What GRE Scores Do You Need for Yale? GRE Requirements

How high do your GRE scores need to be to get you accepted into Yale? Yale is one of the country’s most prestigious universities and, as you might imagine, competition is tough to get into its graduate programs. In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about Yale GRE scores, including the average GRE scores of accepted students for various Yale grad programs, which grad programs Yale is best known for, how you can figure out the GRE scores you need to get accepted, and what else Yale considers when it looks at your application.


What Grad Programs Is Yale Known For?

Yale University has just under 7,000 grad students enrolled (which is higher than its undergrad enrollment), and many of its graduate programs are among the top in the country. In the US News’ 2019 rankings of schools, Yale ranked in the top ten for the following grad programs:

  • Biology (#6)
  • Chemistry (#9)
  • Economics (#1)
  • English (#8)
  • Fine Arts (#1)
  • History (#1)
  • Law (#1)
  • Mathematics (#9)
  • Nursing (#4)
  • Political Science (#4)
  • Psychology (#4)

Yale’s economics, fine arts, history, and law programs are especially well regarded, and they are each often ranked as #1 in the US.

As you probably expect from a school with so many top programs, admissions to Yale are very competitive. Most students have GRE scores well above the national average of 150 on the Verbal section and 153 on the Quantitative section. Average GRE scores for accepted Yale students tend to be from 155-165 for Verbal and 160-167 for Quant. These scores correspond to about the 69th to 96th percentiles for Verbal scores and the 76th to 92nd percentiles for Quant scores. However, Yale average GRE scores depend a lot on which school/program you’re applying to, which we discuss more in the next section.


What Are the Yale Average GRE Scores?

Below is a chart showing the average GRE scores of accepted applicants for different Yale graduate programs. Also included in the chart is any minimum required GRE scores, the average GPA of accepted students, the program/school’s acceptance rate, and its ranking by US News.

Programs that don’t accept GRE scores (such as the law school, medical school, and fine arts school) aren’t included in this chart, but programs that accept the GRE as well as other standardized tests are included, such as Yale’s School of Management, which accepts GRE or GMAT scores.

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Not every program provided every piece of information, and not every graduate program at Yale calucates or provides admissions statistics. If the program you’re interested in isn’t included below, you can look for a similar program in the chart to get a general idea of the average GRE score. For example, if you want to apply to Yale’s Microeconomics program, you can estimate that the average GRE scores for that program are close to the average GRE scores for the International and Development Economics program.

School or Program Average GRE Quant Score Average GRE Verbal Score Average Cumulative GRE Score Average GPA of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate US News Rank
Computer Science 166 162 328 20th
East Asian Studies Minimum score of 308 required 4th
Engineering Master’s) 167 155 322 39th
Engineering (PhD) 167 157 324 39th
International and Development Economics 165 159 324 17% 5th
Yale School of Management 163 165 328 3.71 20% 11th
Physician’s Associate Program 163 156 319 3.72 14% 20th
Department of Psychology 167 162 329 3.80 2.5% 3rd



What’s a Good GRE Score for Yale University?

Your goal GRE score for Yale University will depend on which grad program you want to attend there. In the chart above, average cumulative GRE scores range from 319 to 329, or an average of about 159 to 165 for both Verbal and Quant. Certain programs have higher average GRE scores, and some programs have higher average Quant scores than Verbal scores, or vice versa. For example, Yale’s Master’s of Engineering program has an average Quant score of 167, but an average Verbal score of only 155, which makes sense since, as a STEM-focused Master’s program, you’ll be using STEM skills more than verbal skills.

In order to figure out the Yale GRE scores you should be aiming for, we recommend you find the average GRE scores for the program you want to apply to in the chart above. If your program isn’t listed in the chart, look at the GRE scores of the closest program to it, or look up GRE scores of programs with a similar US News ranking. Then, add 2-3 points to both the Verbal and Quant scores. These are your goal scores.

For example, if you want to apply to Yale’s Master of Science in Nursing program, you’ll find that they don’t list average GRE scores. However, you can get an estimate by looking at average GRE scores of Yale’s Physician’s Associates Program, which, like nursing, relates to the medical field. Yale’s PA program has an average Quant score of 163 and an average Verbal score of 156. This gives you a rough idea of what to aim for, as well as knowing that the nursing program likely wants to see higher Quant scores than Verbal scores. You can refine this estimate by looking at a similarly-ranked nursing program at a different school.

Yale’s Master of Nursing program is ranked 8th by US News, so we can look at the average GRE scores of the Master of Nursing program ranked just below Yale’s: Columbia University’s. Columbia’s program expects GRE scores higher than 150 on Verbal and 153 on Quant. Putting the information we found together, we can estimate that people applying to Yale’s Master’s of Nursing program should aim for a Verbal Score of about 155 (the average of the two scores we found plus two points) and a Quant score of about 160.

If you’re applying to a Yale program that doesn’t have the GRE scores of any similar programs listed in the chart above, you can find the GRE scores of similar programs at two different schools and make your estimate from that. For example, if you want to get a PhD in English at Yale, you’d find schools with English PhD programs ranked similarly to Yale’s program (ranked 8th). Cornell, whose English PhD program is also ranked 8th, wants a GRE Verbal score of at least 163 (no average Quant scores are given). Duke, whose English PhD program is ranked 13th, has an average Verbal score of 162 and an average Quant score of 149. Since Duke’s program is ranked lower than Yale’s, you may want to add one or two points to its averages to make up for the lower ranking. Then average those scores with Cornell’s Verbal score and add two points to each. That gives you a goal score of about 165 for Verbal and 153 for Quant.

Adding a few points to the average GRE scores of accepted students ensures that you’ll be high enough above the average that your GRE scores will be a strength, not a weakness, on your application, but it doesn’t set the bar so high that you’re spending too much time preparing for the GRE at the expense of other parts of your application.


How Important Are GRE Scores for Getting Into Yale?

Knowing average Yale GRE scores is important for getting a general idea of what your goal GRE score should be, but don’t think that they’re the key to getting into Yale. GRE scores are an important part of your application, but even a perfect GRE score won’t be enough to get you admitted if your application is very weak in other areas.

For example, Yale’s Department of Psychology has average GRE scores of 167 in Quant and 162 in Verbal. These are high scores, but they’re achievable if you have a smart GRE study plan. However, because the acceptance rate for the program is incredibly low (2.5%), you’ll need more than just stellar GRE score to get accepted since you can assume you’re competing with the best of the best.

In general, graduate programs, including Yale’s, care more about your undergraduate transcript, research/work experiences, and letters of recommendation than GRE scores when they make admissions decisions. These are what you should spend most of your time honing in order to have the best chance of getting into Yale. It also means that, if you have low GRE scores but are outstanding in another area, such as research you’ve done or work experience you have, you still have a solid chance of being admitted.

However, if you have a score that’s significantly below the average score of admitted students for that program, it may make the admissions committee doubt if you’re really capable of excelling at Yale. You want to meet your goal score but not neglect other areas of your application by studying too much for the GRE. Your time will be better spent creating an application that’s strong across the board.



Summary: Yale GRE Scores

Yale is one of the most competitive schools in the country, so it’s unsurprising that Yale average GRE scores are high regardless of what graduate program you’re interested in applying to. The average Yale University computer science GRE score is 166 for Quant and 162 for Verbal. Average Yale clinical psychology GRE scores are 167 for Quant and 162 for Verbal.

Many programs don’t post their average GRE scores, but you can get an estimate by looking at the average GRE scores of similar programs at Yale or looking at the average GRE scores of similarly-ranked programs at other schools. Your goal GRE score for Yale University should be 2-3 points higher than the average GRE score for both the Verbal and Quant sections. This ensures your GRE scores are high enough to get you accepted.

However, your grad school application is much more than just your GRE scores. You’ll also need a strong college transcript, excellent letters of recommendation, and relevant research/work experience in order to show Yale that you’re an applicant worthy of admission.


What’s Next?

Need some study tips to meet your Yale GRE score? We’ve got you covered! Check out our guide to the 34 GRE tips and strategies you need to know.

Recommendation letters are another important part of your Yale grad school application. Learn the best way to get grad school recommendation letters by reading our guide!

Want more information on how the GRE works? We cover everything you need to know about what’s on the GRE and what the exam pattern is in our in-depth guides.

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Author: Christine Sarikas

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.