Public Administration Majors Score Dead Last on GRE Scores

Can't say this surprises me:


Seriously - couldn't you have predicted the last three in advance?


  1. TripAZ:

    Yay Comp Sci majors!

  2. Dan:

    Not just dead last, but dead last in all three categories. I was sorry to see my History colleagues down at the bottom of the middle third, but at least we come in third on the Verbal score.

  3. Gorgasal:

    And they're not only last in total GRE - they're last in every one of the three subscales.

    And educators are second to last in all three subscales.

  4. morganovich:

    a couple of these seem a bit unfair. who ever heard of a PhD in business? MBA, sure, but if you have any real understanding of business, you'd never see a PhD as a good investment...

  5. Nancy:

    Yay, we biology majors get a happy medium! :) Although the education score is worrying...

  6. Speedmaster:

    And note where the education and sociology majors show up. Drs. Williams and Sowell have called those two schools the intellectual slums of campuses. ;-)

  7. Dr. T:

    The Medicine entry (with the abysmal rank of 25) makes no sense. We have our own Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) that is much harder than the GRE. (I took both and scored in the top 5% on the MCAT and the top 0.1% on the GRE.)

  8. agesilaus:

    There is a Texas test around somewhere on the web showing that education majors actually decreased their SAT scores after 4 years of college. The only major to achive that distinction.

  9. Mesa Econoguy:

    Ditto Dr. T. And the GMAT is the correct test for bizness types (scored average of Wharton acceptees…)

  10. Brad Warbiany:

    What's interesting is that those on the bottom of the list consistently act as if the ones up top are maladjusted socially awkward folks who can't put two sentences together, and yet my electrical engineering brethren collectively score above all three of the bottom fields on the verbal.

    What does that prove?

    Only that while they may claim specialization-- that they are social creatures more suited to the fields they're entering-- they're actually poorly suited to do anything requiring cognitive thought. Luckily for them, "public administration" requires little!

  11. bill-tb:

    Electrical Engineers -- Yeah for 7

    You get the quality of education you seek.

  12. Jody:

    Not only is EE #7 overall, it's #1 in the quantitative scores. And because there's so many foreign nationals pulling down the verbal scores, those US-born EE PhDs *cough cough* must really be hot stuff.

  13. TigerHawk:

    Seriously - couldn't you have predicted the last three in advance?

    Heh. Yes, indeed. We obviously have many of the same predispositions.

  14. Matt:

    I bet if you add a column with the % of Ph.D.s granted in each discipline, it would be in reverse order. With the most granted at the bottom of the list.

  15. MK:

    This table gives additional insight as to why the dean of the business school at the University of Arizona is trying to eliminate the Public Administration degree program as part of the university realignment to deal with budget cuts. If he's successful in this endeavor, I might just have to send him a check.


  16. Jim Hu:

    Following the links, this seems to be the averages for the applicant pools, not those admitted. I was wondering about Medicine too; perhaps its the students who take both the GRE and the MCAT based on being unsure of their prospects for Med School?

    My main reaction is: all of the verbal scores are craptacular.

  17. SR:

    Physicists FTW!

  18. Quincy:

    Anyone notice that the English Lit Majors can't crack 600 in the Verbal?

  19. rxc:

    This is horrifying - the people we are counting to improve the language skills of the engineers have worse language skills than those engineers. Maybe THIS is why it is so difficult to hire engineers who can write good reports and give good presentations. Their real skills are being destroyed by the "educators".

    Former engineer and govt regulator (NOT public administration)

  20. Al Maviva:

    >>>My main reaction is: all of the verbal scores are craptacular.

    Those of us with really good verbal skills went to law school, to everybody else's everlasting consternation.

  21. John Dewey:

    "I bet if you add a column with the % of Ph.D.s granted in each discipline, it would be in reverse order. With the most granted at the bottom of the list."

    Perhaps two such columns would be more interesting: one showing % of PhD's for U.S. citizens in U.S. universities; and one showing % of PhD's for foreigners in U.S. universities. I doubt that many foreigners leave their homeland to pursue degrees in education, sociology, and communication.

  22. Joseph K:

    I'm a philosophy PhD right now. I'm amazed how well Philosophy scored. I can't believe philosophy got top in verbal, even better than English. Amazing. Also, we're sixth in analytic. You'd hope we'd be able to do that well. But, man, we're pulled down by that 16th place in Quantitative. We can analyze, communicate, we just can't add. What do we need that for anyways?

  23. Gringo:

    I took the GRE twice, seventeen years apart. The second time was computer graded on the spot, with the questions being given dependent on how you answered the previous ones, IIRC- unlike the first itme, where I was handed the all the questions on paper. Because the grad school I applied to didn't care about the Ananlytical section, I wasn't particularly worried about it. However, the first time, I made a halfway decent effort on the Analytical section. The second time,I blew off the Analytical section, just putting down anything or a quick reaction instead of pondering the question. Yet my Analytical scores were about the same both times.

    The scores don't matter that much in the long run. I doubt that someone who scored 500 on the Quantitative would do well in grad school in science or engineering, and math of course. But beyond that, one's work ethic will be the bigger determinant of academic success than one's GRE scores.

    My GRE scores were better than my grades- lazy perhaps.Definitely a procrastinator.

  24. Will:

    Given this table I do wonder why we thought Sarah Palin would be a good vice President. Wasn't her degree in Communications? I mean really for all the talk about how the media were being elitist in dismissing her, this table suggests that maybe they were on to something (of course a lot of the media personnel were probably communications majors as well). But given this table maybe she wasn't so smart after all? HMMMMM.... makes me wonder, how conservatives would react when confronted with this bit of cognitive dissonance

  25. gre/gmat tutor:

    I saw that table before a couple of years's a VERY old table, notice that it still has the "Analytic" section. The GRE replaced the Analytic section with an Analytical Writing Assessment section about 6 years ago (more I think). This essay section is scored from 0-6 unlike the math and verbal.

    (I was a math major and I'm surprised the see that elec. eng. beat us for the top spot in the math section. Grrr! :) )

  26. Neff:

    I was expecting social work majors to be last.
    ~Disgruntled former (hopefully) social worker