Qualifying Exam


All students in the Program in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics complete a qualifying examination by the end of June of the first year. Successful completion of this examination is a prerequisite to begin full-time dissertation research.

The exam requires the preparation and defense of an original research proposal that is not directly related to future dissertation work. 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 Emmanuel Pothos, who serves as the Qualifier Adviser and mentors students in topic selection and assists students in shaping the focus of their topic.  

Contact Information









Emmanuel Pothos, PhD
Program Director

Administrative Office
Stearns 514
Phone: 617-636-6940
Fax: 617-636-2990

Health Science Campus

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

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

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research