Best Online Master’s Programs with No GRE Requirements

Explore the best online master’s programs with no GRE requirements. Learn how you can stand out on your grad school application and increase your chances of getting accepted.

Once considered a universal requirement for grad school admission, the GRE no longer holds the sway it once did. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, prestigious schools like Princeton and other research institutions began dropping the exam as an admissions requirement. Since then, more colleges and universities, including those with flexible online programs, have followed suit to increase equity and access.

This is welcome news if you’ve been eyeing an online master’s degree but are dreading taking the GRE.

Ready to get started on your program search and learn more? The following guide will help you explore top-ranked schools and common fields of study with no-GRE online master’s programs. You’ll also learn strategies for standing out on your application that can make all the difference in getting into your dream program. Keep reading to learn more about no-GRE master’s programs available online that can propel your career forward.

Top No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in 2023

We’ve vetted the top no-GRE online master’s programs for 2023 to help save you time in your search and know what to look for in a quality program. Using key selection criteria like accreditation, number of programs offered, and overall affordability, we’ve spotlighted several colleges offering top-notch, online no-GRE master’s programs in a variety of disciplines. Find out which schools stand out and learn more about how their programs work below.

University of Arizona, Global Campus

The University of Arizona’s Global campus offers accessible and flexible online master’s programs in business, education, healthcare, and other disciplines. Designed for busy adult learners and other nontraditional students, these programs do not require the GRE, GMAT, or other entrance exams. Prospective students simply submit a no-fee application along with transcripts, financial aid information, and transfer documentation for any previously-earned credits. UAGC accepts up to 90 transfer credits and extends for-credit opportunities for relevant work and life experience.

Courses for UAGC’s online, no-GRE master’s programs come in five- or six-week increments. The school lets full-time students take one course at a time, which means you can move through your program at a pace that fits your circumstances. These programs use asynchronous delivery methods as well, so students and working professionals can access the material anytime, anywhere.

No GRE Online Master’s

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Arts in Education (MA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MS)
  • Master of Science in Technology Management (MS)
  • + Many Others

Eastern Carolina University

Students enrolled in Eastern Carolina University’s online no-GRE graduate programs earn degrees in art, education, nursing, technology, and public health. The school administers each program using flexible and accommodating learning technologies that make it easy to balance studies with work, life, and other commitments. ECU also maintains a dedicated online student services team to help onboard new students and assist returning ones throughout their courses of study. Resources include online readiness guides, email assistance, and a help hotline.

ECU caters to transfer students and runs each course of study as a degree completion program. Admissions staff expect applicants to bring in outside credits earned at a two-year school or similar institution. Specifics vary by individual program, but most extend multiple start dates throughout the year.

No GRE Online Master’s

  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Master of Education (MAEd)
  • Master in Instructional Technology (MS)
  • Master of Environmental Health (MSEH)
  • Master of Library Science (MLS)
  • + Many Others

Colorado State University

Colorado State University’s online no-GRE master’s programs focus on business, communications, agricultural and nutritional science, education, and engineering. Students in each program benefit from the same curricula, academic standards, and award-winning faculty as the school’s campus-based programming. CSU uses an intuitive learning management system that balances real-time, synchronous activities with asynchronous material and self-paced content students complete at their convenience.

Most CSU students finish their online, no-GRE master’s degrees in just two years, and over 95% begin work in their field immediately following graduation. Student support resources at CSU include an around-the-clock technology helpdesk, a writing center with online consultation options, off-campus library access, and assistive technology services. The school also extends special benefits to veterans and military personnel who plan to complete their studies online.

No GRE Online Master’s

  • Master of Agricultural Science (M.Agr.)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Communications and Media Management (MCMM)
  • Master of Dietetics (MS)
  • Master of Civil Engineering (ME)
  • + Many Others

Deciding which master’s degree is right for you involves determining what professions are the best fit and which special skills you want to obtain or develop. This section delves into some of the most popular online graduate programs that don’t require the GRE and what each one covers to help you understand more about how they could help you advance your career.

  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)

  • Graduates with an MPA degree focus on management in nonprofits, government agencies, and other organizations that promote civil service for the common good. Most work in public policy, strategic planning, or a similar field as implementation experts or project managers. Schools like the University of New Hampshire and the University of Central Florida offer online, no-GRE MPAs and some provide special pathways for applicants with relevant professional experience. Specializations include public affairs and finance.

  • Master of Social Work (MSW)

  • If you’re interested in landing a role as a case manager, social worker, or community counselor, you may want to consider an online MSW with no GRE requirement. Students at Regis College and the University of Northern Alabama often finish their programs in as few as 16 months, gaining key skills in macro– or micro-level practice with specific groups and populations. Working professionals with a background in social work can fast-track their degrees in some cases.

  • Master of Public Health (MPH)

  • Quality schools like Baylor, the University of North Carolina, and many others offer online MPH programs with no GRE requirement. These programs prepare students for work as epidemiologists and healthcare administrators. Popular concentrations in this field include nutrition, organizational leadership, dietetics, and applied epidemiology. MPH programming often includes applied fieldwork at an approved site. Most programs accommodate online students by furnishing a placement in their home locations.

  • Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)

  • An SLP master’s degree readies students for work as hearing specialists or certified speech-language pathologists. Online SLP programs with no GRE requirement can be found at colleges like Nova Southeastern and the University of Arizona. SLP programs focus on diagnostic procedures and rehabilitation techniques in audiology and communication science. Typical curricula also include clinical practicum experiences that could lead to employment after graduation. Some programs offer additional certifications in areas like bilingual pediatrics.

  • Master’s in Psychology

  • A versatile course of study ideal for prospective clinicians, educators, and researchers, an online master’s in psychology develops knowledge foundations in human behavior. Students learn to apply key psychological principles in a range of social, personal, and corporate contexts as counselors, therapists, or consultants. National University and Southern New Hampshire University are two examples of accredited universities that offer no-GRE online master’s in psychology programs. They include concentrations like forensic psychology, developmental psychology, human behavior, and industrial/organizational psychology.

  • Master’s in Human Resources

  • Human resources professionals manage staff for their organizations. Their responsibilities include coordinating employee benefits, overseeing interviewing and onboarding, and maintaining personnel files. An online, no-GRE master’s degree in HR qualifies you for high-level roles and leadership positions that could involve strategic planning and other aspects of corporate governance. Rutgers and Pepperdine both offer affordable and flexible HR master’s programs designed to deepen your skills in business and human resource management.

  • Master’s in Special Education

  • A special education master’s degree equips schoolteachers for specialized work with students who have physical, mental, or emotional challenges. Institutions like Seton Hill and Salem State University administer their programs through an online, no-GRE format with opportunities for advanced study and integrated classroom experiences. Most schools accept students on a part-time basis, the ideal pathway for those already working in K-12 schools. With few exceptions, applicants must hold an active, unencumbered teaching license.

  • Master’s in Counseling

  • Therapists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals all need a solid background in counseling basics before they can obtain licensure for practice. Earning an online master’s in counseling with no GRE requirements from schools like the University of Denver and the University of North Dakota makes you an eligible candidate. These programs provide a high-level overview of the counseling field broadly conceived and offer individual specializations in areas like addiction counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and school counseling.

  • Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)

  • A no-GRE, online MHA gives those already working in healthcare administration the opportunity to advance their skills and qualify for higher-level management and leadership positions. As the healthcare industry continues to grow, demand for contemporary professionals who can help their organizations provide excellent healthcare and run smoothly will also increase. Maryville University and Ohio University are just a few of the colleges that offer online MHA degrees with no GRE requirements.

How to Stand Out When Applying to a No-GRE Online Master’s

Without a GRE score to indicate a student’s readiness, online graduate programs with no GRE requirements turn to other criteria to inform their evaluation. That means that other application components (e.g., essays, reference letters, etc.) are likely weighed more heavily. Focusing on the following areas can help you submit an eye-catching admissions application when a GRE isn’t required.

  • 1. Work Experience

  • Professional experience can set you apart, especially if it’s directly relevant to your field of study. If you plan to earn an online no-GRE MBA, for example, highlighting your practical work experience in business settings or the corporate sector could increase your chances for admission. Work experience not only shows you’re already invested in the field but also corroborates the knowledge and skills you’ll draw upon in the program. This is also true in other applied or technical fields like healthcare or information technology. If you have relevant experience, be sure to highlight it in your application.

  • 2. Undergrad GPA

  • Without GRE scores, your undergrad GPA becomes one of the easiest ways to objectively quantify your preparedness. Admissions officials may use it to weigh your readiness, especially if you earned a bachelor’s degree in the same field you plan to pursue in grad school, since your success with the material at the entry level is a good indicator of how you’ll perform in a more specialized setting. If you’re still in college, plan ahead by prioritizing your GPA to demonstrate a track record of academic success.

  • 3. Personal Statement/Essay

  • The written essay or personal statement is a key component for any admissions application, especially with online no-GRE master’s programs. The admissions essay is your chance to advocate for yourself as an applicant and speak in your own voice. The best personal statements give the entire application greater cohesion by offering a narrative that not only discusses your qualifications but also shows how they align with the school, program, and your professional goals. Take this essay seriously and closely follow any instructions (e.g., some may include specific questions or writing prompts) provided in the application.

  • 4. References and Letters of Recommendation

  • Most no-GRE online graduate programs ask for two or three references or letters of recommendation. Choose these individuals wisely since your references act as outside parties who can speak to your qualifications, academic performance, and readiness for study. The best letters come from teachers, colleagues, and supervisors. Reach out to potential references well in advance and, if you’re able, discuss your intentions and long-term goals with them. This provides additional context and gives them the opportunity to ask any questions. If you’re comfortable, share your essay or personal statement with them as well.

  • 5. Volunteer Experience

  • Pertinent volunteer experience demonstrates your familiarity with your discipline and indicates a willingness to go above and beyond when needed. Relevance is key here. Listing every single volunteer opportunity you’ve completed since high school isn’t appropriate. Discussing your experience volunteering at a community health clinic may not improve your standing as an IT applicant, for example, unless you helped with technology while you were there. Showcase the experiences that directly relate to your prospective course of study and illustrate what you bring to the table as an applicant. If you’re still in college, consider locating a few relevant volunteer opportunities you can complete before you apply to graduate school.

Frequently Asked Questions About No GRE Online Master’s Programs

Are online master’s programs that don’t need GRE scores of lower quality?

The absence of GRE scores in online master’s programs doesn’t necessarily indicate lower quality. Many reputable, respected, and accredited universities offer online master’s programs that don’t require GRE scores for admission. The decision to omit the GRE requirement is often based on a holistic evaluation of applicants, considering factors such as work experience, academic achievements, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. Some schools may prioritize real-world experience and professional qualifications over standardized test scores. When assessing the quality of prospective online no-GRE programs, use the same selection criteria you would for other programs, focusing on accreditation, reputation, the strength of curriculum, flexibility, and affordability.

Is it easier to get into grad programs that don’t require the GRE?

The no-GRE designation simply means admissions officials are using different criteria to attract prospective students and evaluate application materials. Many esteemed and competitive programs don’t require the GRE but still maintain a thorough and rigorous admissions process. Take extra care to ensure that each component of your application is accurate, complete, and compelling even if you aren’t asked to submit GRE scores.

For online master’s programs that still need GRE scores, is there any way to get the requirement waived?

Waiver policies vary widely, but many schools extended waiver opportunities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to do so. It’s worth asking about even if it’s not explicitly advertised on program mailers or websites. Seattle University, for example, accepts GRE waivers for its online graduate programs in business. Other schools like the University of Mississippi and the University of Cincinnati use similar policies for graduate programs in fields like hospitality management, sports analytics, and information technology.

Is it worth submitting my GRE scores even if a grad program doesn’t require them?

Although it could be worth discussing further with an admissions representative, especially if you already have recent scores in hand, it likely won’t be beneficial. If they aren’t requested, there’s a good chance they won’t be a factor if you include them anyway. A good rule of thumb is to only consider submitting your GRE scores if they are truly excellent. Submitting average or low scores when they aren’t required could backfire and negatively impact your admission chances.