The University of Pittsburgh School of Education will no longer require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores for its graduate admissions.
Effective this academic term, the decision applies to all master’s, EdD, and PhD programs in the school, with the exception of a dual-degree Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management program offered in collaboration with Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.
“After school-wide discussions about the useability and reliability of GRE scores, our School of Education has agreed to eliminate this requirement from our application processes and admissions decisions, effective fall 2020,” says Valerie Kinloch, the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the Pitt School of Education. “Moving forward, our school community will engage in holistic reviews and humanizing evaluations of applications that will allow us to recruit, retain, and collaborate with a more diverse, engaged, and talented group of students.”
The GRE decision follows a year-long review by the school’s executive committee, senior leadership team, and faculty across all departments.
The Pitt School of Education is among many universities across the country that have eliminated this standardized test requirement from admissions. Within Pitt, more than 90 graduate programs have dropped the GRE requirement.
Critics contend the GRE test is a barrier to access to education and is a poor indicator of future student success.
“The GRE has been found to underpredict graduate school outcomes for minoritized students and to weakly predict graduate school outcomes for any student,” says T. Elon Dancy II, the school’s Associate Dean for Equity and Justice and Executive Director of the Center for Urban Education.
In 2014, the Pitt School of Education removed the GRE test requirement as part of the application and admission processes for its revised EdD program. Also, some of the school’s master’s programs had already revised their admissions requirements by not requiring the GRE test. This most recent action removes the GRE from the other graduate programs.
“This decision is a part of Pitt Education’s efforts to attract and enroll a wider range of graduate and professional students. The continued excellence of our graduate programs depends crucially on our ability to attract talented students from all backgrounds and identities. I am delighted that our faculty and senior leaders have decided that our applicant pools may be richer and deeper without this requirement,” says Shederick McClendon, Assistant Dean for Student Engagement in the Pitt School of Education.
On this decision, Kinloch explains, “By eliminating the GRE test requirement, we are living out the powerful words of our school’s mission-vision statement, which calls on every member of our school community to work to innovate and agitate and to disrupt and transform inequitable educational structures. The decision to eliminate the GRE scores from our admissions should, hopefully, expand access to prospective students who otherwise might be denied opportunities to access and engage in transformative educational experiences.”
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