Sunday, July 14, 2013

4:10 AM
Okay, okay, I know that the arts and humanities encompasses quite a wide swath of concentrations, from studio art to philosophy, but that’s how the ETS likes to lump them into one group and so I guess there’s a common thread in there somewhere. For these programs, the importance of the GRE ranges from vital to negligible, but if you’re here reading this page, I can assume that you actually care about what scores you’ll need.
Anyway, here’s the score data from the ETS chart providing the average GRE scores for majors based on survey data collected from test takers.

Intended Majors GRE Scores

Humanities and Arts1571494.2
Arts – History, theory, criticism1561494.2
Arts – Performance and Studio1531504.8
English Language and Literature1571484.3
Foreign Languages and Literatures1551504.0

The scores above are intended majors. What does “intended” major mean? It simply means that that these are the average scores of people planning on applying to graduate school in a specific major.

GRE score range for Arts and Humanities Programs

Using a scale drawn from the limited score data in the US News & World Report’s report on graduate schools, here’s the range of average scores you could expect:
Top 10 #11-50 #51-100 
Humanities and Arts164-168152-156160-164150-154158-162148-152
Arts – History, theory, and criticism163-167152-156159-163150-154157-161148-152
Arts – Performance and Studio160-164153-157156-160151-155154-158149-153
English Language and Literature164-168151-155160-164149-153158-162147-151
Foreign Languages and Literatures162-166153-157158-162151-155156-160149-153

Note that it could very well be that the methodology I describe below doesn’t apply to creative programs performance and visual arts, as the GRE scores could be flat across all tiers of scores (since GRE scores are probably relatively unimportant).
The scores of philosophy program applicants are some of the highest of any group, pushing the top program averages to near-perfect levels. For English applicants, it’s no surprise how high the verbal scores are, though scores below philosophy students might be a relief to some. :)
Remember that you should bare in mind the relative importance of the GRE for your program. The GRE score for history programs is likely going to be weighed a lot differently than if you’re pursuing some kind performance masters.


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