Why should I pursue the MD/MBA?

Leadership in medicine requires knowledge of how organizations work and what management is.  Healthcare is rapidly changing and in this day and age, the healthcare professional must be trained not only as a clinician, but also as an expert manager to help improve the lives of their patients and families in an ever changing environment. 

What can I do with this combined degree?

This combined degree offers you a wide variety of opportunities, ranging from hospital administration, entrepreneurial endeavors and the skills and tools to navigate the healthcare landscape….  The Tufts MD/MBA program is one of the oldest and largest MD/MBA programs in the country with the program’s inception in 1994. 

What are the benefits of doing the program now as opposed to later?

Building on your skills early will help you in competing for a residency.  Also, by doing the program in four years, the cost is significantly reduced.  It is difficult to take time later to commit to such a program. 

Am I able to join the program in my second year?

Unfortunately, this is not possible.

How many students do you enroll?

On average we enroll about 12 students a year, but the past two years have seen our recruitment increase, in part because our students have routinely spoken highly of their experience in the program to their friends and classmates. 

What if I have no business training?

Business, economic or finance training are not a pre-requisite to enter the program. In fact our program is built on the premise that the entering students may not have any business training because the MBA class work will be primarily in the area of Healthcare management. Classes though are a mixture of students who do have various backgrounds, so networking with them becomes very helpful.

How does this program compare to "most programs"?

Most programs only take 4-8 students.  Most students apply to the MD program first and then later apply to the business school program.  Pursuing a program this way typically means leaving the MD program for at least 1.5 years for the required time at the business school.  Our program is integrated to make sure you finish both degrees in 4 years.

What is the length of the entire dual program?

The program starts six weeks before medical school and finishes in four years.  It is unlike most dual degree programs. 

How does the program work?

The program begins in June with an orientation usually in the middle of June, followed by four courses (16 credits) - accounting, health economics, operations management and a project.  In your first semester, you will take one MBA course; in your second semester, you will take more courses as well as several in the summer. 

Who directs the curriculum?

Tufts directs the MD curriculum and Brandeis directs the MBA curriculum and grants the accredited MBA degree.

Where are the classes held?
  • Almost all MBA classes are held at Brandeis.
  • There is a shuttle that runs between Tufts and Brandeis during the Academic year (every Tuesday). The shuttle leaves Tufts at 12:15 PM to Brandeis and returns in the afternoon when classes are finished.
  • During the summer or as an alternative during the academic year, carpooling is an option. Public transportation is also available via the MBTA bus service, and the MBTA Commuter Rail from North Station or Porter Square.
Will there be Brandeis MBA students in those first four "summer" courses?

Primarily, no.  As you move through the program, however, there will be Brandeis MBA students and Tufts MBS/MBA students in your classes. 

Will this interfere with my pursuit of the MD program?

Very little.  The actual MBA courses are different than your selective courses.  Selectives are characterized as courses you can walk into where you will be doing things like shadowing and therefore you will leave them with no pre-readings, for example.   Students point out that the MBA coursework is a welcome diversion from the MD coursework. 

How do I get into the MD/MBA Program?

Admission to the MD/MBA Program is "concurrent" with admission to the Medical School. The hardest part is getting into the MD program.  You are not considered for the MBA portion of your degree until you are acted upon by MD admissions.  

What if I have not taken the GMAT yet?

We do not use the GMAT in our admission process. Brandeis does require the GMAT for accreditation purposes so you will want to be sure you do take it after you are enrolled at Brandeis.  (The program is accredited by the AACSB.)

a.)  When should the GMAT be taken?
You should take the GMAT by August 15th during your first summer at Brandeis.  Brandeis will enroll you as a “Special Student” during the summer and will convert your status to a matriculated student when it receives your GMAT score.  

b.) Do I need to prepare for the GMAT?
Depending on how busy you are prior to enrolling, it would be a good time to start familiarizing yourself with the exam by purchasing a GMAT prep book.  Brandeis does not offer a prep course or tutorial. 

c.)  What are the score ranges?
The most recent set of unofficial scores ranged from 590-720.

Does applying to the combined degree hurt my chances for MD admissions?

No, it neither hurts nor helps.

When can I apply?

It is best to apply when you know that the MD/MBA is what you would like to pursue.  Space is limited so students are encouraged to apply early. 

What are you looking for in an applicant?

We want to know the reasons for which you have interest in the MD/MBA program, how you demonstrate or have demonstrated that and what you plan to do with the combined degree.  We do not expect that you have had a long stint of employment experience; however, everyone has leadership experience and we would not expect you to fully know what you want to do at the point of application. 

Will I have time to shadow a senior physician, do research or make MD School connections?

There is plenty of time for this, especially during your second summer to do so.  Often projects allow or encourage you to make connections with clinicians at Tufts and in greater Boston.

How is it possible to do both programs in 4 years?

The MBA courses are carefully integrated with the medical school program. We continuously work to assure that there are few conflicts.

What courses are required?

The full curriculum is available here

Is there a 5 year option?

No, but students occasionally take a fifth year to do research in business or management if they so choose.

What are the costs associated with the program?

In addition to the costs for the MD, students pay a flat rate per semester for the MBA degree. The 2015-2016 rates are:

  • Years 1 & 2: $12,688/semester
  • Years 3 & 4: $3,172/semester


I have other questions- what do I do?

Email the Program Director, Dr. Paul Beninger at paul.beninger@tufts.edu. He will be happy to set up a time to talk with you either in person or on the phone. 

You are also encouraged to talk with students currently in the program. If you don’t run into any during the interview day, our Admissions Office can put you in touch with students. You can contact Admissions at med-phpd@tufts.edu.