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Fellowships: Waivers

The Graduate School’s waiver policy enables graduate programs to nominate exceptionally qualified applicants who may fall short on two fellowship criteria: GRE or GMAT minimums or cumulative undergraduate GPA. Waivers are considered only for these two criteria.

The Graduate School believes that rigorous, established criteria for nominations are the foundation and threshold baseline of the fellowship competition. 

The number of waivers allotted to each graduate program is 50% of the graduate program’s nomination cap or four, whichever is greater. If a program submits fewer nominations than its nomination cap, the number of waivers is adjusted to be equal to no more than 50% of a program’s actual total number of nominations.

Graduate programs are responsible for entering all approved waivers in the summary screen in the Graduate School Nomination System.

Any nominee not meeting all of the fellowship eligibility criteria for a competition who has not been identified as having a waiver will be denied access to the competition. Missing items from the fellowship folder or unofficial test scores are not a permissible basis for a waiver.

Waiver Instructions—Detail

GRE or GMAT Minimums

  • A waiver may not be used for missing GRE scores. Students in tagged degree programs—i.e., MFA, MM, or DMA in Art, Dance, Design, English, Music and Theatre—are exempt from submitting GRE scores.
  • If all nomination materials are present and the nominee has the required minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA but does not have the minimum total GMAT or GRE requirement, the nominee will be reviewed only if the nominee is noted as one waiver on the Nomination System summary screen.
  • A student who does not meet the 75th% average AND 4.0 Analytical Writing requires the use of only one waiver for nomination.

Cumulative Undergraduate GPA

If all application materials are present and the nominee has the required minimum total GRE or GMAT scores but does not have the required minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA, the nominee will be reviewed only if the nominee is noted as one waiver on the Nomination System summary screen.

GRE/GMAT Minimums and Cumulative GPA

If all application materials are present in the nomination folder and the nominee does not meet the required GRE or GMAT score AND the cumulative undergraduate GPA, the nominee will be reviewed only if the nominee is assigned two waivers in the Nomination System.

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