Resolution Calling for Eliminating the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Requirement

Resolution Number: RF20-409
November, 2020
Whereas: 
Research has shown Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores are poor predictors of student success in graduate programs , ; and,
Whereas: 
The Educational Testing Service, the company that administers the GRE, advises against the practice of using cutoff scores, especially one that uses GRE scores as the sole criteria, in the holistic admissions process ; and,
Whereas: 
Analysis of GRE scores have shown women and underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities attain lower scores on average compared with majority men . These test disparities can adversely affect applicants from underrepresented groups; and,
Whereas: 
The San Francisco State University mission statement clearly states that “From the heart of a diverse community, San Francisco State University honors roots, stimulates intellectual and personal development, promotes equity, and inspires the courage to lead, create, and innovate”; and,
Whereas: 
With a test fee of more than $200 for the GRE general test and $150 for each GRE subject test and additional fees for sending score reports, test preparation programs, and study materials, GRE tests represent a financial burden for many students, in particular economically disadvantaged students; and,
Whereas: 
With the large variation in the extent of use of GRE scores in the admissions process among graduate programs at San Francisco State University, the transition away from the GRE may require time for planning and transition for some programs.
Whereas: 
Moneta-Koehler, L., Brown, A. M., Petrie, K. A., Evans, B. J., & Chalkley, R. (2017). The Limitations of the GRE in Predicting Success in Biomedical Graduate School. PloS one 12(1), e0166742. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166742 Miller, C. W., Zwickl, B. M., Posselt, J. R., Silvestrini, R. T., & Hodapp, T. (2019). Typical physics Ph.D. admissions criteria limit access to underrepresented groups but fail to predict doctoral completion. Science Advances 5(1), eaat7550. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aat7550 Educational Testing Service. (2020). GRE® Guide to the Use of Scores 2020-21. Retrieved from www.ets.org/gre/guide on September 24, 2020. Miller, C., Stassun, K. (2014). A test that fails. Nature 510, 303-304. https://doi.org/10.1038/nj7504-303a Educational Testing Service. (2020). Fees for GRE® Tests and Related Services. Retrieved from https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/fees/ on September 24, 2020.
Resolved: 
That the San Francisco State University Academic Senate strongly recommends all graduate programs take the necessary steps to eliminate GRE test scores as a metric of evaluation in the graduate admission process by Academic Year 2023-2024.
Resolved: 
That the San Francisco State University Academic Senate strongly recommends all graduate programs conduct self-studies on their admission practices, make appropriate modification of admissions criteria and processes, and train admissions committees on best practices of holistic admissions; and
Resolved: 
That the San Francisco State University Academic Senate strongly recommends the University provide necessary resources, such as training, to graduate programs to facilitate this transition.
Resolved: 
This resolution will be distributed to the Academic and University Senates of all California State University campuses.
Resolved: 
(Partially based upon resolution from the SUNY Binghamton resolution found at https://system.suny.edu/media/suny/content-assets/documents/faculty-senate/resolutions/180-03-01.pdf)
Resolved: 
Additional Resources and Links A list of Bio/Biomedical Graduate Programs That Do Not Require GRE https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MYcxZMhf97H5Uxr2Y7XndHn6eEC5oO8XWQi2PU5jLxQ/edit#gid=0
Resolved: 
Brown follows Princeton in letting departments decide whether to require the admissions test. Twenty-four of them opt out. https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2019/10/07/brown-follows-princeton-letting-departments-make-choice-gre
Resolved: 
Graduate programs drop GRE after online version raises concerns about fairness https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2020/06/graduate-programs-drop-gre-after-online-version-raises-concerns-about-fairness
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GRE requirements & admissions fees for US/Canadian Astronomy & Physics Programs https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19UhYToXOPZkZ3CM469ru3Uwk4584CmzZyAVVwQJJcyc/edit#gid=0
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MIT Departments remove GRE requirements for 2020–2021 graduate admissions cycle https://thetech.com/2020/08/27/no-gre-requirements
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Rice goes GRE-optional for grad programs, will grant fee waivers to graduates of Texas schools http://news.rice.edu/2020/09/08/rice-goes-gre-optional-for-grad-programs-will-grant-fee-waivers-to-graduates-of-texas-schools/
Resolved: 
SUNY-Binghamton RESOLUTION #: 180-03-01. To Encourage SUNY to become the First Test-Optional System of Higher Education in the Nation. https://system.suny.edu/media/suny/content-assets/documents/faculty-senate/resolutions/180-03-01.pdf
Resolved: 
It's Time to Eliminate the GRE and PGRE in All Astronomy & Astrophysics PhD Programs: Motivation, Implementation and Outcomes https://baas.aas.org/pub/2020n7i038/release/1
Resolved: 
University of Miami: Graduate School eliminates testing requirements for admissions https://news.miami.edu/stories/2020/07/graduate-school-eliminates-testing-requirements-for-admissions.html
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University of Pennsylvania philosophy program drops requirement for its doctoral program, setting off broad discussion about the GRE test's merits and drawbacks. https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2018/09/17/decision-penns-philosophy-department-renews-debate-about-gre
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US geoscience programmes drop controversial admissions test https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02181-z
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Yale Department of History: A note on removing the GRE from graduate admissions https://history.yale.edu/news/note-removing-gre-graduate-admissions