What’s everyone’s opinion on Cornell dropping the GRE score requirement for M.Arch applicants?


Although I agree that the GRE has no correlation to a student’s architectural abilities, I found it to be quite surprising that the admissions council would omit it completely. After studying my way to a 329 this summer I feel as if it’s wasted. But then again, it would’ve been wasted time anyway, haha. What’s  everyone’s opinion on this?

Dec 13, 19 1:52 pm

It's such a minor factor in most architecture schools' admissions that it's probably better that they drop it, to save students the associated time and expense of test-taking.  I can see it being useful for certain applicants if the architecture schools would allow the GRE to remain optional - that way students with low GPA's could elect to take the GRE and if their scores were far stronger than their GPA reflected then they could choose to submit them. 

Dec 13, 19 2:31 pm

I agree but now i’m just a bit


*im just a bit more nervous about my portfolio and GPA


I am applying for M.Arch at Cornell too. I, too, have an above decent GRE score and hope that it would be a good leverage against people who have similar background and similar level of portfolio, but with that being said, GRE is not close to being the most important admission factor.

It's interesting that they "dropped" it, where did you see the news? On the website it still states GRE score is required.

Dec 13, 19 10:42 pm

I received an email that stated:


I received an email that stated:


As the Director of Admissions in Cornell AAP, I am excited to share some brand new information with you! The Department of Architecture has decided to eliminate the GRE requirement for applicants to the M.Arch. (professional) program, effective immediately. The requirement was creating an unnecessary obstacle in the admissions process due to cost, access, and/or the ability to perform on standardized tests.”


Hmm, good for them I guess. I don't know why I didn't receive such an email from AAP, maybe I wasn't subscribed or something.


Regardless, still gonna send my GRE score haha, can't let that go to waste.

 It's not why AAP dropped the GRE requirement, it's why Graduate programs campus wide- including programs in the Arts and Humanities and Biomedical Sciences- have dropped the requirement.  

Dec 14, 19 12:42 pm

Someone said "such a minor factor". This isn't the case in Europe. Architecture students are mostly required to have great math skills. Not always, but usually this results in an overall better group of students. Cornell just needs the tuition.

Dec 14, 19 6:00 pm

the math in the GRE doesn't really pass highschool. Even if they keep it, and someone gets a good quant score, it doesn't necessarily mean they're good at math!


When I was involved in admissions the scores for all applicants were collected in one giant spreadsheet, and at least three quarters of our M.Arch applicants' math scores were in the 75th percentile or higher. I suspect this is because the GRE is taken by people who are applying to many different fields, and those who are drawn to architecture are somewhat self-sorting toward mostly those who are at least somewhat mathematically oriented. Because the scores skewed so high they weren't very useful, except to flag those who scored low. Invariably there would be a few applicants with perfect scores across the board (this was back when there were 3 sections), and that might have given them an edge, but anything less than perfect was fairly irrelevant unless it was abysmal.

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