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GRE Waiver Fall 2023 Complete List and Email Sample

You might have heard from people applying for admissions to universities abroad that the GRE got waived. But what does this actually mean? Is the GRE waiver something exciting or is it something that you really need to work hard for? Well, we have the answer for it! 

GRE got waived for the first time when COVID pandemic made it impossible for candidates to take GRE tests. But even before this, some schools like UIUC Engineering School did not consider GRE scores for their admission. But in those days, such universities were rare. Now if you see, many universities are embracing GRE free admissions. However, it is confusing which ones are waiving it and which ones are not. In this blog, you’ll find the kind of GRE waivers we are seeing and a list of universities that fall into each category. 

There are 3 kind of GRE requirements that you will see:

  1. GRE Mandatory – This means that there is no exception, you need to submit your GRE score. For eg UC Irvine, SUNY Buffalo
  2. GRE not Considered – This means that they won’t even look at your GRE even if you submit it. For eg MIT and Harvard are taking this stance
  3. GRE Optional – This could be for all departments (such as Northeastern University) or for only some departments or programs

Before we look into the full list, here’s a PRO TIP:

Don’t look at GRE waiver list from last year because the GRE waiver criteria changes every year, For eg. Georgia Teach had waived GRE for all courses last year but it requires it for MS CS course for 2023 admissions.

Now, let’s look at the list of universities which have waived GRE or kept it optional. This list is not comprehensive but covers many popular schools.


Email to request GRE Waivers

Here, we are sharing a structure for sample GRE waiver request email:

1st para – Greetings and formal request of waiver

2nd and 3rd paras – Cite reasons or justification for waiver

4th para – Conclude and thank them for consideration

(see the full sample below)

That’s it. Keep it polite, formal and convincing. They will not give a waiver simply because you didn’t have time. So, frame your request with some thought and keep your fingers crossed.

As long as you show that you tried your best to fulfill all criteria and have other aspects of your profile which showcase the things that GRE is supposed to test, you can make a good case.


So, that was a detailed list and a sample from our end. If your intention is to step ahead and reach some of the high ranking colleges then do take advantage of this extensive information.

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I was a mid-career professional in my early thirties when I started my journey with Scholar Strategy (SS). Tired with the monotonous job, and frustrated with corporate politics, I was probably going through a ‘mid-career’ crisis, not really sure where I wanted to go. This is when Nistha came to my rescue and trust me she is the best counsellor I have ever had in my life! Having spent 12 years in IT industry, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to do an MBA and that’s when Nistha helped me f… Read more
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