Many UM Graduate Programs Waive Admission Test Requirements

Anyone mulling over applying to graduate school at the University of Mississippi may have a simpler application process this summer, now that many of the university’s graduate programs are waiving standardized admissions tests and extending application deadlines.

Robert Doerksen, associate dean of the UM Graduate School addresses attendees at the 2019 Grad School Expo. The school has waived admission test requirements for the 2020-21 academic year. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services
The changes in the application process are a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Preparing a competitive graduate school application and studying for the admittance test can be a daunting task on its own,” said Robert Doerksen, associate dean of the Graduate School. “Now imagine someone studying in quarantine or after losing a job due to the pandemic. We want to be of help during these challenging times.”

Doerksen added that even the logistics of simply scheduling the test at a testing center have been made difficult or impossible by COVID-19.

“We don’t want to be a hindrance to these students during a time of increased stress,” said Brenteria Travis, manager of graduate admissions. “We want to assist in any way we can.”

Emily Bush, of Grenada, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work in May and has been admitted to the university’s Master of Social Work program.

“I was signed up to take the GRE, and my test was a few weeks away when everything changed with the virus,” Bush said. “Finding out that we weren’t required to anymore was a huge relief.”

Since changing application requirements for its programs, the Graduate School has seen a “very significant” increase in applications, Doerksen said, adding that this will not only give the programs a bigger pool from which to select the best students but also indicates that applicants are excited about what the school offers.

“This is an opportunity to get further experience in the classroom or a further certification that could help for finding an even better job in the future,” Doerksen said.

Applicants can see a list of programs that are waiving admissions tests here and an updated list of all of the programs’ application deadlines here.

By JB Clark

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