GRE Scores for Computer Science Programs

Computer Science programs have in recent years perhaps become one of the most competitive programs in the US and globally, for graduate and postgraduate studies. Hence, the GRE scores for CS programs have also become increasingly important and competitive. So, what is a good GRE score for Computer Science programs? 

The average GRE scores for Computer Science programs, according to the historical data and the official ETS website, lies between 320-330. 

First of all, GRE is needed for almost every graduate and postgraduate program in the US, and elsewhere, and Computer Science programs are no exception. But within CS programs, the GRE scores can be divided as such. 

Since there are three sections within the GRE, namely, Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing–let’s assess how much you need to qualify into a CS program. 

As already mentioned, due to the huge number of applications for Master’s and PhDs in the field of Computer Science, GRE scores have become very important and often determine who gets accepted into a particular university. 

GRE Quantitative Reasoning Score for CS MS Programs: 

Obviously, the most important section in the GRE for CS program applicants is the Quantitative Reasoning section. On average, applicants accepted into CS programs in the USA have a Quantitative Reasoning score of 160. Thus, to increase your chances of being accepted and standing out amongst the pool of applicants, you need to aim for a Quantitative Reasoning score of at least 165. 

Moreover, for top-tier universities in the US, this competition is even higher. Their selected applicants showcase an average GRE score of more than 330, with a perfect score, i.e. 170, in the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE.

Thus, if your dream university is one of the Ivy-league ones or is a top-tier CS program university, you should aim for a perfect score in GRE Math!

GRE Verbal Reasoning Score for CS MS Programs: 

The average GRE Verbal Reasoning score of CS applicants is 150. Although Verbal Reasoning scores are not given much priority within CS and Engineering streams, it can play a vital role in differentiating and complementing an applicant’s overall profile and help them get an edge over other applicants. 

Consider a situation where two applicants have a perfect Quantitative Reasoning score and their overall profile is also largely similar, but one has a Verbal Reasoning score of 150 while the other has received 155. Preference will, of course, be given to the one with higher scores. 

Furthermore, it can help programs gauge your overall reading and comprehension skills, something that is really important when pursuing a Master’s or a PhD degree. However, do not worry yourself too much about the Verbal Reasoning section, especially if you struggle with grammar and language. Aim to get at least 155 in the Verbal Reasoning section while preparing for a perfect Quantitative score!

GRE Analytical Writing Score for CS MS Programs: 

This section may be the lowest scoring section for an average Computer Science program applicant. The average Analytical Writing score for CS program falls at 3.5 out of a possible 6. 

As a CS program applicant, you do not need to worry about this section either. Just familiarize yourself with the format of the essay, and go through the prompts available on the official ETS website. That should suffice to get an upwards of 3.5 in your GRE Analytical Writing section. 

TOP 10 US Computer Science Master’s Programs that require GRE scores:

Georgia Institute of Technology Minimum 153 Verbal, 155 Quantitative, 3.0 Analytical
University of Texas, Austin Minimum 159 Verbal and 163 Quantitative
University of California, Los Angeles Average 167 for Quantitative
University of Wisconsin-Madison Range 160-168 Quantitative
University of Pennsylvania  Average 160 Verbal, 168 Quantitative, 4.2 Analytical
University of Massachusetts, Amherst Minimum 158 Verbal, 164 Quantitative, 3.5 Analytical
University of Illinois, Chicago Minimum 300 total for GRE 
John Hopkins University Preferred 153 or above Verbal, 160 or above Quantitative
Northwestern University Average Verbal 156, Quantitative 169, Analytical 3.5
Ohio State University Average GRE Quantitative 164


Thus, the ideal GRE score for an average Computer Science program is 320, while, for top-tier CS programs, the ideal score is 330, with a perfect Quantitative Reasoning score.

In conclusion, your GRE study plan should be such that you focus and spend more energy and effort in preparing for the Quant section of the GRE, while continuing to practice for the Verbal Reasoning section to achieve a score of at least 150 in that section.


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