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Summer Funding for Rackham Programs to Support GRE Discontinuation Transition

As of February 2022, the use of the GRE general test in Rackham Ph.D. admissions at the University of Michigan has been discontinued. We recognize that this change presents a particular challenge for the small number of programs that have relied upon the GRE in doctoral admissions. In addition, we understand that the development and implementation of truly holistic admissions practices requires ongoing work for all doctoral programs. To address these needs, Rackham has developed mechanisms to support individual programs in the development and implementation of holistic admission best practices.

Program Summary

On February 23, 2022, Rackham Graduate School announced that its Ph.D. programs will discontinue the use of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test in doctoral admissions, beginning with the 2022–2023 admissions cycle.

To aid programs that will be changing their admissions processes because of this decision, Rackham has pledged to provide support over three years, including consultation, funding, and research. Summer 2024 marks the third and final year for this funding opportunity.

Rackham will provide funding to support the salary or stipend equivalent of up to two weeks of summer effort for teams composed of up to three faculty members engaged in graduate program admissions to craft and implement plans to facilitate the transition to using holistic admissions practices without the use of the GRE.

This opportunity is designed for departments and programs that previously used the GRE in doctoral admissions. The application will be brief and award notification will be prompt.

Awarded programs will be required to expend the awarded funds by August 30, 2024.  They will also be required to submit a report to Rackham detailing their implementation plan and providing additional documentation of the team’s work, such as a copy of their holistic admissions rubric for doctoral admission.

Application and Selection Process

The program will be announced during the Rackham chairs and directors meetings on March 11 and 12, 2024. Rackham will accept applications through Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

Funding decisions will be made and communicated by May 10, 2024. Only one application per doctoral program will be considered.

To be considered for funding, interested programs and departments will provide a brief summary of the project (approximately 250 words) that includes:

  • the names of the three faculty members serving on the planning team
  • the goals for the planning team
  • the strategy and timeline to achieve the planning team’s goals
  • a description of any products or artifacts to be produced by the planning team

Only departmental chairs or graduate program chairs/directors of graduate studies are eligible to apply for this funding opportunity. In the event that the director of graduate studies is a member of the planning team to be funded through this award, the application must be submitted by the department chair.

Rackham anticipates supporting approximately 20 doctoral programs. Every effort will be made to accommodate programs that express interest.

Other Mechanisms to Support Individual Programs


Beginning in May 2022, a team of holistic admissions experts will work with the admissions committee of individual programs to evaluate current admissions practices and provide guidance and recommendations tailored for a program’s goals and needs. Additional information and a sign-up form can be found on the Holistic Admissions Consultation page.

Data Collection and Analysis

Rackham’s Institutional Research team will continue to collect and analyze data on recruitment, admissions, and the student life-cycle as part of their research program; in this way, changes across many dimensions that correlate with GRE general test discontinuation can be identified. Rackham data can also be made available to individual doctoral programs or faculty for their own research purposes. For more information please contact Rackham Institutional Research.

Holistic Admissions Workshops

Holistic admissions practices are an integral part of achieving both diversity and excellence when admitting graduate student cohorts. This workshop is designed to provide concrete strategies and evidence-based practices to support faculty and program goals in admitting diverse and excellent cohorts of graduate students. This workshop will provide members of graduate admissions committees an opportunity to develop their own holistic admissions tools.