I would like to understand if it is possible to rank graduate schools in the US and/or Canada by the entry/admission standards/requirements (this could be based on GPA/GRE/etc). While it seems that the common university rankings do not provide this type of information for graduate schools, perhaps, there exist some publicly available data sets. I tried looking around and I noticed that some individual universities (or departments) provide this type of information, but this is not very common. I am only interested in the STEM fields and I do not mind if the information is partial (e.g. only Mathematics departments in Canada).

  • I believe that this is on topic and not previously asked/answered. I would like an explanation for the downvotes. How can I improve the question? – John Apr 28 at 1:45
  • This question is actually university specific. Only general academia is dealt in this forum. Although on the broader scale it might not look so but the information highly depends on the university. – Aymuos Apr 28 at 2:15
  • @Aymuos I think I did not state the question in the best way if you think it is university-specific. I was wondering about the existence of (for example) government databases that collect statistics about such things, e.g. average GRE/GPA of admitted students and so forth. Do you think I should delete the question and try again? – John Apr 28 at 3:06
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    Oops, my bad. I did not understand that. I guess you could ask another question stating exactly this in short. "Is there a government databases that collect statistics about average GRE/GPA etc. of admitted students and so forth." – Aymuos Apr 28 at 7:49
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    @cag51 I think the difference might be when someone is feeling like the answers bundle into "no" and "yes" arguments. "Why shouldn't I do X" is more of a solicitation of arguments, "Should I do X" asks for a yes/no opinion. I agree it's not an obvious distinction and that the decisions can be stochastic, I'm just trying to put some organization to the anecdotal evidence observed. – Bryan Krause Apr 28 at 17:39

I also put this comment on another question. Such a ranking is not possible.

This is a long comment, not an answer, but I often see this misconception in particular with students from India considering graduate admissions in the US.

Graduate admissions in the US are decided by committees of professors in the department that will admit you. The professors will read your application, and then they will make a collective, subjective, judgement about which students are most likely to succeed in the program, and admit those students. There are no other criteria. Different professors may have different opinions based on their own experiences of what indicators make a student likely to be successful (and different definitions of success!), but these tend to average out in committee discussions.

This seems strange to someone from India, where these kinds of decisions tend to get made based on some formula involving various numerical criteria. You might complain that the US system is subject to bias from the professors and even possible corruption. It is, but in the US we have decided that the benefit of being able to take into account subtle, unmeasurable considerations outweighs (in our context) the disadvantages of bias and the risk of corruption.

It is, of course, possible to make some generalizations about whom committees tend to admit and what they tend to consider in admissions, but these are predictions about human behavior, not rules.

  • Thank you for your long comment. It is helpful. However, note that there is additional information contained in the body of the question. I mention that I am interested not only in the requirements but also in the admission standards. It is possible to collect the GRE/GPA of admitted students and sort the universities based on the score. This information is available from the websites of many universities/individual schools. I was merely wondering if there are some (e.g., government) databases that collect/store this type of information. – John Apr 28 at 2:54
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    @John I'd say that this answer is arguing that wouldn't make sense. Universities aren't admitting on those criteria, so even if you had the data it wouldn't necessarily mean much. GPA also doesn't mean much if you don't know what schools those GPAs come from and lots of programs don't require GREs. – Bryan Krause Apr 28 at 3:07
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    @John - If you don't think carefully about how you calculate this, probably all you'll find out is which universities have the largest med schools (because large med schools means lots of biology/health PhD funding which means large biology PhD programs compared to everything else and those are probably outliers one way or the other for GPA/GRE scores) – Alexander Woo Apr 28 at 3:29
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    Also, when I am part of graduate admissions, I usually don't even look at GRE scores. Particularly for international applicants, I find them about as useful as knowing the height of the applicant. I'll look at grades in the context of recommendation letters, but not GPA. – Alexander Woo Apr 28 at 3:38
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    @John - You haven't fully grasped what I wrote. There are NO useful quantitative indicators. It's all qualitative. – Alexander Woo Apr 28 at 4:15

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