Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the admissions process. If your question is not here, please contact us.

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Phone: 617-636-6767

When is the application deadline for Sackler programs?

The deadline is set each year.  For summer/fall 2017 admission, the program-specific deadlines are as follows:

  • December 1: PhD programs in the Basic Science Division
  • February 15: Building Diversity in the Biomedical Sciences (BDBS) summer program
  • March 31: Post-baccalaureate Research Program (PREP)
  • May 1: Clinical & Translational Science programs; MS in Pharmacology and Drug Development
  • June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research

All supplemental materials must be turned in by the deadline.

Can I apply to more than one program?
Yes. However, every additional application requires payment of an additional application fee. The exception: Molecular Microbiology & Microbiology MERGE applicants may apply to both with a single application and application fee.
Do you offer a Master's Degree program?
An MS in Clinical & Translational Science and an MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development are offered.
Are international students welcome in your programs?

International students are welcome. International students in the PhD programs in the Basic Science Division are eligible for the same financial package as other students. For tuition-bearing programs, international students are subject to the same tuition and fees as other students. Only US citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible for the BDBS, PREP, and MD/PhD programs.

How many international students are accepted each year?

The Sackler School does not set a specific number of international students that it will admit each year, but instead weighs the applications of all applicants to select those who are the best qualified. About 20% of our students come from countries outside the United States.

What criteria are used to evaluate applicants?

Each applicant is considered individually; this involves many factors including academic history, research experience, recommendations, and GRE scores.

Is the GRE required?

The GRE general test is required of all applicants to the Basic Science Division programs, regardless of the age or experience of the applicant. Applicants to the Clinical and Translational Science Program who previously completed professional degrees (e.g., MD, DDS, PharmD, DVM) are not required to complete the GRE general test; applicants with other degrees should contact the Admission Office directly.

What is the minimum GRE requirement?

There is no minimum GRE requirement because all factors are considered when reviewing applications. The decision to re-take the GRE in an effort to improve your score is entirely up to you.

Is a GRE Subject Test Required?

None of the Sackler programs require a GRE subject test for admission.

What is the minimum TOEFL requirement?
Non-native English speaker applicants to the PhD programs in the Basic Science Division or the MS in Clinical & Translational Science must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 100. Non-native English speaker applicants to the MS Program in Pharmacology & Drug Development and Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 80.
Do you accept IELTS test scores?

Yes, we do accept IELTS test scores. The minimum acceptable score is 7 for the PhD programs in the Basic Science Division and the MS in Clinical & Translational Science. The minimum acceptable score for the MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development is 6.5. Individual Test Report Forms should be uploaded to the online application.

Can the TOEFL or IELTS Requirement be Waived?

Apart from the TOEFL and IELTS, applicants for whom English is not the native language may demonstrate English proficiency in other ways. More information can be found under "English Proficiency" on the Required Application Documents page. info

Can I send you a photocopy of my GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scores in the mail, by email, or fax?

No, photocopies, faxes or emailed attachments of scores are not considered official. GRE and TOEFL scores must come directly from ETS. IELTS Test Report Forms should be uploaded to the online application.

What level of financial support is provided to graduate students?

Most full-time Sackler School PhD graduate students receive full tuition scholarships, health insurance, and monthly living stipends to cover their expenses. There are no institutional scholarships or grants for MS students.

MS and PhD Sackler students may apply for federal loans for uncovered academic and living expenses that are within the federal guidelines.

More information on financing your education can be found here.  info

Can I submit more than 3 letters of recommendation?
Yes. However, be sure that any additional letters of recommendation are coming from individuals who know you and your work and who can add insight and information that is distinct from that provided by your other recommenders.
Do you accept letters of recommendation from letter services such as Interfolio?
Personal letters of recommendation that specifically address your potential for success at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences are extremely important in the application process, and are strongly encouraged of all applicants. Generic letters from a letter service will be accepted, but all materials must be submitted through the online application form. Each faculty recommendation must be accompanied by a completed applicant rating grid, which is available to the recommender within Slate.
Do I need an official transcript to apply?
No. You may upload digital versions of official or unofficial transcripts to your application. Complete official transcripts are only required for applicants who have accepted offers of admission.
Can I re-use materials from last year's application?
If you create a new application using the same account as last year, much of your information will automatically carry over (including valid test scores and uploaded transcripts). You should review and update this information accordingly. Anything that doesn't carry over (resume, personal statement, letters of recommendation) or that may require updating is your responsibility to complete.
Can my application fee be waived?
The Sackler School offers fee waivers to applicants based on certain criteria. See more information about fee waivers here. info
How do I check the status of my application?

Once your application has been submitted you will receive an email notification from the Sackler School. You can log into the Slate System with your username and password which will allow you to view the status of your application at any time throughout the admissions process.  You may use Slate to track the receipt of any missing credentials.

Can I apply for Spring admission?

The Sackler School does not have a Spring admissions period. New students are enrolled only once a year, either Summer or Fall, depending on the program.

When are admissions interviews?
Interviews for Basic Science Division PhD programs are typically held in January, February, and March, with each program following its own schedule. Interviews for the MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development are often held in April and May.
If I am an international student, do I have to have an interview?

While an on-site interview is not required of international students, it is always necessary to speak with Sackler program officials, and it is often desirable for an applicant to tour the facilities and meet our faculty. The Sackler School does not provide travel expenses for international applicants.

When will I be notified whether or not I am accepted?
Each program operates on its own timeline. Offers of admission to Basic Science Division PhD programs are typically sent in March and April and all admission decisions (admissions and rejections) are usually finalized by the end of April. Admissions decisions for the in-person CTS programs and MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development are made through May. The Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research admits students until the end of June. BDBS decisions are usually finalized in early April. PREP decisions are finalized around June 1.
Do you accept transfer students from other biomedical science doctoral programs?

Students who have begun a PhD program at another university and would like to enroll in Tufts instead should apply through the regular admissions process. If accepted into the program, students may choose to enter in September as a first year student, or in July as a transfer student.

Students who enter as first years complete four laboratory rotations, beginning in September, before being matched with a thesis lab in May. Students who enter as transfer students complete two rotations in the summer and match with a thesis laboratory prior to the beginning of Fall term.

Whether entering as a first-year student or a transfer, up to two didactic courses may be transferred in. Courses that have been used to fulfill requirements for previous degrees are not eligible for transfer.

Financing Your Education

Students in Garden

Basic Science Division students typically receive a full tuition scholarship, a stipend and health insurance throughout their time as Sackler students.
Learn more  info

MSTP at Tufts

White Coat Ceremony

Tufts MSTP has about 40 students and allows trainees to choose between five different PhD programs.
Learn more  info

Alumni Pursue Many Careers

Career Panel

Sackler prepares students for careers in academia, the biotechnology industry and a wide range of other options.

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