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ERIC Number: EJ1206183
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
A Model for Holistic Review in Graduate Admissions That Decouples the GRE from Race, Ethnicity, and Gender
Wilson, Marenda A.; Odem, Max A.; Walters, Taylor; DePass, Anthony L.; Bean, Andrew J.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v18 n1 Article 7 Mar 2019
Graduate schools around the United States are working to improve access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in a manner that reflects local and national demographics. The admissions process has been the focus of examination, as it is a potential bottleneck for entry into STEM. Standardized tests are widely used as part of the decision-making process; thus, we examined the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in two models of applicant review: metrics-based applicant review and holistic applicant review to understand whether it affected applicant demographics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. We measured the relationship between GRE scores of doctoral applicants and admissions committee scores. Metrics-based review of applicants excluded twice the number of applicants who identified as a historically underrepresented minority compared with their peers. Efforts to implement holistic applicant review resulted in an unexpected result: the GRE could be used as a tool in a manner that did not reflect its reported bias. Applicant assessments in our holistic review process were independent of gender, racial, and citizenship status. Importantly, our recommendations provide a blueprint for institutions that want to implement a data-driven approach to assess applicants in a manner that uses the GRE as part of the review process.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas (Houston)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Graduate Record Examinations