Last Updated on November 20, 2021
GRE is one of the important admission criteria for MS in USA. Generally, GRE is required to be cleared for admission to the graduate programs (MS and PhD). However, there are several applicants who ask if they can pursue MS in USA without GRE. Well, there are a few good programs that take students waiving the requirement for GRE scores. In this post, we will look at the best MS Biotechnology and Biomedical programs in the US that do not require GRE.
Why is GRE Important for MS Admissions?
Applicants are supposed to have a good GPA, write an effective statement of purpose (SOP), and submit letters of recommendation as well. Relevant research or work experience is an added advantage. However, the majority of universities also require GRE scores as a mandatory component. So, why do universities ask for GRE scores?
GRE score is basically a filtration tool for shortlisting or screening applications. After all, students and professionals from all over the world apply for a particular program. How would the school know the candidate is good enough to get admission? Additionally, the GRE score is also critical when it comes to awarding scholarships and other forms of financial aid.
Not all US universities might know how good or average were the courses a candidate studied back in their home country. For example, MS Nanomedicine and MS Bioinformatics at Boston University and MS Bioinformatics Rochester Institute of Technology waive off the GRE exam for domestic students. But, for international students, GRE is a mandatory component.
GRE is a standardized test that treats everyone equally, giving a fair chance to all to prove their mettle.
Why do Candidates Skip GRE?
There are many candidates who skip this part and focus their attention on universities that waive the requirement of GRE scores. Then there are many candidates who might have appeared for GRE (even multiple times), but, failed to score a good GRE score. Then there are candidates who start the application process too late. They have no time left to take the GRE. For them, there is no other option, but to opt for a university that does not require GRE so that they don’t miss out on admission for that year.
MS Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences/Engineering in USA
Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical industries are one of the biggest industries in the US. Masters programs (MS and PSM) are extremely popular. Read MS vs PSM Biotechnology – Which is Better?
Courses are very flexible and provide lot of industrial opportunities through Co-op and internships. Additionally, there more than 200 good universities to choose from in the US. Finally, some of the biggest biotech-pharma hubs of the world are based out of the US.
GRE is a Mental Blockade for a few Biotechnology and Life Sciences Students
For many prospective MS applicants, standardized tests are among the toughest U.S. university admissions hurdles. However, things are a little more serious when it comes to biotechnology and life sciences programs.
For the majority of students from biotechnology and life sciences, GRE is also a mental blockade because of Math, and even English in a few cases. Face it, a good proportion of biotechnology and life science students are either not too strong in Math or they haven’t been in touch with Math since Class 12 or Class 10.
In India, the majority of undergraduate programs in Pharmacy, Biotechnology, and related disciplines involve Math for only one semester (usually, in the first year). So, it creates a mental blockade as well for several candidates who want to apply for MS Biotechnology or Biomedical programs in the US.
Finally, there are a few folks who do not take the exams out of sheer laziness, or maybe they suffer from fear of exams/failure.
MS in USA without GRE
Now, there are a few universities that do not require GRE at all for MS programs. Many universities think that GRE scores shouldn’t really come in the way of getting admission to an MS program.
They further argue that GRE test is really expensive and it shouldn’t matter if an applicant has relevant experience in the field, a high GPA score along with a solid SoP and a strong recommendation letter.
In fact, the Admission Head for MS Analytics at North Carolina State University stated that “We have found that there is no correlation between students’ scores on these exams (GRE/GMAT) and their success in our program.“ Read the full interview.
I would strongly suggest that taking the GRE exam is advantageous if you are serious about pursuing MS in USA. Firstly, it opens up a lot of options. After all, there are not many top universities that waive off the GRE score requirement. Besides, just because GRE is not mandatory for a particular university/program, it doesn’t mean that students with GRE scores will not apply to that program. Many universities state that the GRE score is not mandatory, but it is desirable. So, in that case, your admission chances might suffer if other applicants have good GRE scores.
However, if you are really keen on pursuing MS without GRE, make sure your other components (GPA, SoP, work/research experience, LoRs etc.) are pretty solid. Additionally, you might also need to find thesis/research supervisors before you submit your applications.
Below is the list of the top MS Biotechnology / Biomedical Programs in the US that do not require GRE.
MS Biotechnology & Biomedical Science in USA without GRE
Brown University (MS BioMed: Biotechnology)
The MS Biotechnology program at Brown does not require GRE. Brown is an Ivy League school and it’s a great program.
The graduate program is offered by the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology and is designed for students interested in a range of topics related to the field of biotechnology, including drug and gene delivery, prosthetic devices, cancer therapeutics, vascular grafts, tissue engineering, disease diagnostic assays, and bioartificial organs.
Available Specializations and Areas of Research:
- Cancer therapeutics
- Functional imaging
- Cardiovascular research
- Stem cell technology
- Biomaterials for cell and tissue growth
- Drug and gene delivery
- Pharmaceutical technology
Fall Application Deadline: April 15
Johns Hopkins University (MS Biotechnology)
The MS Biotechnology program at JHU is a comprehensive exploration of basic science, applied science, and lab science, with an industry focus. The program gives you a solid grounding in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, genomics, and proteomics.
For this program, GRE is not required but the admissions committee reserves the right to request a GRE score to evaluate an application.
University of Wisconsin-Madison (MS Biotechnology)
One of the unique features of the MS Biotechnology program at UWM is the diversity and experience of the student cohort entering each year. For this reason, students with several years of work experience are strongly favored for admission. This program does not require GRE.
Fall Application Deadline: May 1
University of Wisconsin-Madison (MS Comparative Biomedical Sciences)
It’s an excellent program that focuses on interdisciplinary research across the broad field of biomedical sciences. The Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBMS) graduate program emphasizes an integrated approach to contemporary biology that combines molecular and cellular techniques with the analysis of complex whole animal systems.
The core research areas are:
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Medical Technology
- Infectious Diseases
GRE score is not required but may be considered if available. Applications are judged on the basis of previous academic record, graduate record exam (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation, and the personal statement.
Additionally, before admission, most students must be accepted by an eligible program faculty member who agrees to serve as the major supervisor for an MS thesis research.
Fall Application Deadline: January 1
Duke University (MS Biomedical Sciences)
MS Biomedical Sciences is a full-time 11-month master’s degree program at the Duke University School of Medicine. The curriculum integrates graduate-level human biological sciences with skill development in critical thinking, communication, and teamwork.
Standardized tests (e.g. GRE, MCAT, DAT) are not required to be eligible for admission. However, any reported scores will be available to the admissions committee.
Fall Application Deadline: January 3 (Priority Deadline) / February 10 (Final Deadline)
Northwestern University (MS Biotechnology)
Northwestern’s Master of Biotechnology Program (MBP) is an extensive research program. The program involves extensive laboratory research, integrated coursework, training in current industry practices, and the soft skills necessary to excel in business prepare MS graduates to address and lead advances in healthcare, industrial biotechnology, biofuels, cleantech, and more.GRE is not required for MS Biotechnology at Northwestern.
It’s a great program for those who are looking to do a Ph.D. straightaway after MS, and also for the students who want a job after the course completion. The courses can be finished in 15 months without an internship. With the internship, the course is of 21-month duration.
Fall Application Deadline: May 31
Boston University (MS Biomedical Research Technologies)
The MS Biomedical Research Technologies program at BU is an excellent combination of theoretical concepts and practical applications. This program will prepare future experts with a solid grasp of principles underlying a research core’s operation and its relevance to an array of biomedical problems, as well as with the technical skills to implement these technologies.
Core learning areas include such as flow cytometry, imaging, metabolic function, or proteomics, in addition to electives offered in areas related to the Science behind the Technology, Business Management, and Clinical/Translational Research. Graduates will be able to apply ongoing and new emerging technologies to biomedical research in highly competitive research settings, whether in the pharmaceutical industry or academia.
GRE is NO longer required (only optional).
Fall Application Deadline: December 2 / Jan 15
University of Maryland (MS in Cellular & Molecular Biomedical Science)
The Cellular and Molecular Biomedical Science (CMBS) MS Program at the University of Maryland (School of Medicine) is one of the best programs for biomedical sciences in the US. The program emphasizes medically-relevant scientific research and education, utilizing state-of-the-art resources.
The CMBS MS Program combines traditional areas of biomedical study, including molecular and cell biology, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, cancer biology, and genomics into a unique interdisciplinary graduate training program.
The program is specifically designed to develop scientists for the post-genomic era. CMBS graduates will gain knowledge, research skills, and familiarity with modern biomedical tools and methodologies to solve real-world problems in biomedical science.
It’s a great program for anyone – PhD aspirants and those who wish to go for industrial and academic jobs after MS. Students can choose either thesis or non-thesis option.
GRE test scores are not required to apply to the CMBS MS program.
Fall Application Deadline: April 1 (Priority) / June 1 (Final)
New York University (MS Biotechnology & MS Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship)
Both MS Biotechnology and MS Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship at NYU do not require GRE scores. There are ample research/internship opportunities available at NYU and also at big Pharmaceutical companies and Biotech startups.
Fall Application Deadline: February 15
UC Santa Barbara (MS Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology)
The MCDB graduate program at UCSB is a top-notch program, and also has strong industrial links. It’s located close to one of the biggest biotech-pharma hubs in the US. The program offers research opportunities in the following areas:
- Microbiology and Immunology
- Plant Biology
- Biochemistry and Biomaterials
- Genetics and Genomics
- Cell Biology
- Biomedical Sciences
- Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
- Systems and Quantitative Biology
GRE is not required, at least for Fall 2020-2021.
Fall Application Deadline: February 24
Georgetown University (MS Biotechnology)
The MS in Biotechnology program at Georgetown focuses on developing leadership skills, teamwork and entrepreneurship that are essential for career success. The MS Biotechnology program offers track options in BioBusiness, BioScience, Drug Design and Discovery, Entrepreneurship, and Industrial Sciences as well as flexibility for an Individualized Track.
A highlight of the program is the capstone internship, which allows students to gain the desired work experience. Internship opportunities are available in all the tracks that include research in industry, academic, and government laboratories and in business development, marketing, commercialization, finance, regulatory affairs, and technology transfer. These will be unpaid internships and will be of 13 – 14 weeks in duration.
Fall Application Deadline: May 15
University of Rochester (MS Biology)
The GRE test is optional. The Department does not require a minimum score for the GRE general exam.
Fall Application Deadline: December 1
Wake Forest University (MS Biomedical Engineering and MS Biomedical Science)
Applicants need to check with the Department and Program Directors regarding the GRE waiver. GRE is not a mandatory component for admissions. But, unofficial reports may be used for application review.
Fall Application Deadlines: January 5 / April 1 / June 1
San Francisco State University (MS Biology)
The Department of Biology at San Francisco State University offers programs that cover the natural world to prepare you for professional careers in education, environmental consulting, governmental agencies, biotechnology, health professions, and more. These programs are designed to incorporate hands-on mentored research training with rigorous course-work to provide an effective springboard to further professional training (Ph.D., M.D., etc.).
- MS Cell and Molecular Biology
- MS Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
- MS Marine Biology
- MS Microbiology
- MS Physiology and Behavior Biology
- PSM Biotechnology
- PSM Stem Cell Science
Fall Application Deadline: February 1
GRE Waiver on a Case to Case Basis at Penn and Purdue
The PSM Biotechnology program at the University of Pennsylvania and the MS in Biotechnology Innovation & Regulatory Science (Hybrid) program at Purdue University can also waive off the GRE requirement in some cases. You need to contact the Departments directly for that.
Other Top MS Biomedical Science and Biomedical Engineering Programs that Do Not Require GRE
MS Biomedical – University of Pittsburgh (Deadline – Jun 1)
PSM Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology – UMass Lowell (Rolling Admissions)
MS Biomedical Research Technologies – University of Cincinnati (Deadline – Feb 1)
MS Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology – UC Santa Cruz (Deadline – Apr 1)
MS Biotechnology – University at Buffalo (Deadline – Feb 1)
Top MS Biomedical Science and Biomedical Engineering Programs with Low GRE Scores
MS Biotechnology – UT Dallas (Minimum GRE Requirement – 295) | Fall Application Deadline: May 1
MS Translational Biotechnology – University of Southern California (Minimum GRE Score – 300) | Fall Application Deadline: June 15
MS Medical Biotechnology – University of Illinois at Chicago (Average GRE Score – 302). Read more about the MS Medical Biotechnology Program at UIC – Admissions, Curriculum, and Placements for Indian Students (Interview with Program Director).
MS Biotechnology – Texas Tech University (Average GRE Score – 307) | Fall Application Deadline: June 1
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