
    GRE 307
    GPA 7.52

    Can you suggest me some univ please.
    Thanks a lot for your time :-).

  51. raghu says:

    My gre score is 302 (quants-158 and verbal -144).I want to pursue Ms in engineering management from northeastern university. So is my gre score sufficient(as they have not mentioned anything about the verbal part) or should I take up the exam again? Or can I balance it out with my tofel scores which I am planning to take shortly.

  52. uttej says:

    Hi, took my gre a week back my verbal score-151, quant-153, awa-3.o, could you please suggest some universities. Taking my toefl in another week. Thanks in advance.

  53. Pol says:

    I scored 165Q, 164V and 4.0 AW, with a TOEFL iBT score of 105 (I’m an international student). I’m looking for top aerospace engineering programs (master’s and maybe PhD), an after some research I believe I’m in the average of top schools. Will my scores have a decent shot somewhere like MIT or Stanford?

  54. chaitanya says:

    hi,Ive got a GRE score of 318(q:170,v:148) AWA-3 and a Toefl score of 102/120.Ive got great acads 8.8/10 and decent extra curriculars.What are my chances of admission into the following universities for electrical engineering:
    1.Virginia Tech
    2.Purdue University
    3.North Carolina State University
    4.Texas A&M University
    Im worried about my low verbal score and AWA.So please suggest me some safe/moderate univs to apply and also my chances of admit into the above universities

  55. Rishabh says:

    Hi Bill,
    I have score 155 in Q 157 in V. CGPA 9.10/10. I have done two internships one in industry and another IISC, Bangalore in aerospace field. Could you please tell me which university I should look for admission for my MS in aerospace engineering? Thanks in advance

  56. Saad says:

    I am a Moroccan student and I took the GRE a week ago and got a score of Q-167 V-149. I’m on track to get a first class degree in a UK university. I want to apply for a master in a top flight university (Stanford, MIT, etc…). As I am not a native english speaker, should I take the TOEFL to make up for my low verbal score ?

  57. Soumojit Bose says:

    I gave my GRE today (Verbal- 157, Quant-161). What kind of colleges should I be aiming for?

    My profile is as follows:-

    Undergrad CGPA- 7.29/10 Master’s CGPA- 7.7/10 (2 semesters remaining)
    Internship:- 1 year at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology

    Journal Papers- 1 (Journal of Geophysical Research)

    International Conferences : Society of Photo-Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference on Remote Sensing and GIS (New Delhi)

    Have a good record of extra-curricular activities and sports having represented my country in an international tournament in cricket.
    I am an Electrical Engineering I am open to a Ph.D in both Atmospheric Sciences or Electrical Engineering. What colleges could I apply to?

  58. anil maity says:

    how should i prepare for gre or toefl????

    • Bill says:


      Practice, practice, practice. You’ll need to take at least one practice test to determine your relative areas of strength and weakness, after which you should focus on improving those areas of need. For formal preparation courses, our recommendation is Testmasters GRE coursee.

      Hope this helps!

  59. Antonion says:

    Hello, i study mining and metallurgy Engineering BSc and Materials Science and Engineering MSc, i have GPA 8.6/10 , TOEFL 98 and GRE 161 Quant =, 149 Verbal and 3.5 AWA,

    I have applied for a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in: Cornell, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Chicago, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Rochester University, University of Maryland, University of Kentucky, University of Notre Dame

    Do i have chances of being admitted in any of the above Universities??

    Thank you very much

  60. Manisha De says:


    I have scored a 318 in my GRE(v:152,quant:166). AWA yet to come.

    Acads: Class 10: 91%

    Class 12: 93.4 %

    CGPA(passout from NIT durgapur): 9.46

    Internship from CERN(European Organisation for Nuclear research)

    Working at Ericsson(currently)

    I want to apply for MS in Telecommunications in 2017 Fall.

    Which colleges can I get a scholarship in?

    I am aiming for Georgia Tech and maryland..

    Would it be possible to get into these colleges for me with a scholarship?

    • michael says:

      Hi Manisha!

      Unfortunately, we don’t have a list of all scholarships available to graduate students, but many schools have their own internal list of scholarships and fellowships they award. For example, Georgia Tech has a list here. I would definitely get in contact with prospective schools and ask if they have scholarships or grants available to students!

  61. Uday Kumar says:

    My GRE scores are pretty low (149V, 161Q ,Awa 4) . I have an undergrad cgpa of 8/10, work exp of 2yrs, 2 internships, pretty strong LORs, and I have done a project (not published). I want to pursue my MS in Electrical engineering (preferably power/ control systems).
    What are my chances of me getting into these universities listed below:
    1. University of Illinois – Urbana Champagne
    2. Columbia University
    3. Virginia polytech
    4. University of southern california
    5. University of maryland
    6. Penn state
    7. Rice University

    Please suggest some universities if the above ones appear highly ambitious.

    Thank you.

    • michael says:

      Hi Uday! The schools you listed are ambitious for any student, and based on our data, the average GRE quantitative score is around a 165 for these schools. Your 161 seems a little under that, but if your LORs, work experience, and project are strong enough, you may still have a good chance at admissions!

      • Uday Kumar says:

        Thanks Michael. My project and work experience (pretty strong) is in the field that I am applying for.

        Could you suggest me some moderately high/safe universities.

        Thanks in advance.

        • michael says:

          Hi Uday!
          Some schools with similar GRE Quant scores are UMass in Amherst, WashU in St. Louis, Syracuse, University of Houston, and UNC Chapel Hill. Of course, admissions officers will consider other aspects of your application, and no school is a guaranteed safety in terms of graduate schools, but you should consider applying to some of these schools as well!

  62. Anthony says:

    Hi. My profile is: Q164, V157, AWA4.5, TOEFL111, B.ENG 3.64/4, MSc3.94/4.
    Applying for a PhD in ECE at: UIUC, CMU, VT, ISU & CSU. Am I over-ambitious?

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