What is the good GRE score to get into Harvard?

Harvard University is among the top universities in the world. Established in 1636, it is the oldest and the most prestigious institution in the US that offers higher education. It is a founder member of the Ivy League of the institutions. Harvard offers a variety of graduate programs that consistently get top national rankings. The University has 12 schools imparting excellent academic education, in the fields of law, business, engineering, medicine, design, education, public health, and the arts and sciences.

Harvard University consistently stays among the list of prestigious colleges in the whole world. So, seeking admission to this college is a challenge in itself. The standard academic GPAs and GREs will not work here. If you are a student seeking admission to Harvard, the road ahead will be highly competitive, as Harvard has a minimum acceptance rate of 3%.

Evaluation of your application depends on several parameters like SOPs (Statement of Purpose), academic grades, letters of recommendation, work experience in the relevant field, any previous research – related work evidence, and other components of your application. Each department would look for different merits for the candidate. The selection criteria would vary for every program at Harvard’s.

A good GRE result would improve your chances of getting into Harvard. However, you need not focus only on these criteria.

Typically, the GRE scores of applicants that are successful in getting into the University range from 155 to 166 for Verbal and 155 to 170 for Quantitative. Many programs require GRE scores in the 160s or the top 10-15 percent. Quant expectations are higher for math- and science-oriented programs. Verbal expectations are higher for applications that require higher levels of reading and writing.

Below is a table representing the necessary GRE scores required for entry into many of Harvard’s prestigious programs.

Program GRE Required Avg. GRE Scores



AW-Assessment writing

History of Art and Architecture Ph.D. Yes Unavailable
Biophysics Ph.D. Yes V: 664
Q: 790
AW: 5.3
Chemistry / Chemical Physics Yes V: 163
Q: 166
AW: 4.5
Graduate School of Design programs Yes V: 157
Q: 159
AW: 4.0
Economics Ph.D. Yes V: 97th percentile
Q: 97th percentile
Master of Education (EdM) Yes V: 80th percentile
Q: 60th percentile
AW: 4.6
Education Ph.D. Yes V: 87th percentile
Q: 58th percentile
AW: 4.9
Doctor of Education Leadership (EdLD) Must take either GRE or GMAT V: 69th percentile
Q: 37th percentile
AW: 4.5
Engineering and Applied Sciences Yes V: 80-85th percentile
Q: 90-95th percentile
English Ph.D. Yes Recommended
V: 166
Health Policy Ph.D. Must take either GRE or GMAT Recommended
V: Above the 80th percentile
Q: Above the 80th percentile
AW: Above the 80th percentile
Public Health (SM, MPH, SD, and DrPH programs) Yes Median
V: 160
Q: 161
AW: 4.0
V: 50th percentile
Q: 65th percentile
Medical Sciences Ph.D. programs Yes V:162-166


Psychology Ph.D. programs Yes Recommended
V+Q: 1350
Sociology Ph.D. programs Yes V:162-166


You need to do your research about the GRE scores for a particular university or program and set your score target accordingly. The average rating keeps changing every year for each application, so there is no fixed good GRE result. Keep a check on the scores of the subject for which you want to seek admission, and then set your target. Make sure that you are able to dedicate enough time on other components of yje application as well. The scores of the Verbal, Quant and the AW, together with an excellent GPA (3.8/4.0 and above) can get you in the top bracket for admission to Harvard.

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