GRE Scores Required for Admission at Columbia

Posted by on January 10, 2014 in GRE, GRE Scores | 62 comments

Tens of thousands of aspiring students apply to Columbia’s New York campus each year. Columbia is one of the prestigious Ivy League schools and ranks consistently amongst the top 15 global universities. It is well known for its programs in Finance, Public policy and Business. Like any other top US school, Columbia’s admissions panel rigorously scrutinize each applicant for utmost competence and disqualifies any applications that do not meet their strenuous criteria of selection.

Again, it uses GRE as an important yard stick that reflects the aptitude of an individual required to perform well at the graduate level. Therefore it makes GRE scores a very important part of the application. For engineering and education programs, Columbia has admitted applicants who have scored in the top percentile of the GRE exam. Specifically for education, the average GRE scores were 153 and 158 whereas for engineering they were 163 and 154 on the quant and verbal respectively.

Here are the average GRE scores of Columbia applicants for other major disciplines. I have used the ETS data on GRE scores along with the US news rankings of Columbia’s programs in order to come up with these numbers. They are not perfect, I agree but they are a good indicator of what to expect while applying to Columbia.

Program Rank Average GRE Quant Scores for Columbia University Average GRE Verbal Scores for Columbia University Average GRE AWA Scores for Columbia University
Average GRE Score for Columbia Biological & Biomedical Sciences 15 157 157 4
Average GRE Score for Columbia Chemistry 10 164 161 4
Average GRE Score for Columbia Computer and Information Sciences 17 162 153 4
Average GRE Score for Columbia Earth, Atmospheric and Marine Sciences 5 161 161 4
Average GRE Score for Columbia Mathematical Sciences 10 168 162 5
Average GRE Score for Columbia Physics and Astronomy 11 164 160 5
Average GRE Score for Columbia Economics 10 166 162 5
Average GRE Score for Columbia Political Science 7 158 163 5
Average GRE Score for Columbia Psychology 14 153 156 4
Average GRE Score for Columbia Sociology 12 152 156 5
Average GRE Score for Columbia ARTS AND HUMANITIES 10 157 164 5
Average GRE Score for Columbia English Language and Literature 4 156 164 5
Average GRE Score for Columbia History 7 155 163 5

To check the percentile ranks of these scores please go here. A lot of universities and programs don’t require students, especially from engineering backgrounds to do well on the AWA section of the GRE. However I would advice applicants to first check with the program if they weigh AWA scores or not. Good Luck!


  1. Avatar

    Dear I am new comer to your site. Can you please let me know that what is quantitative, verbal & AWA Scores? Are these scores related to three different GRE tests or all these scores relates to single GRE test? And what is subject test? Is subject test is mandatory for MS? And last in which discipline you did MS from US? thanks

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    Hi Talha,

    Can you please help me how much essay marks are given consideration. I have got 325 marks in GRE but 3 in AWA. Do I stand any chance from call for these universities where gre score required is 325 around bur AWA is 3.0 +

    • Avatar

      Hello Jain, Generally top 25 uni’s require a 4.5+ on the AWA – But if you have a low AWA score, you can make up for it by scoring 27+ on TOEFL IBT Writing section

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    Does Teachers College at Columbia University fall under the heading “ARTS AND HUMANITIES”?

    Thank you


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    Hi, these are the average scores, so the minimum to be considered is actually lower, right?

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    Is this applicable for people applying for masters as well?

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      Hello – Yes it is applicable.

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    How much marks of gre required for masters in architecture in columbia university? And is there any masters program in interior design?

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      Around 315+ You can check Columbia’s website for details on its program offerings!

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    How much score is required for MS in data science actually I got 292 GRE score

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      At least 165 on quant and 152 on verbal

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    Hi! How much score is required for MPA EPM program?

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    I have got 150 in verbal, 167 in quant and 4.5 in awa.
    I have a gpa of 3.42 out of 4.
    I have done an intern in android app development and UI/UX design for 2 months and would be doing my 5 month internship this summer.
    I have done 4 projects so far and I am currently in my 3rd year. Can you please tell me how could I enhance my profile and what are my chances to get into this university?

    • Avatar

      First of all, Try to improve your verbal score by 7-8 points. Next you must get some research papers out (publish at least 3-4) in high impact factor journals before you graduate. Publications really enhance your chances of making it to the top programs in the U.S.

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    Hello Mr. Omer, would 305 (154 Quant, 151 Verbal) still be a considered for the PhD Economics path?

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      Hello – Quant for econ programs must be above 162. Verbal does not matter much

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    I am interested in getting into the top 25 Universities in the US.
    I have worked in the US for 4 years in Electrical Engineering and looking to do Phd.
    how much would one benefit with Work exp. for Phd. and what should be a GRE score for Columbia?

    • Avatar

      Hello – GRE score should be in high 165+ on quant and 160 verbal. Yes work experience benefits a lot in gaining in PHD programs

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        My Gre score is 312(V150, Q162)
        I wanted to apply for Columbia’s MSE program
        I’ve very strong extracurriculars and have done 2 internships. Should I apply with this score or give gre again?

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          Hello – Well if you can, you should improve the quant score to 165+ and verbal to 155+. It will give you an edge.

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    Is it possible for 1 point less in the score of Verbal (but with greater values in ibt and quant and awa) to be disqualified? Are the going to consider my overall performance? Thanks in advance.

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      Yeah they will consider your overall performance or profile – they never disqualify based on a single parameter.

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    Hi i applied for an MA in Econ at columbia – I am an honor list student with a 3.3/4 GPA (with Alot of extra curricular involvment and internships). However my GRE scores are relatively low: 152 Quant amd 150 Verbal! Does this completely ruin my chances for admission?

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      Yes that’s a very low score for Columbia. At least a 323 is whats needed

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    Hi I applied to Data Science program at Columbia University. My GRE score in Verbal is a little bit low: 152 Verbal and 169 Quant. Does this Verbal score hurt a lot on my review? Btw, do you consider more for quant when reviewing GRE?

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      GRE Quant matters more in DS programs. Don’t worry about verbal

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    Hi I am looking into applying to the engineering program. I have a verbal score of 150 and a quant score of 159. Is 159 too low to be considered with a GPA of 3.56/4 for two engineering degrees in 4 years?

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      Yeah quant is low – avg quant for eng. is around 163-164

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    Thanks for the above list!
    I am hoping to apply for MS – Computer Security in the Computer Science Department and for MBA in Business School in parallel.
    What should be the average GRE score for Quant, Verbal and AWA that I should aim for and does applying to 2 different departments in parallel affect the chances of getting accepted?

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      AWA – 5.0+, Verbal 160+, Quant 167+. Applying in parallel does not effect the chances.

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    Hello, I’m interested in applying to Masters of Strategic Communications at Columbia University. What would be the average score? Thank you 🙂

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      160+ Verbal, 157+ Quant and 5+ AWA

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    What is the avg. GRE score required for School Of International ad Public Affairs and program of International Dual Degrees in it?

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    What is the averages scores for the Psychology PhD program?

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    Hi, I scored a GRE 319(V158, Q161 AWA3.5). Is this score enough to apply for UPenn’s Computer and Information Sciences?

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      Well, the quant is on the lower side. Above 165 would be a competitive score.

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    Hi what is the score required to get into MS in operation research in Columbia

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      Hello – 165+ quant and 158+ verbal

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        Is there any chance if I score 153V n 166Q?

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          Yes there is. It is a competitive score.

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    What is an average score for verbal and quant for Columbia’s Neuroscience phD? I got a 158 in verbal, 155 in quant and 4.5 on AWA. I’m taking the GRE again and wanting to set a goal.

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      Average score is 158 for quant and 161 for verbal

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        What is the minimum?

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    Hi, I’m planning to apply to Columbia neuroscience with a 152 in quant, 165 in verbal and AWA 4.0 (+ research experience and 4.0 undergrad GPA). Would I make a competitive applicant with those scores?

    • Avatar

      Hi – Yes definitely. Quant is not that great of a requirement for Neuroscience at Columbia. Verbal is great.

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    I see tbe average GRE scores for Psychology. Are those for the Clinical PhD, or other Psychology fields?

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    Hello Sir,

    I am looking into applying to Columbia’s MA program in International Affairs next fall. My resume is as follows:
    – BA in International Business with a GPA of 3.0 from the Lebanese American University
    – MA in Journalism from SOAS University London
    – GRE score of 152 Quant 156 Verbal and 4.5 AWA (did it in 2016, my biggest concern is if I should repeat the test and aim for 160+)
    – 2+ years of experience working at Lebanon’s leading newspaper with countless publications on political and socio-economic issues.

    NB: This got me into NYU for the same MA

    Would greatly appreciate your feedback, mainly on if I should increase my GRE scores

    Thanks !

    • Avatar

      Hello Georgi, Well, in terms of GRE, I would say that should retake it as a 320+ is the kind of a score that will improve your chances a lot. 308 is a below avg score in my experience. But please do note that this is a top-notch program and the admissions decisions are not just based on the GRE score and depend on your overall quality of application. However, I still feel that GRE must be given again.

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    Hello Sir, my profile is as follows

    B.Tech GPA : 9.75/10

    Honors GPA : 10/10

    GRE = 313 (Quant 162)

    TOEFL = 104

    3 research papers

    2 conference presentations

    3 research projects

    1 year experience as research assistant

    5-6 awards and accolades

    community service

    numerous extra-curriculars

    Can I get into Columbia University Engineering PhD program ?

    • Avatar

      Oh yes, the profile is pretty good for Columbia admissions. I am presuming that the papers were published in high impact factor places.

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      Hi do you happen to know what’s the gre target scores for MPA-DP in Columbia?

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    I’m hoping to apply to the Systems Engineering master’s program at Columbia with a Verbal: 160, Quant: 162, and AWA: 4.0. I’m hoping that my 5+ years of professional experience can outweigh the lower quant score but do you think I should retake the GRE?

    • Avatar

      It is always a plus to have a 165+ on quant but even with a 162 and years of experience you still have a good chance. If you can, you should improve the GRE just to make your application better.

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