One of the first things to think about when considering going back to school to pursue an Online Master’s degree in Engineering Management is whether or not you need to take the GRE or another standardized test. The GRE (which stands for Graduate Record Exam) is the most commonly required admission test for graduate school. It tests your critical thinking, analytical writing, and verbal and quantitative reasoning skills. Since there are all skills you develop over the course of your education, the GRE is intended to help graduate schools decide if you have the necessary skills to succeed in a master’s program. Since a master’s in engineering management is an interdisciplinary program, some universities will accept either GRE or GMAT scores. But GRE scores tend to be preferred, as the GRE applies more readily to both the engineering and management sides.
Some Online Master’s in Engineering Management programs that requires the GRE include Lamar University’s Master’s of Engineering Management Online which looks for a verbal and quantitative score of over 288, with a quantitative score of over 151. Meanwhile, Syracuse University’s Distance MS in Engineering Management requires the GRE, and the median score of admitted students is 162 for the quantitative and 148 for the verbal. Texas A&M looks for quantitative GRE scores of over 155 for admitted students into their Online Master’s of Science in Engineering Systems Management. The Milwaukee School of Engineering University’s Online MS in Engineering Management requires GMAT scores if your GPA was below 2.80, but will also substitute the GMAT for the GRE.
That being said, there are actually a significant number of online programs that do not require the submission of standardized test scores at all, like Oklahoma State University’s MS in Engineering and Technology Management. Or, The George Washington University’s Online MS in Engineering Management, which does not require GRE or GMAT scores, but says they can be submitted to strengthen your application. Other programs will waive the requirement of the GRE if you have a high enough undergraduate GPA or with a certain number of years of work experience.
If you are still an undergrad or just recently graduated, consider preemptively taking the GRE. Your test scores will be good for five years. Taking it while lots of the information covered is still fresh in your mind from school will make it much easier to study for, instead of starting to study for it a few years down the road. Your future self will thank you.
According to Kaplan, people, on average, spend 50 to 200 hours studying for the GRE. This varies depending on how efficient you are with your test prep time and how much you need to get your scores up based on practice tests. If you take the computer-delivered GRE general test, which is likely, you’ll receive your scores 10-15 days later. If for some reason you take the paper-delivered test, you’ll need to wait up to five weeks for your results to be delivered. So, if the schools you are applying for do require the GRE, make sure to budget enough time to study, actually take the test, and get your scores back before your application is due.
As you can see, whether you need to take the GRE or not varies depending on what program you are interested in, your work history, and your undergraduate GPA. It is certainly not a given that a GRE is required, but if it is, make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare so you can ace it and get down to applying for the best Master’s in Engineering Management program for you!