Qualifying Exam

studying 3

All Genetics Program students complete a qualifying examination during the summer of the first year. PhD students must pass this examination to continue in the program.

The exam requires the preparation and defense of an original research proposal that is not related to future dissertation work or to prior research experiences. The exam is designed to measure originality and independence and requires that the student suggest a feasible research project on a biologically significant problem, outline a potential experimental approach to its solution, and discuss the likely data that could be obtained. An oral defense of this proposal is designed to probe the ability of the student to integrate and evaluate material learned in more abstract settings.

Preparation for the examination is directed by an examining committee that is selected based on each student's topic.

Health Science Campus

Health Science Campus Sign

The Health Sciences Campus is home to Sackler, the Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Nutrition, Tufts Medical Center and several research institutes.

Hirsh Library


The Hirsh Library provides access to a wide-range of journals and welcoming study spaces.

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development