Pitt Public Health no longer requiring GRE for MPH, other programs


Pitt Public Health is no longer requiring GRE scores for applicants to our MPH programs, recomitting to a long-held value of holistic admissions. We are committed to creating the best possible learning environment to educate our next generation of public health leaders and removing this barrier for our applicants allows us to build a richer and more inclusive group of future public health leaders. 

Many other schools at Pitt, schools of public health, and other programs nationwide are also re-evaluating their use of the GRE amidst a national decline in graduate enrollment. The GRE creates a barrier for would-be students applying to graduate programs and there is no clear evidence of a relationship between GRE scores and outcomes such as GPA, graduation rates, employment outcomes, productivity, or publications. We also found that the exam under-predicts the success of minority students and women in graduate programs, thereby systemically disadvantaging underrepresented applicants. The largest barrier faced by test takers is financial, not only through the cost of the test itself but also through preparation materials and travel to testing centers.

The elimination of the GRE requirement allows programs further flexibility to define their own admissions criteria. Each program can decide to retain the GRE as a requirement, although many certificates and other degree programs have also decided to remove the requirement. While Pitt Public Health has long practiced holistic admissions looking at the entire application and not focusing strongly on test scores allows us to better achieve our mission of promoting health, preventing disease, and striving to achieve health equity for everyone through excellence in leadership, education, research, and service. "The holistic admission process seeks to understand applicants as whole persons, including their intellectual abilties and character, and how they would contribute to and benefit from a specific program," said BCHS' Patricia Documet ('95, '02), associate professor and director of the doctoral program in BCHS. 

The school will now work to evaluate the impact and help ensure that admissions committees are fully utilizing the principles of holistic admissions.  

Applications for fall 2021 are open now through SOPHAS.



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